Members of the crew are either called formally by their rank and last name, ie; Captain Picard, Commander Riker, or called by their first name informally, Jean Luc, Will, etc.

Although there are some examples of members of the crew being called by their Last name ie; Q and some Admirals refer to Riker quite often as 'Riker' not Commander Riker, I can think of no example where a person is referred to as their rank and first name, ie; Commander William, or Captain Jean Luc. And if there is an example of somebody being called by rank and first name it's definitely not protocol or something that's done regularly.

Worf was adopted and raised by Sergey and Helena Rozhenko. If you want to say it's just a Klingon designation do remember that Worf's son who is 3/4 Klingon is referred to as "Alexander Rozhenko" taking the family name.

Also take into account that half Klingon "B'Elanna Torres" uses either the designation B'Elanna informally or Lieutenant Torres formally.

I realize that Worf is full Klingon and Alexander and B'Elanna are not, however it would be disrespectful to his adopted parents as well as not following starfleet protocol to be referred to in this way.

One could make the same argument for Data as Data was created by Dr Noonien Soong. But Data refers to Dr Soong as "like" a father. Data called him father for the first time in TNG: "Brothers" which was well after Data had a name selected, and shortly after Dr. Soong's passing, which did not include a last name. Data was also created and was not adopted or raised by anybody else. Guinon is only referred to as one name, but does not have a rank so she would not be addressed by her surname.

In TNG Episode Family:

RIKER: Continue with the testing, Mister Worf. Here's the final schedule for the shore leave and for the personnel transfers. By the way, I'm looking forward to meeting your parents.

WORF: Sir?

RIKER: They're on the visitors' list. You didn't know?

WORF: No, sir. It is inappropriate for a Klingon to receive family while on duty. As humans, my parents do not understand.

RIKER: Well, I'm not sure that I would either, Worf, since this isn't a Klingon ship. If you don't want to see your parents, that's your business, but we don't get to Earth all that often. I'm sure we can arrange for you to have more off duty time while they're here.

WORF: My mother is never on time. It is so human of her. O'BRIEN: Well, you know women.

WORF: Mother. Father.


SERGEY: You look good, son. Put on a little weight, huh?


SERGEY: Sure you have. Looks good on you. Still working out with those Holodeck monsters, I bet.

WORF: Let me take you to

SERGEY: Always good to meet another Chief Petty Officer. Sergey Rozhenko, formerly of the USS Intrepid.

(shakes hands)

O'BRIEN: Miles Edward O'Brien, sir. Good to meet you.

SERGEY: Don't call me sir. I used to work for a living.

HELENA: He's joking. The proudest day of his life was when Worf earned his commission.

SERGEY: Can you imagine an old enlisted man like me raising a boy to be an officer?

Worf's considered to be raised by the Rozhenko's.

SERGEY: So we walked into the school and we don't know what to expect. Is Worf hurt? Is he in some kind of trouble? The door opens and there is our little seven year old sitting on a chair and glaring across the room at five teenage boys, all of them with bloody noses.

Worf was raised from a small boy by the Rozhenko's.

SERGEY: Amazing. Commander, if you have a couple of minutes, there is something else I want to ask you.

LAFORGE: Sure, Chief.

SERGEY: It's about my son.

SERGEY: It's a great crew, son, and they think the world of you.

HELENA: They really do.

WORF: Mother, Father, I wish you would be a little more reserved while you are on board.

HELENA: I know. We go too far, sometimes.

HELENA: I can't just leave it alone. I'm his mother.

GUINAN: You know, sooner or later, everyone comes in here. They stand by those windows and they look out and the stare. They're looking for that little star they call home. It doesn't matter how far away it is, everybody looks anyway. I'm Guinan. Pleased to meet you. You're Worf's parents?

SERGEY: Sergey and Helena Rozhenko

Clearly from the above quote the Rozhenko last name is known to be associated with Worf.

GUINAN: Well, part of him may feel that way, but there's another part that I've seen. A part that comes in and drinks prune juice. A part that looks out the window towards home. He's not looking toward the Klingon Empire. He's looking toward you.

SERGEY: And that we're proud of you, and that we love you.

HELENA: You're our son.

WORF: These are my parents, Helena and Sergey Rozhenko. (They shake hands)

PICARD: Delighted. Sir.

It's clear from the above quotes that both Worf considers the Rozhenko's to be his parents and they consider Worf to be their son. In addition Worf has a brother named Nikolai whom he referred to as "brother" . There are many more episodes with Worf referring to his Rozhenko brother and/or Rozhenko parents as brother and parents respectively.

In addition Worf has the Klingon Designation "Son of Mohg" so he could be referred to as Lieutenant Mohg, or more correctly he is from the "House of Martok" so he could also be referred to as Lieutenant Martok, using Martok as the surname.

In the TOS novel: "The Final Reflection," "Vrenn Khemara" used this name after being adopted into the house of Khemara. So there is precedent to use the house name as a surname in the Klingon naming convention.http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Klingon_nomenclature>

But in light of his relationship with the Rozhenko's Worf should be called either informally as 'Worf' or formally as 'Lieutenant Rozhenko'.

Why is he called Worf and/or Lieutenant Worf? Is there is anything in the STU or EU where he actually makes this choice in names or that this use of one name for him is explained? Please include the episode/novel and quote.

I'd like to add something about naming conventions, I alluded to it in a comment to a question below but I'd like to elucidate this matter. There's a difference between observing a religion, having a culture, nationality, assimilation, etc. These concepts are not necessarily interchangeable and don't necessarily mean the same thing. Here I am talking about naming conventions, respecting his adoptive family, and Starfleet protocol. For example, I am Jewish and in Judaism we have a naming convention. The naming convention is name, son of name, tribe (we only use three today - Israelite, Cohen, or Levite). An example of this would be Moses son of Abraham, the Levite. The Klingon naming convention is identical, for example Worf son of Mohg, of the Klingon House of Martok. Just because I have that naming convention doesn't mean I don't use my American name. Worf has a culture that he's a part of as well as a race. Both of those include certain traditions; ie, he has a certain diet, wears certain attire, celebrates certain religious ceremonies, has a language, etc. Same for me, I keep a kosher diet, we have traditional foods we eat, I keep my head covered, attend services, speak and read the Hebrew language, etc. I use my Hebrew name at religious ceremonies and when praying, otherwise I use my American name. I use it because that's what the society I live in uses. It does not diminish my beliefs, faithfulness, feelings towards, or practice of my Judaism to use my American name. It's also not my choice to just use my Hebrew name. I would have to go and officially have my English name changed to my Hebrew name, discard the English name, and it'd have to be approved by a court in America. My question is not about whether Worf is dedicated to some Klingon customs or rituals. My question is simply one of naming conventions and Starfleet protocol.

If your answer is that it's simply him wanting to use his Klingon name then they should refer to him as "Worf, son of Mohg," "Worf son of Mohg, from the house of Martog", or "Worf of the house of Mohg." Any of those would meet Klingon naming conventions however I don't know of an instance or of a common use of those names by Starfleet personnel.

Also Klingon is not like Bajoran, let's say, where the naming convention is simply reversed when it's listed (last name, first name). https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Bajoran

Also to act as if Worf has disdain for his human upbringing is simply wrong. I'm not going to go through and cite every example of his disdain for Klingon culture and embracing Human culture, but a clear example of this is TNG "Redemption":

*Kurn: But it's our way. It's the Klingon way.

Lieutenant Worf: I know. But it is not my way.*

Further he sires a child with a half human mate K'Ehleyr, and decides to have his child raised by his human parents despite calls for him to go to the Klingon homeworld to be schooled properly in Klingon custom. Later on Worf even leaves his child back with his parents because he feels it's better then a Klingon upbringing (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior"). Further an Alexander from the future comes back to try and kill himself and warns Worf of too human an upbringing, clearly showing that Worf did not have a predilection for all things Klingon or to even have his son raised that way (TNG: "Firstborn").

