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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

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
134 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
314 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
1k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
306 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?
3
votes
7answers
369 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.
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Where did the name “English” come from?

How is the name for one's own language created?
1
vote
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
557 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
211 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
8k 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" ...
3
votes
1answer
539 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
549 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
votes
4answers
16k 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
votes
4answers
2k 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
votes
1answer
287 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
5
votes
3answers
3k 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
3answers
7k views

How to pronounce New Orleans

I presume this must be an exception to "pronounce it like the locals", since what I hear is something like 'Norlin'. Or is this just the movies? Is it a mistake to attempt to pronounce it like a ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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?
1
vote
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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
160 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
502 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
637 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
735 views

Do all syllables belong to open syllable or closed syllable?

Is there any other category for a syllable which is neither an open nor closed syllable?
2
votes
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 ...
23
votes
3answers
824 views

Is there a word for refusing to call things by their name out of fear?

Some examples: "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" or "You-Know-Who" for Voldemort of Harry Potter fame Him in the Powerpuff Girls Any of the various monikers for Yahweh possibly "She Who Must Be Obeyed" for ...
1
vote
0answers
115 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
15
votes
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?
5
votes
2answers
830 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]?
17
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
8k views

What is the meaning of “Dick” when it is a person's name?

Some people are named "Dick". What does "Dick" mean when it is a name?
2
votes
3answers
323 views

Why are names abbreviated in translations? [closed]

Often when reading English translations I will encounter names of places or people that have been abbreviated. An example is in Catherine Hutter's translation of Goethe's "The Sorrows of Young ...
-2
votes
3answers
395 views

Pronunciation of the name “Kyrylo”

Can someone provide a transcription for the name "Kyrylo" - how it will actually sound?
3
votes
3answers
272 views

Why was the 'hoodie' given the name 'hoodie'?

There were plenty of pieces of upper-body garments/clothing, which had a hood, before the 'hoodie'. Was it simply that no one had thought of the name up until then? Or was there something ...
1
vote
2answers
8k views

When to call first name or last name? [closed]

For example, a man's name is Jeff Smith. My question is: When should I call him "Jeff"? When should I call him "Smith"? When should I call him "Jeff Smith"? in western.
2
votes
2answers
291 views

Use of 'The' in names containing 'Of'

Names, often, are related to places or regions like Mahmud of Ghazni Christopher of Bavaria My questions are: Are such names always related to people from political backgrounds (Kings, ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the meaning of the symbol ‡?

I am trying to get the meaning of the symbol ‡. I saw it a couple of times: as a tattoo in a little boy finger, and on Wikipedia. How is this symbol called in English?
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Does the “@” symbol have a name? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to pronounce @ symbol? In Spanish, @ is called arroba. I saw this question, and it says it's called "commercial at" according to Wikipedia. A lot of languages have ...
7
votes
2answers
392 views

Why is the Dostoyevsky novel “The Brothers Karamazov” not translated “The Karamazov Brothers”?

In most cases I would say that the family name should come first, as in "the Ringling Brothers circus" or "the Bronte sisters", but then there is the Dostoyevsky novel "The Brothers Karamazov". Why ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

What is another name for Dick?

Coming from "Changes in English names of people" telling: Richard → Dick Can I substitute Dick by Richard? I need it to know because my Emails with the use of name Dick are being returned by ...
2
votes
2answers
862 views

A collective noun when referring to a group of people with the same name?

How can I refer collectively to a group of people with the same name, for example: Having so many Johns around is confusing. or Having so many John's around is confusing. Which one is the ...
2
votes
4answers
676 views

What's the recommended way to refer to the September 11 attacks in formal writing?

September 11 attacks, September eleven attacks, September eleventh, Nine-eleven? None of the above? What's recommended for formal writing?