Junior v the 2nd

When is it appropriate to use "Junior" versus "the 2nd"?

When does a man become "the 3rd..."?


Lewis Joplin II
In the U.S., a son (and occasionally a daughter) is called junior if his name is exactly the same as his father. John Henry Smith Sr. and John Henry Smith Jr.

A boy is II if he is named after someone other than his father -- like an uncle. In that case he is John Henry Smith II.

A boy is III if he is the third to be named John Henry Smith. Sr. Jr. III.

There can be a reshuffling if Sr. dies and everyone is bumped up one. But sometimes Jrs. remain juniors all their lives in honor of their fathers or because they are widely known as junior and don't want to change.

Frank Pierce
Henry Ford II is the best and most demonstratable example to come to mind... son of Edsel Ford but grandson of Henry Ford. He was properly called Henry II.

I'm Frank H. Pierce III. It's no easy task, I can assure you. My father remained officially Frank H. Pierce Jr. all of his life but I, being the son of Frank, was often thought of as Frank Jr.

So it went on my first job where the employer made that assumption and filled out my W4 form as Frank H. Pierce Jr. Dad was later contacted by IRS about failure to report that little bit of income.

He spoke to me seriously about this, after noting that the SSN number should have clarified it for IRS. "Don't ever sign anything unless you hang on that III at the end."

I never did. And won't.

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