So some things he likes and takes that are Klingon, and some things he embraces are Human and Starfleet. This is not a dissertation on Worf's personal views of everything, it's simply a question of Klingon naming convention and/or his adoptive parents surname, how he's addressed, and Starfleet protocols. Please keep this in mind when answering the question.

More additions based on the answers below and lengthy discussions about Worf's name:

"Young Worf Rozhenko turned to face his parents..." Chapter 1, Page 2, "Starfleet Academy #1 Worf's first adventure" by Peter David, published by Pocketbooks a division of Simon and Shuster.

The above is a novel.

Worf, son of Mogh, of the House of Martok, (2340- ), also known as Worf Rozhenko, was one of the single most influential people in Klingon and Federation politics of the late 24th century. http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Worf,_son_of_Mogh

The above is a wiki page.

"Upon arrival at the Academy campus in San Francisco, but before checking in, Kebron picked a fight with the Academy's first Klingon recruit, Worf Rozhenko." Personal Bio of Lieutenant Zak Kebron, http://spartanfleet.wikidot.com/zak-kebron

The above is a Wikidot bio

"Although the successful conclusion of the Dominion War and the appointment of Worf Rozhenko as Ambassador to the Court of Kahless..." http://www.starfleet-museum.org/klingon1.htm

The above is from Starfleet Museum

"The first three books were written by Peter David and follows the story of Worf Rozhenko’s..." Review of the "Star Trek: The Next Generation – Starfleet Academy 01: Worf’s First Adventure" http://shareduniversereviews.blogspot.com/2013/10/star-trek-next-generation-starfleet.html

The above is a book review

...also known as Worf Rozhenko... Another wiki entry, http://misc.thefullwiki.org/Worf

The above is a wiki entry

"...follows the story of Worf Rozhenko’s and many other cadet’s first few months at the Academy." Book review, http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/217784.Worf_s_First_Adventure

The above is a book review

Colonel Worf, grandfather of Worf Rozhenko... Page 2, Timeline, "Star Trek: First Contact By John Vornholt", published by Simon and Schuster

The above is another novel

One was in a very old Klingon Dialect, Worf was able to translate as the captain identifying himself as "Worf Rozhenko"..." "Star Trek: The Next Generation: Q&A", By Keith R. A. DeCandido, published by Simon and Schuster

The above is another novel where Worf actually identifies himself with a surname.

"You must be talking about some other Worf. No. Ambassador Worf Rozhenko" Pg 194, "Star Trek Online: The Needs of the Many" By Michael A. Martin Published by Simon and Schuster https://books.google.com/books?id=-JKjIQSJZJwC&pg=PA194&lpg=PA194&dq=%22Worf+Rozhenko%22&source=bl&ots=rnZ2cJ-pEP&sig=QsOjlU46jLxIJ3zNxkDzdurvihY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zFIoVZ74L4O8ggTy7oLABA&ved=0CHAQ6AEwEg#v=onepage&q=%22Worf%20Rozhenko%22&f=false

The above is another novel

"...but instead with the injured ego of Worf Rozhenko...", page 160, Imzadi II: Triangle, By Peter David, published by Simon and Schuster

The above is another novel

As a citizen of the United Federation of Planets, the teenager so called officially Rozhenko Worf, Google translation of French Wikipedia entry, http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worf

The above is a French wiki page translated, not sure if in France they reverse the order of the names, or if the google translator did that.

So there are a number of examples of his using his adoptive parents' surname. I suggested above that he would have taken their last name as his own, being that he was only a young child at the time, and for official federation documents he would need to conform to the local naming convention. Now we have proof.

Go online and try to apply for a credit card, or walk into a bank and try to get a bank account with only one name, and see how it works (It might work for Prince or Madonna, but not sure about anybody else).

