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The Nominative Minefield

Makemakean

Rootless Rōnin
The name Oscar or Oskar has been very popular in Sweden since the 19th century. Only reason why it ever became popular was because we had two Kings by that name, the second named after the first, and the first was only named Oscar by random chance.

At the time Oscar was born, his father, the future King Charles XIV John of Sweden, was still Maréchal Jean-Bapiste Bernadotte of the First French Republic, and this grandson of a shoemaker from just north of the Pyrenees had no idea that within just a decade, he would be proclaimed heir to the Swedish throne, that too by a bizarre coincidence. Anyway, Bernadotte decided it was politic to flatter his benefactor when it came to the naming of his firstborn son, and so asked Napoléon Bonaparte (who still wouldn't be emperor for another couple of years), what name he thought appropriate. At the time, Bonaparte had been reading the Ossian poems (which were later to be revealed as forgeries, of course), and so suggested the name Oscar, which appears in the great Irish epic. And Bernadotte of course went ahead with the choice.

In the Emigrant novels by Vilhelm Moberg from the middle of the 20th century (though set in the middle of the 19th), the main character is a fellow by the name of Karl-Oskar, who is an impoverished Smålandian farmer who eventually finds himself forced to emigrate to Minnesota in order to be able to feed his family.

In any other timeline, the notion that a 19th century impoverished Swedish farmer would be named Oskar would appear absolutely absurd, no less than if he had been named Odysseus or Macbeth.
 
Yeah, the mother's maiden name recurring as a first or middle name comes up a fair bit in my own family tree.
One of my mother's middle names is her mother's maiden name.

It's mostly middle names which recur in my family. Which led to something funny from my son a couple of years ago. (I never post my real name, so to illustrate it, pretend my name is Craig Douglas Chisholm.)
Me: "You know that you have some of the same names as Daddy and Granddad? Your name is Robert Craig Douglas Chisholm. Granddad is Alex Craig Douglas Chisholm. And..."​
Him: "And you're Daddy Craig Douglas Chisholm!" :love:
 

Gorro Rubio

Rejoice, for this Bishop of Rome might be based
Location
Hampstead, UK/Alicante, ES
Pronouns
he/him/his
I always find issues when English speaking authors try to give names to Hispanic/Spanish characters. The basic formulation of "given name + father’s first surname" + "mother’s first surname" and the fact that women keep their maiden surname after marriage is not understood at all, and sometimes produces etymological monsters (looking at you, Tom Clancy).
 

Ciclavex

Ciclavex Jarl av Nya Sverige
Moderator
Patreon supporter
Location
Penn’s Woods
Pronouns
he/him
I always find issues when English speaking authors try to give names to Hispanic/Spanish characters. The basic formulation of "given name + father’s first surname" + "mother’s first surname" and the fact that women keep their maiden surname after marriage is not understood at all, and sometimes produces etymological monsters (looking at you, Tom Clancy).
The thing that screws me up is when I forget the Portuguese, Brazilians and Filipinos do it the other way around and also sometimes actually do legally change the surname on marriage; since I grew up Anglophone but with a Latino and Spanish background, this all just feels wrong.
 

Francisco Cojuanco

Well-known member
Location
Arizona
I always find issues when English speaking authors try to give names to Hispanic/Spanish characters. The basic formulation of "given name + father’s first surname" + "mother’s first surname" and the fact that women keep their maiden surname after marriage is not understood at all, and sometimes produces etymological monsters (looking at you, Tom Clancy).
Legally a lot of courts don't understand that either - there is a case in California that hinged upon this fact, and the at the time uniformly Anglophone tribunal found that a signature was not correct because the signer had done so in the Spanish fashion.

This actually led a lot of Latinos to hyphenate their last nanes to reduce confusion. So if Juan Diaz marries Maria Sanchez, their son, Nicolas Diaz Sanchez would sign their name as Nicolas Diaz-Sanchez to minimize confusion.
 

Francisco Cojuanco

Well-known member
Location
Arizona
Also, there is in some spcieties a trend to refer to someone by their second name when the first is ubiquitous. The most common instances are Maria in many cultures (so Pilar is actually Maria del Pilar) or Muhammad in a lot of Muslim countries.
 

Thande

The Great and Powerful Wizard, Opnohop Moy
Published by SLP
Also, there is in some spcieties a trend to refer to someone by their second name when the first is ubiquitous. The most common instances are Maria in many cultures (so Pilar is actually Maria del Pilar) or Muhammad in a lot of Muslim countries.
In the latter case you sometimes see names abbreviated to "Md (whatever)" for the name actually used as the identifying one. Which I suppose is not that different to the Romans when you think about it.
 

Arthur_Phuxache

Slightly rippled with a flat underside.
In the Britain of 1930s you could yell the name "Reg" on a crowded train and two or three heads would turn, all them white & male.

If you did that in the Britain of 2020 the only people who might turn their head would be black, or female (or both).

If you had a central character in political thriller that changed their name as often as Alexander, Lord Dunglass did, an editor would maintain you were deliberately confusing your readers.
 

Francisco Cojuanco

Well-known member
Location
Arizona
The thing that screws me up is when I forget the Portuguese, Brazilians and Filipinos do it the other way around and also sometimes actually do legally change the surname on marriage; since I grew up Anglophone but with a Latino and Spanish background, this all just feels wrong.

Filipinos did it the other way round starting in the 1910-1920s, due to American influence in civil registrars.

Before the 1840s, Filipino surnames were not standardized (usually if you needed one, you picked either picked the name of the local landowner, or a figure you were devoted to (such as the Holy Cross, which is why the most common surname is some variation of Cruz), or some characteristic you or others ascribed to you (miller, cowman, blacksmith, or things like Limutin[forgetful]) or just a patronymic (Sanchez, Juarez, Benedicto, Marcos). After 1849 but before the 1920s it would be the Spanish system.

As it is, with (Christian) Filipinos it is almost rigidly [given names][Mother's maiden name][surname], unless you were a married woman, where it would be [given names][maiden name][husband's surname]
 
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