Lexember 18: Mas is for…

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matnugh [matˈnuʝ], a compound meaning “good family name”.

A family name was considered “good” if it was shared by someone notable for their accomplishments, especially a historical figure; people with such names were given additional courtesy. Kharulians put more stock in family names than actual genealogy, and people who shared a family name were treated like family even if nobody knew the exact relation between them.

Kharulian family names had two parts: an older “leaf name” (ámam nugh) and a newer “branch name” (shórom nugh). Only about a dozen leaf names were common — by the -1st century, almost a quarter of Kharulians had the most common leaf name, Chal. The branch names, introduced around the -6th century to distinguish different families with the same name, were more diverse. Both names had to match for two people to be considered family.

For example, according to the traditional account, the first academy was founded by Omaru Ghyibí Saghyuin [oˈma.ru ʝiˈbi sa.ʝuˈin]; his branch name was Omaru, his leaf name was Ghyibí, and his given name was Saghyuin. Therefore, the name Omaru Ghibí is considered a matnugh, and anyone with that name is a matnwim sa [matˈnˠim sa] — a person with an auspicious name.

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