The Elective Semantectomy was a temporal engineering procedure by which a member of the Great Houses could remove their true name from history and replace it with an impersonal title of their choosing.
In most cases, this was done to protect a bloodline from embarrassment due to association with a renegade member, (PROSE: Weapons Grade Snake Oil) as the full names of many Houseworlders included the name of their Great House. (PROSE: Lungbarrow, The Book of the War, Against Nature, AUDIO: Body Politic, Panacea) Renegade Time Lords whose names were in the form of impersonal titles included the Doctor, (TV: An Unearthly Child) the Monk, (TV: The Time Meddler) the Master, (TV: Terror of the Autons) the Rani, (TV: The Mark of the Rani) the Interfering Nun, (PROSE: Shada) the Grandfather, (PROSE: Interference, The Book of the War) the Imperator, the War King, (PROSE: The Book of the War) the Hussar, (PROSE: Weapons Grade Snake Oil) the Clocksmith, (AUDIO: The Eighth Piece) the Magician, (PROSE: Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma) the Eleven, (AUDIO: The Eleven) the Corsair, (TV: The Doctor's Wife) the Heretic, (AUDIO: The Two Masters) and the Player. (AUDIO: The Plague of Dreams)
Some of the first members of the Great Houses to shed their names and take on new ones were actually the Mappers who first explored the Spiral Politic after the anchoring of the thread, who all went insane sometime after finishing their work. However, instead of the "titles and stuff" which typified later Renegades, they chose "really stupid names" (in Intrepid's opinion) based on a timekeeping theme, such as Astrolabe or Pendulum. (PROSE: Going Once, Going Twice)
During the War in Heaven, some Homeworlders volunteered to undergo Semantectomy before being stationed among the lesser species, due to fears that adopting a local name might lead to conceptual contamination. (PROSE: Weapons Grade Snake Oil) Likewise, during the Last Great Time War, Time Lords very much in service of orthodox Gallifrey were also known to bear such "titles" instead of ordinary names, including the Visionary (TV: The End of Time) and the General. (TV: |)
Before the Doctor left Gallifrey, he broke his name into thirty-eight pieces. During his travels, he spread them throughout the universe. (PROSE: Return of the Living Dad) In one of the versions of the Doctor's past, the Doctor's father erased both of their names from history. (PROSE: Unnatural History)
After the Woman and the Patriarch of Stillhaven dissented to Rassilon's plan for the Ultimate Sanction during the Last Great Time War, (TV: The End of Time, PROSE: Lords and Masters) Rassilon had the Woman's name erased from time. (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords)