10
votes
3answers
888 views

Duane “Dog” Chapman, what is the word for the part in quotes between forename and surname?

Apologies if this has been asked before, I found it quite difficult to phrase what I meant! As the question title states: Duane "Dog" Chapman. What is the correct word to describe the part that is ...
6
votes
2answers
607 views

Last names that are English words with an extra 'e'

I noticed that there are a lot of last names that have an 'e' at the end. The pronunciation usually isn't changed from that of the base word. Poole Steele Browne Clarke Why do English words not ...
2
votes
2answers
141 views

Where does the anglicisation “Ottoman” come from?

Wikipedia on Ottoman Empire gives its naming as coming from the Ottoman Turkish language, but on that very page, the name of the language is transliterated as Lisân-ı Osmânî. In Russian we call the ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

“Glen” and “Gael” people

My question is about etymology of the name "Glen". Question 1: What is the meaning and root of the name "Glen"? Question 2: In which regions of Britain is the name "Glen" more frequent to use? ...
6
votes
2answers
179 views

What is the origin of using the word “our” preceding a first name when speaking directly to the person so named

In the BBC's Keeping Up Appearences, and Lark Rise to Candleford, "our Rose" and "our Laura" are used in both the third person and second person. The usage seems understandable as a third person ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Origin of street names ending in “-hurst”

There is a large number of streets in the UK whose names end in -hurst, for example Ravenhurst, Gathurst, Oakhurst, Amhurst, Bonehurst, Eaglehurst, etc. Is there a common meaning for this -hurst ...
-1
votes
1answer
206 views

What is the meaning of the name Zacharias Mulletstein? [closed]

I saw the name Zacharias Mulletstein in a newsgroup and thought "what a peculiar yet interesting name." When I mentioned this name to a friend (because the post by this fella was amusing) they said ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

When did we start naming our dogs Rover, and why?

One stereotypical name for a dog is Fido, from the Latin for faithful. Another stereotypical dog-name is Rover. How long has Rover been a common name for a dog in English? Does it have anything to ...
7
votes
2answers
598 views

When does the name prefix “Mc” take stress?

Mc (or Mac) is often used as a prefix in Gaelic-derived names. In one class containing most such names, prefixing Mc does not affect the position of the accent somewhere on the base name. Thus Mc is ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Origin & history of name “she oak” or “sheoak” (a Casuarina tree)

In wikipedia's Casuarinaceae article (and somewhat similarly in its Casuarina article), one finds: The most widely used common name for Casuarinaceae species is sheoak or she-oak (a comparison of ...
5
votes
1answer
249 views

Was Christian a proper name before Pilgrim's Progress?

I was going to ask this on Christianity.SE but it's not really a Christian Doctrine question; hope it fits here. I was reading John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress where almost everyone is named for a ...
3
votes
1answer
541 views

“Concerned of Tunbridge Wells” - what is the etymology of the name?

What is the origin of "Concerned of Tunbridge Wells" - a possibly fictitious writer of letters to the editor? Can anyone dig out a definitive etymology for the term, or is it just a conflation of ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Why “Greater Toronto” rather than “Great Toronto”

Many big cities have their names preceded by Greater. Why not just Great? Does Greater indicate that the city is ambitious to expand itself? Why is Greater not used for country names such as Great ...
6
votes
1answer
299 views

Is there a name for adjectives that are based around someone's name?

Some examples would include: Shakespearean Christian Mesmerized Pavlovian Newtonian Boolean Darwinian
9
votes
1answer
766 views

What is the origin of surnames based on color?

I understand the background of names such as Baker, Carver and Hammer but, what are the origins of names such as Black, Blue, Brown, Green and White? Are they based on some common structure or do they ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Where do we get the word “peanut”?

Alternative names, like groundnut and earthnut, make sense. In German, peanuts are called Erdnüsse, literally, earth nuts. Where did the word "peanut" come from, and how did it become the dominant ...
1
vote
0answers
117 views

Region-specific game names [closed]

I grew up in a small town in Eastern Kentucky, and we played a game called sookie (soak e). This game is very similar to dodge ball except that it is every man for himself. Adults taught us this game ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Where did the name “English” come from?

How is the name for one's own language created?
6
votes
3answers
504 views

Why names such as Hastings-on-Hudson?

This question is either about etymology or language generally, as names have this feature in other languages too, but I'm just curious how the practice of naming towns in proximity to bodies of water ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Why does the name 'John' have an 'h' in it?

I have always wondered this since I was little, and nobody seems to have asked or answered this before anywhere on the internet. What is the origin of the 'h', and why is it still with us?
2
votes
3answers
824 views

What is the origin of the place name “Unthank”?

I was reading this question What is the reciprocal verb of "to thank"?, and naturally the (non existent, but surely quite useful) word unthank came to mind. I then recalled there are several places in ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Do these river names mean anything?

I was planning a little trip the other day when I noticed that a number of rivers in Britain have common names. The ones I spotted were Avon, Ouse and Esk. Is there a reason for this? Are these names ...