29 votes
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Why do Arabic names still have their meanings?

Cross-culturally, names having transparent meanings is the norm. Europe, and the non-Arabic-speaking Muslim world are notable exceptions and in those cases religion is one of the big motivating ...
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  • 4,774
25 votes
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In romance languages, are there examples of male names that derive from female names?

The first thing I thought of was names derived in antiquity from the names of ancient Greek goddesses. For example, the French male name Hercule is ultimately from the name of the Greek goddess Hera (...
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21 votes

Why do Arabic names still have their meanings?

First, it is not just black and white. Not all English names are opaque, there are transparent names like Hope, Faith, or Grace but also Rose that are current in English and American naming. And there ...
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16 votes
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What linguistic impact, if any, has the the Roman three name naming system left on modern Romance and European languages?

None, really. TL;DR: the tria nomina were dead before the empire was, so pre-Romance times. Long version: The tria nomina system is the most famous used in ancient Rome, but it wasn't by any means ...
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12 votes

In romance languages, are there examples of male names that derive from female names?

In Italian there are a number of historically female names which are occasionally used as male names, e.g. Celeste, Amabile, Fiore, Diamante In many Romance languages the female name Maria (or some ...
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12 votes

Why do Arabic names still have their meanings?

Part of the reason is that people with Muslim names tend to have a better knowledge of Arabic. But most people have very little knowledge of Old English, and don't know what "Harold" or &...
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9 votes
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What do you call the adjective phrase attached to some historical persons? E.g. Erik the Red

It's not one of the -nym words. It's epithet, as per Wikipedia: Epithets are sometimes attached to a person's name or appear in place of his or her name, as what might be described as a glorified ...
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6 votes

Why do Arabic names still have their meanings?

As with many words in English, also a lot of proper names come from the Romans, which in turn served as a vector for Hebrew ("Michael"), Aramaic ("Thomas") and Greek ("Peter&...
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5 votes
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What is the the etymological origin of the name Calvin?

Calvin is indeed from the French, or further back from Latin calvus of the same meaning (cognate with calva skull as in "Calvary"). This epithet ended up becoming a family name. Family names ...
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5 votes

In romance languages, are there examples of male names that derive from female names?

Derivation and inflection are different processes. Several proper nouns in Romance languages inflect for gender; in French, such inflection may be easily mistaken for a derivation, because the ...
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5 votes

In romance languages, are there examples of male names that derive from female names?

There are a few examples from Germanic names: Deolindo or Teolindo are derived from Deolinda/Teolinda (modern German cognate: Dietlind).
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5 votes

What linguistic impact, if any, has the the Roman three name naming system left on modern Romance and European languages?

@Draconis has given an impressive account of the evolution of the Roman naming system, I want to focus on a different aspect: Although the system of the tria nomina completely disappeared, a lot of ...
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4 votes

In Search of an Etymological Name Database

The site Behind the Name collects sourced and reliable information on the etymology of names. Note that the site has two parts, an "official" database endorsed by the site owner, and a "...
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2 votes

Markers for feminine and masculine names in Old Norse?

Adding to the comprehensive answer above (I don't have enough reputation to comment), feminine names also often end in -un(n). Some examples taken from the sagas and Norse mythology are Guðrún, Þorunn,...
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2 votes

Is there a term for names with the "X the Y" construction?

These "titles" are called epithets as already brought up in comments. As for what this structure might be called grammatically, German employs a near identical structure which can be ...
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2 votes

Is there a term for names with the "X the Y" construction?

The grammatical construction in the examples is called apposition. Note that the definite article "the" is not a necessary part of an apposition, an example without article is Mary, Peter's ...
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2 votes

Are there geographic or cultural patterns in surname etymologies?

Your question is too broad to be easily answered. Different regions of Europe began to use surnames at different times, often as a result of government policy. England, for example, began the process ...
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  • 176
1 vote

Why do Arabic names still have their meanings?

It’s largely an artifact of the evolution of the language itself, and to some extent the culture of the people who speak the language. Names tend to shift less over time than other aspects of a ...
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1 vote

"Dexenoethnic exonyms": typological studies, references and/or resources?

I can think of other examples. The Hungarians are not Huns. The Bulgarians are not Bulgars. The Dutch are not Deutsch/Germans. The Hungarians and Dutch do not use these names when speaking their own ...
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