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Questions tagged [personal-names]

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

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11 votes
3 answers
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Are there other proposed translations of "aelfheres" in Beowulf than a name?

Am looking at the online Beowulf site, and wonder about "aelfheres" that is translated as a name. XXXVI WIGlaf wæs haten, Weoxstanes sunu, leoflic lindwiga, leod Scylfinga, mæg ...
Tomas By's user avatar
  • 327
0 votes
0 answers
41 views

Quotation Marks on Names [closed]

American English - If I'm writing about dogs, "The Big One" became "Rowdy." Would I put the names in quotations or only the nickname?
Stacy L's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
632 views

How do you pronounce Greenough?

A fairly popular resource over on Latin SE is Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar. Now, "Allen" is fairly straightforward, but how the [redacted] do you pronounce Greenough? Was he a ...
No Name's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
149 views

Is there a correct answer to "How should foreign names be pronounced in English"? [duplicate]

There are some names that are pronounced very differently in English Language media around the world. One famous example is Vincent van Gogh the artist, another that is in a lot of media at the ...
User65535's user avatar
  • 231
22 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why is Siobhan pronounced with a /v/ sound in English?

In English the name Siobhan is typically pronounced /ʃəvɔːn/. English speakers typically find this unintuitive, but the typical explanation is that the name is from Irish and that's how it's ...
Sriotchilism O'Zaic's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
50 views

What rule dictates the use of articles with nouns in names?

I've recently started working for an organization -- for the sake of argument, let's say it's an institute that studies lacrosse in the state of Utah. I've been told by various people in the senior ...
JeanSibelius's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
30 views

How to write a name of competition in an article? [duplicate]

Hi I am translating text from Polish to English. I would like to ask you about your thoughts on it: A title of a newspaper is in Polish, do I need to add quotation marks or italics? The name of ...
Milena's user avatar
  • 9
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Are names of chemicals not proper nouns?

I notice that people often use "gold" and "diamond" in lower case. Yet as far as I see it these are all "proper names" of an abstract idea and really ought to be ...
Sidharth Ghoshal's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
35 views

How to unambiguously write a name with multiple of each component?

Preamble Each PH stands for Placeholder. Context I'm quite normal - I've one first name, one last name, but two middle names: First Second (Middle) Third (Surname) Roke Julian Lockhart Beedell ...
RokeJulianLockhart's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
153 views

Who was the original Dr. Feelgood, and what did he practice?

I am interested in the emergence and evolution of the slang term “Doctor Feelgood.” J.L. Lighter, The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (1994) has this entry for the term: Doctor ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
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9 votes
7 answers
5k views

What's the name of the room where you watch a movie inside the movie theater?

In Portuguese we call "Rooms" the places inside the movie theater where we actually watch the movie. What are they called in English? I searched, even in movie tickets, but only found "...
franksands's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
81 views

Correct Possessive Form for the Name "James" [duplicate]

I have a son named James. James has a toy. When I speak and refer to his toy, should I say "Jaymz toy" or "Jaymz-iz toy?" Please avoid telling me how to spell it; I understand it ...
Display name's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
12 views

How to write initials? [duplicate]

What is the correct way to write my initials? MDH or M.D.H. (with or without the periods?)
user499937's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
30 views

Is this an example of antonomasia? Or a different literary device? [duplicate]

Beowulf often avoids using the names of characters, instead referring to them by some other word, compound word, or phrase. For example, Thomas Meyer's translation mostly refers to Grendel as anything ...
Silvirs's user avatar
  • 101
-1 votes
1 answer
69 views

Should "the" always be capitalised if it is part of a proper name?

