Thankfully we live in a world where people have first names, middle names, last names, nicknames, names of all kinds. As far back as the history books go people have always had names. Many historians reckon they probably came around the same time as spoken languages, as a way to help distinguish one person from another.
As for the types of names that people were given, well that was different from culture to culture. Some names came from nouns, like Ava, which is Latin for life. Others come from adjectives, like Sophia which is Greek for wise. Some names are compound phrases, which is two words put together, like the Hebrew name Benjamin meaning son of my right hand. And in some cultures, names came from gods and deities, like the Greek goddess Diana.
As you can imagine, it became pretty difficult when you had a bunch of 'Jacks' in the one town and as populations grew the need to distinguish one 'Jack' from the other became pretty important. That's where surnames or last names or family names come in. Again, they're different from culture to culture.
Credits: Jack Evans (BTN Investigates)
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