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

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4answers
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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
782 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
646 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
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 ...
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3answers
565 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
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 ...
5
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8answers
1k 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, ...
4
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2answers
5k 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
117 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
4k 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
315 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 ...
6
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3answers
504 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 ...
15
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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
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 ...
5
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2answers
846 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
309 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
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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
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2answers
751 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
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3answers
324 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 ...
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6answers
516 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" ...
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2answers
26k views

What is the name for this “…” punctuation? [closed]

When I am writing, and I want to leave something out, so that it gives an implied effect, I use this: ... What is it called?
23
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3answers
826 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 ...
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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.
3
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3answers
274 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 ...
2
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2answers
296 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, ...
0
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2answers
281 views

Term for partially abbreviating names

Is there a name for the tabloid media practice of part-initializing, part-abbreviating people's names? E.g. Jennifer Lopez -> J-Lo, Robert Pattinson -> R-Patz and so on.
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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 ...
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2answers
2k 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?
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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?
3
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6answers
8k views

What is a good phrase to name a periodic excellent employee award? [closed]

My company has annual work performance awards with typical names like "Excellent Employee/Team" (3~5 recipients) and "All-star Employee/Team" (1 recipient). We're looking to create a smaller award ...
7
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2answers
394 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 ...
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3answers
2k views

What is the meaning of P.S. in a name?

I have a project to parse names and there's a thing called title (mr. dr.), suffix (esq. ph.d.) and generation (ii, iii, jr.), but I don't have the faintest idea what p.s. is. It's in the following ...
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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?
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3answers
404 views

Pronunciation of the name “Kyrylo”

Can someone provide a transcription for the name "Kyrylo" - how it will actually sound?
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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
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3answers
18k views

Why do many forms ask for initials instead of full names?

I have seen a lot of forms that ask for the name (first name, middle name, last name) and then initials. Why does anyone want to ask for initials? Isn't initials the first letters of the name? For ...
2
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2answers
892 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
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4answers
729 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?
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8answers
10k views

Why are people from Sunderland called “mackems”?

In the north-east of England, if nowhere else, people from Sunderland are called "mackems". Does anyone know why this should be? Wikipedia suggests a number of possibilities. Are any of these correct? ...
5
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3answers
805 views

Objects with no name, like “the Sun”

This morning I was pondering the things in the English language which have not been given a name, such as 'the Sun' or 'the Moon'. These do not seem to fall into the same category as 'the ground' or ...
2
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3answers
824 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 ...
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3answers
12k views

Should there be a space between name initials?

In writing authors' initials in research papers (either in the author by-line or the bibliography), should there be a space between intials? R.P. Feynman R. P. Feynman What's the preferred way ...
3
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2answers
113 views

plural of 'Davidovici'

I know someone named Davidovici, pronounced /dəˈvɪɾəvɪtʃ/ (i.e., rhyming with witch. It's from Romanian). How is it pluralized (as, to refer to the family): Davidovicis or Davidovicies?
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2answers
2k views

Do these river names mean anything?

I was planning a little trip the other day when I noticed that a number of rivers in Britain have common names. The ones I spotted were Avon, Ouse and Esk. Is there a reason for this? Are these names ...
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4answers
3k views

Different pronunciation between Thomas and Theodore

Disclaimer: I'm no native speaker. Thomas gets pronounced with a starting "T" (the "h" is silent), while Theodore with a "Th". What rule is followed here?
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3answers
490 views

Why one place on stack exchange is called “area51”?

Why this place on stack exchange is called "area51"? Is it a special idiom in English for some places where things are being developed? Does 51 have some special meaning besides being just a number? ...
0
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1answer
121 views

J.A. Gagarin's flight vs J.A. Gagarin flight

1) Is it Ok to leave the initials or would you drop them? Writing his name in full seems odd since it isn't Gagarin who is the point of discussion. 2) Is it Gagarin's or Gagarin? Is there any ...
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4answers
16k views

Changes in English names of people

Why is Robert called Bob and John called Jack sometimes? What is the history of or reason for this practice in changing the English names of people?