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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

6
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
19
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
3k 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
254 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

How do I pronounce Gaudí, the architect?

How do I pronounce 'Gaudi', in the name of Antoni Gaudí (the architect)?
2
votes
3answers
452 views
0
votes
2answers
594 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
3answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
257 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
296 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
1k 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
251 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
132 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
188 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
38 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
96 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
3k 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?
6
votes
2answers
5k 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
106 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
171 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
438 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
961 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
679 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
695 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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
580 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
845 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
552 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" ...
6
votes
1answer
196 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
12k 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
votes
1answer
143 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
317 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?
6
votes
4answers
3k 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
341 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
417 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
3k views
2
votes
1answer
2k 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
625 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
220 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
10k 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
553 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
626 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
19k 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
336 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