In brief, which of the following is correct? Alfred is fighting against a villain known as "The Penguin". Alfred punched the Penguin in the face. or Alfred punched The Penguin in the face....
Flounderer's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
32 views

Proper sorting of groups that begin with a person's name

If I were sorting, for example, audio recordings based upon the performer, then "Vince Guaraldi" and "Bob Seger" would be sorted as "Guaraldi, Vince" and "Seger, Bob&...
Jason's user avatar
  • 101
-1 votes
2 answers
112 views

Classical verbiage for "Middle Name"? "Given" -> "First", "Surname" -> "Last/Family"

1 2 3 Mattias John-Mark Fischer Given Name aka. First Name ?? aka. Middle Name Surname aka. Family / Last Name This is what I understand to be the concept of 'Given Name'. But if I'm correct, then ...
deftclaw's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
143 views

Does English prefer abbreviated names more than other Indo-European languages? [closed]

Background I have a name that English L1 speakers find hard to pronounce.* One of the first questions I get whenever introducing myself to one, is ‘Can I call you […]?’ After years in the university ...
Canned Man's user avatar
12 votes
9 answers
5k views

How can I best indicate in an obituary that a middle name was the preferred name?

I have seen several suggestions on ways to indicate a person's middle name was preferred over their first name: Firstname "Middlename" Surname Firstname Middlename "Middlename" ...
Susan's user avatar
  • 121
19 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why is Reuben spelled with an "eu"?

Reuben is most commonly spelled as such in English and in English only. The digraph "eu" as far as I know never represents /uː/ in English nor in any other language, and surely not in any ...
Enrico Bianchi's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
145 views

What is the origin and meaning of the female given name "Zorado"?

As far as I can tell this name crops up mid 1800s, and (informal analysis) looks like it peaks circa 1890-1915. In the present day I'd say it is extremely rare, but I can find living Zorado women and ...
Zorado's user avatar
  • 1
2 votes
2 answers
221 views

Pronunciation of "Ine", as the name of the Saxon king in modern English

Ine, also rendered Ini or Ina, (Latin: Inus; c. AD 670 – after 726) was King of Wessex from 689 to 726 (Wikipedia). This is a name still used today, apparently, but I do not find it in the Longman ...
LPH's user avatar
  • 22.7k
0 votes
1 answer
85 views

Comma placement for speaker's name in publication

I'm editing a flyer someone else wrote and I have the following sentence: Our storytelling series launches with featured speaker, Aloysius Firefly, professor of arts. I think ought to be "... ...
Douglas's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
346 views

How to write the possessive of a proper noun that ends in a plural noun?

Say we have a hotel named the Springfield Arms. The name itself is singular, since it refers to an individual hotel, but it ends with the pluralized noun “Arms”. What is the correct way to write the ...
Walter's user avatar
  • 185
1 vote
1 answer
117 views

Do native English speakers tend to take the second part of a compound first name for a middle name?

My first name is "Jean-Baptiste". "Baptiste" is not a second or middle name, however I noticed that it's not unusual for native English speakers to address me just as "Jean&...
Jean-Baptiste's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
116 views

Name from history meaning charismatic?

Much like McGyver meaning "resourceful," Einstein meaning "intelligent," Savant meaning "gifted..." I remember hearing and using a name to refer to someone as a ...
Nihil's user avatar
  • 1
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Origin of prefix "Mc" McDonalds or Monty Python?

The "Mc" prefix in the USA is used in, for "McMansion" to mean, I think, characterless and identical (as in McDonald's restaurants which I think were the first really big chain ...
releseabe's user avatar
  • 603
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why did some stigmatized theophoric names survive in English?

The synopsis is: we have the long-standing popularity of the name "Isabelle" and context that much of the English speaking world has been influenced by Christianity for centuries. It appears ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
69 views

What is the proper handling of Mach number?

My question mainly concerns named numbers like Mach, Reynolds, Weber, etc. Considering the eponymous noun is 'Mach number', is the following grammatically correct? His plane reached Mach 2. ...
A McKelvy's user avatar
  • 101
0 votes
1 answer
54 views

Adjective for the name 'Grothendieck'

Grothendieck was a major mathematician in the 20th century. I would like to know how one can use his name to talk about the content of a study. For example in French we would say Hi all, Études ...
Jonathan's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
275 views

Pronunciation of Emma and Emma's

According to Wiktionary, Emma is pronounced as /ˈɛmə/ but I tend to hear it sounding more like /ˈɛmɑː/. However, when it comes to pronouncing Emma's, I hear it like /ˈɛməz/ and I hear a clear schwa ...
user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
91 views

Handling alternate spellings of a personal name [closed]

Dealing with a text that mentions several times the architectural historian Siegfried Giedion. A number of Giedion's books feature his first name as "Sigfried" and others as "Siegfried.&...
Typothalamus's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
127 views

Why is there an apostrophe in the name Ilya M. Sobol'? [closed]

Is this specific to the Lithuanian language? How come I've never seen an apostrophe at the end of a name like this (other than possessives)? See Ilya M. Sobol' on Wikipedia.
frandude's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
301 views

Is there a term for last name comma first name?

