Questions tagged [names]

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

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Is it proper to write a full first name followed by an initial of the last name? [closed]

For example, if my name was John Smith, can I write it as “John S.”? Also, if I want to start with the initial of the last name, how would I write it? Is it “S. John”? I’m asking because I’m having my ...
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2-letter abbreviation for the name Montgomery

Background: I'm implementing elliptic curve cryptography in a hobbyist project of mine. And two kinds of the curves I'm about implement are Edwards curve and Montgomery curve (this and this). For the ...
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46 votes
6 answers
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How should I spell Zelensky?

Recently, Volodymyr Zelensky (for this question, I will use the shorter version of his name), the president of Ukraine, has been in the news frequently due to the war in his country. However, news ...
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Author - Title vs Title - Author when referring to a work [closed]

Is there a convention on whether to place the title of a work or the author of a work first when referring to the work? I'm thinking mostly for titling notes/files on the work, or for categorizing ...
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2 Letter Initials and nobiliary particles — how to form? [duplicate]

Given names with nobiliary particles or other particles in a last name like Bobby von Ahnen Bobby d'Estaing Bobby de Zichy Bobby del Alcázar Bobby Le Pen How would you make a two letter set of ...
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What is the equivalent of a demonym, but for organizations?

For example, the demonym of 'Mexico' is 'Mexican'. What do you call the equivalent for people who are part of an organization? And do any rules apply in the formation of the name? E.g. Reddit -> ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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When do companies named "(The) X Company" take the definite article?

I work for a company called "x company" where x is a noun that represents our key product- something like book, computer or hamburger. I've been advised to refer to it as the "x company&...
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What is the etymology of the name of the River Cherwell in England? [closed]

The River Cherwell is the second largest tributary of the Thames after the River Kennet. What is the etymology of its name? I could not find any etymology after checking several websites.
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2 answers
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Current Usage of Fanny

We are thinking about giving our daughter the name Fanny. We are Germans, based in Germany but we're really curious about the current usage of this word in Great Britain. We are familiar with the ...
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3 answers
63 views

What does "Stan" in "PHPStan" refer to/mean?

I found this the other day and have started using it: https://phpstan.org/ It's nice. But it really annoys me that nowhere does it explain/mention what "Stan" refers to. It's not the name ...
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What do you call the enclosed outdoor area inside an apt?

It's an outside area about 1.5m square that can be entered from inside the apartment through a window-like entetance. It's filled with garbage from apartments in the higher floors. I want to say ...
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1 answer
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Correct transliteration of foreign Names with umlauts and other diacritics [duplicate]

I would like to know how names from other languages with umlauts and other diacritics are correctly written in English through transliteration and not translated. The last name Bühler is often written ...
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Where do you put a prefix and suffix when listing last names first? [duplicate]

I'm listing names last name first, but it is important to have all name parts included. Let's say I had a Dr. Leonard B. McCoy Jr.. Should I list him as McCoy, Dr. Leonard B. Jr.? I read another ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Why using -son instead of -daughter? [closed]

I am learning English and my teacher taught me a lesson where there was a person named Bill Robertson and his sister's name was Dyna Robertson. So why was her name Dyna Robertson when she is a ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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What is this naming convention called? [duplicate]

Many historical figures (of antiquity) have names of the form "X the Y". Some real, historical examples are: Wayland the Smith William the Conquerer Attila the Hun This concept has also ...
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1 answer
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How common are hypocorisms ending with "s" in female names? (Babs, Bess, Becks...)

My question can be split in two parts: Is this a pattern, how common is it, and how natural does it sound? Is it more specific to feminine names? Here are examples: Barbara - Babs [1] Elizabeth - ...
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0 votes
1 answer
116 views

For places like "St Louis", "Mt Pleasant", and "Ft Myers", what type of words are "St", "Mt", and "Ft"? [closed]

I've noticed, while working on code to handle addresses, that many parts of street names have common abbreviations, such as "St" for "Saint", "Mt" for "Mount" ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What is the correct linguistic term for names that are statements?

What is the linguistic term for names, that are actually statements? examples for this type of names are ancient egyptian names such as Neferkare, meaning Perfect is the Ka of Ra, or Indigeneous ...
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2 votes
1 answer
266 views

What's the meaning of "Ma" when a husband addresses his wife?

I know "Ma" is the shortened form of Mother. Yesterday I saw a classic movie named "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Ford in 1940. In the movie the father of the family calls his wife &...
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1 answer
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When a last name contains "Saint", is it ever spelled out, or is it always "St."?

When a last name contains "Saint", such as Richard St. Paul, how does "Saint" show up on this person's legal documents etc.? Is their legal name "Richard Saint Paul", &...
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-1 votes
2 answers
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As family name unambiguous defines surname versus last name what name should be used for social friendly name [closed]

In many parts of the world the sequence of first name and surname is not always the same and can cause misunderstanding what should be given. As family name unambiguous defines surname or last name ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Is there a word for using basic phonetics to teach someone your name's correct pronunciation?

For instance, if my name was Rehana then I'd tell them my name is pronounced like ray as in a ray of sunshine, hana as in Hannah. Is there an easier way to explain how I'm simplifying my name for ...
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0 votes
2 answers
71 views

When does it feel more natural to have articles in names?

In my observations, names usually don't have articles like the, a, an. For example: Stack Exchange (not The Stack Exchange); Facebook, (not The Facebook). However: There are cases when the name ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is there a specific title for wizards?

I'm writing a fantasy story and I have a wizard in it. His name's Brad, and I'm wondering how a magical figure like him should be addressed. Mr. Brad seems a little lackluster, and Sir Brad wouldn't ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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What are historical reasons why the US people put initial in between their first and last names? [closed]

As far as I know it is not mandatory form of the full name, but many Americans (I reckon it is true for other English speaking nations, but it is much more typical for people in the US) choose to ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Omis­si­bil­ity of the defi­n­ite ar­ti­cle “the” be­fore at­tribu­tive mod­i­fiers of per­sonal names in Amer­i­can English

Are both in­clu­sion and omis­sion of the defi­n­ite ar­ti­cle the be­fore per­sonal names that have at­tribu­tive mod­i­fiers (nom­i­nal or ad­jec­ti­val or both) con­sid­ered gram­mat­i­cal in Amer­i­...
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How do unisex names come about in English?

TL;DR How do unisex names develop amidst, or out of, gendered ones in English (and other languages)? Detail In English, many (most?) names have a gender assignment of male or female. However, some are ...
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102 views

Is it okay to write/enforce "Parent(s)" instead of "Parent" &/or "Parents", w/ the s in paren, to explicitly specify I do not say if 1 or 2 parents?

Options: A) Parent(s) / Parent[s] / Parent{s} B) Parents C) Parent I think the question title is my entire question, I do not mean to be rude just clear (just I am being pretty powerfully judged/...
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3 answers
138 views

What do you call someone who doesn't observe details?

My mom is so ... that I had to explain that I was being sarcastic.
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0 answers
21 views

Finding Meanings of English Names [duplicate]

In Sinhala the name Suminda means calm disposition from the words Samya (calm) + Indu (faculties). In the case of English, how does one understand the meaning of names? E.g. names like Ann, Tom, Dick, ...
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5 votes
1 answer
194 views

First use of "jack-o'-Lantern” in reference to the Carved-Pumpkin?

According to OED the etymology of "Jack'o'-Lantern" (as a name for the carved pumpkin) dates to 1834: Jack-o'-lantern: also jack-o-lantern, jack-a-lantern, jackolantern, 1660s, "night-...
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0 votes
1 answer
54 views

Is it OK to put last name before first name if the name comes from a culture with such a feature? [closed]

I have recently noticed that my first name goes after my last name in my Stack Exchange account. In my native language (Russian) it is OK to put them in any order. How shall I put my name in English (...
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0 votes
1 answer
72 views

Should we include the prefix Mrs. when we tell others our real name? [closed]

My question is so simple. We call a man with the prefix Mr. and a married woman with the prefix Mrs., followed by her husband's surname, right? Now, is it grammatically okay to include these prefixes ...
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0 answers
55 views

Grammatical names and function

What is the grammatical name and function of the italicised expression in the sentence She communicated gladly with a man who was going to see his son in Lagos and they exchanged numbers.
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322 views

What is the proper way to use commas when addressing two or more people by placing their names at the start of the sentence?

