Forenames vs. Surnames vs. Names

The name generator dialog name lists include forenames, surnames, and names. What does “names” mean?

You might think it means forename, because this combination works:

However, this combination results in an error message:

And this combination results in a different error:

My conclusion is that the Indian and Hindi name list is broken.

My conclusion would be that different cultures have different naming conventions, and that combining two of them might not work. I’m no expert, but it is well understood that Hungarians typically put their family name first and their personal name second. This was also very common in Italy (where I lived for ten years), though I suspect that the practice is fading out. Spanish naming conventions are also different from those used in other European countries. In short, I guess there is no substitute for knowledge. I have often observed that American screenwriters seem to have little understanding of the clues about social class that accompany British names – not surprising because you have to be immersed in the culture and society to pick up such nuances. But I have often thought “only an American could think that that is a British name”. Then again, after ten years in Italy I began to develop an understanding of regional differences in naming in that country. To some extent you can tell what part of the country someone comes from by looking at their family name (the same applies to England, though to a lesser extent, and is reducing all the time because people are now more likely to move for work – just as they are in Italy). In any case, I would have thought that a fiction writer would want to choose a name that says something about the character in some way or another – whether through sound, association, or something else. But I admit I don’t write fiction!

And right on cue:

Plenty of caveats about the research, but still interesting.

With some more experimentation and debugging, I’ve concluded that

(1) “Name” means “Forename.” If that’s correct, changing the word “name” to “forename” would save a lot of users some time.

(2) Some of the name lists are broken.

To illustrate conclusion #2:

1. Is there any way to generate Hindi and Indian Names (fore- or sur-)? I have not found a way to do this.

  1. Is there any way that this screenshot makes sense?

Sorry to be critical, but the name generator is a great feature, and I’d like it to work a little better.