Re: Are personal names universal?

Phillip E Werst (
Mon, 9 Dec 1996 15:33:48 -0700

On 8 Dec 1996, Paul Ciszek wrote:

> Has there ever been a culture in which some individuals do not have
> personal names? Let me define my terms:
> By "personal name" I mean a name given to an individual in addition to
> any clan or family names that s/he may share with others
> I realize there may be isolated pathological cases such as an abused
> child not being given a name, but such cases would be unusual and
> unexpected in the cultures in which they happened.
> Finally, there may be cases where people are not refered to by name
> by those who outrank them or vice versa (e.g., slaves and masters),
> but the individuals would have a name among their own class.
> This would still count as having a name.
> I'm just curious about things shared by all cultures; as near as I can
> tell, this sounds like one.
> Paul Ciszek "Evolution is a theory that accounts for
> variety, not superiority."
> pciszek at nyx dot net -- Joan Pontius
I am not able to answer your question, but that is something that I have
wanted to do to a child of mine. Never name it and just let it (he/she)
decide their own name when they got old enough to realize that they didn't
have a name. I am wondering if they would even have a desire for a name.