26 May 2011

Legally mononymous people

My post about Cher last week prompted Swift Loris to post a reminder comment that Cher is "mononymous."  So of course I had to look up to see who else might be considered mononymous.  There is a LONG list of one-word stage names at Wikipedia (most of them not from the U.S.), and a much shorter list of people who are legally mononymous, either by birth custom (Japanese and Indonesian royalty) or by court order:
  • Akihito (born 1933), Japanese emperor
  • Cher (born 1946 Cherilyn Sarkisian), American singer
  • Michiko (born 1934 Michiko Shōda), Japanese empress consort
  • Hirohito (born 1901), Japanese emperor
  • Prince (born 1958 Prince Rogers Nelson), American musician
  • Sukarno (born 1901), Indonesian president
  • Suharto (born 1921), Indonesian president
  • Teller (born 1948 Raymond Joseph Teller), American magician


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Misspellings fixed. Thanks for the heads-up.

  3. Oh, thank goodness! When this first went up, I thought I'd misspelled it and 'Stan had tactfully corrected me!

    --Swift Loris

  4. No, I actually spelled it three different ways in three tries. Haste makes waste.

  5. I know the implications of america's view on celebrity status are obvious.


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