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#79683 09/04/02 03:11 PM
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For interest, please try not to look up the following before you answer.

If you heard that Person A was Person B's namesake, would you assume that:

(a) Person A was named after Person B
(b) Person B was named after Person A
(c) Both (a) and (b) equally likely
(d) None of the above [please provide your interpretation in this case ]



#79684 09/04/02 03:15 PM
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a. I was named for the sake of my father, just as my son is named for my sake.

(edited: I had it right and then put the wrong letter!)



TEd
#79685 09/04/02 03:38 PM
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I'll go for d).

In its normal use, whatever it may have originally meant, it merely implies that A and B have the same name. No cause/effect relationship is implied at all.

Edit:

Merriam Webster online says d), especially c)

ReEdit:
Or at least my interpretation of d).

#79686 09/04/02 03:50 PM
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I have always admired the custom of naming a child after some much loved
adult, especially parent or grandparent. That's one reason I do not llke
picking names of celebrities or "popular" names which will be out of style in a decade.
Our family avoided Jr.'s and Roman numberals.


#79687 09/04/02 04:44 PM
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I'm with Faldage on this one (even before scrolling to his M-W reference). In fact, yesterday I sent an email wherein I used namesake in just such a casual, non-causal way.


#79688 09/04/02 04:52 PM
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My Aunt Elizabeth and I call each other "my favorite namesake." I honestly thought I was being jocular, and up to this very moment would have gone with TEd on choosing a).

Live and learn. Thanks for the interesting thread, mein Fingerlein!

casual, non-causal

Nice turn of phrase, there, Mizz b


#79689 09/04/02 04:54 PM
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Can be (and is) used two ways:
1: the person for whom a child was named (doesn't have to be a parent)
2: either or both of two people with the same name ("We are namesakes!")

I think that makes my answer "a) and d)".

And I just asked my secretary what it meant and she gave me that exact answer, independently. So it must be true!

Humpty-Dumpty would be pleased. "When I use a word, it means exactly what I want it to, no more and no less." (or words to that effect) -- Lewis Carroll


#79690 09/04/02 09:49 PM
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Roman numberals

Apologies for drawing attention to a typoe, Bill, but this one's great! I get an image of Romans dressed in excessively tight overalls, pained expressions on their faces.


#79691 09/04/02 10:09 PM
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No cause/effect relationship is implied at all

My dear Nunclage,

D'oh! I knew there were more categories of "neither" to allow for, and had actually referenced M-W not that long before. I'd meant (c) to cover this scenario.

Hey ho. Got a really nice definition out of you and boronia anyway - "non-causal, casual" will definitely stay with me

But there is definitely something about (a), which I'll make explicit elsewhere...









#79692 09/04/02 10:35 PM
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"a) and d)"

Well, wofa, my newNuncle Fal has produced a cogent summary of why (d) is the only correct answer. However, that's "by the book" (M-W in this case).

(a) -- a namesake is the (more) original person with the name -- was my first response when asked, as it appears to have been yours, your secretary's and TEd's. Oh, and Auntie Elizabeth Fischhoek's. That's enough people in a small sample for me to judge this a common usage, and therefore a reasonably valid meaning. (d) remains the primary meaning, of course.

So, wofa, I'll have a quick flashback to my days reading Marvel comics, and award you a No-Prize. Congratulations!

Incidentally, my wife went for (b) as first choice - hence this thread. And the phrase that kicked it off was on a recent Elvis special on UK TV in which I think Elvis Costello was called the King's "namesake".


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