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What's the Difference Between "Jr." and "II"?

We've all heard someone called so-and-so the second and others called blah-blah-blah Jr. but what makes someone a "Jr" as opposed to a "II"? Thanks to Mental Floss' Big Question, now we know. 

It seems a Jr. is generally the child of a living person they have been named for, while IIs, IIIs, IVs, etc. are all named for close relatives who may or may not still be alive. One particularly strange case that manages to combine both titles is that of George Foreman and his sons who are all named after him:

Of course, there’s always George Foreman, who has five sons named after himself. And since “Jr. Jr.” isn’t really a thing, George’s sons are George Edward Foreman Jr., George III, George IV, George V, and George VI. (Don’t worry; they all have nicknames.)

Learn more about jrs and IIs, including why women tend to not have these titles over at Mental Floss.


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I'm a "junior." Even though James was the #1 baby boy name in 1939, my parents gave me the moniker. Had a family nickname for years that I hated. My friends in school and college called me by my middle name, Otto. It posed a problem once when my wallet was stolen and when I got my replacement driver's license, it had my Dad's traffic violations on it. Another time my Mother "accidentally" opened a letter from an old girlfriend addressed to me that had some very personal information in it. Future parents---please give your children different names.
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