So my question again is why is "Worf" called by one name and not title/last name. Does everyone have the right in Starfleet to be called whatever they want or is this a luxury only afforded to Worf?

  • 21
    In all of this, you assume Worf's "legal" family name is Rozhenko. There is has never been any indication that he took his adoptive parents' name. The only thing that even remotely suggests it might have been the case is Alexander uses that last name. Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 21:23
  • 20
    Echoing @psubsee2003, there's no indication within the TV series that he went by the Rozhenko name, nor any indication that Starfleet would force him to use that name against his evident wishes. Editing in chunks of wiki info and EU book reviews really isn't helping here.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 0:07
  • 20
    Your giant list of novels and book reviews isn't necessary, because novels and book reviews aren't canon. You might as well be quoting a fanfic that claims Worf goes by the name "Geraldine McWonderpants." There's a reason they were edited out by the moderators.
    – Nerrolken
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 22:44
  • 16
    @JMFB the edits are being made in a desperate attempt to make this into a question and not a 10-page-long discussion. If you want people to take non-canon information into account in your question, just say so; you don't need 100 examples that all say the same thing and you don't need to accept an answer if it's wrong.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 22:47
  • 12
    @JMFB I neither know nor care enough about Worf's name to pay attention to the details. I know that I read enough of your wall-of-quotes to downvote and move on. If you don't want others with experience on this site to help you get an answer, that's your decision, but you should know by now how this site works, and editing questions to make them better is part of the deal.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 23:33

7 Answers 7


One of Worf's primary character aspects is his love of and preference for traditional Klingon culture. He was raised by Humans most of his life, but countless episodes feature him exploring, experimenting with, or advocating Klingon customs. This is often contrasted with other Klingons in the Federation, even his son, who are more willing to blend or even abandon Klingon ways.

But no, Worf is a Klingon purist. Frankly, he's just a few steps short of an absolutist.

It isn't ever explicitly stated, that I know of, but it's a completely understandable part of his character that he would go by his Klingon name, not his Human name. It's not about how he was raised or what he might legally be (or have been) named, it's about his personality and his preference for all things Klingon. I see VERY little chance that someone as obsessed with Klingon tradition as Worf would ever accept being referred to by a Human name.

Just as Data is constantly trying to be Human, Worf is constantly trying to be Klingon. And his name isn't even close to being the biggest thing he does like this: we even see him, like Data, getting special dispensations from the Federation to help recognize this status. For example, he gets permission to wear the traditional Klingon officer's sash as part of his Starfleet uniform, despite never having been a part of the Klingon military. That's like an ethnically Chinese man who was raised in Nebraska asking to wear traditional Chinese armor in the US Army: it's really quite a statement, if you think about it, about how much he cares about his heritage.

As for the "single name" convention, it seems to be common Klingon practice: they have a form of patronymic address (e.g. "Worf, son of Mogh"), but they don't seem to have last names, as such. So he is Worf, Lieutenant Worf, Mr Worf, etc. He chooses to only use his Klingon name, and Klingons only have one name, so he's just Worf.

  • 22
    @JMFB Which is both true and awesome, but doesn't preclude others from approaching it differently. In the case of Worf, he clearly DOES prefer to emphasize one side of his heritage, rather than balancing them as you do. Either way works.
    – Nerrolken
    Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 22:23
  • 9
    +1 for he Chinese-American comparison. I found that really drove the point home.
    – Shane
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 17:29
  • 27
    +1 for Worf is a Klingon purist. Frankly, he's just a few steps short of an absolutist. It's interesting to note that Worf is the only Klingon we see who is actually dedicated to living in an honorable way; other Klingons seem to be far more focused on being perceived by others as honorable. (With the possible exception of Martok, sometimes.) Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 15:01
  • 4
    He takes his culture more seriously because he can't take it for granted. And he values restraint and discipline more than the average Klingon because he had to be careful to not accidentally injure or kill the "fragile" humans around him (see DS9, "Let he who is without sin...") Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 21:58
  • 4
    I would suggest that the baldric is less like wearing Chinese armour, and more like wearing a Chinese medal. From Wikipedia: "The wear of foreign decorations may either be approved on a case-by-case basis or a general order may be declared allowing for blanket approval to all U.S. service members to wear a particular non-U.S. decoration." Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 16:36

