KANJI: MEI MYOU na (name, fame)

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Character Etymology:

An ideograph: mouth/say combined with evening to express the idea that in the dim light of evening it is necessary to identify people verbally, by calling out their names.

A Listing of All On-Yomi and Kun-Yomi Readings:

on-yomi: MEI MYOU
kun-yomi: na -na

Nanori Readings:

Nanori: to

English Definitions:

  1. MYOU, MEI: distinguished, noted; wise; name.
  2. na: name; fame, reputation; pretext.
  3. na(zukeru): name, call.
  4. na(ute) no: notorious, famous.
  5. -mei: counter for persons.

Character Index Numbers:

New Nelson: 716
Henshall: 71

Unicode Encoded Version:

Unicode Encoded Compound Examples:

(meijin): master, expert.
有名 (yuumei): famous.
(namae): name.

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Two old beliefs:

Names grant special powers.

A belief that has been around for a very long time: If you know the name of a thing or of a person, you have special powers over it/him/her. In many religions the true names of gods are not known. The real name of the Egyptian god Ra, for example, was known to none, until the goddess Isis forced him to reveal his name to her.

An example from the King James Bible:
Judges 13:18 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?

Another facet of the same concept can be seen in that contracts have to be signed with one's name to become effective. Putting down your name on a piece of paper binds you to the contract. Why? Because your name is your identity. It is what you are. It is you. By signing, you bind your own identity to the contract.

It might be said that signing a contract is only for the purpose of making sure that one has seen it, and agreed with it. I believe that is not the whole of it: if you ever get to sign a contract with the devil, you put your name under it also. You give him your name and so are in his power.

Also, a name determines the character and destiny of the person bearing it.

In the middle ages it was thought that the name of a person determined his/her character and destiny. Even today expectant parents often inform themselves of the origin and meaning of the name they are going to give to their child, which is a really good idea, since it prevents naming your daughter Cassandra without knowing the meaning of the name.

Name (?), n. [AS. nama; akin to D. naam, OS. & OHG. namo, G. name, Icel. nafn, for namn, Dan. navn, Sw. namn, Goth. namo, L. nomen (perh. influenced by noscere, gnoscere, to learn to know), Gr. 'o`mona, Scr. naman. Cf. Anonymous, Ignominy, Misnomer, Nominal, Noun.]


The title by which any person or thing is known or designated; a distinctive specific appellation, whether of an individual or a class.

Whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
Gen. ii. 19.

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.


A descriptive or qualifying appellation given to a person or thing, on account of a character or acts.

His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Is. ix. 6.


Reputed character; reputation, good or bad; estimation; fame; especially, illustrious character or fame; honorable estimation; distinction.

What men of name resort to him?

Far above ... every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.
Eph. i. 21.

I will get me a name and honor in the kingdom.
1 Macc. iii. 14.

He hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin.
Deut. xxii. 19.

The king's army ...had left no good name behind.


Those of a certain name; a race; a family.

The ministers of the republic, mortal enemies of his name, came every day to pay their feigned civilities.


A person, an individual.


They list with women each degenerate name.

Christian name.

  1. The name a person receives at baptism, as distinguished from surname; baptismal name.
  2. A given name, whether received at baptism or not.

-- Given name. See under Given.
-- In name, in profession, or by title only; not in reality; as, a friend in name.
-- In the name of.
  1. In behalf of; by the authority of.
    "I charge you in the duke's name to obey me." Shak.
  2. In the represented or assumed character of. "I'll to him again in name of Brook." Shak.

-- Name plate, a plate as of metal, glass, etc., having a name upon it, as a sign; a doorplate.
-- Pen name, a name assumed by an author; a pseudonym or nom de plume. Bayard Taylor.
-- Proper name Gram., a name applied to a particular person, place, or thing.
-- To call names, to apply opprobrious epithets to; to call by reproachful appellations.
-- To take a name in vain, to use a name lightly or profanely; to use a name in making flippant or dishonest oaths. Ex. xx. 7.

Syn. -- Appellation; title; designation; cognomen; denomination; epithet. -- Name, Appellation, Title, Denomination. Name is generic, denoting that combination of sounds or letters by which a person or thing is known and distinguished. Appellation, although sometimes put for name simply, denotes, more properly, a descriptive term, used by way of marking some individual peculiarity or characteristic; as, Charles the Bold, Philip the Stammerer. A title is a term employed to point out one's rank, office, etc.; as, the Duke of Bedford, Paul the Apostle, etc. Denomination is to particular bodies what appellation is to individuals; thus, the church of Christ is divided into different denominations, as Congregationalists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, etc.


© Webster 1913.

Name (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Named (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Naming.] [AS. namian. See Name, n.]


To give a distinctive name or appellation to; to entitle; to denominate; to style; to call.

She named the child Ichabod.
1 Sam. iv. 21.

Thus was the building left
Ridiculous, and the work Confusion named.


To mention by name; to utter or publish the name of; to refer to by distinctive title; to mention.

None named thee but to praise.

Old Yew, which graspest at the stones
That name the underlying dead.


To designate by name or specifically for any purpose; to nominate; to specify; to appoint; as, to name a day for the wedding.

Whom late you have named for consul.

4. House of Commons

To designate (a member) by name, as the Speaker does by way of reprimand.

Syn. -- To denominate; style; term; call; mention; specify; designate; nominate.


© Webster 1913.

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