My impression is that, in speech, 名前 is polite, and 名 is ruder - but in writing, 名 sounds more literary. Am I correct?


2 Answers 2


名前 is just "name", and sometimes お名前 is used in polite conversation, but 名 would not be used in conversation. In literature you might see it like 彼の名は~~ but it sounds good only in a story context, not conversation unless you intend to sound like you are narrating something in a joking manner.

In school, when we would go to the teacher's room, sometimes teachers would tell us to 名乗れ! meaning "Say your name" if we didn't greet properly. But I have never heard 名 being used for anything else.

  • 名乗る is its own verb; you sometimes hear 名前を名乗れ.
    – Angelos
    Jul 30, 2015 at 18:21
  • Along with story context, it appears it can be used to denote reputation and level of Fame too "Name; Title; Fame; Reputation" from jisho.org/search/名
    – greg
    Apr 25, 2019 at 0:44
  • Why is the anime "your name" called 君{きみ}の名{な}, instead of 君の名前{なまえ}?
    – jastako
    Oct 6, 2020 at 22:05

As Haya8 said, [名前]{なまえ} means name in both written and speech.

Polite way (not used for oneself): お名前

Ex. お名前は何ですか。

Common way: 名前

Ex. 私の名前は一郎です。

名 itself isn't used in speech. However, in written terms:

  1. It can be a counter for people. ~名
    Ex. 5[名]{めい} means 5 persons.

  2. It can be a suffix of something. ~名
    Ex. [会社名]{かいしゃめい} means Company Name

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