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  1. Mrs Irons's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2009
    • Posts: 15
    #1

    English Names

    I just noticed that the full name of Britain's PM is James Gordon Brown. This rather confuses me. Why is he known as Gordon Brown instead of James Brown? It seems to me that the middle names are more likely to be omitted when referring to someone? Why is it not so in this case? Is there anybody who can explain this? Thanks.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,627
    #2

    Re: English Names

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs Irons View Post
    I just noticed that the full name of Britain's PM is James Gordon Brown. This rather confuses me. Why is he known as Gordon Brown instead of James Brown? It seems to me that the middle names are more likely to be omitted when referring to someone? Why is it not so in this case? Is there anybody who can explain this? Thanks.
    There is no rule, some people choose to use their middle name rather than their first.

  3. Mrs Irons's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2009
    • Posts: 15
    #3

    Re: English Names

    Thank you for answering this question.

    Do you mean that this is a personal choice of Gordon Brown himself? Could it also be the choice of his parents?

    I understand that usually an English name is composed of the first name (Christian name) and the last name (family name)? I wonder if everyone is given a middle name after birth? What does middle name mean?

    And talking of names, in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, Jack Worthing intends to be Christened and therefore get the name 'Earnest'. Is it practicable in realy life?

    Thanks.

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