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I am used to seeing 名前 on application forms. But can 名前 be used on a form where the name of an inanimate object is required?

For example an application form that asks for the name of... your boat. 名前: The River Explorer

or the name of some software on a purchase order. 名前:Photoshop X

Or would one use another word?

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While 名前 is the generic term for name, for inanimate objects, 名称【めいしょう】 is the word that sounds more formal and technical. For example you can say 船舶【せんぱく】の名称 or ソフトウェアの名称.

Likewise, for names for people, 氏名【しめい】 is preferred on official application forms, etc.

| improve this answer | |
  • Am I right is assuming 氏名 would NOT be used for "UserName" on a website login? If so, what would it be? Rakuten uses ユーザID – VictorySaber May 21 '15 at 8:09
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    ユーザー名 (user name) or ユーザーID (user ID), whichever you feel is appropriate. 氏名 always refers to their actual names like 'Ichiro Suzuki'. – naruto May 21 '15 at 10:13

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