Wiktionary:English proper nouns

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Wiktionary classifies both nouns and noun phrases that are names of specific entities in Category:English proper nouns.

Proper nouns with "the"[edit]

Some proper nouns are only used with "the" (eg, the Thames (river, UK)), except when used attributively (eg, a Thames River barge). Some are optionally used with "the" (eg, Congo, the Congo). Proper nouns that are plural in form require "the" when used as a noun (eg, the Rockies, the Rocky Mountains, the Netherlands, the Bahamas).

Other uses of proper nouns[edit]

Proper nouns have several other uses.

  1. To refer to a set of one or more bearers of a name.
    You don't mean the Queen Elizabeth, do you?
    How many Queen Elizabeths have occupied the throne of England?
    A Queen Elizabeth now reigns in Great Britain.
  2. To designate a set of those who have some properties of one or more bearers of a name, which properties are salient to the context.
    England needs a Tudor on the throne.
    There will never be another Shakespeare.
    I don't want a beagle, I want a Lassie dog.
  3. To refer to an aspect or manifestation of a bearer of a name.
    The play is a product of the mature Shakespeare
  4. To denote products created by a bearer of a name, such as products of authorship.
    The company's repertoire includes the usual Shakespeares.
  5. To refer to a copy, edition of a work bearing
    I just bought a first edition The American Language.
    Do you mean a first edition Mencken?

Attributive use of proper nouns[edit]

As almost any English noun, proper nouns are often used attributively to form noun phrases (eg, a US Army helicopter, a "US Army Iroquois helicopter").

More rarely, a proper noun becomes so associated with a quality or characteristic that it is used attributively to denote the quality or characteristic. (eg, "And now they fear they may lose their Beverly Hills mansion and their Rolls Royce lifestyle.")

External links[edit]

  • Names at Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.