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  #1  
Old 10-26-2001, 12:52 PM
Patty O'Furniture Patty O'Furniture is offline
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De'wayne
La'tanya
D'Juan

Is there a function of the apostrophe other than signifying removed letters (as in contractions) or posessives? I work with all three of these people and had always called them Duane, Latanya & Du-wahn. Those are phonetic spellings of course, because I never saw their names spelled out on anything until today when I saw them in the company directory, all spelled with apostrophes.

Thinking it was a blunder on the part of personnel, I passed by each of them at some point today, getting close enough to see their ID badge. The offending punctuation is there as well.

More well-known names like O'connor might be explained as coming from some variant such as "Of the Connor Family" which I could understand the shortening of. But "De'Wayne"?? Anybody have an idea as to what purpose an apostrophe serves in a first name?
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2001, 12:58 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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Should we throw them over the foc's'le?

People decided to spell their names a particular way. End of story.
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  #3  
Old 10-26-2001, 01:05 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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It is simply the way that their families have chosen to spell the names. They are not (or are rarely) contractions of anything. D' and L' could be contractions for De (of)* or Le or La (the), but no one I have met has claimed that as the reason in their name. And, as your examples show, they haven't actually dropped the vowel, anyway. Initially, some people with apostrophes in their names used it as a glottal stop (similar to the Hebrew aleph character) where there was a slight pause in the pronunciation. However, the spelling became popular without carrying over the pronunciation.

*De could be "the" if the name is Dutch or Afrikaans, but that is rare in the U.S.
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  #4  
Old 10-26-2001, 02:34 PM
Patty O'Furniture Patty O'Furniture is offline
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Chuck, are you suggesting that adding an apostrophe to a word is equivalent to altering the spelling? Are spelling & punctuation the same thing? If my name is Bob, and I decide to start writing it as B'ob, am I really spelling my name differently or am I just mis-using a punctuation mark?

I'll have to listen carefully next time to see if I can hear these people say their names with somekind of glottal stop which might justify the punctuation mark.

If the mark makes no difference in how a name is pronounced, then it's hardly more than a cosmetic thing, like dotting your "i" with a smiley-face or heart.
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  #5  
Old 10-26-2001, 03:46 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Quote:
it's hardly more than a cosmetic thing
Exactly true. (And I suspect that some of those folks have troubles with various payroll systems that are not set up to handle punctuation. I have no idea what the IRS does with those names, although it must have been an interesting situation when the first one started paying taxes.)

Basically, they have chosen to do something sufficiently outside the older norms as to puzzle us old folks, without being so far outside the norms (such as using numerals) that they bring down bureaucratic wrath on their heads.
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2001, 04:15 PM
fandango fandango is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by tomndebb
[B
Basically, they have chosen to do something sufficiently outside the older norms as to puzzle us old folks, without being so far outside the norms (such as using numerals) that they bring down bureaucratic wrath on their heads. [/B]
I've seen the numeral thing, as well as people who insist on capital letters in the middle of their name, e.g., JuliAn

Sometimes there is a legitmate reason for these things, as in contractions and glottal stops; and some tonal languages and at least on Native American language (Ab8naki, (sp?)) uses some numerals. But the majority of these people or their parents do it because they think they're being clever, but to quote Spinal Tap, "It's a fine line between clever and stupid." --and to bring that point home, Tap does it too with the umlaut over the 'n'.


--f%an''dango

(It's spelt f%an''dango, but it's pronounced "Throat Wabler Mangrove")
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2001, 04:42 PM
TheeGrumpy TheeGrumpy is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by tomndebb
De could be "the" if the name is Dutch or Afrikaans, but that is rare in the U.S.
D'oh!
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2001, 09:21 PM
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I know a girl Ja'net. It is said Janette. I know another Ja'net is said Ja-Nay.

I knew a girl Bri'an. Bree-ann.