I frequently need to address multiple people in writing at work. This is usually done in a way that makes it convenient to at them all at once. E.g. @dale, @emily, please take a look at this and, if ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
130 views

What is the meaning of gim boy?

I received an e-mail from Spotify Customer Support a few months ago. They ended the email with the following: "Looking forward to hearing from you. Let us know if you have other questions or ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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What's a girl's name meaning mixed emotions?

Does anyone know a girl's name meaning mixed emotions? I want to use it for a character I'm writing about. I also want it to sound cutesy and wholesome (something that rolls off the tongue easily). ...
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-4 votes
3 answers
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Referring to professors as "Dr." in news articles and other formal wrtiting

In academia, "professor" is generally acknowledged as being a higher title than "doctor", as few PhD holders are professors, while basically all professors hold a PhD (RIP Freeman ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Is there a word for the commonly used given name of a person?

In Swedish we have the word tilltalsnamn (addressing name) which is one of the given names used when referring to a person. This name may or may not be the first among the given names. So a person ...
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2 votes
1 answer
5k views

How to indicate middle name is preferred name in professional email signature

In almost all situations, I prefer to be addressed by my legal middle name. However, in the email signature (what's automatically included at the bottom of the email) of my university email, I must ...
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1 vote
1 answer
5k views

What's a word for someone you haven't seen in a long time?

What's a word for someone that I haven't seen in a long time? I remember one person saying: "Oh, wow! I think I'm seeing a ghost. I can't believe it's you!" But I'm not so sure if "...
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0 votes
1 answer
144 views

How can I speak English fluently in 45 days? [closed]

I am new to start learning English. I want to improve my reading, writing & speaking english I have only 45 days to complete this course. Where I start learning. I am searching online for videos, ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Could Arkansas be considered an "Arch Kansas"? [closed]

The prefix arch- means "super" or "stronger than normal" as in the word archenemy. I looked up the etymology of the word Kansas. It said that it is an ethnonym meaning "people of the south wind". ...
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-1 votes
3 answers
71 views

Brand name — how does it sound to American ears? [closed]

I work for a European tech start-up, and we are currently choosing a brand name for the US market. We obviously want the name to be unique, succinct, and memorable, but most importantly we want it to ...
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1 vote
1 answer
204 views

Looking for an appropriate English name to replace my Chinese name [closed]

Background: I am Chinese, and after living abroad from China for several years, I realize that I need an English name anyway. I’ve seen too many confused faces looking at my Chinese name. My Chinese ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
126 views

How should this nickname for Adelaide be spelled? [closed]

Say you're writing a book, and a character calls another character this nickname for Adelaide. How should it be spelled? Lady Laidy Laidey Laidie Addelaide is an old name, so wondering if there's a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
157 views

The name Emmaculate

The name on my birth certificate is Emmaculate. I am not sure if it was a typo, but i love it that way. I have been looking up name meanings and apparently it has no meaning. What does Emmaculate ...
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0 votes
0 answers
56 views

Pronouncing initials as a word

I have long 3 names that i want to shorten so people can pronounce it easier, the initials of my full name are "M.E.Z", which sound a little heavy to pronounce letter by letter, do name initials have ...
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0 votes
1 answer
190 views

What is the proper way to spell and pronounce the name Yoanna or some certain names?

My name is "Yoanna" but I am not sure of how to pronounce or spell it properly in English. It is derived from "Joanna". Should I write it "Joanna" and pronounce it "Yoanna" or do I stick with "Yoanna" ...
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1 vote
3 answers
388 views

How should one differentiate between a father and son with identical names and don't have suffixes?

Specifically, I'm writing about the poet Ben Jonson, who had a son Ben Jonson, and later a second son, also named Ben Jonson. Some options I thought of: Ben Jonson, Sr.; Ben Jonson, Jr.; Ben ...
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