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    • Join Date: Dec 2005
    • Posts: 417
    #1

    Smile apostrophe

    In a word like O'Neill what does that apostrophe mean? Does it have a special meaning? If yes can you give me another example?
    Thanks

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • UK
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    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,805
    #2

    Re: apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by daisy1352 View Post
    In a word like O'Neill what does that apostrophe mean? Does it have a special meaning? If yes can you give me another example?
    Thanks
    It's an abbreviation of the word "of". It originally showed that the person's father was called, in this case, Neill (or Neil).

    So if Neil had a son, and called him Peter, he would become "Peter of Neil". This then became shortened to O plus an apostrophe.


    • Join Date: Apr 2010
    • Posts: 5
    #3

    Re: apostrophe

    It stands for letters which have been lost in the shortening of the phrase. In that way it is like contractions like "don't" and "it's."

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