30 Guinness World Records about names

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January 22, 2020
JHVEPhoto // Shutterstock

30 Guinness World Records about names

In celebration of the many dynamics encompassed in a name, Stacker compiled 30 Guinness World Records about names and titles. These records were compiled by consulting the 2020 Guinness World Records database, last updated June 29, 2020.

Given names, often known as first names or forenames, are an essential part of human identity. Forenames form the basis of our identity, imbue a sense of self, and differentiate us from others in our family and social circles.

Any parent-to-be who’s spent hours poring over a baby name book will tell you that naming a child is a serious business. That’s because names have the power to define an individual. Names can represent the spirit of an era or a moment of creativity. They can hold hopes for the future or serve as a dedication to the past. A name can set a precedent or proudly declare itself an anomaly. From classic names that have existed for hundreds of years to new brand new monikers, one thing is for certain—a name can be anything and can mean everything.

Humans aren’t the only entities that carry names. If the earliest stories are to be believed, we’ve been naming other things for longer than we’ve been naming ourselves. Pets, brands, places, and cultural phenomenons all carry unique signifiers that set them apart from the pack.

Names can also signal authority. The Guinness World Records are the ultimate authority on recording the world’s most amazing accomplishments, and the name is synonymous with incredible feats. Within their large catalog of records, they have also memorialized the most unique qualities of names, from the tongue-twisting longest name on a birth certificate to the shortest, one-letter company names. These records highlight a variety of superlative moments in popular culture, such as the most names credited in a TV broadcast. They also commemorate moments in history, such as the very first documented personal name. Each of these world records is united in a sense of time, place, and achievement.

Keep reading to learn about 30 Guinness World Records relating to names.

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Kamira // Shutterstock

First autograph

- Record: Adu c. 2600 B.C.
- Guinness World Records page

The oldest known autograph in the world comes from around 2600 BC in Tell Abu Salãbikh, Iraq, where a scribe signed his name and title on a cuneiform clay tablet. More than 4,500 years later, in 2012, another “famous first” of an autograph—that of founding father and first U.S. President George Washington—sold for $9.8 million at auction, making it the most valuable autograph to date.

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rsooll // Shutterstock

First named cat

- Record: (1479 BC)
- Guinness World Records page

This record documents the most regal of felines: the first cat to carry its own forename. The worthy holder of this record is a cat dating back to 1479 B.C. under the reign of Thutmose III, bearing the name Nedjem, meaning sweet or pleasant. This cat set the precedent for all pets thereafter.

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Edmonston Studio // Wikimedia Commons

First president to be given a Secret Service code name

- Record: Harry S. Truman (General)
- Guinness World Records page

As communication technology became more advanced, the threat of others listening in on private calls became an increasing concern for presidential security. During Harry S. Truman’s presidency from 1945 to 1953, the president’s security detail required that he have a code name for the Secret Service to use. This was intended to confuse anyone who might be listening in on any communications illicitly. He was given the code name “General.”

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First protein named after a videogame character

- Record: "Pikachurin"
- Guinness World Records page

In July 2008, biologists from the Osaka Bioscience Institute in Suita, Osaka Prefecture discovered a vital protein that transmits visual information to the brain. When thinking of a name to call this newly discovered protein, they looked to the fact that the protein is essential for kinetic vision, or being able to detect fast-moving objects, therefore naming it pikachurin after the most famous “Pokemon,” Pikachu, who’s known for his lightning speed.

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Symbolics.com // Wayback

First registered domain name

- Record: Symbolics.com
- Guinness World Records page

In 1983, researchers were in the beginning stages in developing what would eventually become the internet. Once it was up and running and domain registration was open to the world, Symbolics.com was the first domain to be registered. The website of a small investor group in Irvine, California, the site would go down in history as the first and oldest website in existence. Today, the page still exists as a tribute to the internet’s humble origins.

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Udimu // Wikimedia Commons

First surviving personal name

- Record: Sekhen (3050 BC)
- Guinness World Records page

The first surviving personal name was first identified as a hieroglyphic sign of the scorpion in 3050 B.C. Turns out, this record holder was a predynastic king living and reigning in Upper Egypt. Experts have suggested that his name was pronounced Sekhen.

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terencechisholm // Flickr

First theater named after an actor

- Record: The Garrick Theatre (1889)
- Guinness World Records page

The world of the theater would be nothing without its treasured actors. Some actors have achieved the honor of having a theater named after them. However, there’s something to be said about the first person to carry that honor. In 1889, David Garrick received such a distinction with the naming of the Garrick Theatre in London.

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TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP // Getty Images

Largest gathering of people with the same first and last name

- Record: 164 Martha Stewarts
- Guinness World Records page

The last world record on this list is brought to you by the legend and lifestyle mogul herself, Martha Stewart. Her ubiquitous name is not lost on her. On Sept. 20, 2005, she gathered 164 Martha Stewarts on her TV show “Martha!” on-air in New York City. This gathering earned a world record for the largest gathering of people with the same first and last name ever recorded.

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Catarina Belova // Shuttestock

Largest number of surnames

- Record: France
- Guinness World Records page

The country of France takes the world record for the largest number of surnames, with around 1 million patronymics. While some 200,000 surnames have disappeared over the last century, 520,000 surnames have been born.

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Billion Photos // Shutterstock

Largest same first name gathering

- Record: 2,325 in Kupres, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Guinness World Records page

Sometimes a name can bring people together. In this case, the name Ivan united 2,325 people who shared it as their first name in Kupres, Bosnia and Herzegovina. On July 30, 2017, all the Ivans gathered in a stadium with their friends and family to ring in the monumental same first name gathering world record.

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Longest personal name

- Record: Rhoshandiatellyneshiaunneveshenk Koyaanisquatsiuth Williams
- Guinness World Records page

A name can say a lot about a person...or maybe it says more about their parents. It’s tough to conclude where the name Rhoshandiatellyneshiaunneveshenk Koyaanisquatsiuth comes from, but the longest name in the world was given to a baby girl born to Mr. and Mrs. James Williams in Beaumont, Texas, on Sept. 12, 1984. The uniqueness of her name was enough to land the child on "Oprah" in 1997. Since then, no other parents have had the creativity to rival this 57-letter name.

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vitstudio // Shutterstock

Longest scientific name

- Record: DNA (207,000 characters)
- Guinness World Records page

While we refer to deoxyribonucleic acid simply as DNA, the systematic name for the DNA of the human mitochondria contains 16,569 nucleotide residues, making it 207,000 letters long. Published in a key form in “Nature” magazine on April 9, 1981, this makes it the world record holder for the longest scientific name.

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Roman Samborskyi // Shutterstock

Longest title for a fighting game

- Record: Dexterion, The Ultimate Annihilator of the evil dominion: Under Cyborg Demon’s Armageddon Battle – Fate of the cryptic world in cybernetic trooper’s hands (132 characters)
- Guinness World Records page

“Dexterion, The Ultimate Annihilator of the evil dominion: Under Cyborg Demon’s Armageddon Battle – Fate of the cryptic world in cybernetic trooper’s hands” takes place in a cyber world with the player taking on the role of game programmer. The game centers around the programmer going head-to-head with a cyborg bent on total world destruction.

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Sankalp Publication

Longest title of a book

- Record: The historical development of the Heart i.e. from its formation from... (full title is 26,021 characters)
- Guinness World Records page

“The historical development of the Heart…” is a 3,777-word book title published in 2019 and written by Vityala Yethindra. Yethindra is a medical student from Telangana, India, studying in Kyrgyzstan. In April 2020, Yethindra claimed a new accolade for himself: The most medical-related certificates earned in nine days (he received 51).

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Silver Screen Collection // Getty Images

Longest title of a film nominated for an Oscar

- Record: Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 hours 11 minutes (85 characters)
- Guinness World Records page

The 1965 comedy “Those Magnificent Men,” written by Jack Davies and Ken Annakin, was nominated for Best Writing, Story, and Screenplay at the 1966 Academy Awards. The award that year when to the more concisely titled “Darling” written by Frederic Raphael.

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Angyalosi Beata // Shutterstock

Most capital cities named whilst on a rollercoaster in one minute

- Record: 27 (by Artjom Pusch)
- Guinness World Records page

You’ve probably never asked yourself, “How many capital cities can I name whilst on a rollercoaster in one minute?” There is, however, an exception in Artjom Pusch, who, at Germany’s Wir Holen Den Rekord Nach Deutschland in Europa Park in Rust on July 18, 2012, named 27 capital cities in one minute while on a rollercoaster.

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Scazon // Wikimedia Commons

Most exclamation marks in a town name

- Record: 2 (Saint-Louis-du-Ha!-Ha!)
- Guinness World Records page

It’s not often that geography incites a lot of excitement, but a few towns do. The one that is arguably the most exciting is the town of Saint-Louis-du-Ha!-Ha! In Canada. This town received its name full of gusto in 1874 and holds the world record for the most exclamation marks in a town name.

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David Tonelson // Shutterstock

Most mentions of a brand name on Twitter in 24 hours

- Record: 3,710,044 mentions of "Pocky"
- Guinness World Records page

As a unique way to gain exposure, Japanese snack company Ezaki Glico Co., Ltd. set the record in 2003 for the most mentions of a brand name on Twitter in 24 hours by mentioning its frosting-coated crispy stick biscuit brand Pocky 3,710,044 times. The promotion occurred in Japanese in an effort to promote their Pocky Day celebrations that occur annually on Nov. 11.

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Mark Konezny/NFLPhotoLibrary // Getty Images

Most mentions of a name during a televised broadcast

- Record: 203 mentions of "Brett Favre"
- Guinness World Records page

Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre’s name is the record-holder in this category. Set on Oct. 5, 2009, ESPN’s Michelle Beadle and Colin Cowherd said Favre’s name 203 times on the show “SportsNation.”

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Prachatai // Flickr

Most mentions of an event name on Weibo in 24 hours

- Record: 2,250,535 (Chinese Singles Day)
- Guinness World Records page

As an effort to promote China’s Singles Day, Chinese social media companies Weibo and Tmall teamed up to set the record for the most mentions of an event name on Weibo in 24 hours with a total of 2,250,535 mentions on Nov. 4, 2016. Users were naming Alibaba’s Singles Day, a shopping event that was to be hosted on Nov. 11.

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Sveriges Television

Most names and faces memorized in 15 minutes

- Record: 187 names
- Guinness World Records page

Repeat a person’s name after meeting them. Create a mnemonic device. That’s just a few ways people memorize the names of others upon meeting them. At the Hong Kong Open Memory Championship, however, contestants have a much more strategic technique. On Aug. 23, 2015, memory athlete Yanjindulam Altansuh correctly recalled 187 names to faces. Impressive, considering she had just 15 minutes to memorize the names to faces and another 15 to recall them.

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Rede Globo

Most names credited in a single TV broadcast

- Record: 11,091 names (Globo 50 Anos)
- Guinness World Records page

Let’s face it, executing a TV broadcast calls for a lot of hands on deck. The show that earns the record for the most names credited for a single broadcast is the special “Globo 50 Anos,” crediting a total of 11,091 names. The show was in celebration of the Brazillian station TV Globo’s 50th anniversary on April 25, 2015. The show paid tribute to its employees by featuring them all in three columns for a 3-minute and 57-second sequence.

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lorenzo gambaro // Shutterstock

Most people signing each other's T-shirts simultaneously

- Record: 919 (Y's Men International Asia Area Japan-West Region Kyoto)
- Guinness World Records page

Almost 1,000 people lined up at the Kyoto Sanjo Shopping Street in Kyoto, Japan, to sign one another’s T-shirts at the same time. They did so to bring attention to the environmental work being done by Y's Men International Asia Area Japan-West Region Kyoto District (and attention to the business in general).

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EvrenKalinbacak // Shutterstock

Most ships named/launched by an individual

- Record: 8 (Süreyya Ulusoy (Turkey) between 2000 and 2005)
- Guinness World Records page

The eight ships launched by Süreyya Ulusoy were for a marine shipping company her husband presides over called U.N. Ro-Ro Isletmeleri. Each of the ships were constructed by German shipyard company Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft.

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Brian A Jackson // Shutterstock

Most siblings with a name beginning with the same letter

- Record: 16 children
- Guinness World Records page

Giving siblings names that start with the same letter is a cute tradition that also contributes to easily transferable monogrammed hand-me-downs. Canadian parents Eliza and Michel LeBlanc took that tradition to the next level when gave each of their 16 children names starting with the letter E. The names of their 10 boys and six girls are Edith Marie (b. Dec. 22, 1941), Edouard Joseph (b. Feb. 2, 1943), Edgar Joseph (b. May 12, 1944), Everard Joseph (b. May 22, 1945), Edna Marie (b. Jan. 19, 1947), Emery Joseph (b. Aug. 5, 1948), Eymard Joseph (b. Oct. 25, 1949), Eva Marie (b. July 14, 1951), Edouina Marie (b. Feb. 17, 1953), Emeline Marie (June 22, 1954), Emile Joseph (b. Aug. 10, 1955), Eldon Joseph (b. July 19, 1957), Ezard Joseph (b. Oct. 21, 1958), Elie Joseph (b. May 16, 1960), Eliane Estelle Marie (b. July 18, 1962), and Etienne Joseph (b. June 19, 1965).

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Marko Zamrznuti Tonovi // Shutterstock

Most tattoos of the same name on the body

- Record: 300 tattoos of “Diedra”
- Guinness World Records page

Diedra Vigil of Denver, Colorado, takes the cake for the most tattoos of the same name on the body. In May 2020, she nudged out the prior-record holder, Mark Evans of the U.K., who had 267 tattoos of his newborn daughter’s name Lucy etched onto his back and had held the title since 2017.

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Aurora Fierro/Cover // Getty Images

Most titled person

- Record: 18th Duchess of Alba, Doa Mar¡a del Rosario Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart y Silva
- Guinness World Records page

A blend of marriages, various noble titles, and combined nationalities are at the root of the 18th Duchess of Alba’s fully titled name: María del Rosario Cayetana Paloma Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Fernanda Teresa Francisca de Paula Lourdes Antonia Josefa Fausta Rita Castor Dorotea Santa Esperanza Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva, Falco y Gurtubay. Born in 1926 and died in 2014, when she died she had more than 50 aristocratic titles, 249 oil paintings in her family home, and could speak five languages.

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Mano Kors // Shutterstock

Most video games named after a real person

- Record: 48 (Tom Clancy)
- Guinness World Records page

The late great Tom Clancy, author of blockbuster thrillers “Patriot Games” and “The Hunt for Red October.” was known for his attention to scientific, military, and technical details in his books, which sold more than 100 million copies. In the military shooter video game genre, Clancy’s popularity is clear: His name has been used for 48 games; including 18 installments of “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six,” 15 games under the “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon” franchise, “The Division,” “EndWar,” “H.A.W.X.,” and “Splinter Cell.”

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Shortest company name

- Record: C Ltd., E Ltd., H Ltd., I Ltd., K Ltd., L Ltd., P Ltd., Q Ltd., R Ltd., W Ltd., X Ltd., Y Ltd., and Z Ltd.
- Guinness World Records page

When choosing a company name, you must take into account many things. The name must be memorable, specific, and sometimes, it must be concise. That’s surely the case with the 13 companies that hold the world record for the shortest company name: C Ltd., E Ltd., H Ltd., I Ltd., K Ltd., L Ltd., P Ltd., Q Ltd., R Ltd., W Ltd., X Ltd., Y Ltd., and Z Ltd.

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Cinema V

Shortest title of a film nominated for an Oscar

- Record: Z (1969)
- Guinness World Records page

“Z,” is a 1969 Algerian-French political thriller that follows an investigator trying to crack a murder mystery. The movie—the second foreign-language film to be up for Best Picture in history—was nominated for five Oscars at the 1970 Academy Awards; it took home two for Film Editing and Foreign Language Film.

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