One or more words designating an individual entity. The names of certain specific people, places, and things, called proper nouns, are capitalized. Types of names include personal names (Sheila, Raul), place-names (London, Nairobi), titles of works of art (Mona Lisa, Paradise Lost), brand names (Sanka, Vaseline), names of historical events or eras (War of the Roses, Renaissance), and political, artistic, or philosophical movements (Progressivism, Cubism). Personal names may pass from one culture to another, often changing form—Jochanan (Hebrew), Johann (German), John (English), Ian (Scottish), etc. Family names (surnames) are of more recent origin; the conventions that govern them have existed only since the 11th century. Many hereditary family names came from given names—for example, Alfred, the son of John, might be called Alfred Johnson. Others came from place-names or occupations—Henri from the town of Avignon might become Henri d'Avignon, and Robert, a blacksmith, might become Robert Smith.

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