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

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4answers
1k views

Meaning of “cookbook” in title of instructional book

I see many instructional books where the title of the book includes cookbook! What is the meaning of cookbook in this situation? Example: Python Testing Cookbook.
2
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3answers
2k 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
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3answers
1k 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 ...
6
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1answer
171 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
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2answers
8k 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 ...
-1
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1answer
129 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 ...
11
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3answers
871 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?
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 ...
10
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3answers
3k views

Why is Ukraine often called “the Ukraine”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using the definite article before a country/state name Hearing the Ukraine used to make me unsure whether Ukraine was really a country. Now though I have realized ...
7
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4answers
1k 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
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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 ...
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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1answer
950 views

Why is Tesco often pronounced Tesco's? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Store names & possessive “Ear doctor's” vs “Ear doctor” I have often heard members of the British public pronounce the name of the ...
5
votes
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 ...
7
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3answers
9k views

Why do people pronounce “Naomi” as “Niomi”?

The Wikipedia page for "Naomi (given name)" says "pronounced nay-oh-mee" which is how I pronounce my daughter's name, but quite often people pronounce it "nigh-oh-mee" (that is, with a long "i" ...
1
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3answers
203 views

Should my child's name contain “Inn”? [closed]

I have a simple but important question about naming my first child. I named her, as Jae-in Kim. (pronunciation is , of course, same as Jane in English name) but it is so common that hundreds, maybe ...
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 ...
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3answers
494 views

Usage of the definite articles with personal names

Could you tell me if the following sentence is correct or not? It seems to me that it is not correct because as I know, definite articles are never used with personal names. The only thing that I ...
4
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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?
6
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5answers
2k views

keeping maiden name after marriage

If a woman keeps her maiden name what is the proper way to address her? Mrs, Ms, or Miss? I have seen it done multiple ways, but am unsure what is the proper way.
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7answers
1k 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 ...
5
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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 ...
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 ...
6
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1answer
262 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
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1answer
625 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

How to pronounce English names quickly and correctly [closed]

How can you pronounce a name quickly and correctly? They may or may not conform to regular patterns. Currently I'm using "online website" to do the speaking each time. Are there any shortcuts that I ...
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6answers
6k views

How should I greet two people sharing the same first name in an email?

I'm sending an email to two persons with the same first name (Steve) Greeting them by saying "Hi Steve, Steve" seems totally awkward. Is there a good way of writing this, apart from the obvious "Hi" ...
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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 ...
16
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1answer
285 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 ...
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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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 ...
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4answers
1k views

Pluralization of names

If I were to use the sentence "There are lots of John Smiths" in the world, would that be the correct use for saying that there are a lot of people named John Smith in the world? I don't think there ...
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"?
11
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1answer
562 views

If we say “Socrates”, “Hippocrates”, etc, why don't we say “Aristoteles”? Why “Aristotle”?

If Σωκράτης is transliterated as "Socrates", and Ἱπποκράτης is transliterated as "Hippocrates", and other Greek names ending with -ης are transliterated as ending with "-es", why isn't Ἀριστοτέλης ...
11
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1answer
963 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 ...
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3answers
514 views

How much can we trust text-to-speech pronunciation of names? [closed]

Text-to-speech software are applications which try to generate a sound based on a textual input by following linguistic rules of a language (mainly phonetics and phonology). They make a sound for ...
2
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0answers
261 views

Why and since when does William = Bill and Richard = Dick? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Changes in English names of people For example Bill Gates and Bill Clinton are actually Williams. I guess if you first make it short for Will then you can go from there ...
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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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, ...
3
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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 ...
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0answers
105 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 ...
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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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3answers
2k views

Where did the name “English” come from?

How is the name for one's own language created?
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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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 ...
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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?
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4answers
1k views

If Christopher is a “carrier of Christ” then what is Jennifer carrying?

I was told in a Latin class that the name Christopher has Greek roots that mean "one who carries Christ". I assume that the Latin connection here is fero, which is the verb to carry. With that in ...
5
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2answers
743 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]?
2
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1answer
273 views

Boundaries for a person's name - danah boyd

How could the name danah boyd come to pass? Why isn't it Danah Boyd? Would it be inappropriate or incorrect to refer to this person as Danah Boyd?