An Investigation into the Practice of Human Naming


  • P. M. Suresh Kumar Priyadarshini Arts and Science College, Malappuram – 676517. India



Naming, Practice, Religious, Secular, Traditional, Modern


Every human being on earth is designated with a name. This eventually means that the crores of people comprising both men and women have their own names, and put together it is an endless number.  With such a multitude of names, compiling a vast repository is rather impossible to conceive. Among the enormous variations, there are resemblances although very few are exactly the same in all respects. Although used as a practice to establish identity since time immemorial, one could see some emerging patterns that distinguish traditional names from modern names. What is most astonishing is that names have meanings. These meanings signify certain objects, characters, features, or symbolic representations of notions. This points to the need for an effort to bring out the basis of such vast nomenclature. Naming looks simple but it evolves out of a careful choice and complex process involving search, screening, selection and rejection, acceptance and approval, and finally decision on suitability. This happens slowly and silently. Name is assigned at the babyhood or early childhood. It becomes a person's lasting identity never to be erased by time. The thesaurus of nomenclature opens up a voracious glossary of names. It may be country-specific or region-specific, religion-specific or culture-specific. It has linkages with the educational and occupational class, ancestry and lineage, culture of the group, kinship, fashion, auspicious, or fantasy. Names that are universal transcend the boundaries of region and religion. This study is an attempt to examine the process of nomenclature as a universally accepted practice based on an extensive sample of over two thousand names spread over three generations from among the Hindu population of Kerala. The paper also aims to delineate various typologies by attempting a classification. Although the study was conducted among the Hindus in Kerala, the findings largely apply to the whole of the country.

Author Biography

P. M. Suresh Kumar, Priyadarshini Arts and Science College, Malappuram – 676517. India

Dr. Suresh Kumar received his Master degree in Social Work from Loyola College, Trivandrum and Ph.D in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has vast experience of 18 years in teaching and research and served as Professor at Srinivas University, Mangalore and CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore. He has published extensively on wide range of topics in peer reviewed journals.  Currently serving as Head of Department of Social Work at Priyadarshini Arts and Science College, Malappuram (Kerala).


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How to Cite

P. M., S. K. (2023). An Investigation into the Practice of Human Naming. RESEARCH REVIEW International Journal of Multidisciplinary, 8(9), 01–06.