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Conan's Middle & Last Name


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#1 Strom

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 09:15 PM

Just shooting the breeze here...

In this age of celebrities, writers & others using their middle and first names professionally (have you noticed that?), it occurred to me that we don't know the last or middle names for Conan. Any chance he had some and they were known only to him?

Or is he in the one name category reserved for the really special celebrities? :P

What's the Celtic tradition/usage of names, last and middle? Did they ever use them? When did the middle name phenomenon start?

I can't recall any mention in the REH stories about either but is it possible that the birth names- middle and last - given a child are known but never discussed due to tribal/racial superstitions etc.?

Any thoughts on what Conan's last name or middle name would be?

I wonder what other Conan's thought about Conan monopolizing their name? Wasn't Conan a popular name? Maybe that is why the middle and last name usage started - to many people with that same name!

:)

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#2 Darkstorm Dale

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 11:09 PM

Just shooting the breeze here...

In this age of celebrities, writers & others using their middle and first names professionally (have you noticed that?), it occurred to me that we don't know the last or middle names for Conan. Any chance he had some and they were known only to him?

Or is he in the one name category reserved for the really special celebrities? :P

What's the Celtic tradition/usage of names, last and middle? Did they ever use them? When did the middle name phenomenon start?

I can't recall any mention in the REH stories about either but is it possible that the birth names- middle and last - given a child are known but never discussed due to tribal/racial superstitions etc.?

Any thoughts on what Conan's last name or middle name would be?

I wonder what other Conan's thought about Conan monopolizing their name? Wasn't Conan a popular name? Maybe that is why the middle and last name usage started - to many people with that same name!

:)

I'm going for the obvious, here. Conan's middle name is THE, and his last name is CIMMERIAN. In Cimmeria, his actual name is "Hey you"! ;)
"Details are all that matters; God dwells there, and you never get to see Him if you don't struggle to get them right." - Stephen Jay Gould

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#3 Ant

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 11:57 PM

... I'm going for the obvious, here. Conan's middle name is THE, and his last name is CIMMERIAN. In Cimmeria, his actual name is "Hey you"! ;)

Actually, that's not as facetious as it might seem. Place of origin is one of the main origins of surnames in English, the others being (according to Wikipedia):
- Occupations (e.g., Smith, Archer, Baker, Walker)
- Personal characteristics (e.g., Short, Brown, Whitehead)
- Geographical features (e.g., Hill, Lee, Wood, Fields)
- For those descended from land-owners, the name of their holdings, manor or estate
- Patronymics and ancestry, often from a male's given name (e.g., Richardson, Williams, Johnson) or from a clan name (for those of Scottish origin, e.g., MacDonald, Forbes)

Although, apparently, very few Gaelic surnames are derived from place names. But of course Conan wouldn't have been known as "the Cimmerian" at home, only abroad.

Middle names are a comparatively recent invention. Amongst the upper classes, men were named for uncles they hoped to inherit from! :)

Cheers,
Ant
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#4 Pictish Scout

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 02:30 AM

Conan son of Blacksmith ;) or Conan son of ....(Whatever was his fathers name). Maybe Conan the Oxslayer, or maybe his countrymen called him "Conan the Civilized" or "Conan the hyborian" ( as he was always touring hyborian kingdoms and bringing in new ideas and stories). Later he was Lord Aquilonia. :P

#5 Kortoso

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 03:59 AM

Hey, here's something from my second most favorite place on the web:
http://en.wikipedia....iki/Middle_name

#6 Ironhand

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 04:29 AM

Within Cimmeria, he would, by Celtic custom, have been known as Conan son of ..., or Conan mac .... Outside of Cimmeria, where no one ever heard of his father, he would be known as "the Cimmerian". Once he was king, he would simply be known as Conan the First, or Conan the Great.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

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#7 PainBrush

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 07:55 AM

Conan O'Nial ? Conan MacNial ? Conan Nialson ? Conan NialSmith ? - wasn't that his dads name ? where the hell did I get that ? I think his tribal name in Cimmeria was " Ohsh!t-herecomes Conan !"

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#8 Ant

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 10:42 AM

Conan O'Nial ? Conan MacNial ? Conan Nialson ? Conan NialSmith ? - wasn't that his dads name ? where the hell did I get that ? I think his tribal name in Cimmeria was " Ohsh!t-herecomes Conan !"

I thought his dad's name was Corin. So, Conan mac Corin (or, as REH might have spelled it, Conan mak Corin). The "O'" form looked generations back. So, if the tribal leader had been (say) Nial, O'Nial is possible - but the early (Iron Age) form was "ua Nial".

After fighting off a pack of wolves as a child, he might have earned the epithet Wolfsbane... "Faolchunamhaid"(? - someone help me out with the "Cimmerian" here!).

So... Conan Faolchunamhaid mac Corin Gabhu [the smith].

Cheers,
Ant
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#9 Kortoso

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 04:30 PM

Probably "Maq Goban" in Proto-Celtic.

#10 John Maddox Roberts

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 10:38 PM

Use of a family name by anyone but the nobility is a quite recent phenomenon. In small communities where everyone knew everyone else and their ancestors, it wasn't needed. If Celtic you would belong to a clan, but only the clan chieftain used it as his name, i.e the chieftain of clan MacDonald was simply called "MacDonald" or "the MacDonald" or, more formally, "MacDonald of MacDonald" or even "MacDonald of that ilk." European nations only began to require family names for purposes of record-keeping, most of them not until the 18th or even 19th centuries, and Iceland doesn't have surnames to this day.

