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Encyclopedia > Common name

In science, a common name is any name by which a species or other concept is known that is not the official scientific name. Part of a scientific laboratory at the University of Cologne. ... A name is a label for a human, thing, place, product (as in a brand name) and even an idea or concept, normally used to distinguish one from another. ... In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biodiversity. ... In biology, binomial nomenclature is a standard convention used for naming species. ...


Biological common names

A common name, widely defined, of a biological species is any name for it other than its scientific name, i.e., its binomial. A binomial is a formal name and is the same the world over, independent of the language in use: a binomial is rendered italicised in Roman script. There are many common names, but the common names of organisms are part of each and every language and are written in the script for that language. There is no requirement for common names to correspond in any way to scientific names. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... In biology, binomial nomenclature is the formal method of naming species. ...

Many of our everyday names for plants and animals like "rat", "squirrel", "rose" or "oak" refer to broad categories. By adding adjectival descriptors, such as with "brown rat", "red squirrel", "dog rose" and "cork oak", common names for individual species may arise.

Such a common name referring to a category can be quite useful in local context while ambiguous if used more widely. Names like "sardine" or "deer" can apply to dozens of different species worldwide, though those names are perfectly adequate in their original domains of use, (fishing and hunting), in localities where only one such species is known to exist or is likely to be caught. Fishing is the activity of hunting for fish by hooking, trapping, or gathering animals not classifiable as insects which breathe in water or pass their lives in water. ... Hunter and Huntress redirect here. ...

Official common names

For some groups, such as birds in the US, individual species have official common names. Such official common names are chosen by a governing body and typically attempt to follow a set of guidelines set by that body. Such names have no standing in scientific nomenclature. They are attempts by scientists to communicate with non-scientists who might feel intimidated by scientific names, or by non-scientists trying to create more pleasant-sounding names. “Aves” redirects here. ...

It is debatable how far official common names are actually "common". Much depends on how the methods of composing the list. In the past there has been a fad to have all the species in a genus repeat the genus name, for example if Diospyros is regarded as the "ebony genus", to have all the species include "ebony" in the name. Such a method of creating names is highly artificial and is frowned upon. However, if an official list respects widely used layperson's names it may be beneficial. For other uses of the word, please see Genus (disambiguation). ...

Botanists sometimes maintain official common names for plants, although this will vary greatly. Informally, botanists generally do not capitalize any common names; this can be seen as a sign of "professionalism" since the uninitiated may have difficulty in interpreting names such as "the hairy brome" for localities where the Hairy Brome (Bromus ramosus) is not the only member of the genus.[citation needed] Pinguicula grandiflora Botany is the scientific study of plantlife. ...

Other attempts to standardise common names (insects in New Zealand; freshwater fishes in north America) have met with mixed success, but common names lose some of their unique merits when defined. Undefined use of Māori names for plants in New Zealand has usefully added stability to nomenclature in the face of scientific name changes.

In Australia, Common names for commercial seafood species have been standardised as the Australian Fish Names Standard by Seafood Services Australia (SSA) since 2001. SSA was accredited by Standards Australia, Australia’s peak non-government standards development organisation. [1] Previously many fish were sold under a large number of common names in Australia. Other fish names are kept by CSIRO's Fish Names Database. [2] The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is the national government body for scientific research in Australia. ...

Common names that repeat scientific names

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Please see the discussion on the talk page.

Common names and scientific names have different functions, but can be closely related. In gardening, familiar names like Begonia, Dahlia, Gladiolus, and Rhododendron are common names that usually refer to plants in a genus of the same name (but note that Azalea refers to a genus now submerged in the genus Rhododendron). The use of genus names has been increasing in the vernacular of English-speaking gardeners in recent decades. Gardeners, naturalists and others, typically continue to use old common names when a scientific name changes. This is a useful feature whereby common names lend a measure of stability to nomenclature and retain historical associations. For this reason common and scientific names should be treated differently with no systematic attempt to make them correspond. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... A gardener Gardening is the art of growing plants with the goal of crafting a purposeful landscape. ... Species About 1500 species; see text Begonia is a genus in the flowering plant family Begoniaceae. ... Species 30 species, 20,000 cultivars Dahlia is a genus of bushy, summer- and autumn-flowering, tuberous perennial plants native to Mexico, where they are the national flower. ... Species About 260, see text Gladiolus (from Latin, the diminutive of gladius, a sword), sometimes called the sword lily, is a genus of flowering plants, iris family (Iridaceae). ... Subgenera Azaleastrum Candidastrum Hymenanthes Mumeazalea Pentanthera (Azaleas) Rhododendron Therorhodion Tsutsusi (Azaleas) Vireya Source: RBG, Edinburgh Rhododendron (from the Greek: rhodos, rose, and dendron, tree) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Ericaceae. ... For other uses of the word, please see Genus (disambiguation). ... Species see text Source: The Rhododendron page, and some research. ...

Especially with plants, common names (unitalicised) are often the same as their(scientific) names (italicised and capitalised). However, the reverse also happens, some pre-existing common names, typically from languages local to the plants, have been used to create the formal binomial. For this, the common names can be Latinized (and possibly anglicized), irrespective of their source language. For example Hoheria is from the New Zealand Māori "Houhere". A local name may also be adopted unaltered: the genus Tsuga is so named after the Japanese "tsugá". In literature, latinisation is the practice of writing a name in a Latin style when writing in Latin so as to more closely emulate Latin authors, or to present a more impressive image. ...

For historical reasons, some common names and 'equivalent' scientific names refer to unrelated species. For example Cranesbill is the common name for the genus Geranium, while the common name Geranium refers to species of the South African genus Pelargonium. Again, the gardeners' 'Nasturtium' is Tropaeolum spec., whereas the European Watercress is in the genus Nasturtium. Species See list The cranesbills make up the genus Geranium of 422 species of annual, biennial, and perennial plants found throughout the temperate regions of the world and the mountains of the tropics, but mostly in the eastern part of the Mediterranean. ... Geranium can be: The genus Geranium of flowering plants, usually called the cranesbills or (somewhat redundantly) hardy geraniums. Members of the related genus Pelargonium, which are commonly called geraniums by gardeners and in the horticultural trade. ... Species About 200: Pelargonium radens Pelargonium scabrum Pelargonium triste et al. ... Nasturtium is a name for two different, unrelated plants: The Genus Nasturtium is a taxon of mostly aquatic or semiaquatic, perennial herbs in the Family Brassicaceae, known as watercresses. ...

New common names are to be welcomed as long as they are helpful to a group of users, no matter how small. Since the function of the names is useful communication within user communities, spontaneous names are ideal. This has always been recognised, but computerization and the Web, by facilitating linkages to the single scientific name for each taxon, makes the flexibility of multi-lingual and multiple local common names an increasingly valuable feature.

Chemical common names

In chemistry, official naming of chemical substances follows the IUPAC nomenclature, a convention on systematic names. In addition to its systematic name, a chemical may have one or more common or trivial names (and many widely occurring chemicals do indeed have a common name). Some common names allow a reader with some chemical knowledge to deduce the structure of the compound (e.g., acetic acid, a common name for ethanoic acid). Other common names, while uniquely identifying the compound, do not allow the reader to deduce the structure, unless he or she already knows it. Examples include cinnamaldehyde or morphine. This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... IUPAC nomenclature is a system of naming chemical compounds and of describing the science of chemistry in general. ... There are millions of possible objects that can be described in science, too many to create common names for every one. ... In chemistry, a trivial name (also common or vernacular name) is a non-systematic name. ... The chemical compound acetic acid (from the Latin word acetum, meaning vinegar), systematically called ethanoic acid, is the acid that gives vinegar its sour taste. ... Cinnamic aldehyde or cinnamaldehyde (more precisely trans-cinnamaldehyde, the only naturally-occurring form) is the chemical compound that gives cinnamon its spice. ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


  Results from FactBites:
Common name - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (975 words)
In science, a common name is any name by which a species or other concept is known that is not the official scientific name.
Names like sardine or deer can apply to dozens of different species worldwide, though those names are perfectly adequate in their original domains of use, (fishing and hunting), in localities where only one such species is known to exist or is likely to be caught.
Such official common names are chosen by a governing body and typically attempt to follow a set of guidelines set by that body.
Name - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1326 words)
Naming is the process of assigning a particular word or phrase to a particular object or property.
Common names are also poorly suited to the precise usage needed by scientists, since by their nature common names evolve through linguistic processes.
A human name is an anthroponym; a toponym is a place name; hydronym is a name of a body of water; an ethnonym is name of an ethnic group.
  More results at FactBites »



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