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

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4
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4answers
4k views

Is it okay to ignore putting periods between initials?

My name is Venkatesh MG. M stands for the name of my birth place, which begins with M, and G is an initial derived from my father's name. Since school, I have been using only these two variations of ...
10
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2answers
1k 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 ...
0
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1answer
168 views

What is this “folder-looking thingy” (image attached) called?

I knew it but I can't remember what it's called! I looked for "file/document folder/container/pocket/sleeve" .etc on Google image but couldn't find any image that looks exactly like what I have here. ...
-3
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1answer
75 views

Do company names have to be grammatically correct? ? [closed]

For eg. can I keep my company name meetmaven instead of meetthemaven?
3
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1answer
185 views

What does one call this kind of Japanese toilet in English?

This was a warning notice placed near a Japanese toilet, containing one of those inimitable Japanese Engrish expressions. But as these toilets start to become popular in western countries, what is ...
23
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4answers
5k views

What do you call this mechanical device?

This device usually consists of sequences of different objects, one triggering the action of the next. For example, several domino tiles placed upright. The first one falls and that makes all the ...
0
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1answer
253 views

If you called someone named “Shelly” “Shels” for short, would you spell it “Shels” or “Shells?” [closed]

Or Kelly -- "Kels" or "Kells?" Is there a rule for this? If it's just a judgement call, I'm inclined to go with one "l" as both "Shells" and "Kells" have potentially confusing homonyms. I'm talking ...
0
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1answer
67 views

Become / get, successfully / effectually, together / common / united [closed]

Currently I'm looking for a product name. The goal of this product is that everyone can get successful with the power of a network (together, united) But I don't know which combination makes sense: ...
2
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3answers
375 views

What is the name for a torture device that uses electricity to make the victim suffer?

What is the name for a torture device that uses electricity to make the victim suffer? Not as powerful as an electric chair that kills the victim outright but something which makes him suffer for a ...
9
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4answers
930 views

What will the third parent be called? [closed]

Legislation seems likely to pass, enabling Britain to be the first country to offer 'three-parent births' (two mothers and one father) to overcome genetic defects associated by faults in mitochondria. ...
0
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3answers
180 views

Is there a word for a name that has multiple words that means more than the words imply?

This is a bit hard to explain, so let's try an example. There is something called "rock art", which means human-made markings placed on natural stone. Those two words when put together have a ...
7
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4answers
3k views

When to put “River” before or after its name and why?

Unlike mountain names, where "Mount" always precedes its name, e.g. Mount Everest, I've noticed that some rivers have "River" before its name, e.g. the River Nile but others have it after, e.g. the ...
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2answers
1k views

Sugarcane or Sugar cane? [duplicate]

Is there a difference between "sugar cane" and sugarcane? Is sugarcane wrong? What is the gramatical rule for joining two names like that? I have found 13.500 entries on google for sugarcane, but ...
7
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2answers
3k views

Why is Greece not called in English by the name Hellas? [duplicate]

The Greeks call their country Hellas and themselves Hellenes. The names Greece and Greek are of Roman origin and were adopted from Latin Graecus into old High German as Crêch and then in all ...
2
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0answers
62 views

going home and going to work [duplicate]

The other day I've learned that you cannot use "to" in the sentence "I am going (to) home". At the same time, you should use "to" with other place names. For example, I am going to work. Could ...
1
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2answers
3k views

How to correctly abbreviate name [closed]

Please advice on how to correctly abbreviate name. Which are grammatically correct? (if there are more correct forms please kindly add them as well) NOTE, If there is no correct way, please point ...
1
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0answers
53 views

Why are surnames often misspellings of English words? [duplicate]

Why do English surnames so often seem to be derived from slight misspellings of common English words? Weekes Thorne Browne Lilley Keene Paige Lowe Hooke Hawthorne Sargent Whyte Chappell Horne ad ...
0
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1answer
216 views

How to pronounce Alois in A Dog of Flanders? [closed]

The e-book I have downloaded from Amazon has Alois, but Wikipedia seems to have Aloise. I do not know which one is correct in the first place. I shall assume Alois is the correct one. A Dog of ...
1
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2answers
108 views

Which article is used between a “name” and a “tagline” [closed]

Suppose, I am selling a new product named as: "Innob" and there is a tagline followed by it: "___, new breath in (the) town". Which article shall I use between the name and the tagline ("the" vs ...
2
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the meaning of P.S. in a name?

I have a project to parse names and there's a thing called title (mr. dr.), suffix (esq. ph.d.) and generation (ii, iii, jr.), but I don't have the faintest idea what "p.s." is. It's in the following ...
0
votes
1answer
6k views

First name or last name with “Sir”

If my teacher's first name is Robert and his last name is Dowry, and I have to send him an email, then which of the following will be correct? Dear Sir Dowry, Dear Sir Robert, Dear Sir ...
3
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3answers
4k views

How does one address a blended family in which the members have different surnames?

I am confused about how to address a family in which all the members have kept their original surname. What is the proper way to address such a family in a note to a family which consists of a single ...
69
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3answers
18k views

Is there a single term for “nieces and nephews”?

