The template has two optional parameters:
- Matronymic – This allows the template to indicate matronymics or even presence of both types. This is accomplished by switching patronymic to matronymic or matronymic and patronymic. If left blank this will default to patronymic. Possible values of type are matronymic or both. All other values default to patronymic being displayed in the hatnote.
- wikilink – This allows inherited name to be displayed which links it to the wikilink chosen. If left blank surname is displayed which links to surname.
This template may be used at the top of an article to explain to readers which part of a patronymic name should be used to refer to some particular people in formal contexts. Patronymic or matronymic names contain no family or last name. The person adapts the given name of their respective parent, and sometimes also their respective grandparent afterwards.
It is possible not all names in the article follow this convention. In any case, it is recommended that a comment be placed intermediately after this template, listing all names with this attribute. For example:
<!--Patronymic names in this article: Isaias Afewerki Meles Zenawi Asres Megistu Haile Mariam -->
|Type of name|
Can be left blank for patronymic default.
Link to naming convention as it relates to [[surname]]