Topics related to given names, surnames, and linguistic aspects of naming in English.

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2answers
161 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 ...
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7answers
1k views

Are all English surnames-made-first-names masculine?

This may not be an English language question, but I've always wondered. In Sweden, it is very unusual to have surnames that can also be used straight up as first names. In fact, I can think of no such ...
5
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3answers
730 views

Objects with no name, like “the Sun”

This morning I was pondering the things in the English language which have not been given a name, such as 'the Sun' or 'the Moon'. These do not seem to fall into the same category as 'the ground' or ...
5
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3answers
362 views

Why is it that John Chrysostom is almost never referred to as “John Golden Mouth” in English?

Why is it that the sainted John Chrysostom (b. 347?, d. 407; Archbishop of Constantinople, 397–407) is almost never referred to as "John Golden Mouth" in English? ("Chrysostom" means "Golden Mouth" in ...
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8answers
965 views

Should Philip have P. or Ph. as an initial?

In the context of scientific articles and technical white papers, references to other publications typically include the author’s surname with, depending on the format of the specific publication, ...
5
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3answers
2k views

What is the name for a person who raises turkeys?

Some agricultural professions have specific names assigned to them. For example, a person who raises sheep is a shepherd and a person who raises cattle is a rancher. What would a person who raises ...
5
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3answers
685 views

Abbreviating names that start with a vowel

What are the rules about abbreviating names that start with a vowel? Would abbreviating "Alanis Morissette" to "A. Morissette" be correct or should it be "Al. Morissette"?
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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 ...
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3answers
1k views

Why is the letter J so common in names of people who go by their initials? [closed]

I've met a number of people who use their initials as a name. Almost all of the ones I've met have a "J" as one of the initials. I've asked a few friends, and so far, anecdotally, it seems that this ...
5
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2answers
306 views

How would a native British speaker say “Betteredge”?

I am reading Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone, and a prominent character in the story has the name of Betteredge. My question is (since I like to imagine the dialogue in a British-English book as if ...
5
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2answers
745 views

Is there a schwa in the middle of Coleridge?

How many syllables are in the name Coleridge - two or three? I.e. is it [koʊləɹɪdʒ] or [koʊlɹɪdʒ]?
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3answers
429 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 ...
5
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1answer
239 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 ...
5
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3answers
2k 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 ...
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3answers
6k views

How do I pronounce Gaudí, the architect?

How do I pronounce 'Gaudi', in the name of Antoni Gaudí (the architect)?
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5answers
1k views

Can last names be shortened just as first names?

I know first names are usually shortened in verbal communication for reasons that I am not clear about. For example, Andrew becomes Andy. But is it also the case for last names? If yes, what is the ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Where did the name “English” come from?

How is the name for one's own language created?
4
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2answers
20k views

What is the name for this “…” punctuation? [closed]

When I am writing, and I want to leave something out, so that it gives an implied effect, I use this: ... What is it called?
4
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1answer
2k views

What do you call a daughter with the same name as her mother?

What do you call a daughter with the same name as her mother? Is there a female equivalent for 'junior' in the english language?
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4answers
12k views

The name of my toes [closed]

Ok.. I broke some toes in my foot and I want to tell a friend about it on Facebook. Now, here's the problem. Every foot has 5 toes. Only 3 toes have a name: big toe middle toe small toe What's ...
4
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4answers
1k views

Do people's names have meanings in English? [closed]

Do people's names have meanings in English? If so, where can I look up names to find their meanings? If not, where did these names come from originally?
4
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6answers
229 views

Word to describe the fear of unknown future

Is there any word to describe the fear of unknown future? Like when you cannot anticipate your future, you don't know what will happen or what can happen, not near or immediate future, but some future ...
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3answers
2k views

Is the apostrophe (') supposed to be omitted in names like 'King's Cross', 'King's Singers'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it common for place names to lose the possessive? I've always thought it should be 'King's Cross, London' as in a possessive sense. However the wiki page for King's ...
4
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2answers
143 views

Can I put the job position in front of the name?

In military contexts you often see sentences like this one: "General Montgomery decided to..." I am now writing an evaluation about a sale my company had had, and I want to credit several people ...
4
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2answers
3k views

Is it proper to use “the” before the name of a government organization? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Definite article with proper nouns, titles followed by a common noun Using the definite article with acronyms and initialisms When I listen to major news programs, ...
4
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1answer
114 views

Better name for a square prism

What is the proper name for a cube which is stretched in one direction. So that it is really four rectangles of the same size with two squares at the ends. Elongated/stretched cube? ...
4
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2answers
144 views

What is the term for an item that facilitates the tying of things together?

Is there some piece of equipment or item that allows you to tie two or more strands of rope threads of fabric together? I imagine that (1) and (2) will be different items. If such things do ...
4
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1answer
151 views

Is there a term for expressions usually rendered as names but are meant to be humorous?

