As far as I can tell there is [Title/Suffix] [First Name] [Last Name/Surname] [Number].

I am confused on two things really:

  • What do you call the last part of someone's name like "III" for 'the third'?
  • Why do they call Mr./Mrs./etc the suffix of a name when it is actually the first part of the name?

3 Answers 3


You have it backwards. II/JR.... are the suffix. Mr, Mrs. are the Title or prefix


The answer is in Wikipedia. They are called suffixes, and more specifically generational suffixes. These are Sr., Jr., II, III, IV, etc.


To answer your first question, monarchical ordinal is the name for the number placed after a king or a Pope's name. It is also called a regnal number as it is appended to a regnal name. In other cases like numbers appended after family names, a familial ordinal should do, though it is not at all common and unlikely to be understood. Instead one could just call it the ordinal number in one's name.

Also, Mr. and Mrs. are English honorifics, which are titles prefixing a person's name. I am not sure why you think they are suffixes.

  • 2
    No. The question wasn't specifically about the number after the name of a king, queen or pope. A man who has the exact same name as his father and his grandfather might be called "John Doe III" (pronounced "John Doe the third"), without being a king or a pope.
    – user16269
    Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 6:40
  • @DavidWallace: Perhaps a familial ordinal? I can't find any special names used though.
    – Bravo
    Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 7:11
  • And it is, I believe, an entirely American custom. Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 7:16
  • 3
    Actually, the words "familial ordinal" are generally used to indicate the birth order within the family (ie first-born, second-born and so on); not the number at the end of the name. Sorry.
    – user16269
    Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 7:30

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