Saturday, August 06, 2005

Naming Query

Are Xanders and other name variants taken from the latter portion of the name Alexander/Alessandro/etc. more or less common than Peg/Peggy, a variant of Margaret? And can nicknames taken from the middle or end of a name rather than the first portion of the name truly be called perverse? The Baby Name Wizard is no help and Will and I and the Volokhs could not agree. The former inquiry is difficult because parents giving their children a birth name that is its own nickname is a relatively recent phenomenon, but the latter is a question of what's perverse.

Also on the word front, the OED backs my assertion that a couple cannot be three, but it is stubbornly vague about whether a few means 3-5. Apparently several can be as few as four. Hmph.
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