Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about names: Questions about this website:

How is this name pronounced?

If the pronunciation is not given on this website, here are some web guides you can use if you know what language the name is from:

How did that strange pet form arise?

Several of the most common English first names have pet forms that seemingly bear little relation to the original. In many cases the reason for the change is not known for certain.

Please see this site's glossary entry for "diminutive" for further information.

How can I translate a name into another language?

Go to the translation page, enter the name you want to translate, select the language you want to translate into, and then press "Translate".

Here are some other sites that offer translations or transliterations.

What does my surname mean?

This site is limited to first names, except surnames that are also used as first names. Try the related website Behind the Surname, or go to the links page for a list of pages that deal with surnames.

What is the deep meaning of my name?

If you are interested in the numerology behind your name I suggest visiting the Kabalarian's website.

When is it appropriate to use 'Junior' versus 'II'?

Junior is used to distinguish a son with the same name as his father. The following conditions apply:

  1. The Junior must be a son of the father, not a grandson.
  2. The names must be exactly the same, including the middle name.
  3. The father must still be living.

'II' is used whenever any close relative, including for example a grandfather or a great-uncle, shares the same name as the child.

Why have you not responded to my email?

Sorry, due to volume and time constraints, all email cannot be answered. However, every email is read.

Why is this name not listed?

Have you made sure that the name is not yet on the site? If it is not, you can submit it from the submit-a-name page.

Do I need to register for an account to use this site?

You can access all of the data on this site without a user account. However, there are some interactive features that require an account, including:

  • leaving comments about names
  • posting messages on the message boards
  • creating polls
  • maintaining personal name lists
  • sending and receiving private messages

In addition, an account gives you the option to fill out your profile and upload a picture, and lets you track your contributions to the site.

You can register for an account at the registration page.

I registered for a user account, why was the email not sent to me?

Please contact me using the email address you used to register and I will activate your account. There are many possible reasons the original email did not reach you, including a typo when you entered your email address, and emailing filtering software.

Why are my username and password not working?

  1. Make sure you type your password exactly as you originally typed it. It is case-sensitive.
  2. Make sure you have cookies enabled in your web browser.

How do I comment on a name?

To leave a comment on a name you must be signed in. After you are signed in, view the name and go to the "Comments" tab.

On the message boards, what does NT, etc mean?

NT stands for No Text. It means that the message is entirely within the subject line, and there is no point in reading the body of the message.

FN, LN and NN stand for first name, last name and nickname.

Other abbreviations you might see on the message boards are WDYT (what do you think?), NMS (not my style), CAF (create a family), DH/DW/DS/etc (dear husband, dear wife, dear son, etc) and BtN (Behind the Name, the title of this website).

Can I send you a list of names so you can put them on your website?

Yes, that would be much appreciated. If you are going to send me the names in an attached file please ensure that it is a plain text file. It is also very helpful if you include the genders of the names.

Keep in mind there is no guarantee that your names will be used on the site.

How do I find a name that means ...?

Enter the desired meaning into the search field in the menu bar at the top of any page. Do NOT push enter. A pop-up will appear. Select the "search name meanings" option.

Why do you not have more names from this language or culture?

Probably because there are very few reliable reference books about names from that language. I do not purposefully exclude names from any background!

Why is this language not listed on your languages page?

That page only lists languages which are referred to by the name lists. If a language is not there it probably means there are no names from that language included on this website.

Does the colourful banner at the top of a name's page signify anything?

Some names that have clear visual associations have banners containing colours and/or images that match the name thematically. However, most names have been assigned a banner randomly.

What sources did you use to construct this website?

See the references page.

Can I copy the definition of a name to use in my homework report?

That is not a problem as long as it is only a few names. You do not need to ask permission for this.

How do I list your site in my references?

If your teacher requires you to cite your sources you should use something this:

Campbell, Michael D. "Behind the Name: the
   Etymology and History of First Names."
   (26 May, 2013).

(where 26 May, 2013 is the date you accessed the site)

Can I copy the contents of your website and put them on my website?

No, sorry, that is not allowed. Please place a link to the site instead.

Can you supply me with a list of names for my project?

There are some files that can be downloaded from the data access page.

Low-usage applications may rely on this site's API.