Effective Factors on Naming Practices in Iran: Sociopolitics or Dialect?

Document Type: Research Paper


Sharif University of Technology


Naming as an inseparable sign of a country’s language has attracted the attention of many linguists to formulate and test hypotheses regarding the culture and language of the people of a certain area. Iran appears like a proper destination for conducting a research focusing on naming based on several factors such as geography or chronology. The present article aims to take a specific look at the impact of political era (sociopolitical factors) in addition to dialect over naming practices. Chronological data is gathered from 5 politically significant consecutive periods. Separately, 5 districts are chosen speaking 4 different native dialects to examine the second hypothesis regarding the influence of dialect on naming. 50 most popular names were collected on the two aforementioned different bases and analysis was conducted by SPSS software. The results revealed that time with concentration on political spans did not form an influential factor except for minor fluctuations. The other hypothesis regarding the factor of dialect is rejected for male names while females do confirm a limited consistency of dialect and name choice in most of the areas.


Abdi, A. (1997). The development of naming Tehrani’s children from 1966 to 1995. Tehran: Hannaneh Press.

Agyekum, K. (2006). The sociolinguistics of Akan personal names. Nordic Journal of African Studies, 15(1), 206-235.

Hajdu, M. (1973). A secondary bibliography of Hungarian onomatology, NalectaLinguistica, 3, 155-161.

Jensen, H. (1970). Sign, symbol and script: An account of man’s efforts to write. London. ISBN 0-04-400021-9

Khosravizadeh, P. (2004). Social onomastics. Pazand Quarterly, 1(2), 31-48.

Lombard, C. (2011).The sociocultural significance of niitsitapi personal names: Anethnographic analysis. Names, 59(1), 42-51.

Makondo, L. (2009). An investigation into anthroponym of the shona society (Doctoral dissertation). University of South Africa.

Mateos, P., Longley, P. A. & O’Sullivan, D. (2011). Ethnicity and population structure in personal naming networks. PLOS ONE, 6 (9), e22943.

NejatiHosseini., M. & Afshar, S. (2009).The Developments of naming children in Tehran.Youths, Culture and Society Research, 3, 141-163.

ParsaMehr, A. (2006). The dictionary for picking names. Tehran: Sirvan.

Puriani, M. (2005).The effect of events over Iranians’ naming practices. Tehran: National Organization for Civil Registration. ISBN: 9640659118

Rajabzadeh, A. (1999). Social analysis of onomastics. Tehran: Ravesh Press.

Stewart, G. (1958). And Adam gave names; A consideration of name-lore in antiquity. Names, 6, 1-10.

Vombruck, G., & Bodenhorn. B. (2006). Anthropology of names and naming. Cambridge: Cambridge University press.