I'm designing a table in which names are stored. How to best call the columns that store full names in different order? The term "Full Name" seems ambiguous to me. First Name Last Name ...
basin's user avatar
  • 119
0 votes
1 answer
106 views

What do you call a person who is used by a manager/boss in order to keep their employment?

A person on probation was told to lie by his manager. If they did not comply with the mangers demands, they would have failed their probation, thus, would be unable to remain employed. Are there any ...
topak's user avatar
  • 1
10 votes
1 answer
3k views

How does one pronounce Pompey?

Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, a general during the last years of the Republic: Some folks are under the impression that the standard English version of his name, Pompey, is pronounced "POM-pee," ...
Ricky's user avatar
  • 20.4k
-2 votes
2 answers
202 views

Is it polite to refer to someone by the surname in an article?

While I see it a lot in articles in the modern time, I remember being taught at school that it is more polite and formal to refer to someone by title and surname in an article, not surname alone. Is ...
XComhghall's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
101 views

Pluralizing a first name

In a social media post, a movie streaming site referred to multiple actresses with the same first name of “Jennifer” without repeating the name each time. Instead, they pluralized Jennifer and the ...
Mallury's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
134 views

What is the term or word used to describe a name such as 'N.S Ennis' where the initials 'N.S' sound the same as the surname 'Ennis'?

My name, 'N.S Ennis', was called out in a waiting room some years ago and I was told there was an actual term for this occurrence where the initials 'NS' sound the same as the surname 'Ennis'. I am ...
Nick Ennis's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
247 views

What is the difference between old english words 'ric' and 'wald'

Ric and Wald are both name elements that are quite common in Old English names — for example, Eadric and Eadwald — and both seem to mean ruler or power or authority or might. Are there however more ...
asker2011's user avatar
  • 149
3 votes
1 answer
449 views

Is Evelyn pronounced variously based on gender?

When I first read Evelyn Waugh's books decades ago, I assumed the author was female. I subsequently found out Evelyn can also be a man's name in England. But today I found out that Evelyn Waugh's ...
B. Clay Shannon-B. Crow Raven's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

Origin of the surname "Hooker"?

Wiktionary claims that the surname Hooker is occupational: an occupation for a maker of hooks This seems unlikely to me for several reasons. Were it true, one would expect there to be a ...
Mark Dominus's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
161 views

Why are some Russian names Anglicised but not others?

For example, we speak of "Peter" the Great, "Nicholas" II, and "Joseph" Stalin, but no one ever spoke of "George" Gagarin, "Theodore" Dostoevsky, or &...
JAF's user avatar
  • 131
-1 votes
1 answer
55 views

The name of the end part of a film that contains contacts information [closed]

What is usually called the part of a film that comes at the end which contains contacts information ?
user464993's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
64 views

Citizenship name order

If I'm a dual citizenship holder, which one comes first? Is there an ordering to it? For example, if I receive a Canadian citizenship and I hold an Italian citizenship, am I Italian-Canadian or ...
dualCitizen's user avatar
-1 votes
3 answers
138 views

How to properly and equally introduce two people?

In the movie The Big Short, there is a scene where two people. Bruce Miller and Mark Baum are doing a "debate" of sorts. The host introduces them as ... give a generous welcome to mr. Bruce ...
SIMEL's user avatar
  • 1,339
0 votes
1 answer
36 views

Word to group some interrelated computer programs [closed]

I am looking for a word to group some interrelated computer programs, to name my github repository The group includes (or github repo) these programs: dwm — a window manager for unix like operating ...
Devansh's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
1 answer
8k views

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 ...
Wit's user avatar
  • 11
-2 votes
1 answer
256 views

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 ...
DannyNiu's user avatar
  • 151
49 votes
6 answers
8k views

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 ...
Joe Kerr's user avatar
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