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WriterInChains
02-26-2006, 10:41 AM
Hello everyone,

I'm looking for real-world names that have an apostrophe in them, like D'Lisa, or M'Lynn (like the character in Steel Magnolias). I think I read somewhere a while back that these are Southern names, but I could be wrong (or just thinking of the movie :))-- I can't find anything anywhere now.

Thanks to anyone who knows what this kind of name is called so I can try yet another Google search, or has a name to share! :)

Peace,
Caren

Maryn
02-26-2006, 07:42 PM
I don't have a specific source to share, but where I live (western NY) it's not unusual to see an apostrophe in the name of someone black and under 25 years old, either gender. Examples: Ta'Quan, K'neesha, Di'Asia, D'Wayne, L'Boyce.

Common 'intros' are T'[name], Ta, Te, L, Le, La, Li, K, Ka, Ke, Ki, D, Di...

FYI, I understand these create havoc in computerized lists unless there's a system in place for dealing with non-alphabetic characters as part of a name.

I don't know if the class of such names has a name. Maybe not. But since there's a definite trend within a large subculture, if it doesn't yet, it will.

M'aryn (haha)

WriterInChains
02-26-2006, 10:34 PM
Hi Maryn,

Thanks for your answer - this helps a lot because I think I'll just have to dive in and create one.

Have a great day! :)
Caren

veinglory
02-26-2006, 10:38 PM
As far as I know the use of apostrophe started only with western transcriptions of names in some African languages--and etimologists tool like the phonetic marks used in dictionaries. It entered use in fanasty fiction, I think Anned mcCaffrey did it first and into the real world from there.

Haggis
02-26-2006, 10:45 PM
As far as I know the use of apostrophe started only with western transcriptions of names in some African languages--and etimologists tool like the phonetic marks used in dictionaries. It entered use in fanasty fiction, I think Anned mcCaffrey did it first and into the real world from there.

As I recall from my old linguistics classes, the apostrophe was used to represent the "click" sound prevalent in some African languages. I think their use in African-American names today may not be related at all.

veinglory
02-26-2006, 11:09 PM
I tend to agree, now it is just used for a 'stop' or even one bridged with a short i.

WriterInChains
02-26-2006, 11:39 PM
veinglory & Haggis -- Thanks for your input, this is really fascinating stuff! :)

It's interesting how words and pronunciation change with translations into English & other western languages. I heard a lot about it while my daughter studied Japanese in school.

MadScientistMatt
02-27-2006, 05:42 PM
I thought the "click" sound was represented by an upside down exclamation point. Apostrophes in names usually mean a glottal stop (sp?).

Hawai'ian (http://www.alohafriendsluau.com/names_traditional.html) names frequently contain apostrophes. So do many other Polynesian languages, but Hawai'ian is the only one I have even a passing familiarity with.

And, of course, there are European last names with apostrophes used to indicate a dropped set of letters. Two examples from literature would be the D'Urbervilles and D'Artagnan. In those cases, I think the D' is actually something like De La, but I'm not sure. There are also Irish versions like O'Callahan.

Haggis
02-27-2006, 06:30 PM
I thought the "click" sound was represented by an upside down exclamation point. Apostrophes in names usually mean a glottal stop (sp?).

Here's more than you'd ever want to know about "click" sounds:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Click_consonant

And Matt's right. Not an apostrophe among 'em.

Jeneral
02-27-2006, 09:19 PM
And, of course, there are European last names with apostrophes used to indicate a dropped set of letters. Two examples from literature would be the D'Urbervilles and D'Artagnan. In those cases, I think the D' is actually something like De La, but I'm not sure.

Sort of. It's more there for the ease of pronouncing the words, and it's not just in names. The d' usually stands for "de," which is "of" in French. If you have "de" before a word beginning with a vowel, you chop off the "e" and use an apostrophe, letting the words flow together. Like the phrase "raison d'etre," which is technically "raison de etre." The French word "c'est" (it is) is actually the two words "ce est."

As far as the original question, I'm sure the idea of the Southern names having an apostrophe just comes from shortening the traditional name to a more familiar form, as opposed to being something "official." So I'd say play with it and see what you come up with for your own characters.

WriterInChains
02-28-2006, 07:20 PM
This turned out to be an interesting discussion! :Sun:

Thanks for all the input. Since I read Maryn's post I've been playing around with combinations & I have what I need and then some.

Everyone have a great day!
Caren

Kathie Freeman
03-03-2006, 11:04 PM
The D' in most names is Italian and is short for De which means "of", usually referring to a town or city.


Similarly the O' in Irish names is short for "of", and can refer either to a town or a family.

Maryn
03-08-2006, 04:59 PM
Caren, there's no reason for me to read the birth announcements, but a name jumped out at me in your behalf and I ended up jotting down a bunch.

There are more introductory syllables than I thought, and more unusual placements of the apostrophe, too, like at the end, plus variations in capitalization after the apostrophe. The list of new babies included these: A’London, Angelique’, C’Morra, Jah’mir, Jay’line, Joe’l, Ne’Vaeh, Ny’londa, Ny’Zere, Q’oriana, Qu’done, Ray’nie, Ta’Nasia, Ta’Rez

I'm not even sure how to pronounce some of these, but clearly there's a major naming trend.

Maryn, whose kids have weird-enough names already

Tish Davidson
03-08-2006, 11:36 PM
I once interviewed the president of the National PTA whose first name was Ja net', although I had a devil of a time convincing the newspaper copy editors that that was how she spelled it.

WriterInChains
03-11-2006, 10:09 PM
Thanks a million for all the wonderful info & help! :)

I love "useless information" in general, so instead of pulling my hair out (like I was doing before I started this thread) I'm having so much fun with this I have 2 notebook pages full of these names now. I'm looking forward to hitting another brick wall in a story, so I can ask a question here & get a half-dozen ideas for new stories. Not that I have time to write them all, but I'm used to having a bunch of voices vying for my BIC time & I love it.

Thanks again, I truly appreciate everyone taking the time to post here!:Sun:
~Caren