In short, true Klingons largely go by their first names (x, son of x (of the house of x)). For example, Kurn identifies himself thusly in "TNG: Sins of the Father"

I am Kurn, son of Lorgh

He's then referred to throughout the episode as "Commander Kurn" (or just "Kurn") rather than as Mr Lorgh.

Starfleet and the crew of the Enterprise make a special point of honouring the traditions of their crewmen. Since Worf has styled himself as a traditional Klingon from an early age, it seems obvious that he would insist on the use of his first name. As far as the senior staff are concerned, in the earlier episodes he's "Mr Worf" and in later episodes it's often just Worf.

Case in point is Ro Laren. Picard mucks up her name the first time they meet but you can be damn sure that he doesn't make that mistake again;

PICARD : Yes, Ensign Laren, please have a seat...

RO : Ensign Ro. Sir.

PICARD : I beg your pardon?

RO : The Bajoran custom has the family name first, the individual's second. I am properly addressed as Ensign Ro.

PICARD : I'm sorry, I didn't...

RO : No reason you should know. It is an old custom. Most Bajorans these days accept the distortion of their names in order to assimilate. I do not.

  • 1
    Ah, but Kurn is not Starfleet personnel even if he is acting as one temporarily in an officer exchange program, so starfleet protocols would apply only in Picard asking him what he would like to be called after Commander. In addition Kurn was not raised by humans, does not have a predilection for human customs and traditions, is not a citizen of the federation, etc. etc. But thanks for the addition.
    – JMFB
    Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 23:40
  • 12
    @JMFB You ask in a comment on the question, "If not Rozhenko then how about using the Klingon naming convention in canon to refer to him by a surname?" Here, Richard observes that using Klingon convention, he should be called simply, "Worf".
    – KSmarts
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 21:20
  • 2
    "True Klingons"? No True Scotsman! ;) Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 18:23
  • 21
    Ro's text is probably the giveaway - Starfleet is polycultural, so your name is whatever you say your name is. And there's a few other single-named people on board the Enterprise - Guinan and Mot spring to mind. Presumably Worf signed up for Starfleet under "Worf", while Torres (being a bit more rebellious regarding her Klingon heritage) signed up as B'Elanna Torres. Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 16:03
  • 2
    It's interesting that you call them "alien crewmen". While it's true that the Federation and Starfleet are headquartered on Earth, one might argue that it is not foremost/primarily a "human organisation", but indeed an equal alliance of many races, by which understanding the non-humans aboard the Enterprise shouldn't be considered "alien" by Starfleet nor really by us. Of course, out of universe, we're human, and most of the cast on the ship were human too, so it's understandable ^_^ Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 11:13

Because he wants to!

not following starfleet protocol

Is there a part of the Starfleet protocol dictating people's names? I don't remember this ever being mentioned. Besides, it being Starfleet, I'm sure it would have a clause excusing variations on cultural grounds.

Even though he refers to Mr. & Mrs. Roshenko as his parents, he seems very proud of his Klingon heritage, even more so than other Klingons - sort of like when a person lives abroad for a while they often become extra patriotic with respect to their home country. So it's understandable he'd want to go by "Son of Mogh".

Worf's character is depicted as being conflicted between his Klingon roots and his Starfleet duty. This may be just another example of that, his attempt to remind himself that despite his uniform and being surrounded by Feds, he is still Klingon.

I don't think Alexander or B'elanna share the same feeling.


