A patronym, or patronymic, is a component of a personal name based on the given name of one's father, grandfather or an even earlier male ancestor. A component of a name based on the name of one's mother or a female ancestor is a matronymic. Each is a means of conveying lineage. Patronymics are still in use, including mandatory use, in many places world wide, although their use has largely been replaced by family names.
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Famous quotes containing the word patronymic:
“I know of one who deserves to be called the Tree-hater, and, perhaps, to leave this for a new patronymic to his children. You would think that he had been warned by an oracle that he would be killed by the fall of a tree, and so was resolved to anticipate them.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)