I find it handy when talking about my sons and daughters I can just say my children. It's nice to say nieces instead of sibling's daughters. I wonder if there is a similar term for nieces and nephews ...
0
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1answer
117 views

How to hyphenate names starting with “Mc”

Take a name starting with Mc, like McDonald. How do you hyphenate it? McDon-ald or Mc-Don-ald?
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1answer
377 views

Tolerance in English for names with vulgar everyday meaning? [closed]

Why does English (and perhaps other languages) allow collisions between names and nouns with vulgar/offensive meanings? I'm thinking of course of Dick vs. dick. Possible explanations (in no ...
67
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2answers
27k views

Why is Sean pronounced Shawn?

I've always had this question about the pronunciation of Sean. Is Sean a word from another language? Is it actually not pronounced Shawn and instead it's some sound between Shawn and Seen? Also, why ...
6
votes
6answers
255 views

Is Father Christmas unwelcome in the United States?

Is the name Father Christmas used in the US or is it mainly Santa Claus (and Santa)? Does Father Christmas sound unusual or out of place if it was used in the US? Would it be laughed at? As an ...
4
votes
2answers
14k 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 ...
2
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2answers
201 views

Is the title of a US President permanent? [duplicate]

Ultimately I'm wondering whether the descriptive in "former President [Name]" is superfluous or necessary in everyday usage, such as when talking to an audience who knows who the current president is. ...
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1answer
2k views

Balthazar, 'Caspar' and Melchior [closed]

The names traditionally given to the three Wise Men are Balthazar, Caspar and Melchior. But a friend of mine told me that in Australian English Caspar is not used. They use, instead, Gasper. Can ...
4
votes
3answers
519 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? ...
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4answers
315 views

Special name for royal titles?

Is there a name for the title/nickname that some members of royalty get? For example, "King Larry the Kind".
7
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3answers
557 views

What word describes languages that are written left-to-right, top-to-bottom?

I am trying to describe the set of languages that, like English, are written left to right, and was trying "romanized", but "romanized" describes transliteration to a different set of characters, such ...
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votes
1answer
38 views

Does “playhill” make sense as an english word? [closed]

I'd like to use the word "playhill" for a gaming website address like playhill.net - does this word combination work in native english? Or does it sound very odd?
17
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2answers
2k views

Family name pluralization

When pluralizing family (last) names that also happen to be common English words, does the pluralization follow the same rules as the common word? For example, "the Smith family" can be pluralized as ...
6
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7answers
7k views

Is using the last name of a person without a title an accepted way of addressing?

I always heard people use Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms before people's names and that is how, I thought, it was done until I watched one of those Harry Potter films in which Malfoy (Sr) addresses Albus Dumbledore ...
6
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3answers
3k views

How to pronounce Louis Armstrong

I think the standard Irish/British pronunciation is as in Louis the king. But musicians seem to say "Lewis". I've heard people say Joe Louis as in the king as well. Is this wrong?
2
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2answers
1k views

Why do people keep mispronouncing my name, Divine?

My name is Divine--like the English word, "divine". There are no tildes, no accent marks, no umlauts, or funky letters like æ...nothing shady going on here. Yet every time someone reads my name, i ...
1
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3answers
7k views

Is there any convention for pronouncing proper nouns?

Is there any convention as to how proper nouns with origins outside English should be pronounced? I have heard claims to the effect that "a proper noun can be pronounced however you wish"; is that ...
16
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4answers
3k 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?
3
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2answers
1k views

Why there is an “h” in proper names like Afghanistan, Baghdad and Lamborghini?

An "h" may be used to prevent the "g" from being soft, as in spaghetti, but there is no need for an "h" in the mentioned proper names.
1
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1answer
2k views

Using a name as a contraction with “is”, syntax looks possessive?

"Bob is fat" Would it be proper to do "Bob's fat"? To me, this looks possessive, as if we're talking about his fat rather than using "fat" as an adjective. What's the proper way to do this?
1
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2answers
536 views

In what order should you say people's names?

I know that when you include someone, you say their name first. For example: "John and I went to the beach" How do you order the names when there are more than one additional people? For example: ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

“Knows an awful lot about the Dark Arts, Snape”

He teaches Potions, but he doesn't want to—everyone knows he's after Quirrell's job. Knows an awful lot about the Dark Arts, Snape. From time to time I stumble upon this type of speech with ...
8
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3answers
4k views

What does “long” mean before a name?

What does long mean before a name? Like Long John Silver in Treasure Island or Long Susan in Ripper Street.
0
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1answer
240 views

Are roller coasters proper names?

I want to write a sentence like this: I look up at the new roller coaster they built called Superman. Superman is the name of the roller coaster. Do I need to do anything special with the name? for ...
0
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2answers
498 views

Why does a company's name spelled like a name, even if it's spelled differently in its logo? [closed]

There are companies which spell their name in their logo in a non standard way, specifically in all caps or all lower case. Some examples are: Intel Acer Yahoo! Yet, when their names are ...
3
votes
4answers
303 views

How to pronounce the family name “Penhallow”

How to pronounce the family name Penhallow? I'm translating the story "A Tangled Web" by L. M. Montgomery into Russian.
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2answers
1k views

How do I pronounce the name “Aurelius”?

I was reading a book out-loud and came across this name. At the time, I pronounced it Aurelius: ur-ell-ee-us The more I think about it, the more I'm sure it is not correct. The word Aura would ...
6
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3answers
8k 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 ...