I think that to a degree, Worf's insistence on being referred to by his first name (as another question has pointed out, Picard seems willing to refer to somebody in whatever formalized way that they wish, such as with Ensign Ro) reflects his upbringing. This is a little bit difficult to explain, so bear with me.

Let's take your example of being Jewish. America is the great melting pot, and oddly enough there have been a number of excellent arguments for the death of Judaism in America precisely because it is so open and welcoming to folks. You read and speak Hebrew- but how good is your Yiddish? When you are surrounded by a society which is different from your own, many folks slowly have their beliefs eroded away. In New York, Jews are classically happy to eat chinese food because questions of tref are conveniently overlooked because forbidden food such as pork is hidden in the food, allowing people to simply pretend that they don't know what the meat is inside of this dumpling, so who knows?

So what happens to a child born between the worlds, born into one culture, raised in another by parents who are tolerant of their child's original culture but who also celebrate their own? This is also more and more common these days as more couples come rom different cultures/religions/races. For convenience sake, I will just refer to cultures.

Groups like the NCSY are specifically designed for exactly this sort of kid- kids raised mostly away from their culture, given the opportunity to live and learn their "birth" culture with others like themselves. The ultimate hope is often that the child will mostly abandon their everyday culture and embrace the birth culture.

When you are raised between cultures, many choose (especially at younger ages) to abandon one culture to favor the other, and cling to it with a certain fanaticism. But for many, that is a phase, and they eventually proudly live a life which is a synthesis of both cultures. How many American Jews have Christmas trees alongside their menorahs? More than you might think.

So, we see throughout TNG that Worf tries to be more Klingon than Klingons. But he was also raised in a human culture, which has in many ways shaped his perceptions of rightness and wrongness. What I personally find interesting is small hints over the course of the series that as Worf is exposed to more Klingons, learns more of his family, has a son himself, as he is finally free to be Klingon as opposed to being "forced" to be human, he slowly moves away from being quite so fanatically Klingon and instead accepts that his fundamental person is a blend of the cultures.

So, Worf insisting on being referred to by his Klingon name rather than his Human name makes a certain amount of sense to me. He already had dispensation enough to wear non-regulation clothes (his sash) so Picard calling him by his preferred name seems a minor point. The larger question is why Worf doesn't insist on being referred to by his father's name or House. I think that boils down to his genuine love and respect for the people who raised him. While he prefers to be referred to by his Klingon name, he is reluctant (perhaps for reasons he can not articulate) to remove the human element from his name, representing the kind and caring parents who took him in and raised him as their own. It's actually rather beautiful, and well represents Worf himself- Klingon first (name) but still partially human.

  • I should add that I distance on being referred to by his father's name and house means AFTER he discovers that the name is not one of shame. Tho it could be that by that point he is simply accustomed to it.
    – Broklynite
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 20:33

Why is Worf always called by one name?

Because he has just one name.

If he has just one name, his first name is Worf. And, his last name is... Worf.

This is evident by the references to "Mr. Worf" in earlier episodes.

Ignoring non-canon books, as I just watched the show, I got the feeling that his "last name" was intended to be "son of Mogh". But, certainly superior officers weren't going to call him "Lieutenant son-of-Mogh". If the lack of a clear last name seems somehow inconvenient for us to handle, then the show's producers succeeded in demonstrating that the Klingon culture was "different" (from typical Federation/American culture).

This, I think, is the simple answer to the question. The rest of this "answer" text is meant to address some points that were brought up, but not to modify the simple answer just presented.

You're Worf's parents?
SERGEY: Sergey and Helena Rozhenko
"Clearly from the above quote the Rozhenko last name is known to be associated with Worf."

No, not so clear. Sergey was just giving the names of himself and his wife, and did so in a non-disputing way, thereby essentially confirming the question.

In the beginning (S1E1), I don't believe there was any intent to have Worf's last name be Rozhenko. I also don't believe that the presence of Worf's adopted parents was meant to re-define the character's trait of having a single name.

