Questions tagged [names]

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

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42
votes
3answers
97k views

Which singular names ending in “s” form possessives with only a bare apostrophe?

Many questions already ask about this topic (What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in "‑s"? , When did it become correct to add an “s” to a singular possessive already ending in “‑...
18
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2answers
6k views

Family name pluralization

When pluralizing family (last) names that also happen to be common English words, does the pluralization follow the same rules as the common word? For example, "the Smith family" can be pluralized as ...
2
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3answers
5k views

Possessive Form of a Proper Noun Ending in a Plural Noun Ending in “s”? [duplicate]

I don't think this has yet been covered in any of the other questions on similar topics. There was one other very similar question, however, it was not specifically talking about the case where the ...
35
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4answers
154k views

Changes in English names of people

Why is Robert called Bob and John called Jack sometimes? What is the history of or reason for this practice in changing the English names of people?
22
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6answers
19k views

How do I pluralize a name ending in “y”?

Frequently when I refer to or address a family, I do so by pluralizing their last name, e.g., The Smiths, or The Ramones. But suppose I want to address a family whose last name ends in a "y", e.g., ...
24
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3answers
77k views

Should there be a space between name initials?

In writing authors' initials in research papers (either in the author by-line or the bibliography), should there be a space between intials? R.P. Feynman R. P. Feynman What's the preferred way of ...
7
votes
2answers
33k views

Is it proper to use “the” before the name of a government organization? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Definite article with proper nouns, titles followed by a common noun Using the definite article with acronyms and initialisms When I listen to major news programs, often I ...
9
votes
5answers
9k views

Indefinite article and people's names

Sometimes, on the internet, particularly in online games, I see people using the indefinite article before someone's name: "I see a Joey" or "I hug a Polly". I know some of these people and I'm ...
15
votes
3answers
10k views

Why is Ukraine often called “the Ukraine”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using the definite article before a country/state name Hearing the Ukraine used to make me unsure whether Ukraine was really a country. Now though I have realized Ukraine to ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Word for a temporary project name

In software development, and I imagine in many other fields, we often make up temporary nicknames for new projects or features. These are not meant to be the real names for the end product and are ...
1
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2answers
2k views

Why there is an “h” in proper names like Afghanistan, Baghdad and Lamborghini?

An "h" may be used to prevent the "g" from being soft, as in spaghetti, but there is no need for an "h" in the mentioned proper names.
92
votes
3answers
70k views

Is there a single term for “nieces and nephews”?

I find it handy when talking about my sons and daughters I can just say my children. It's nice to say nieces instead of sibling's daughters. I wonder if there is a similar term for nieces and nephews ...
8
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7answers
16k 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.
4
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3answers
4k views

When is there a “the” at the beginning of a university's name? [duplicate]

When is there a "the" at the beginning of a university's name? For Example, Cornell University or the Cornell University, Brown University or the Brown University, Johns Hopkins University or the ...
3
votes
3answers
198 views

Is there a name for the relationship between a movement and a follower of that movement?

Movements and philosophies often have a specific term that is used to describe followers of it. For example, Islam and Muslims, the Society of Jesus and Jesuits, Communism and Communists, even the ...
3
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4answers
29k views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
11k views

Quotation marks for nicknames

E.g. "I get called Hitler in school." or "I get called 'Hitler' in school."? Would quotation marks be needed for 'Hitler'? What if it was an uncommon or nonsensical word like 'A123' or 'Gaylord'. ...
79
votes
2answers
129k views

Why is Sean pronounced Shawn?

I've always had this question about the pronunciation of Sean. Is Sean a word from another language? Is it actually not pronounced Shawn and instead it's some sound between Shawn and Seen? Also, why ...
12
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3answers
6k views

Term for adjectives attached after names

What is the term for adjectives attached after names? For example, there is terrible in Ivan the Terrible. Are these counted as post-positive adjectives?
10
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3answers
50k views

Why do people pronounce “Naomi” as “Niomi”?

The Wikipedia page for "Naomi (given name)" says once said "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 "...
7
votes
4answers
31k views

Pronunciation of “Sarah”, “Sara” and other names with the letter “a” before “r”

In Britain (or perhaps just Scotland) the names "Sara" and "Sarah" are pronounced different. Sara: Sah-rah ("a" as in "bat") Sarah: Se-rah ("a" as in "air") In the US and Canada, Sarah and ...
23
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3answers
11k 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?
10
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1answer
4k views

Why Abraham and not Avraham?