I have news for her, her mother named her Brian.
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  #9  
Old 10-26-2001, 10:14 PM
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My given name is Anthony. My nickname is 't'ony, where the first ' represents the An and the second ' is the h. It's pronounced "toe knee".
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  #10  
Old 10-27-2001, 01:30 AM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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I thought your first name was Av'rage?
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  #11  
Old 10-27-2001, 08:10 AM
Chez Guevara Chez Guevara is offline
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Nice one there from tom'n'debb.
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  #12  
Old 10-27-2001, 08:43 AM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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This sort of internal punctuation is sometimes used when transliterating other languages. Perhaps the parents of these people wanted to give their kids names that had an international flavor without being too exotic. It's not a choice I'd make with any of my hypothetical kids, but I can see where they might be coming from.
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  #13  
Old 10-27-2001, 09:02 AM
ryoushi ryoushi is offline
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I admit it. This is a nitpick.

Quote:
Originally posted by RealityChuck
Should we throw them over the foc's'le?
It's fo'c's'le (forecastle, I think). Intersting that is has three apostrophes .
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  #14  
Old 10-27-2001, 09:31 AM
BiblioCat BiblioCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Attrayant
Chuck, are you suggesting that adding an apostrophe to a word is equivalent to altering the spelling? Are spelling & punctuation the same thing? If my name is Bob, and I decide to start writing it as B'ob, am I really spelling my name differently or am I just mis-using a punctuation mark?
If I saw a written name as B'ob, I would assume (incorrectly, of course) that it was pronounced Bee-Ob.

IMHO, I think the recent spate of apostrophed names is somewhat of an affectation, like the new cutesy spellings.
Miek instead of Mike, Khrystyn for Kristin, LesLee for Leslie etc. (I'm a teacher; I've seen lots of weird spellings recently). People just wanna be different.
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  #15  
Old 10-27-2001, 09:58 AM
Corrvin Corrvin is offline
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<<I've seen the numeral thing, as well as people who insist on capital letters in the middle of their name, e.g., JuliAn>>

I'd always assumed that capital letters served a very useful purpose: to indicate the two parts of a compound name, but make it very clear that the whole thing went in the first-name spot. I think "JoEllen" might be rather hard to pronounce if it wasn't obviously Jo + Ellen, not Joe + llen (yen? len?) as it might be at first glance. But by not spelling it Jo Ellen, the lady avoids being Soandso, Jo E. or what have you.

Corr, who fought with various bureaucracies about a first name with a space, middle, and last...because two middle names just don't fit
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  #16  
Old 10-27-2001, 12:17 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nostradamus
Nice one there from tom'n'debb.
Actually, I think it would be tom' 'n' deb' b'
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  #17  
Old 10-27-2001, 12:25 PM
Hombre Hombre is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by RealityChuck
Should we throw them over the foc's'le?
I'm really a boat guy, but can you throw someone over the fo'c's'le?
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  #18  
Old 10-27-2001, 04:20 PM
Ariadne Ariadne is offline
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Because of online roleplaying games, every time I see a name with an apostrophe in it I think of elves. Self-righteous, snobby, self-centered elves. I hate elves.
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  #19  
Old 10-27-2001, 04:39 PM
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I know a girl whose last name is Aube' , where the apostrophe takes the place of the accent aigu that in french would be over the "e". It was adapted to this because accents tend to be a hassle (not as much recently) in American word processing programs, especially payroll and class lists in school, etc. Although it isn't uncommon to see the apostrophe written over her "e", she and others have adopted the apostrope even when handwriting her name.
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  #20  
Old 10-27-2001, 04:50 PM
Dryga_Yes Dryga_Yes is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheeGrumpy
Quote:
Originally posted by tomndebb
De could be "the" if the name is Dutch or Afrikaans, but that is rare in the U.S.
D'oh!
LOL. Nice one.
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  #21  
Old 10-27-2001, 10:08 PM
achterover achterover is offline
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Because their parents were idiots who decided to sabotage their futures...My first year out of college I worked for my state guv'ment (hee!) in their daycare regulatory branch. I had to register all new children entering state-subsidized daycare centers -- I've seen some first names with seven syllables...it's scary.

Also, a trend I HATE with young white couples -- throwing a dart at a map of the Western US and naming the kid after that town/state. If I had seen one more Dakota (or D'Kotah), Cheyenne (or Shai-en), or Salt Lake City (ok, ok) I would have screamed.