For example, I am Jewish and in Judaism we have a naming convention.

I think the show's makers were trying to have a Klingon naming convention, and maybe even incorporate the concept of a "tribe" similar to what Jews have done (or maybe one or more other cultures they may have had in mind). To help ensure that decisions would work out nicely, the show's creators may have borrowed some traits from existing real cultures. However, trying to exactly follow a well-known surviving culture (like the Jewish culture) would not have been beneficial to the goal of trying to create a culture (named "Klingon") that seemed unique/alien.

An example of this would be Moses son of Abraham, the Levite.

This indicates Moses was of Levi line.

In contrast, I got the impression that Worf's line was of Mogh. "Son of Mogh" might not even have initially meant a direct son, just as Hebrew's "father" can be interpreted as "male ancestor" (e.g., a dead person going to a family grave, and thereby "sleeping with his fathers"). Mogh was the leader of a famous house. (The fame of his house is established by how many Klingons refer to Worf as the son of a traitor.)

So, the parallel wasn't so much that Worf was trying to identify his father (like the phrase "son of Abraham", "son of Jesse", etc.), but rather identified his lineage (like what the word "Levite" does). For instance, descendants of Worf were identified as "Sons of Mogh", not "Sons of Worf", in the DS9 episode "Children of Time". (Memory Alpha: Sons of Mogh)

If you want to say it's just a Klingon designation do remember that Worf's son who is 3/4 Klingon is referred to as "Alexander Rozhenko" taking the family name.

This doesn't mean the same thing happened to Worf. In our culture, when a woman is married, many brides adopt the last name of the new husband. Some go for a hyphenated name ("Mrs. First Middle Husband-Maiden"). In some cases, the man may adopt the woman's name. (Picard does, at one point, refer to William as "Troi".)

In some cases, siblings may not have matching last names. (Perhaps a very young child may be given a new name, but a choice is made to not thrust the new name upon an older child that already actively identifies with an older name.) So, being based on an invalid assumption, the argument that "we can determine what Worf did based on what Alexander did" just doesn't hold much weight.

  • "Lieutenant son-of-Mogh" might have sounded daft, but "Lieutenant [whatever the Klingon for "son of Mogh" is]" might have sounded reasonable (to humans). Modern Icelandic names are on that system, using "son of X" or "daughter of Y" ("patronymic") rather than family names, and English-language newspapers etc. usually seem to be OK with saying "Mr. Einarsson" or "Miss Einarsdottir" as if it was an ordinary surname. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icelandic_name However, possibly Klingon works differently and that sounds daft to Klingons and Worf wasn't having it.
    – A. B.
    Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 7:18
  • Oh, apparently it's "mogh puqloD", which also seems to be difficult to pronounce.
    – A. B.
    Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 7:23

The Federation isn't just humans - and already has at least one high-profile species with one-word names.

The Federation started out as a partnership of four species - Humans, Vulcans, Andorians and Tellarites. Of those, I'm not sure about the Andorians and Tellarites, but the Vulcans are shown on screen as going by one name each even on formal occasions (Sarek, T'Pau). And with Vulcans born on Vulcan there wasn't even the option of using an alternate name, unless they made up human names.

In "This Side of Paradise" Spock says that he has another name but "you couldn't pronounce it", but if so we never seem to see any example of this. Maybe they don't bother mentioning them to humans since the humans can't pronounce them, or maybe it was a Vulcan joke, or maybe, like it possibly is with Time Lords' full names, they're used only for ceremonial purposes and cover their entire family tree for about ten generations. (I'm not sure whether that's canon in Doctor Who either, by the way - I only remember it from fan-fiction). Either way, for day-to-day purposes when interacting with humans, Vulcans only seem to use one-word names.

Humans seem to run so much of Starfleet that it's difficult to tell whether Starfleet is a Federation organisation or an Earth one (see Why is the Federation's primary defense fleet (Starfleet) dominated by humans?) but the existence of USS Intrepid, which was crewed entirely by Vulcans and which various sources seem to confirm was a Starfleet vessel, suggests that it's Federation. And at the time the Federation was set up, Vulcan seems to have been if anything a senior partner to Earth. They generally seem to have sat back and let the humans run the fleet, and the universal language of Starfleet seems to be English (well, something has to be) (see In Star Trek, are the humans actually all speaking English?), but making Starfleet regulations demand that everyone follow human naming conventions seems like it would have been a pretty tactless move.

As somebody mentioned in a comment on the original question, Spock always seems to be called Spock and nothing else, even formally as "Lieutenant-Commander Spock". So apparently the question of whether a name like that was allowed was threshed out when Spock joined Starfleet if it hadn't been before. (Technically, Spock could maybe have used his mother's surname since his father hadn't got one, but he didn't).

So the question of whether Starfleet Regs allowed a name that was only one word was apparently settled long before Worf came on the scene.

  • Spock doesn't have a surname that's pronounceable, rather than Worf, who simply isn't referred to be his surnme.
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 7:46
  • Fair enough, but possibly "son of Mogh" isn't a surname either, in the sense that a Klingon would think it made sense to use it by itself.
    – A. B.
    Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 8:08
  • Worf's surname is Rozhenko - "Colonel Worf, grandfather of *Worf Rozhenko, defends Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy at their trial for the murder of Klingon chancellor Gorkon. Khitomer Peace Conference, Klingon Empire/Federation*" ~ Star Trek Timeline (etc)
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 8:18

The question noted, "Is there is anything in the STU or EU where he actually makes this choice in names or that this use of one name for him is explained? Please include the episode/novel and quote."

If you're interested in third party explanations which stood some reasonable chance of perhaps getting some level of official review and/or approval, then an arguement could be made that Worf's name was not Worf Rozhenko, but rather, the character's name was C.J. Worf.

This would be based on Celebrity Profile on Michael Dorn for Nintendo Power Issue 7: July-Aug 1989, published between Seasons 2 and 3 of TNG. Twice the article mentions Dorn's character as "Lt. C.J. Worf".

I understand that "Lt. J.G." could be translated into Lieutenant junior grade, but a quick search has revealed no such similarity for Lt. C.J., so one can just presume that Worf was meant as a last name.

The question ended with:

So my question again is why is "Worf" called by one name and not title/last name.

But, he was being called by his last name.

  • Note that I am not trying to submit an answer here which is more convincing than other answers that suggest something else. In fact, I myself have a differing answer on this same page. But I submit this simply as an answer to the question, which presents information that didn't seem to be considered by the other answers, simply in hopes that this answer, presented here in addition to the other answers that exist, might be considered to be useful (or at least interesting).
    – TOOGAM
    Commented Aug 6, 2023 at 14:43
  • This appears to be a typo (or a misunderstanding). When the article was written, Worf was a Lt Commander. So, Lt C (ommander) J (unior) Worf.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 6, 2023 at 14:46
  • Note also that the guy writing this article only appears to have asked him (or his publicist, more likely) a single question, presumably "What is your favourite video game and why" which then forms the basis for this 'celebrity profile'.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 6, 2023 at 14:48
  • Regarding the prior comment, the article seems to have multiple pieces of info coming from Dorn, even if just one question got directly quoted.
    – TOOGAM
    Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 12:54
  • Regarding @Valorum 's comment on "Commander Junior", that seems like speculation that sounds rather reasonable, but I am not seeing supporting evidence. In fact, I find evidence suggesting otherwise. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worf says he was "Lieutenant, Junior Grade" when this was published between TNG Seasons 2 and 3, and Worf doesn't appear to have had a "Lieutenant Commander" rank until year 2371 (ditl.org/timeline-page.php?Year=2371) which is after TNG Season 7 (after Q shows up in "All Good Things" for the finale episode of the TNG's TV show).
    – TOOGAM
    Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 12:58

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