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

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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 ...
6
votes
2answers
255 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
109 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
365 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 ...
13
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
140 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
636 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
322 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
97 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
945 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
440 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
234 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
100 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
540 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
163 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
288 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
325 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
8k views

What is the term for a person with same first and last name?

What is it called when a person has the exact same first and last name (and same spelling), whether named by parents or as a result of marriage? For example, Thomas Thomas.
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
319 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
363 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
340 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
6answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
935 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
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
4k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

How to call the scientists who work in the natural sciences?

How to call the scientists who work in the natural, technical, biological and other sciences? Can I call them natural scientists, technical scientists and so on?
4
votes
1answer
187 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, ...
2
votes
2answers
386 views

What is the 'last_name, first_name' format called?

Is there a name for the format of listing names by 'Last name, first name'? For example, how names were listed in phone books when those existed. Ex: this list of names is sorted (blank style): ...
1
vote
2answers
479 views

Pseudonym of a graffiti artist

What do you call a pseudonym of a street art/graffiti artist? Word 'pseudonym' is too general. So I need exactly something like '[street] artist pseudonym', but also not 'tag' or 'nickname'. To the ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

“The Hypercube algorithm is so …” or “Hypercube algorithm is so…”? [duplicate]

I have an algorithm inspired by mathematical concept called hypercube. I use Hypercube algorithm as a name. Now when I write about it, do I need "the" article in front of the name "Hypercube ...
4
votes
3answers
13k views

Why are names that begin with 'Mc' first in order over names that begin with 'Ma'?

Why are names that begin with 'Mc' first in order over names that begin with 'Ma'? For example, in references sections in books, we see that "McGann, Anthony" is first and "Maddox, Graham" is second. ...
2
votes
1answer
491 views

Writing quotes of a business name with star as hyphen

I have a business with a name e.g. "my business". Wherever you see the company name it's always written as my★business - the company logo is similar and anywhere we write the name on the ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there an accepted rule for naming all of our various distant relatives (Kinship Terms)?

I’m going to the christening of my Cousin’s first son soon. What is the proper name for his relation to me? 2nd Nephew? Nephew once removed? Nothing? Looking at the overall picture, whats the ...
9
votes
1answer
458 views

How to cite an author who spells his name inconsistently

I am writing a paper where I will cite several works by the Hungarian mathematician Gábor Szegő. Note that his surname includes the letter o with a double acute accent, NOT a letter o with umlaut ö. ...
8
votes
1answer
963 views

Why do English men's names almost always stress the first syllable?

While looking at names of American Presidents I noticed that English men’s names almost always stress the first syllable. Barack Obama is unusual in that he’s only the second President (after ...
2
votes
2answers
648 views

Where does the anglicisation “Ottoman” come from?

Wikipedia on Ottoman Empire gives its naming as coming from the Ottoman Turkish language, but on that very page, the name of the language is transliterated as Lisân-ı Osmânî. In Russian we call the ...
2
votes
1answer
471 views

Is there a word that describes a person whose given name and surname each contains but a single syllable?

Is there a word that describes a person whose given name and surname each contains but a single syllable? Some examples are: Mae West Bill Fold John Doe
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the correct romanization of the Russian name “Андрей” — “Andrey” or “Andrei”? [closed]

What is the most preferable: "Andrey" or "Andrei" for the Russian name "Андрей"? Wikipedia gives both variants.
0
votes
2answers
265 views

Can I use Partty (with double “t”) instead of Party? [closed]

I am looking for a domain name that ends with Party. However, those names I am looking are already taken. So if I use, lets say , www.WePartty.com (with double 't') instead of www.WeParty.com , would ...