The only people naming their children Bob, Susan, James, or Margaret are Asian parents...

ah, I love generalizing...
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  #22  
Old 10-27-2001, 10:17 PM
galen galen is offline
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An affectation. Parents who do this have done their children a disservice. They will forever be explaining the apostrophe.
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  #23  
Old 10-28-2001, 12:03 AM
Niobium Knight Niobium Knight is offline
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D'arcy
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  #24  
Old 10-28-2001, 12:06 AM
Derleth Derleth is online now
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galen: Or they will take the time to have their name legally changed. It isn't like you have to show proof that you can juggle rabid hedgehogs while walking a tightrope over a pit of boiling rat sputum to get your name changed.

At least, it doesn't in Montana...

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  #25  
Old 10-28-2001, 12:20 AM
Wind Sorceress Wind Sorceress is offline
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if the name isn't English, then assume that the apostrophe is to subsitute the glutral stop in that language. my real name is pinyin without the apostrophe, i should know how confusing it gets
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  #26  
Old 10-28-2001, 02:18 AM
ruadh ruadh is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Attrayant
More well-known names like O'connor might be explained as coming from some variant such as "Of the Connor Family" which I could understand the shortening of.
Not a shortening at all. The original Irish, Conchobhair, literally means "from [i.e. descended from] Conchobhar". I'm not sure how the tradition started of anglicising these names by removing the fada (accent) from the and using it as an apostrophe instead, but one could argue that it's technically just as incorrect as putting an apostrophe in Bob or Duane or Latonya. Of course, since it's traditional now, not many people complain.
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  #27  
Old 10-28-2001, 11:07 AM
manhattan manhattan is offline
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Does there remain a General Question on the table here?
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  #28  
Old 10-30-2001, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ariadne
Because of online roleplaying games, every time I see a name with an apostrophe in it I think of elves. Self-righteous, snobby, self-centered elves. I hate elves.
Dragonriders.

Does this prove that the answer to manny's question is "Probably not"?
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  #29  
Old 10-30-2001, 11:07 PM
dtilque dtilque is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by achterover
Also, a trend I HATE with young white couples -- throwing a dart at a map of the Western US and naming the kid after that town/state. If I had seen one more Dakota (or D'Kotah), Cheyenne (or Shai-en), or Salt Lake City (ok, ok) I would have screamed.
I thought that's how they name pickup trucks and SUVs. Denali, Tacoma, Tahoe, Yukon, Durango... (OK, those last two are not technically in the US; I guess their darts must have gone a bit astray.)
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  #30  
Old 10-31-2001, 12:28 AM
They Call Me Sneeze They Call Me Sneeze is offline
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There is a Durango in Colorado, and I am pretty sure that's how it's spelled.

It is really big on either trains or mountain biking.



Right? I'm pretty sure, anyway.
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  #31  
Old 10-31-2001, 05:41 AM
Izzardesque Izzardesque is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ruadh

Not a shortening at all. The original Irish, Conchobhair, literally means "from [i.e. descended from] Conchobhar".
I though the Irish used 'Mac', the same as the Scottish for this. If not, what is the difference betwee nthe 'Mac' used in Ireland and the 'Mac' used in Scotland??
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  #32  
Old 10-31-2001, 05:42 AM
Izzardesque Izzardesque is offline
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And if this is true (sorry, forgot to put this in my first post) why has the Welsh 'ap' dropped out of use when the Scottish and Irish versions haven't? Just a thought.
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  #33  
Old 10-31-2001, 06:23 AM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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Hey there, Mac

[/i]In Irish, means 'grandson of', therefore 'descended from', as ruadh already explained so well. The apostrophe must be a Sassenach substitute for the original acute accent (as in whatmove's example of Aube' for Aub above). I guess it shows clan affiliation.

In Old Irish the word was spelled aue, and it comes from Proto-Indo-European *awo- meaning 'an adult male relative other than one's father', the source of Latin avus 'grandfather' > atavism, avunculus 'maternal uncle' > avuncular, uncle. (Yes, our word uncle derives via French oncle from this Latin origin). The root has also been used to mean 'older female relative' too. For example, Latin avia 'grandmother' > ayah (a child's nursemaid in former colonial Asia).

