"given name"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Nov 29 21:18:38 UTC 2010

At 11/29/2010 03:02 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>I take it here to mean "given" as opposed to "taken."

American colonial slaves had "given" names (I think that is the word
used by historians of slavery), sometimes a single name and sometimes
two, the second being the family name of their master.


>I have two family members who chose their own last names, one from
>the genealogical tree, the other from a favorite author. If one of
>them adopted a celebrity name, would the old name be "given"? My vote
>is no.
>Benjamin Barrett
>Seattle, WA
>On Nov 29, 2010, at 11:53 AM, Charles C Doyle wrote:
>>The OED's entry for the term "given name"--appearing at _given_
>>ppl. a. (and n.), A.1.b.--is unremarkable (though I was surprised
>>at the suggested geographical limitation):  "The name given at
>>baptism, the Christian name.  ? Chiefly _Sc._ and _U.S._ "
>>_People_ magaazine for 29 Nov. 2010, p. 10, has the following use
>>of the term, regarding the actress Meg Ryan:  "Before big-screen
>>stardom, Margaret Hyra, 49 (her given name), reigned over
>>Connecticult's Bethel High School in 1979."
>>There "given name" seems to denote 'surname previous to the
>>adoption of a screen name'.  Is that becoming a recognized sense of
>>the term??
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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