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Names, often, are related to places or regions like

  • Mahmud of Ghazni

  • Christopher of Bavaria

My questions are:

  1. Are such names always related to people from political backgrounds (Kings, Ministers, Feudal Lords etc.)?
  2. Against conventions for general names, is it correct to prefix such names with 'The'?
  3. Is it correct to simply write 'The' + First_Name and ignore the location, as in, 'The Mahmud' instead of 'The Mahmud of Ghazni'.
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I have only seen it as Mahmud al Ghazni :D –  trideceth12 May 17 '11 at 10:16

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted
  1. Are such names always related to people from political backgrounds (Kings, Ministers, Feudal Lords etc.)? - No. For example, saints are often given similar appellations (Francis of Assisi, Joan of Arc, etc.)

  2. Against conventions for general names, is it correct to prefix such names with 'The'? - No, unless the name of the person in question eventually becomes an actual title (e.g. Caesar or Augustus). There are also titles which are NOT names, but are often used as if they were (e.g. the Buddha, the Christ - often referred to as "Buddha" and "Christ").

  3. Is it correct to simply write 'The' + First_Name and ignore the location, as in, 'The Mahmud' instead of 'The Mahmud of Ghazni'. - No.

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It always irks me when people say "Buddha" instead of "The Buddha" –  trideceth12 May 17 '11 at 10:17

Regarding questions 2 and 3:

British peers whose name always contains a place (i.e. those above the rank of Baron), have a The in front, i.e. The Duke of Edinburgh, The Marquess of Bath.

The names of Barons and Baronesses formally contain a The, but this is omitted in common usage, e.g. Lord Smith, rather than The Lord Smith. The same is also true when addressing a higher peer as Lord, e.g. addressing The Earl of Onslow as Lord Onslow.

Note that these are different from the examples in q3 above, as Duke, etc, are titles, not names.

To make matters more complex, male heirs of higher peers may also make use of titles, but these omit the The.

The rules are quite arcane; Wikipedia has more information.

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