This Indo-European root appears to be connected with similar words in many languages around the world, possibly derived from a Proto-World root *AYA 'older female relative': compare !Kung ai 'mother'; Somali hooyo 'mother'; Tamil yaL 'mother'; Malay ayah 'father'; Nez Perce ayat 'grandmother'

Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic mac means 'son of', used for the patronymic, as in the Arabic "ibn Al" (there's an apostrophe for you, a left-handed one to show the pharyngeal ayn instead of a right-handed one to show the glottal stop hamzah []).

The Gaelic word mac 'son' may be derived from Proto-Indo-European *magho- 'young; child, boy'. And it too appears to be related to a Proto-World reconstruction *MAKO 'child' compare Old English magu 'child, son, man'; Tamil maka 'child, son'; Kannada maga 'son'; Bantu manku, mongo 'child'; Proto-Caucasian *mikw- 'young one'; Proto-Tibeto-Burman mak 'son-in-law'; Papuan mak 'child'; Natick mukketchouks 'boy'; Beothuk magaraguis 'son'; Acoma mage 'girl'; Cayuse moks 'baby'; Modoc mukak 'girl'; Zui maki 'young woman'.
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  #34  
Old 10-31-2001, 06:36 AM
ruadh ruadh is offline
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Re: Hey there, Mac

Quote:
Originally posted by Jomo Mojo
[/i]In Irish, means 'grandson of', therefore 'descended from', as ruadh already explained so well.
Actually, it literally just means "from". Though in a name, it commonly came to be used as "grandson of".

The Welsh ap used to be map, and you can see here why the Celtic languages are divided into P-Celtic (the Brythonic branch, which includes Welsh) and Q-Celtic (the Gaelic branch) - with "Q" here representing the k sound. map and mac are just two examples of how the old Celtic language evolved into these branches, with the former using a p sound where the latter would use a k.

I've got a plane to catch, but I'm sure Jomo can elaborate on this point, if he's so inclined.
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  #35  
Old 10-31-2001, 07:16 AM
Izzardesque Izzardesque is offline
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Whoa, far too much information for me, Jomo Mojo!! And you missed out the origins of 'ap' but I guess ruadh did that for you.
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  #36  
Old 10-31-2001, 07:59 AM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hombre
Quote:
Originally posted by RealityChuck
Should we throw them over the foc's'le?
I'm really a boat guy, but can you throw someone over the fo'c's'le?
Well, you can throw somebody over ANY part of a boat if you're strong enough...
I think B'ob should be pronounced "buh-obb".
Quote:
Originally posted by Ariadne
Because of online roleplaying games, every time I see a name with an apostrophe in it I think of elves. Self-righteous, snobby, self-centered elves. I hate elves.
Ariadne! My new hero! Tolkien fanatics will understand.
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  #37  
Old 10-31-2001, 09:44 AM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Getting back to the original question--I don't think that this is supposed to be a glottal stop in these cases. I think this is an attempt to Frenchify or Spanishize an otherwise ordinary name, or synthesize a fake foreign name. Someone who doesn't know either language would not know the rules for the apostrophe. I have seen the name L'Tanya (slightly different than the one that Attrayant gives). Now, someone who saw some French would see the "l'" construct a lot and think of that as a typical French prefix, and might think that you can just put that in front of stuff. But that someone would not realize that the apostrophe indicates a contraction, where the e or a was dropped from le or la when using it with a noun that begins with a vowel.

This is a ridiculous extension of the common propensity to make up names. I guess the making up of new names is not new, although the first time I remember a case of it is when I saw Petula Clark on a TV show and she said her dad just made up her name. This was a very long time ago.
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  #38  
Old 10-31-2001, 10:03 AM
hibernicus hibernicus is offline
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Re: Re: Hey there, Mac

Quote:
Originally posted by ruadh
Quote:
Originally posted by Jomo Mojo
[/i]In Irish, means 'grandson of', therefore 'descended from', as ruadh already explained so well.
Actually, it literally just means "from". Though in a name, it commonly came to be used as "grandson of".
I never thought about this before, but if it just means "from" why is it commonly followed by the genitive? The word "" meaning "from" would not have a genitive. I think Jomo Mojo may be on to something here.

However, it's hard to explain why "" doesn't aspirate the following noun, while the female version "N" does.

Sorry for perpetuating this hijack.
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  #39  
Old 10-31-2001, 11:41 AM
jillamina jillamina is offline
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soapbox

Why is creating a new name (or a new spelling or appearance of a name) "ridiculous" or "an affectation"? Where do our "normal" names come from? If you look at the list of common names in the appendix of Webster's Collegiate Dicitonary, the majority of names are either from the Bible, or are derivations of (mostly Anglo) surnames. But what happens if you don't want to name your son after an apostle or after that guy who brought your ancestors here in the first place? These new names are not embarrassments. They are an attempt to create a new naming tradition free of hundreds of years of white baggage. Maybe Tanya Harding isn't someone I want to honor by carrying on her name, so instead I create a new name L'Tanya. Perhaps D'kotah is not named after North Dakota, but is named in honor of the Dakota people (and the only reason we spell it "dakota" is because that's what the first white people to encounter them decided). It is easy to respond to this newness by spreading the urban legend of those poor, poor kids whose parents have burdened them with the names "Aquanetta" or "Siff'letta." Or by saying that the parents are too ignorant/uneducated to know the proper uses of apostrophes in French and so their name creations turn out wrong. According to Merriam-Webster Online, name means "a word or phrase that constitutes the distinctive designation of a person or thing." But more importantly, the definition does not include the phrase "and has been used before."
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  #40  
Old 10-31-2001, 01:08 PM
fandango fandango is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Izzardesque
And if this is true (sorry, forgot to put this in my first post) why has the Welsh 'ap' dropped out of use when the Scottish and Irish versions haven't? Just a thought.

In a lot of cases, the 'a' just got dropped and the 'p' was added to the first syllable i.e. : ap Rice --> Price
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  #41  
Old 10-31-2001, 01:24 PM
dtilque dtilque is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by They Call Me Sneeze
There is a Durango in Colorado, and I am pretty sure that's how it's spelled.

It is really big on either trains or mountain biking.

Right? I'm pretty sure, anyway.
I was thinking of the Mexican state, but who knows where the truck-makers' darts hit the map. Not sure about mountain bikes because I'm strictly a road bicyclist, myself.

We're wandering far afield from the OP. Let's drop this hijack.
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  #42  
Old 11-01-2001, 04:34 AM
Floater Floater is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by fandango
Quote:
Originally posted by Izzardesque
And if this is true (sorry, forgot to put this in my first post) why has the Welsh 'ap' dropped out of use when the Scottish and Irish versions haven't? Just a thought.

In a lot of cases, the 'a' just got dropped and the 'p' was added to the first syllable i.e. : ap Rice --> Price
Or Upjohn.
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  #43  
Old 11-01-2001, 05:29 AM
Izzardesque Izzardesque is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by fandango
Quote:
Originally posted by Izzardesque
And if this is true (sorry, forgot to put this in my first post) why has the Welsh 'ap' dropped out of use when the Scottish and Irish versions haven't? Just a thought.

In a lot of cases, the 'a' just got dropped and the 'p' was added to the first syllable i.e. : ap Rice --> Price
Are you sure this is right? You may very well be, but I have never heard Rice used as a name in Welsh.
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  #44  
Old 11-01-2001, 06:10 AM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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ap Rhys > Price
ap Hugh > Pugh
ap Richard > Pritchard
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  #45  
Old 11-01-2001, 06:21 AM
Izzardesque Izzardesque is offline
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Alright, alright. I get the picture!
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  #46  
Old 11-01-2001, 01:19 PM
ruadh ruadh is offline
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Re: Re: Re: Hey there, Mac

Quote:
Originally posted by hibernicus
I never thought about this before, but if it just means "from" why is it commonly followed by the genitive? The word "" meaning "from" would not have a genitive. I think Jomo Mojo may be on to something here.
Yeah, that's a good point hibernicus. I guess what I was trying to get across is that the word doesn't literally just mean "grandson", even though it's commonly translated that way. It can also mean simply "descendant" - and in that case of course it would take the genitive.

Quote:
However, it's hard to explain why "" doesn't aspirate the following noun, while the female version "N" does.
It's a holdover from Old Irish, in which singular masculine nouns in the nominative case didn't cause lenition in nouns in the genitive case, but singular feminine nouns did.
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