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A birth name is the name of the person given upon their birth. The term may be applied to the surname, the given name or to the entire name. Where births are required to be officially registered, the entire name entered onto a births register or birth certificate may by that fact alone become the person's legal name.The assumption in the Western world is often that the name from birth (or perhaps from baptism or brit milah ) will persist to adulthood in the normal course of affairs—either throughout life or until marriage. Some possible changes concern middle names, diminutive forms, changes relating to parental status (due to one's parents' divorce or adoption by different parents), and changes related to gender transition. Matters are very different in some cultures in which a birth name is for childhood only, rather than for life.
The French and English-adopted terms née and né ( // ; French: [ne] , from French né[e] 'born') have been used to indicate maiden or married names.
The term née, having feminine grammatical gender, can be used to denote a woman's surname at birth that has been replaced or changed. In most English-speaking cultures, it is specifically applied to a woman's maiden name after her surname has changed due to marriage if she chooses to.The term né, having masculine grammatical gender, can be used to denote a man's surname at birth which has subsequently been replaced or changed. The diacritic marks (the acute accent) are considered significant to its spelling, and ultimately its meaning, but are sometimes omitted. According to Oxford University's Dictionary of Modern English Usage , the terms are typically placed after the current surname (e.g., "Ann Smith, née Jones" or "Adam Smith, né Jones"). Because they are terms adopted into English (from French), they do not have to be italicized, but often are.
In Polish tradition, the term de domo (literally meaning "of house" in Latin) may be used, with rare exceptions meaning the same as née.
The meaning of the word American in the English language varies according to the historical, geographical, and political context in which it is used. American is derived from America, a term originally denoting all of the New World. In some expressions, it retains this Pan-American sense, but its usage has evolved over time and, for various historical reasons, the word came to denote people or things specifically from the United States of America.
In linguistics, grammatical gender is a specific form of noun class system in which the division of noun classes forms an agreement system with another aspect of the language, such as adjectives, articles, pronouns, or verbs. Whereas some authors use the term "grammatical gender" as a synonym of "noun class", others use different definitions for each; many authors prefer "noun classes" when none of the inflections in a language relate to sex. Gender systems are used in approximately one quarter of the world's languages. In these languages, most or all nouns inherently carry one value of the grammatical category called gender; the values present in a given language are called the genders of that language. According to one definition: "Genders are classes of nouns reflected in the behaviour of associated words."
The term Latino, along with its feminine form Latina, is a noun and adjective often used in English, Spanish and Portuguese to refer to people in the United States with cultural ties to Latin America.
Singular they is the use in English of the pronoun they or its inflected or derivative forms, them, their, theirs, and themselves, as an epicene (gender-neutral) singular pronoun. It typically occurs with an unspecified antecedent, as in sentences such as:
A noun is a word that functions as the name of a specific object or set of objects, such as living creatures, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas. However, noun is not a semantic category, so it cannot be characterized in terms of its meaning. Thus, actions and states of existence can also be expressed by verbs, qualities by adjectives, and places by adverbs. Linguistically, a noun is a member of a large, open part of speech whose members can occur as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition.
In linguistics, deixis is the use of general words and phrases to refer to a specific time, place, or person in context, e.g., the words tomorrow, there, and they. Words are deictic if their semantic meaning is fixed but their denoted meaning varies depending on time and/or place. Words or phrases that require contextual information to be fully understood—for example, English pronouns—are deictic. Deixis is closely related to anaphora. Although this article deals primarily with deixis in spoken language, the concept is sometimes applied to written language, gestures, and communication media as well. In linguistic anthropology, deixis is treated as a particular subclass of the more general semiotic phenomenon of indexicality, a sign "pointing to" some aspect of its context of occurrence.
In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name that indicates their family, tribe or community.
Gender-neutral language is language that minimizes assumptions about the social gender or biological sex of people referred to in speech or writing. In contrast to most other Indo-European languages, English does not retain grammatical gender and most of its nouns, adjectives and pronouns are therefore not gender-specific. In most other Indo-European languages, nouns are grammatically masculine or grammatically feminine, or sometimes grammatically neuter, regardless of the actual gender of the referent.
