last names

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Scope note
In the context of modern western personal names, the names that are hereditary and common to all members of a family, placed at the end of a string of names for an individual; used with a first name to distinguish an individual from others with the same first name. In other cultural traditions, last names may not be hereditary family names or they may not be used at all. Before last names became common in western tradition, personal names were qualified with the addition of epithets, place names, ancestors' names, or terms for professions; these were added to a first name on an individual basis, not necesssarily hereditary for a family.
last names
Accepted term: 15-Jul-2024