I was thinking along the lines of “je me demande ce qu’il est nommé d’après,” but it seems wrong. What would be better?


You could say :

Je me demande de quoi il/elle/cela tire son nom.

Je me demande d'où il/elle/cela tire son nom.

Je me demande d'où vient son nom.

  • Également : de quoi il porte le nom ; d'où il reçoit / a reçu son nom ; comme quoi il s'appelle. – Luke Sawczak May 6 '18 at 16:27
  • Porter le nom de is more restricted than to be named after. It implies that the exact same name has been given. You can say Le polonium tire son nom du pays natal de Marie Curie, mais il ne porte pas le nom de ce pays. Because polonium and Pologne are two different words. – Greg May 6 '18 at 16:44
  • Cela a du sens. Merci ! – Luke Sawczak May 6 '18 at 16:57

I think we can utilise either porter or nommer.


Je me demande de quoi il porte le nom.


Je me demande de quoi il est nommé.

I guess we may use se nommer as well. But I am not sure:-)!

Je me demande de quoi il se nomme.

  • Could you say "Je me demande d'après quoi il est nommé"? – temporary_user_name May 6 '18 at 13:22
  • No natif here:-)! I think so. – Dimitris May 6 '18 at 13:26
  • Se nommer or être nommé is not used with de + something. You would use it eg in il se nomme Albert, but not to express that the name comes from something (or then possibly with en référence à or d'après *). *Porter le nom is rather used to refer to given names such as a family name or the name of a city, country, etc., and means the name is exactly the same (eg elle porte le nom de sa mère), so the usage is more restricted. – Greg May 6 '18 at 14:17
  • I asked this question after seeing it in this wiki article, where it says Nommée d'après le nom d'usage de Clair-Dominique-Eugène Duport... Are you saying that's an incorrect sentence? – temporary_user_name May 6 '18 at 14:23
  • Nommer d'après is not incorrect, maybe awkward at worst, and "non-native" in d'après quoi est-il nommé ?. Nommer de would in any case not be correct. – Greg May 6 '18 at 14:36

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