#11 PainBrush

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 12:51 AM

That's interesting stuff , & cause for further reading dammit ! I've always been kind of interested in how names derived & got handed down . My families name must be some anomaly then , it's documented from Gaut/Gade back in the 700's in Scandinavia & a line unbroken with the same name ( except variations in spelling from country to country obv. ) - all the way to today , they were however 'sort of' nobility - so that might explain keeping the name ironclad for purposes of property , title & record keeping like you mentioned , even if they didn't keep the bloodlines ironclad ! :lol:

" You have a good point there,...put your helmet on & no-one will notice it ."
" Look for a long time at what pleases you... and longer still at what pains you "
So THIS is civilization ??!??!......

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
~ FUTUE EOS SI NON CONCIPERE IOCULARUM ~


#12 John Maddox Roberts

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 05:15 PM

Isaac Asimov wrote an article about the history of European family names (what didn't he write about?) He mentioned that Russian Jews were required to choose family names in the 18th century and that when people pick their own names, they usually pick pretty ones, hence Yiddish names are full of colors, precious metals and precious stones, sometimes with unintended results when they migrated to America. Finklestein sounds funny to Anglophones, but it means "Diamond" in Yiddish. His own name was apparently occupational, having to do with the Russian word for rye, "asim." He believed his ancestors were rye grain dealers.

#13 Strom

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 10:41 PM

Really great information from everyone. Thanks a bunch!

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#14 PainBrush

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 12:38 AM

I blew the dust off a 10 year old comp. game the other day 'Seven Kingdoms'. It's a typical R.T.S.-gather/mine materials , build empire , train army , trade with & then kill neighbors , it has 10 different races from chinese to mayan to viking to norman - & about 5 hours into an insanely huge & overwrought empire face-off I noticed when clicking on individual warriors from a village I took over to send them to training - there were several 'Conans' in the game 'Conan Corum' , Conan Mc or Mac something or another , kind of negligeable , but the first thing I thought of was this topic from last week about Conan & last names . Great game anyhow ! ( if you have the patience & mind for micro-managing an empire)

" You have a good point there,...put your helmet on & no-one will notice it ."
" Look for a long time at what pleases you... and longer still at what pains you "
So THIS is civilization ??!??!......

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~ FUTUE EOS SI NON CONCIPERE IOCULARUM ~


#15 Borumas

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 04:54 AM

Some names also came from ancestors of relative fame among the local tribes and of relation to the person, some Irish surnames like O'Brien refer to such, as O'Brien denotes "of Brian Boru". Shaking another name out of the old family tree I found Mahoney shows this example pretty well:

The Mahoney surname is an Irish Celtic one. In Ireland the name is usually spelt O'Mahony, but in the native Irish (Gaelic) language it is spelt ? Math?na. The surname when translated means the decendent of the bear-calf. The man who gave his name to this family/clan was a great warrior who died during the battle of Clontarf in which the legendary High King of Ireland, Brian Bor? defeated the Vikings of Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man in 1014. This man Math?na was the son of Brian Bor?'s daughter Sadbh. The O'Mahony clan were part of the powerful Eoghanacht tribe that also includes the O'Sullivan clan and the Mc'Carthy clan who ruled one of the four provinces of Ireland called Munster for hundreds of years. The O'Mahony clan like lots of other Irish Celtic clans defended their territory which was in west county Cork for centuries against the English invaders until it was finally taken from them in the seventeenth century.

Maybe Conan was named after a famous relative.
In 334BC Alexander met with Celtic warriors on the banks of the Danube and asked them what they feared most, expecting a reply that they feared him. Instead they stated "We fear only that the skies will fall on our heads."
The Celts regarded the Romans as barbarians due to their practice of murdering prisoners or selling prisoners, including women and children, into slavery.

#16 Kortoso

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 05:36 PM

If the original Gaelic of O'Mahoney is "? Math?na", then the "O" would not be an abbreviation for "of".

#17 PainBrush

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 02:12 AM

It's great that all of us Celtophiles can appreciate & celebrate all that represents what's good about Irish culture here in 'Mercka........
Posted Image Posted Image
Posted Image
I WANTS ME GOLD !!!!

" You have a good point there,...put your helmet on & no-one will notice it ."
" Look for a long time at what pleases you... and longer still at what pains you "
So THIS is civilization ??!??!......

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
~ FUTUE EOS SI NON CONCIPERE IOCULARUM ~


#18 Officer Aggro

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 11:44 PM

Conan son of Blacksmith ;) or Conan son of ....(Whatever was his fathers name).


This was my first thought too. I figure if he ever had anything similar to a last name, it would be Conan, Son of Corin (or whatever his dad's name was).
- The illegitimate son of Crom

#19 Xaltotun

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 07:20 PM

In Old Irish it might have been something like Conan Mac Gobann, "Son of the Smith."

I would prefer something that describes his exploits like Conan C?tchathach (of the 100 Battles) B)


Also, Conan Cathb?adach, Victorious in Battle

Edited by Xaltotun, 14 July 2007 - 04:21 PM.


#20 Nick Morbius

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 10:38 PM

maybe the single name was chosen to have a similar impact as chuchullain (sp) in the tain

pure speculation :huh: