The French word née (or the anglicized form nee) is commonly used in some English-language contexts, e.g. in many newspapers, when mentioning the maiden name of a woman in engagement or wedding announcements. Née is the feminine form of the past participle of naître (to be born) and means born in the French language.
In common usage, it often appears like this:
- Jane Doe (née Dawson) announced the birth of a baby...
The "née" indicates that Jane's last name had changed from Dawson to Doe.
Sometimes, the person's entire original name is written, but that is usually only in special cases: Conventionally, née indicates a birth name, that is, a surname, as forenames are deemed to be given after birth, as at christenings.
The masculine form, né is less common but is occasionally used to give the birth name of a man who has changed his name for some reason. Née and né are also used more generally to denote former names (as opposed to birth names), and earlier names of inanimate entities such as companies and products.
Can you give some examples of words with and without nee ? —This comment was unsigned.