The expressions about which I am asking are used often on "Prairie Home Companion" when the narrator delivers a list of "fake" credits at the end of the show or at the end of a comic bit. For ...
4
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2answers
284 views

“Native” names and “western” names?

When Chinese, Koreans, and possibly other Asians migrate into countries like the UK or the US, they often take on a "western" or "anglicised" name for a number of reasons. For example, the director ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Confusion over “family name” in English: What about double-barrelled last names? [closed]

How do you fill out an official form in English that asks for just one last name when you instead have a surname which comprises more than one word? I currently live in a Latin country, where we ...
4
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3answers
370 views

Titles of British Lords [closed]

In an old episode of The West Wing, a British Ambassador is referred to as "Lord John Marbury". Ignoring that once he became Ambassador he'd be Mr Ambassador, what are the possible correct addresses? ...
4
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0answers
170 views

Why do so many names end in -May or -Mae? [closed]

I've been reading articles about trends in names. Apparently names like Bonnie-Mae, Ellie-Mae and Lily-Mae are trending up in the UK which I find odd in itself (aren't they typically Southern US?) but ...
3
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1answer
187 views

meaning of - rite - at the companies names

There is bunch of companies that use rite at theirs names, like Rite Aid or Shop Rite, I was thinking about it like Right => Rite They looks like similar to pronounce, and you could think Right Aid ...
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3answers
4k 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 ...
3
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2answers
794 views

What is the correct spelling of the Arabic name سعد in English?

I need help in how to spell the Arabic name (سعد). I previously asked the question Sa'ad : Correct spelling in English and French; however, it got closed. I added a youtube video describing how ...
3
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3answers
261 views

Why was the 'hoodie' given the name 'hoodie'?

There were plenty of pieces of upper-body garments/clothing, which had a hood, before the 'hoodie'. Was it simply that no one had thought of the name up until then? Or was there something ...
3
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6answers
7k views

What is a good phrase to name a periodic excellent employee award? [closed]

My company has annual work performance awards with typical names like "Excellent Employee/Team" (3~5 recipients) and "All-star Employee/Team" (1 recipient). We're looking to create a smaller award ...
3
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2answers
4k views

First name initial format “A. B. Lastname” vs “A.-B. Lastname”

Sometimes I see names abbreviated sometimes as A. B. Lastname and some other times A.-B. Lastname. Is there a difference? Does the former means it is a middle name, and the latter means it is a part ...
3
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1answer
515 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 ...
3
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2answers
112 views

plural of 'Davidovici'

I know someone named Davidovici, pronounced /dəˈvɪɾəvɪtʃ/ (i.e., rhyming with witch. It's from Romanian). How is it pluralized (as, to refer to the family): Davidovicis or Davidovicies?
3
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1answer
712 views

What terms describe the various parts of someone's name?

People tend to have at least one personal name and one family name. Some people also have middle names and nicknames. What terms describe other kinds of names, e.g.: What term describes additional ...
3
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7answers
329 views

Name a person who loves to do things manually

What will you call a person who loves to do things manually rather than using any technology tools.
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2answers
3k views

Names of tools for shaving hair

I was wondering what differences there are between shaver, razor, trimmer and clipper? For head hair cut that does not make head bald, what tools are used? For shaving facial hair, what tools are ...
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2answers
4k views

“John Doe”, “Jane Doe” - Why are they used many times?

I posted a question ( http://programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/92215/john-doe-jane-doe-why-are-they-used-many-times ) and they told me to post that question here. So I'm doing it. I received ...
3
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1answer
6k views

What is the meaning of “Dick” when it is a person's name?

Some people are named "Dick". What does "Dick" mean when it is a name?
3
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1answer
156 views

Are the names of these metrics proper nouns?

In my thesis I am writing about a number of different metrics. Not metrics in the mathematical sense, but metrics which are measures, functions. A function which takes an input and returns a symolic ...
3
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1answer
415 views

What is the proper term for names typically assigned to people in countries using the first-middle-last format?

In countries where English is common, people typically have names in the format <given name> <middle name> <family name>. Is there a general term for this structure of name, as ...
3
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1answer
153 views

The Black Country in UK

I have encountered the name The Black Country in old books. From Wikipedia: The Black Country is a loosely defined area of the English West Midlands conurbation, to the north and west of ...
3
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1answer
472 views

Sa'ad : Correct spelling in English and French [closed]

We are considering naming our child the Arabic name Sa'ad (سعد). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saad The Arabic spelling has an ع which I am not sure how to spell. I have seen it spelled as Saad which ...
3
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1answer
95 views

Why is there an 'a' at the end of “Crimea”?

With the recent events in Crimea and the Ukraine the name of the peninsula appears a lot in both written and spoken, the a at the end is very conspicuous in the English pronunciation and writing, ...