There seems to be some conflict in sources that I've noticed as to Dr Soong's name (notably Memory Alpha and Memory Beta). Now, this is important to me (for obvious reasons - in fact it's why the underscore is so important - fun fact). So, my question is: what is the canon name for Dr Soong? Is it Noon-ien or Noon-ian?

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    I personally prefer Noonian, just saying 😉 Aug 24, 2015 at 5:50
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    Compromise: Dr. Nooniæn Soong. ;-) Aug 24, 2015 at 8:03
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    Also FWIW - Khan Noonien Singh predates Dr. Nooni(e/a)n Soong by quite a few years. So I'd say that it should be Noonien to be consistent. YMMV. Aug 24, 2015 at 16:43
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    Great! So now after this question and this question someone needs to ask a question about the use of the name @Richard. And the use of pop machines. Aug 24, 2015 at 18:45
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    If the name derives from another language, there might not be a single "correct" transliteration. See also kalzumeus.com/2010/06/17/… Aug 24, 2015 at 21:43

3 Answers 3


It appears to be both.

Both spellings can be found on this 1995 action figure:

A ST:TNG action figure. The outside packaging says "DR. NOONIAN SOONG, Cyberneticist and Creator of the Android Data", while the card inside the packaging is labelled "Dr. Noonien Soong".

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    Wow - you really think they'd notice that error lol Aug 24, 2015 at 4:23
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    @N_Soong : The left hand didn't know what the right hand was typing...
    – Praxis
    Aug 24, 2015 at 4:33
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    That's what I get for letting Data use both his hands so well. +1 for the freehand circles btw ;) Aug 24, 2015 at 4:34
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    No, you see, the card is in a different continuity from the action figure. We just have to wait to see which one makes it into a movie or TV show first, and then we'll know which one is canon. /s
    – Kevin
    Aug 24, 2015 at 17:30
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    @N_Soong : I'll get it for you when you hit 20K. ;-)
    – Praxis
    Aug 25, 2015 at 0:08

His name is 'officially' Noonien!

Looking at the scripts online for TNG: Brothers, all seem to refer to him with the 'ian' suffix rather than the 'ien' suffix.

Source 1: Chakoteya.net:

DATA: You do bear a resemblance to Doctor Noonian Soong, the cyberneticist who constructed me. But, Doctor Soong was killed shortly afterward by the Crystalline Entity.

Source 2: Antoa.com:


Source 3: ST-minutiae.com


Source 4: Memory Alpha refers to him as Noonian

Yet, arguably the most canon source of all these, the page on StarTrek.com, says his name is Noonien.

Memory Alpha makes reference to the ultimate canon sources though - the scripts and in-series references:

Soong's first name was spelled "Noonien" in the scripts for "Datalore" and "The Measure Of A Man" while all subsequent scripts ("Brothers", "A Matter of Time", "Birthright, Part I", and "Inheritance") spelled the name "Noonian". The okudagram for Data's personnel file seen on-screen in "Conundrum" used "Noonian" while the passenger manifest seen in "Inheritance" used "Noonien". The "Noonien" spelling is used in several reference sources, including the Star Trek Encyclopedia and StarTrek.com.


So, considering the final line of the above quote, it seems that Noonien is the more 'official' name used in canon, but both are within canon!

Just to add even more confusion - because as if there isn't enough already, Memory Beta tells us that :

The video game The Transinium Challenge gives his name as "Nguyen Soong".

As a side note, I personally prefer Noonian...

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    Note that chakoteya is a fan-site, not a source of official scripts. It's also notorious for spelling mistakes
    – Valorum
    Aug 24, 2015 at 7:50
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    @Richard - struck gold: Memory Alpha does refer to the official scripts at the bottom of the page: I've included the quote above. Now we know for certain that his name is definitely Noonien or Noonian ;) Aug 24, 2015 at 8:54
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    Perhaps he went by both names just to confuse people. I have a friend who spells his own name as Alistair in real life, but historically has spelt it Alastair online...
    – Muzer
    Aug 24, 2015 at 9:41
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    @Muzer: That's just evil! Aug 24, 2015 at 9:57
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    @Muzer: Who knows what native script Soong's name originally uses. For all we know, Noonian/Noonien might be equally valid transliterations of the same name. Aug 24, 2015 at 14:40

It's an Anglicized version of a foreign name, so there needn't be an official single answer. For example, the names Chen, Chan, Chang, Xian, Xiang, Qiang are all different attempts to render the same chinese name into english.

Personally, I always thought it was everyone's attempt to pronounce the name Nguyen; the correct pronounciation is something like Nn-wen, but because of the spelling many pronounce it as Nuh-goo-eee-en. And Soong would seem to be an indicator of asiatic origin.

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