Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Language of Names: What We Call Ourselves and Why It Matters” as Want to Read:
The Language of Names: What We Call Ourselves and Why It Matters
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Language of Names: What We Call Ourselves and Why It Matters

3.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  67 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
As delightful and playful as it is profound and serious, The Language of Names is an absolute original -- a fascinating book that reveals us to ourselves, that demonstrates the endless variety of ways in which names shape our daily lives. Drawing on social and literary history, psychology and anthropology, anecdotes, and life stories, biographer Justin Kaplan and novelist ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 10th 1999 by Touchstone (first published 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Language of Names, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Language of Names

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 163)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 18, 2015 Erin rated it it was ok
If this book were a student paper, I would give the authors this feedback:
1. Where is your thesis?
2. For every sentence of example, write at least two sentences of analysis.
This book was primarily a series of loosely related anecdotes organized thematically. There were so many examples given that the authors never really developed their ideas very much. I can't even say what the point of the book was.
Early on they lost a lot of credibility with me by quoting Washington Irving's biography of Chri
Oct 06, 2009 Nancy rated it it was ok
See, now, this could have been a pretty good book. It had a lot of interesting chapters, even if they tended to skim the surface of what initially promised to be a rather fascinating subject. But it's a BIG subject, and the book is relatively short, so you shouldn't expect too much. It's interesting to read about names and social structures...and names and their mystical power...character names in literature. All that was cool, and I was enjoying it. But then, dear me, they got to the ...more
Aug 16, 2012 Tishia rated it liked it
It could've been better. Neverthless, it was good enough that I have it sitting on my bookshelf and I read it again now and then. It is a bit dry, but if you read it as if it's a college thesis, you shouldl be fine.
If you like to know where words come from and what names mean, then you will probably like this book. It is filled with lots of etymology and fun little factoids. The focus is on names in the United States.
Oct 04, 2012 Katrinka rated it liked it
At times interesting, at times tedious, with some questionable notions about the power of names that would make a fabulous book for discussion.
A random collection of how people/places got their names. I was hoping for a more meaty exploration of the sociolinguistics involved in naming.
Aug 11, 2007 emilie rated it liked it
This book is all over the place. That being said a great factoid for the origin of names and theory around naming in general.
Jessica Howard
Jul 14, 2007 Jessica Howard rated it it was ok
Shelves: language
I really think that a book on language and the importance of names should NOT have so many typos.
Feb 13, 2009 SmarterLilac rated it it was amazing
Outstanding. A great resource for those of us into onomastics.
Nov 21, 2009 Jonathan added it
Shelves: linguistics
Cara marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2016
Thabo marked it as to-read
Apr 08, 2016
Bookfan rated it it was amazing
Mar 16, 2016
Bibliophilic Bard
Bibliophilic Bard marked it as to-read
Feb 25, 2016
Byzantine marked it as to-read
Feb 18, 2016
StoneRose marked it as to-read
Jan 17, 2016
RachaelRose marked it as to-read
Jan 17, 2016
Juleen Brantingham
Juleen Brantingham marked it as to-read
Jan 12, 2016
Evan Lynch
Evan Lynch rated it liked it
Jan 01, 2016
Theresa rated it liked it
Dec 26, 2015
Cynthia rated it liked it
Dec 19, 2015
Tali Snyder
Tali Snyder marked it as to-read
Jan 07, 2016
Deborahanndilley marked it as to-read
Nov 19, 2015
Libby marked it as to-read
Nov 18, 2015
Chelseyann deCouto
Chelseyann deCouto marked it as to-read
Nov 14, 2015
Nida marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2015
Carolyn Quinn
Carolyn Quinn rated it it was amazing
Jul 20, 2015
Inese marked it as to-read
Jul 09, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book