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  • Print publication year: 1999
  • Online publication date: March 2008


This chapter discusses English names since 1776. A very great deal of the work in English onomastics currently being done is by American scholars, especially in relation to American place-naming and in relation to the analysis of names applied to new or hitherto unstudied categories of nameables. Studying the names coined since 1776 will be a contribution to knowledge of lexical creativity during this period. Specifically, it will be about the nature of creativity in that special name-lexicon. Place-names are recorded aplenty in the documents just mentioned. There is little of interest to say about the post-1776 treatment of established names, except that by this time they regularly appear in something like their present orthographic form. A brief history of naming-practices prior to 1776 is in order, because names were introduced into the English stock between 1485 and 1776 which rose to popularity only in the later period.
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The Cambridge History of the English Language
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