In the Hebrew scriptures Abraham's name is Avraham and not Abraham (אַבְרָהָם). Is has a v and not a b. The same goes for Rebecca, who is called Rivka in Hebrew. Both v and b sounds are represented by ...
5
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
8
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4answers
7k views

Last names that are English words with an extra 'e'

I noticed that there are a lot of last names that have an 'e' at the end. The pronunciation usually isn't changed from that of the base word. Poole Steele Browne Clarke Why do English words not ...
6
votes
1answer
793 views

In a conversation, do native speakers people call each other by name? [closed]

I've noticed a particular behavior in the frequency of mentioning the person's name we're talking with. I'm Italian, in my language we are used to calling each other by our first names during a ...
6
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1answer
1k 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
5
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2answers
18k views

“John Doe”, “Jane Doe” - Why are they used many times?

I posted a question ( https://softwareengineering.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 ...
5
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7answers
11k views

How to write Vietnamese names in English correctly? (“Việt Nam” to “Vietnam” or “Viet Nam”?)

Commonly, in writing, the country name in Vietnamese is Việt Nam, in English is Vietnam; its capital city name in Vietnamese is Hà Nội, in English is Hanoi; its largest city name in Vietnamese is ...
4
votes
1answer
15k views

What terms describe the various parts of someone's name?

People tend to have at least one personal name and one family name. Some people also have middle names and nicknames. What terms describe other kinds of names, e.g.: What term describes additional ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

How to write my Korean name in academic publications? [closed]

I am a graduate student in Korea. I would like to know how to write my name in formal, in particular, in IEEE paper. Almost all names of Korean are with three letters. Each letter can be read with one ...
3
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2answers
62k views

Punctuation of Initials in Name [duplicate]

My name is James Lamar Smith, in which my first name is James, middle name is Lamar and my last name is Smith. I would like to know which form of my short name is acceptable in English: 1 J. L. ...
2
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4answers
2k views

Should I put my surname after my given name when I introduce myself?

I'm confused about if I should put my surname after my given name or not when I tell a western people what my name is. I would like to use the Pinyin version of my original name instead of choosing a ...
2
votes
4answers
735 views

Special name for royal titles?

Is there a name for the title/nickname that some members of royalty get? For example, "King Larry the Kind".
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Party at the Johnsons's? [duplicate]

What is the proper use of the apostrophe in this phrase: The party is at the Johnsons's Assuming, the regular form of the last name is "Johnson" and there are at least two people in the Johnson ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

use of articles with personal names modified by adjectives

Suddenly, to everybody's surprise, the silent Mr.Smith swung around and addressed Barbara. The dinner was served by a silent Mrs. Keats. I saw an infuriated Jennifer, who started shouting at me ...
1
vote
3answers
6k views

Possession in Business Name With Apostrophe [duplicate]

In the following sentence, how would I indicate possession if the word "business'" were replaced by the name of the business: like "Fry's" or "Wendy's"? Some business' employees are happy. It ...
95
votes
3answers
17k views

Why are names starting with a “J” common, while words starting with a “J” are uncommon?

There's a reason "J" is worth 10 points in Word feud, it's a quite uncommon letter. According to Lewand, arranged from most to least common in appearance, the letters are: ...
11
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6answers
6k views

Why do we call it “combination lock”? [closed]

Variation lock seems more accurate by mathematical definitions Edit(to give it more context) Hey, can you tell me the combination of your lockbox ? Why don't we say variation(or permutation)? The ...
24
votes
2answers
23k views

Meaning of suffix '-sex' in 'Sussex, Middlesex' [closed]

I know that Sussex and Middlesex are in England. It looks to me as if there is a pattern in names. What does the suffix -sex mean? Where does it come from?
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Surely *some* wordsmiths must love America[ns]?

People who like/admire English or French (the languages and/or the people and their culture) are easily identified as Anglophiles or Francophiles. I'm not sure there are so many Germanophiles, but ...
6
votes
3answers
12k views

How to pronounce New Orleans

I presume this must be an exception to "pronounce it like the locals", since what I hear is something like 'Norlin'. Or is this just the movies? Is it a mistake to attempt to pronounce it like a ...
4
votes
2answers
157 views

plural of 'Davidovici'

I know someone named Davidovici, pronounced /dəˈvɪɾəvɪtʃ/ (i.e., rhyming with witch. It's from Romanian). How is it pluralized (as, to refer to the family): Davidovicis or Davidovicies?
1
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2answers
17k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What term would you use to indicate a maiden name you weren't born with?

My adopted sister is married and took her husband's name. She includes her former last name (my last name) in parentheses on her work email. In this case, née wouldn't be an accurate designation (...
8
votes
2answers
611 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
632 views

Why do pet (animal) names in English tend to end in ē as a diminutive?

I counted, 46 / 100 of the most popular dog names end with an ē sound, and 5/10 of the most popular cat names in the UK end with an ē sound. ( 32/100 cat names from a broader but less accurate source )...
5
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is ‘Earth’ often spelt with a lowercase e, even when referring to the planet?

The word earth has several meanings; the most central one is ‘soil, dirt’, that thing we walk on when we’re outside. It’s also used as a name for the planet we live on. The Lexico definition for this ...
4
votes
3answers
6k 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 Cross ...