Oftentimes when my last name is used in all caps on official documents, one of the letters is lowercased to denote that the following letter is capitalized. For example:

DeVos = DeVOS

What is the term for this? I've reviewed other questions regarding camel case and Pascal case, but I haven't been able to find an answer. Thank you very much for your help.

  • I think your assumption about the capitalisation is incorrect; the French form of the name would have been de Vos where only the V of Vos was capitalised, since that is the proper noun. Officials and computers find such things hard to deal with, so they capitalise the D as well, reasoning that that must be the first letter of the name. But your question remains a good one: MacDuff has always been one word, and some branches use a capital D though some a small one. Dec 13, 2012 at 19:42
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    Thanks for your comment. My last name exists with two capital letters. Granted, when my ancestors came to North America, their proper last name was preceded by "de", but they chose to alter the name to differentiate themselves. Dec 13, 2012 at 21:09
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    So what is the question here? The one in the title is completely different from the one in the body.
    – RegDwigнt
    Dec 13, 2012 at 21:25
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    Several names in that format morph in that way. We can find the permutations du Bois/Du Bois/DuBois/Dubois on the Wikipedia disambiguation page, much like with de Vos/De Vos/DeVos. I've always thought the second-letter-in-lower-case-in-an-otherwise ALL CAPS format was meant to indicate the third letter goes in upper case in the "normal" format, so (DeVOS ⇒ DeVos) but (DEVOS ⇒ Devos). Moreover, (DelGRECO ⇒ Del Greco) and (DELGRECO ⇒ Delgreco), but I'm no expert in the matter, and I couldn't find much guidance on that convention, much less a name for it.
    – J.R.
    Dec 13, 2012 at 21:46
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    Since we are on this subject, it may help to know that the prepositions inserted between first and last name are called tussenvoegsels in Dutch. I don't know if similar words exist in any other languages.
    – Sean Cline
    Dec 16, 2012 at 23:13

2 Answers 2


"Mixed case" might be precise enough.


For a brief history of all caps, see Wikipedia. Now: there is likely not a term for your case, as it is a very specific rule applying to a very limited application. I'd recommend creating a concise description, or even coming up with your own term. "Delineating lowercase" or "Delineated Caps" spring readily to mind.

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