Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The history of the names of steam locomotives in the earliest years of Britain’s railways is described, showing a clear progression from names based on essential attributes, whether real, metaphorical, or mythologically encoded, of the locomotives themselves, towards others which are situated on a curve of increasing arbitrariness. These later names tended to be typed, and less constrained as regards their sources than earlier ones, veering sharply away from being literally or metaphorically descriptive. The sources of these later onymic types are of cultural interest. The progression described is suggested to represent an onomastic universal regarding naming strategies for new categories of nameable things. The names of trains are also briefly considered.

Keywords: locomotive names, train names, naming strategies, naming universals, metaphor

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.