What is the full official name Doctor Noonien Soong gave to his android (known in ST: TNG as "Data")?

Is the entire name simply Data, or is it an acronym?

  • 3
    There are only two possible options, either it is Data or it is Data Soong
    – user11295
    Commented Feb 5, 2013 at 16:27
  • 19
    It's worth noting that not all cultures use multiple names today. Commented Feb 5, 2013 at 21:19
  • 6
    @user11295 really? I would have thought Soong could have named his androids like cats if he wanted. Data’s full name could be Mr Data Bigglesworth Fluffypants III. Commented Feb 28, 2015 at 9:48
  • 3
    @bitmask: I dom’t blame him; the word comes from the Czech word robota, meaning ‘forced labour’. Commented Feb 28, 2015 at 9:50
  • 1
    @PaulD.Waite: Interesting. That is a factoid I will use excruciatingly. Thank you :)
    – bitmask
    Commented Feb 28, 2015 at 10:14

3 Answers 3


In the second season episode "The Measure of a Man", Riker pulls up Data's schematics on a wall monitor. On the lower right of the display, we see "LT CDR NFN/NMI DATA" which should be read as "Lieutenant Commander No First Name No Middle Initial Data."

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This was confirmed by illustrator Rick Sternbach during the "Next Generation Slide Show" panel at Baycon 1989.

Also from Measure Of A Man, this is Data's full name as shown by the Enterprise computer (to Cmdr. Riker): Lt. Cmdr. NFN NMI Data. Spelled out, this becomes: Lieutenant Commander "No First Name" "No Middle Initial" Data.

  • 15
    That notation assumes that FirstName MiddleInitial LastName is the normal pattern for personal names. That's not even valid for 20th- or 21st-century Earth humans; it's far less likely apply to most Starfleet personnel. So it's probably a bit unrealistic -- but it does get the idea across. Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 20:45
  • 39
    @KeithThompson: I guess the fact that their personnel DB still requires First/Middle/Last means that COBOL will be alive and well in the 24th century. :)
    – mricon
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 14:24
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    @mricon: That would explain why we haven't seen time travelers from the 101st century or later; civilization fell due to the Y10K problem. Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 19:28
  • 15
    @SachinShekhar and KyleJones: TNG 5x03, Ensign Ro. The new character, Ro Laren, gets a little peeved when she's called "Ensign Laren" instead of "Ensign Ro", as Bajoran surnames come first - implying that FirstName LastName is most common in the Federation.
    – Izkata
    Commented Apr 1, 2013 at 22:45
  • 5
    In addition to NFN and NMI, there is a common modern-day initialism "MIO" for "Middle Initial Only". It is used in some official documents for people whose middle names consist only of an initial. This was the case with Harry S. (MIO) Truman". His middle name was not Simon, Simpson, Samuel, or Stephen, it was S. Literally. Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 12:02

According to StarTrek.com database his full name was simply Data.

I don't recall hearing or reading about the origin of the name but it always sounded right :)

  • 1
    The origin is obvious: Data's positronic brain contains oodles of data. :)
    – Dima
    Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 19:37

Data was initially a nickname given to him by Starfleet personnel. Data did not recall his life prior to being metaphysically born again by being turned on after a memory wipe. Thus, to the OP's question, we don't know what Doctor Soong named him. We can presume he was given a first name, because Lore had a first name. It's a compelling thing to wonder if Data ever considered adopted the surname Soong in some fashion.

I appreciate the challenge below to back up my answer. It would seem I was partially correct; Data chose his own name.

EPISODE: Datalore S01E14

TASHA: You were just lying out there in the open? No identity record, no instructions?

DATA: Only a layer of dust.

RIKER: What's the first thing you remember, Data?

DATA: Opening my eyes. Looking into the eyes of the Tripoli landing party. They believed that the signal device sensed their presence and activated me.


In the prologue to the novel adaptation for Encounter at Farpoint by David Gerrold, Data chose his own name, due to his love for, and identification with, knowledge.

  • Data appears to be the name that Dr Soong gave him
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 16:28

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