"Named" vs "Called"

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"Named" vs "Called"

Postby eekmeep » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:47 am UTC

It seems to me Americans usually say something like, "I know a boy named Sue."

Britons and some others (maybe NZ, AU) seem to say, "I know a boy called Sue."

I always halfway think there is some deep meaning there, like perhaps in England you get a "formal" or "pedigree"(?) name which isn't really your "go-by" name, whereas in the US you are generally called by your name (not talking about nicknames, here).

Any wisdom, guesses, otters?
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby erebfaer » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:59 am UTC

You've got me really confused now... I think I use whatever the other person used if it's a response e.g. "There's this boy named Sue", "Hey, I know a boy named Sue!".
However, my mother is American so it is possible I never picked up just using one or the other.
Since I started typing I have come to think that I have a tendency towards 'called'.
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby poxic » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:01 am UTC

I doubt it's very deep. I've lived in both the US and Canada, and 'named' and 'called' seem interchangeable to me. Unless it's a regional thing, anyway. I've always lived in the Pacific Northwest.
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby Telestriation » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:22 am UTC

'Named' implies personification of a thing. To name something means that you give it a human characteristic, in the form of a name. After that, it's a matter of gender.

'Called' implies neutrality toward a given named thing, such as a species. This is the neuter form.

"I named my bird Fred." "What kind is he?" "I think it's called a pidgin."
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:37 pm UTC

Your personification interpretation is all well and good for American English, but it doesn't explain why Brits talk about a person called somethingorother.
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby Simbera » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:02 pm UTC

I'd suggest that 'called' is the general term - it can be used for any noun* including people, whereas 'named' is more specific, and can only be used for people (or, I suppose, things like animals or anthropomorphised objects, like when people name their car; like Telestriation said, personification).

So yeah; the Brits (and we Aussies, BTW) use 'called' because you can use it for anything, including people, and only the more formal people (or in more formal situations) would we/they use 'named' for personificamationed things.

<^>

*or, I suppose, verb?
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby 6453893 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:31 pm UTC

I have heard them used interchangeably in every English Speaking-Dominant country I have been.
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby Hausdog » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:10 pm UTC

I'm going to echo the people who say that named refers primarily to people and personified things while called is mostly for objects, but I am going to further state that it should probably be the other way around because people come when you call them and things can have names ("what's that boat's name?" "Its name is the Commodore"). In Spanish, French, Italian, and probably other Romance languages you would ask "How do you call yourself?" and say "I call myself X," but it might not be fair to compare them to English because they aren't super-closely related.
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby Dibley » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:15 pm UTC

Telestriation wrote:"I named my bird Fred." "What kind is he?" "I think it's called a pidgin."

Just so you know, the bird is a Pigeon, while a Pidgin is either a form of language or a kind of terrible IM client.
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby littlelj » Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:18 pm UTC

BrEng speaker here.

You name your child only once, on his birth certificate. I named my son Adam Matthew. I call him Adam, or Addy, or Bear.
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby Sharlos » Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:09 am UTC

You name your child only once, on his birth certificate. I named my son Adam Matthew. I call him Adam, or Addy, or Bear.


Yeah, this is how I see it for the most part. (Aussie here)
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby Gaydar2000SE » Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:01 am UTC

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/yclept

Concur with littlelj, to name is to assign a name. To call is to reference by name. Essentially most programming languages seem to also do this, one names objects and then calls them by that name.

Also, I usually say 'I know a lad, one 'Nigel', smart fellow I dare say, and his mother makes the most excellent of crisps with vinegar. Why look? Aluminium over there.'
^ :/
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby Zamfir » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:05 am UTC

Bu this one-time interpretation doesn't solve anything...

I know a boy (who has been) named Sue (, by his parents in 1926).
I know a boy (who is usually) called Sue.

This kind of (rather intrinsic) ambiguity happens more. Is "a painted fence" a fence that is currently "painted", just as it can be "green", or does it (grammatically) mean that in the past, someone painted that fence?
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby epeolatrist » Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:23 pm UTC

I like to think that "named" is more permanent and references the ACTUAL name of something. For instance, my sister may be named Jane, but I call her Stupidhead.
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby sparks » Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:34 am UTC

I also think that name is to give someone a certain name, e.g. I named my cat Tibbles. To call it, it may include nicknames or other forms of address, e.g. I call my cat "fuzzy wuzzy baby" (I am kidding). Naming is mostly about someone's name, while calling is about what this person is known as. I can see how someone could both be named and called Sue, however. This is just the way I see it, I usually seldom think these words are the same at any rate. I'm not from any English speaking country though my English is closer to English English with some American English thrown in (and possibly Aussie, since one of my best friends is Australian).
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby eekmeep » Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:22 am UTC

sparks wrote:I also think that name is to give someone a certain name, e.g. I named my cat Tibbles. To call it, it may include nicknames or other forms of address, e.g. I call my cat "fuzzy wuzzy baby" (I am kidding). Naming is mostly about someone's name, while calling is about what this person is known as. I can see how someone could both be named and called Sue, however. This is just the way I see it, I usually seldom think these words are the same at any rate. I'm not from any English speaking country though my English is closer to English English with some American English thrown in (and possibly Aussie, since one of my best friends is Australian).


May I ask where you are from? And how long ago you learned English? Because you write it very, very naturally.
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby 6453893 » Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:16 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:Bu this one-time interpretation doesn't solve anything...

I know a boy (who has been) named Sue (, by his parents in 1926).
I know a boy (who is usually) called Sue.

This kind of (rather intrinsic) ambiguity happens more. Is "a painted fence" a fence that is currently "painted", just as it can be "green", or does it (grammatically) mean that in the past, someone painted that fence?


How can the fence currently be "painted" without having been painted in the past? A better example would be a rounded surface, or something of the kind.
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby Bismark » Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:13 am UTC

If I were to introduce myself I would say

"My name is X, but call me Y"

Here the name becomes something immutable, an intrinsic quality of my personhood, whereas what I prefer to be called is capricious and can be changed. the named/called thing is probably different depending on region so I doubt there is any deeper meaning, but the idea of formal and preferred names may be a little deeper.
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby animeHrmIne » Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:11 am UTC

I agree that what this thread says would be ideal, but I think the regionalism is a big part, too. I have friends who go by something other than their given name, and I still say that they're "named [nickname]".

So, for example, say I have a friend who's given name is A, but they go by X. I'd say:

A) I have a friend named X
B) My friend's name is X

Even though neither of those statements is really true, if named implies a given name.
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby baklazanek » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:24 am UTC

epeolatrist wrote:I like to think that "named" is more permanent and references the ACTUAL name of something. For instance, my sister may be named Jane, but I call her Stupidhead.


:lol:
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Re: "Named" vs "Called"

Postby Fire Brns » Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:03 pm UTC

Could this difference be related to national origin as well? I know in some languages the preferred method of introduction is either "I call myself" or "My name is" and one is infinitely easier to say than the other and as immigrants came to America they learned the one they were used to and those subtle verbal patterns were carried on by their children.
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