NAME (AS. aania, Goth. ?lama, 0110. name, I:er. Name; connected with Lat. awn en, Gk. 6vwza, ono»ot, Ir. (them, OPruss, emucs, ()Church Slay. iitie, name, mill with Lat. gnosccre, Gk. ycyvthcrKetv, gign6skein, Skt. jiia, Ger. keanen, Eng. know). In law, a word or words em ployed to designate a person, place, or thing. In early times in England the Christian name was the only one recognized by the law, and sur names were mere words of description to identify one person from another of the same Christian name. This practice was confirmed and received legal sanction by a statute (1 Henry V., c. 8), called the "Statute of Additions," which pro vided that not only the name of an individual should be inserted in a writ or indictment, but his estate or degree, his calling or business, and the town or district in which he resided. By rea son of the above custom and the statute, many persons who had not otherwise adopted surname were known by the name of their calling, place of residence, or by some other characteristic. Thus, George, the smith, became George Smith, and dohn of Wessyngton became John Wessyngton or Washington.
The middle name or initial of a person is gent-rally regarded as of no importance, and not a part of his legal name. Therefore the omis sion of it in a legal instrument or proceedings is not considered an error, except in a few jurisdictions. In general a person's Christian name should be written out, and in some States the mere initial of the Christian name, together with the surname, has been held insufficient under statutes requiring the names of persons to be subscribed to certain instruments, as a petition for a highway.
Owing to the almost infinite variety of sur names and the consequent difficulty in spelling them properly, the courts have adopted a rule known as idem somas (the same sound), by which they determine whether or not an incorrect spelling of a name is a fatal error in legal docu ments. Briefly stated, the rule provides that
where a name is not correctly spelled, if it sounds identically like the name intended to be written, it will be held sufficient, the error in spelling being disregarded. Thus the surnames Breyer. Prior, and Pryor have been held to be Neat sonans. This rule is followed as to legal instruments and transactions generally, but where a name in an instrument varies in some irregular manner from the common method of spelling a name identiealiy the same in pronun ciation. the necessity for departing from such a doctrine is apparent, as in the case of such as Jaeger and Yaeger, which may be pronounced so as to sound alike, and a person searching against the name of Jaeger would naturally not bind the record of the conveyance under Yaeger: and accordingly the courts may hold that the public is not bound by constructive notice in such a case.
There arc statutory provisions in some juris dictions requiring the registration of fictitious trade names, where persons adopt them and do not do business under their correct, names. Cor porations are usually required to adopt names which are not identical with those of other cor porations in the same State. .\t common law there is no property right in a name, hut the United States Statutes provide for protection in the use of trade names to a certain extent, and courts of equity will sometimes interfere to en join the wrongful use of the business name of another. to prevent trand. See Coo N NI EN ; JltsXUMEIt: TITLE: TRADE-NAME ; TRADEMARK.