While listening to the song "Yasashisa no Riyuu", I noticed the following sentence:

今は誰の名前でもない 輝きの彼方へ

Which by the fansub is translated like this:

Now it doesn't matter whose name it may be. Beyond the horizons light.

However, I've been uable to find any information supporting that "でもない" can mean

"independent of x (thing it is attached to)".

I did however find an alternative translation online, which instead translates it as follows:

Heading toward the shining yonder that isn’t named after anyone.

Which seems to me as if でもない is merely the negation of でもある.

"でもない" is then used exactly like we would use じゃない (except with the added meaning of も)

When applying what little knowledge I have, this translation seems to make the most sense to me.

Now my questions are:

1. Can でもない have some meaning beyond what is implied by the negation of でもある?
2. Which translation is correct?

2 Answers 2


The も is required by the 誰. 誰も means "anybody".

But things can come between the 誰 and the も. The case particles generally come before the も, e.g.

誰とも行かない (I will) not go with anybody

In でもない, でない is a negative copula, but the で acts like a case particle and comes before the も.

誰でもない It isn't anybody

In this example even more stuff comes before the も:

誰の名前でもない It isn't anybody's name

  • How would this be expressed non-negatively? 誰の名前でもある? Mar 23, 2013 at 17:54
  • @DanielSafari 誰かの名前である, "it's somebody's name".
    – Earthliŋ
    Mar 23, 2013 at 20:52
  • I'm more thinking of how to say "This is everybody's name" Mar 23, 2013 at 21:33
  • 1
    @DanielSafari 誰の名前でもある works, but I'm not sure if the best translation is "This is everybody's name" or "This is anybody's name". Using quantifiers, it's "for all x, this is x's name". 誰の名前でもない would be "for all x, this is not x's name". Of course, if you go for "everybody" as one whole, you also have the option みんなの名前だ.
    – dainichi
    Mar 24, 2013 at 2:11

誰の名前でもない means "isn't anybody's name", from the usual question word plus negative construction (like 何でもない).

It would probably take a bit more context to find a good translation. Without further information it's not clear, whether the name that isn't anybody's name modifies 輝き, or just stands by itself.

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