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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
8answers
1k 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, ...
0
votes
2answers
279 views

Term for partially abbreviating names

Is there a name for the tabloid media practice of part-initializing, part-abbreviating people's names? E.g. Jennifer Lopez -> J-Lo, Robert Pattinson -> R-Patz and so on.
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
2answers
177 views

Reversing name order [closed]

My current task is to create a (programming) algorithm which reverts a name's order. This since my country's formal name-listing order is different from international ones. The standard is often: ...
4
votes
3answers
398 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? ...
1
vote
2answers
237 views

“Al” as a reduction of “Alexander” [closed]

Can I use Al as a reduction of the name Alexander? Is this reduction clear to native English speakers?
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 ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do so many newspapers use the word “Times” in their names?

It seems that the word itself doesn't mean news or newspapers, but many newspapers use it in their names. Is there a historic reason?
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What is the possessive form of a singular noun ending with a plural s?

I would tend to treat a company name as singular and would therefore write the possessive form with 's. Now, my company refers to its international operations by placing the country name behind the ...
3
votes
1answer
208 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
624 views

What is the plural form of trademarked product names, specifically of the term “WordPress”?

On the stackexchange site WordPress Answers, we recently discussed the plural form, or whether one exists at all, of the system we all use. WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

How do I pronounce Gaudí, the architect?

How do I pronounce 'Gaudi', in the name of Antoni Gaudí (the architect)?
2
votes
3answers
354 views
0
votes
2answers
456 views

First name Constantin or Constantine? [closed]

Which is correct: "Constantin" or "Constantine"? I also encountered in texts "Konstantin" and "Kostantine". Or else is another spelling preferred?
2
votes
2answers
577 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.
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Possessive Form of a Proper Noun Ending in a Plural Noun Ending in “s”?

I don't think this has yet been covered in any of the other questions on similar topics. There was one other very similar question, however, it was not specifically talking about the case where the ...
4
votes
2answers
348 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
245 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
292 views

I was raised being called “sister” by my family. What's the background on this usage?

I was called "sister", as a replacement for my name. (Oddly, my brother was not called "brother.") I never questioned this growing up in the 50's in a rural area. It says much about the culture I grew ...
0
votes
1answer
784 views

Is there a rule to what ending you use when you construct the nationality adjective? Or where did the various endings come from? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there any rules governing what we call people from different countries? In the English language, you have several endings used when you construct an adjective out of ...
7
votes
3answers
240 views

What could the word “thumbtick” mean?

I am trying to give a piece of software a name but for non-native English speakers it's sometimes hard to avoid awkward associations with names because you don't live with the language. Sometimes word ...
0
votes
2answers
130 views

Which sounds better: “What’s in ――” or “What’s on――”?

I’m making the title of a web page with classifieds, and I’d like to name it either “What’s in (town name)” or “What’s on (town name)”. Which one sounds better for a town classified web page? Right ...
4
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
178 views

Doctor Jekyll (Ph.D.), I presume

I am writing an analysis paper (not related to title), an need to introduce someone with a doctorate in English. Do I write "Doctor [name]" or do I use suffix?
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Foreign names: Transcription or literal spelling? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should foreign words (with foreign characters) be written in English text? Sometimes, you want to use the names of foreign people in English texts. This presents no ...
-5
votes
1answer
745 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

Express a phrase as compound [closed]

I need to express this phrase as a short compound to be used as programming variable name (this phrase is in the context of a software user interface): the block showing current chatters I have ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is there a “riding” in “Little Red Riding Hood”?

I get the little, the red and the hood... but how does the riding fit in there?
4
votes
2answers
4k 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, ...
-2
votes
1answer
91 views

Use of “of ” to separate the last name [closed]

Sometimes I enconter people with names in which the last part is separated with of. I wonder in which cases such usage like George of Bush, John of Doe, or Bill of Clinton is possible.
3
votes
1answer
163 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
389 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
805 views

What is the number written at the end of some names?

As far as I can tell there is [Title/Suffix] [First Name] [Last Name/Surname] [Number]. I am confused on two things really: What do you call the last part of someone's name like "III" for 'the ...
3
votes
2answers
851 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
votes
1answer
547 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
545 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
868 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
votes
1answer
483 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
741 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"?
8
votes
6answers
490 views

Catchall term for “Junior”, “Senior”, “the late”, “widow”, and the like?

I'm analyzing a bunch of late 16th century Hungarian names, and I need a word for those extra bits that sometimes get appended to names, like junior, senior, the late and the like. My "working title" ...
1
vote
3answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
178 views

Club's entry - “chain”

What is the name of the "chain" that can be found near club's entry? e.g. http://www.vegasvipservices.com/nightclubs/bank/club-the-bank-entrance.jpg
1
vote
2answers
10k views

What is the rule for shortening people's names? (E.g. Michael → Mike) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Changes in English names of people How do we shorten names in general? For example, Almond → Al, Michael → Mike. I remember seeing a Wikipedia page on which frequently ...
14
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
132 views

Search for a new “name” [closed]

My last name in Chinese spelling is Fang, but I find that it has a bad meaning as an English word. I tried to change it to Feng, but since they are not quite distinguishable on the pronunciation, it ...
5
votes
2answers
309 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it true that yeast was once called “Godisgoode”?

In this article discussing beer, it is said that in medieval times yeast (possibly only brewer's yeast) was called godisgoode. Is that the case? (Searching on Google sheds very little light on the ...
11
votes
3answers
971 views

Term for adjectives attached after names

What is the term for adjectives attached after names? For example, there is terrible in Ivan the Terrible. Are these counted as post-positive adjectives?
4
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...