Tagged Questions

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

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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?
7
votes
6answers
4k 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.
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Why “Greater Toronto” rather than “Great Toronto”

Many big cities have their names preceded by Greater. Why not just Great? Does Greater indicate that the city is ambitious to expand itself? Why is Greater not used for country names such as Great ...
5
votes
7answers
1k 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
1answer
1k views

Confusion over “family name” in English: What about double-barrelled last names? [closed]

How do you fill out an official form in English that asks for just one last name when you instead have a surname which comprises more than one word? I currently live in a Latin country, where we ...
6
votes
1answer
326 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
9
votes
1answer
842 views

What is the origin of surnames based on color?

I understand the background of names such as Baker, Carver and Hammer but, what are the origins of names such as Black, Blue, Brown, Green and White? Are they based on some common structure or do they ...
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 ...
9
votes
6answers
9k 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" ...
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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
829 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"?
13
votes
1answer
734 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
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
610 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
votes
0answers
262 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
votes
3answers
4k 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
122 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
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Where did the name “English” come from?

How is the name for one's own language created?
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
526 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
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?
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
898 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
votes
1answer
335 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
1answer
9k 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
2answers
823 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
3answers
329 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
542 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" ...
4
votes
2answers
29k 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
votes
3answers
835 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
2answers
9k 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
votes
3answers
280 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
votes
2answers
317 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
votes
2answers
288 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.
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 ...
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?
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?
3
votes
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
votes
2answers
400 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
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?
-2
votes
3answers
429 views

Pronunciation of the name “Kyrylo”

Can someone provide a transcription for the name "Kyrylo" - how it will actually sound?
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 ...