A third-person pronoun is a pronoun that refers to an entity other than the speaker or listener. The English pronouns he and she are third-person personal pronouns specific to the gender of the person . The English pronoun they is an epicene (gender-neutral) third-person pronoun that can refer to plural antecedents of any gender and, informally, to a singular antecedent that refers to a person of either or unknown gender, the "singular they". The singular English pronoun it implies that the antecedent has no gender, making it inappropriate in contexts where the antecedent is known to have a gender, but what that gender is is not known.
A gender-specific job title is a name of a job that also specifies or implies the gender of the person performing that job. For example, in English, the job title stewardess implies that the person is female. A gender-neutral job title, on the other hand, is one that does not specify or imply gender, such as firefighter or lawyer. In some cases it may be debatable whether a title is gender-specific; for example, chairman appears to denote a male, but the title is also applied sometimes to women.
In the English language, there are grammatical constructions that many native speakers use unquestioningly yet certain writers call incorrect. Differences of usage or opinion may stem from differences between formal and informal speech and other matters of register, differences among dialects, and so forth. Disputes may arise when style guides disagree with each other, or when a guideline or judgement is confronted by large amounts of conflicting evidence or has its rationale challenged.
A possessive or ktetic form is a word or grammatical construction used to indicate a relationship of possession in a broad sense. This can include strict ownership, or a number of other types of relation to a greater or lesser degree analogous to it.
An honorific is a title that conveys esteem, courtesy, or respect for position or rank when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term "honorific" is used in a more specific sense to refer to an honorary academic title. It is also often conflated with systems of honorific speech in linguistics, which are grammatical or morphological ways of encoding the relative social status of speakers. Honorifics can be used as prefixes or suffixes depending on the appropriate occasion and presentation in accordance with style and customs.
English orthography sometimes uses the term proper adjective to mean adjectives that take initial capital letters, and common adjective to mean those that do not. For example, a person from India is Indian—Indian is a proper adjective.
The distinction between sex and gender differentiates a person's sex from that person's gender, which can refer to either social roles ascribed on the basis of the sex of the person or personal identification of one's own gender based on an internal awareness. In some circumstances, an individual's assigned sex and gender do not align, and the person may be transgender. In other cases, an individual may have biological sex characteristics that complicate sex assignment, and the person may be intersex.
Gender neutrality in languages with grammatical gender is, in the context of a language having grammatical gender categories, the usage of wording that is balanced in its treatment of the genders in a non-grammatical sense. For example, advocates of gender-neutral language challenge the traditional use of masculine nouns and pronouns when referring to two or more genders or to a person or people of an unknown gender in most Indo-European and Afro-Asiatic languages, often inspired by feminist ideas about gender equality. Gender neutrality is also used when one wishes to be inclusive of people who identify as non-binary genders or as genderless.
A system of grammatical gender, whereby every noun was treated as either masculine, feminine, or neuter, existed in Old English, but fell out of use during the Middle English period; therefore, Modern English largely does not have grammatical gender. Modern English lacks grammatical gender in the sense of all noun classes requiring masculine, feminine, or neuter inflection or agreement; however, it does retain features relating to natural gender with particular nouns and pronouns to refer specifically to persons or animals of one or other sexes and neuter pronouns for sexless objects. Also, in some cases, feminine pronouns are used by some speakers when referring to ships, to churches, and to nation states and islands.
A trans woman is a woman who was assigned male at birth. Trans women may experience gender dysphoria and may transition; this process commonly includes hormone replacement therapy and sometimes sex reassignment surgery, which can bring relief and resolve feelings of gender dysphoria. Trans women may be heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual, asexual, or identify with other terms.
An expletive is a word or phrase inserted into a sentence that is not needed to express the basic meaning of the sentence. It is regarded as semantically null or a place holder. Expletives are not insignificant or meaningless in all senses; they may be used to give emphasis or tone, to contribute to the meter in verse, or to indicate tense.
Laws have existed since the French Revolution stating that 'no citizen can use a first name or surname other than that written on their birth certificate' – but many official organisations address both partners by the husband's surname.