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

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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 ...
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1answer
299 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 ...
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Why do people pronounce “Naomi” as “Niomi”?

The Wikipedia page for "Naomi (given name)" says "pronounced nay-oh-mee" which is how I pronounce my daughter's name, but quite often people pronounce it "nigh-oh-mee" (that is, with a long "i" ...
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229 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 ...
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584 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
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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?
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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.
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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 ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Is there a name for adjectives that are based around someone's name?

Some examples would include: Shakespearean Christian Mesmerized Pavlovian Newtonian Boolean Darwinian
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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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" ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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"?
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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“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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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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Where did the name “English” come from?

How is the name for one's own language created?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
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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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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 ...
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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]?
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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?
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2answers
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What is the meaning of “Dick” when it is a person's name? [duplicate]

Some people are named "Dick". What does "Dick" mean when it is a name?
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2answers
950 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?
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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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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
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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?
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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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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.
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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 ...
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2answers
386 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, ...
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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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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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When is it appropriate to refer to someone as Dr. [Surname]?

I know that the title Dr. is often used to refer to those who practice medicine. For example, today I am going to see Dr. [Surname]. But are we in general expected to use the title when we refer to ...
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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?