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  1. supada's Avatar
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    #1

    Christen

    Dear teachers,

    What is the difference between 'christen' and 'name'?

    Does 'christen' have something to do with religions when using?

    Here is a sentence I brought up;

    Paul Howard christened Garland 'Baby Cotton Picker' after the show.

    Actually it is a story of Jazz guitarist. Nothing to do with religion so I'm a little bit lost.

    Please help.

  2. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Christen

    [I'm not a teacher.]

    Hi Supada:

    Here's an difinition of christen from Cambridge Dictionary.

    christen
    verb [T]
    1 to give a baby a name at a Christian ceremony and make him or her a member of the Christian Church:

    She's being christened in June.
    [+ noun] She was christened Maria.
    Thus, christen refers to give a baby name which is relevant to their parents' religious belief- Christanity and the ceremony. In other words, the baby becomes a Christian, and the name is a Christian name.

    For example, my parents aren't Christians and they just gave me an ordinary name without any regilious ceremony.

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    #3

    Re: Christen

    The origin is related to Christian baptism, but now can be used for any naming, especially a ceremonial naming.
    It is informally used with gently humourous overtones: The children christened the new kitten Fluffy.
    So, Paul Howard christened Garland 'Baby Cotton Picker' after the show, means that after the (music) show, Paul Howard gave the stage name 'Baby Cotton Picker to (Hank) Garland. Howard's band was called the Arkansas Cotton Pickers. Hank Garland was just a teenager at the time, so he became the 'Baby' Cotton Picker. As the leader of the band, Howard had the right to 'christen' the new member by giving him this name.
    'To christen' can also be used to mean 'to use for the first time': The family christened their new pool by going for a swim.

    I hope this is helpful. all best wishes,

    Petra


  3. supada's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Christen

    Thanks thedaffodils and pyoung!

    Now I get it. : )

  4. Soup's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Christen

    Christian Names

    "Christian names", says the Elizabethan antiquary, Camden, "were imposed for the distinction of persons, surnames for the difference of families."

    It would seem from this that, even in the sixteenth century, the etymological and historical significance of the phrase "Christian name" was growning dim, and it is commonly quite forgotten in our own time. But, strictly speaking, the "Christian name" is not merely the forename distinctive of the individual member of a family, but the name given to him at his "christening", i.e., his baptism.

    It should be remembered that, in pre-Reformation England the laity were taught to administer baptism in case of necessity with the words: "I christen thee in the name of the Father" etc. To "christen" is therefore to "baptize", and "Christian name" means baptismal name.

    CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Christian Names

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    #6

    Re: Christen

    Yes, of course, etymologically and historically, the term 'christen' is related to the Christian ritual of baptism. However, in the case of the original post:
    Paul Howard christened Garland 'Baby Cotton Picker' after the show,
    there is no meaningful connection to the idea of Christian baptism. It simply means that when Hank Garland joined Paul Howard's group, the Arkansas Cotton Pickers, he was very young. In recognition of his youth, Howard gave him the name 'Baby Cotton Picker'.


    Petra

  5. supada's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Christen

    Quote Originally Posted by pyoung View Post
    Yes, of course, etymologically and historically, the term 'christen' is related to the Christian ritual of baptism. However, in the case of the original post:
    Paul Howard christened Garland 'Baby Cotton Picker' after the show,
    there is no meaningful connection to the idea of Christian baptism. It simply means that when Hank Garland joined Paul Howard's group, the Arkansas Cotton Pickers, he was very young. In recognition of his youth, Howard gave him the name 'Baby Cotton Picker'.


    Petra
    Thanks for your clarification. When reading from the context, I don't think there's something to do with baptism according to the meaning I looked up in dictionary.

    It is very clear and helpful.

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