Referencing a PHP variable by using another variable as part of the name

This is kind of a niche scenario, but when you Google making a variable from another variable php, most of the examples involve using a double dollar sign, which may not be what you want to do.

Yes, whenever possible, it makes sense to use arrays instead of weirdly-constructed variable names, but that may depend on the type of data you're working with and how it's stored in the (possibly legacy) database.

That's it. If you do that, it will assign whatevervalueyouwanttoassign as the string value to a variable called $firstpartofname_1_lastpartofname.