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Numbering One's Children
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In some families of ancient Rome at least some of the sons might be given numbers to indicate the order of birth.  The fifth son, Quintus, was often given a number, perhaps because it was at that point when some families had exhausted their supply of favorite names.  Sextus, Septimus, and Octavius may have been based on paternal boastfulness.

If the Romans had been consistent, they could have named ten sons Primus, Secundus, Tertius, Quartus, Quintus, Sextus, Septimus, Octavius, Novus, and Decimus.

In modern times there is much less numbering, especially when birthrates fall.  However, a former heavyweight boxing champion, the Italian Primo (first) Carnera, had a younger brother named Secondo.  In English, Quentin, derived from Quintus, is the most likely choice, and some parents who don't know Latin have used it even for a firstborn.  There's a rather rare feminine version of it, Quintilla.  Octavius and the feminine Octavia are now rare, but were still fairly common a hundred years or so ago.  Primus, Secundus, and Septimus are listed in some books of forenames, but are rarely used.

Hook, J. N. The Book of Names, A Celebration of Mainly American Names: People, Places, and Things. Franklin Watts, 1983.



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