Name Becomes Title
When someone's name/family name becomes a title
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(permanent link) added: 2012-12-04 06:29:34 sponsor: Felius edited by: StarSword (last reply: 2013-04-25 09:08:57)

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Usually a person in a given position will be granted a title pertaining to or derived from that position. Occasionally, one comes along who is so effective or becomes so well-known that his or her name becomes nearly synonymous with the position, effectively replacing any titles that existed before. Any successors will from then on be known by their predecessor's name, which has become the title of that position.

Truth in Television as this has happened a number of times in real life, the most notable, perhaps, being Gaius Julius Caesar whose surname was adopted by the emperors of Rome and has been used in various forms as a title for rulers through the centuries.

Compare Brand Name Takeover, Everyone Calls Him Barkeep, and His Name Really Is Barkeep.
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[[folder:Literature]]
  • In both Harry Potter and The Dresden Files, Merlin, who was once a great wizard, now has his name forever immortalized as a title of a superb or high-ranking magic user.
  • In Artemis Fowl, there's the Butler family, who have served as butlers to the Fowl family for generations. According to the first book, there is some dispute about whether the Butler family changed their name to suit their role, at some point in antiquity--or if the term 'Butler' was actually derived from the famously faithful and competent Butler family.[[/folder]]
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[[folder:Video Games]]
  • The epilogue of Mass Effect 3 reveals that the Mass Effect trilogy has really been an old man telling a story to his grandchild about how "the Shepard" saved the galaxy. This is likely due to Future Imperfect, since the epilogue is set a long time after the trilogy, and only adds to Shepard's being a Messianic Archetype.
  • In Half-Life 2 Gordon Freeman is called "The Freeman" by Vortigaunts and "The One Free Man" by some rebels.
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[[folder:Webcomics]]
  • In Girl Genius, Agatha is "The True Heterodyne" - a title falsely claimed by some others as well.
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[[folder:Real Life]]
  • As previously mentioned the title of the ruler of several post-Roman cultures is a local derivation of the surname Caesar. Two examples are the German "kaiser" and Russian "tsar".
  • The formal mode of address for a Scottish clan leader is "the <clan name>" (e.g. Robert the Bruce).
  • "Korol" means "king" in Russian and many Slavic languages, and derives from Karl, Charles, Charlemagne.
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Indices: Meaningful Titles, Naming Conventions

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