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

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2
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4answers
337 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
votes
3answers
593 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 ...
-2
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?
7
votes
7answers
8k 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
votes
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
votes
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
vote
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
votes
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
votes
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
vote
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
vote
2answers
609 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
72 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 comma +...
8
votes
3answers
5k 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
votes
1answer
269 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
votes
2answers
553 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
308 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.
6
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
267 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
110 views

Why are web browsers browsers, but I am a surfer?

What is the origin of the name of a program being used to access the Internet is a browser, but a human looking around on the internet is surfing? Why is there this discrepancy?
3
votes
1answer
405 views

What is the meaning of the name “Wilber” in English? [closed]

I'm thinking of picking Wilber as my English given name recently, since it has similar pronunciation with my Chinese given name. But I'm not sure about the meaning of Wilber in English, especially ...
14
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
156 views

Using “called” with status and name

Let's say I have a sentence like this: I have participated in an event where I had to present myself to a European Commissioner called Jacques Santer. Is it correct to use "called" in this sentence ...
3
votes
5answers
3k views

What do we call a person who doesn't like to stay at home? [closed]

What do we call a person who doesn't like to stay at home? That loves outdoor activities and most of his hobbies are outside?
4
votes
3answers
643 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
335 views

Using English naming customs for foreign names

In the English-speaking world, many Russians are known primarily by their first and last name: Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy. However, from what I've read, the usual practice in Russian is to ...
0
votes
2answers
105 views

How to split a multiple word phrase and another word/phrase [closed]

I work in a global company that with many Japanese people has a general rule to add "san" to the names of people. With so many names from different countries and different order rules it is hard to ...
11
votes
3answers
948 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
471 views

Would a restaurant name of “Punjab House” be offensive? [closed]

We are looking for a good name for an Indian restaurant that specializes in Punjabi food. We have heard that naming the restaurant "Punjab House" would be offensive. What specifically makes it ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

Usage of “Revised Document”

I offer two Word templates and recommend to use one of them in order to get a well-designed document. Using the expression revised document is correct in this case? For example: It is ...
0
votes
1answer
257 views

How to write down this name? [closed]

Is there an english name or English translation that matches the following voice recording? https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/62131673/audio/endesuelax2.wav The name might be Russian or Ukrainian.
2
votes
1answer
107 views

why was there a surge in the name 'Tiffany' in the late 1980s?

Last night Tiffany Porter won a gold medal for Britain in the European Athletics Championships (Womens 100m hurdles). It came as no surprise to discover that she began life as an American. Apart from ...
2
votes
1answer
604 views

Why are names considered proper nouns?

Names are supposed to be proper nouns because they refer to a unique entity, right? But what about when the condition of specificity is not applicable? Take the word "Albert". It's supposed to be a ...
2
votes
1answer
170 views

What do you call “How do you do” type questions? [closed]

Does English have a name for questions with counterintuitive answers? For example: "How do you do?" -> not "I am fine."
8
votes
6answers
9k 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.
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Surely *some* wordsmiths must love America[ns]?

People who like/admire English or French (the languages and/or the people and their culture) are easily identified as Anglophiles or Francophiles. I'm not sure there are so many Germanophiles, but ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Middle initial placement

First question: My name is Anh D. Pham, but I go by “Andy”. If I want to include my nickname, where should I put the nickname portion? Anh D. “Andy” Pham Anh “Andy” D. Pham Second ...
-1
votes
1answer
290 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 "...
3
votes
1answer
359 views

Why do many names use “y” in place of expected “i”?

I would expect names like Taylor, Poynting have "i" in place of actual "y", because they sound very similar to words "tailor" and "pointing". There's also Feynman, which some (not really credible ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Buckley's Chance

In Australian parlance we have the expression "He's got Buckley's chance" or "You've got two chances - Yours and Buckley's". Meaning - he o you have no chance at all. Who was Buckley?
1
vote
2answers
353 views

Any rule about superheroes and hyphens in their names? [closed]

You really know this fact that Spider-man is hyphenated. But why? Any grammatical rule? Is he unique hero written with a hyphen, unlike Batman, Superman etc.?
-2
votes
1answer
386 views

Signature for Doctor of Information Technology prefix and suffix [closed]

How can I sign my name with the degree of "Doctor of Information Technology" Is this all correct Dr.Full Name Full Name D.I.T Dr Full Name (Doctor of Information Technology) Dr.Last Name Can I ...
2
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
350 views

What is a succinct positive name for a busybody ( non impacted stakeholder )?

I am looking for a word that does not have a negative connotation and is a succinct general term for a: non user, but vocal, stakeholder. Arbitrary example: Say a new road was going to be built ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

Single vs double quotation marks for nickname?

I am trying to conform to the British practice (specifically Oxford Style Guide) and I am a little confused which to use to mark a nickname: Andrew 'Andy' Johnson Andrew "Andy" Johnson I know ...
3
votes
2answers
999 views

Do any UK place names have non-ASCII characters? [closed]

Are there any place names in the UK that have non-ASCII characters? I’m looking for any cities, towns, villages, etc. in the UK that use characters that aren’t in the basic ASCII range (code points 0—...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

Swashes: What are they? [closed]

I always thought swashes were a way to call wet wipes/wet tissues/wet towels/moist towelettes -or- whatever you call them. Recently, though, I realized that Swashes is actually a company that makes ...
5
votes
7answers
2k 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
votes
2answers
11k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

Is there an English word for a person who shares your name? [duplicate]

In Sweden, if your name is Sven Andersson and there is a person of interest (for any reason) that has the same name as you, there is a slightly affectionate word you can use where you say that this ...