Do noun and name carry a different meaning?
If there are any differences, are those differences specific to a context?

  • Why the downvote? This seems a perfectly valid question to me, especially for non-native speakers: in most languages that I know, the same word is used for both "name" and "noun" (e.g. French "nom", Arabic "اسم‎" ("ism")), and so it can be very confusing for speakers of those languages to have to choose between the alternatives.
    – psmears
    Feb 5, 2011 at 19:57
  • 1
    @psmears: In Italian, noun and name are translated both with nome. It is funny (for me at least) that noun has origin from the Latin nomen (name), and name derives from an Old English word that shares its root wit the Latin nomen.
    – apaderno
    Feb 6, 2011 at 4:29

2 Answers 2


I think noun is a more general concept. All the names are nouns! On the contrary, not all the nouns are names! Also, we usually talk about nouns in grammatical context.

According to Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

Noun: a word or group of words that represent a person (such as ‘Michael’, ‘teacher’, or ‘police officer’), a place (such as ‘France’ or ‘school’), a thing or activity (such as ‘coffee’ or ‘football’), or a quality or idea (such as ‘danger’ or ‘happiness’). Nouns can be used as the subject or object of a verb (as in ‘The teacher arrived’ or ‘We like the teacher’) or as the object of a preposition (as in ‘good at football’).

Name: What someone or something is called such as 'Mandy'.

Proper noun: a noun such as ‘James’, ‘New York’, or ‘China’ that is the name of one particular thing and is written with a capital letter. It's also called proper name (especially British English).

Common Noun: in grammar, a common noun is any noun that is not the name of a particular person, place, or thing. For example, ‘book', ’sugar', and ‘stuff’ are common nouns.


A noun (also common noun) is used to identify a group of people, places or things. A proper noun is used to name a particular one of these. Name is another word for proper noun, theoretically.

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