a woman be the name of

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Senior Member
I need your help again. I've found the sentence uttered by an irish actor who says: " I'm looking for a woman be the name of Hester Swane"
I know how to translate the sentence, but I cannot understand if the phrase "be the name of" belongs to the formal register or to the informal one. Can you help me, please?
  • baldpate

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    In standard English this would be written and spoken as "... a woman by the name of ...".

    The use of "be" is simply to represent how the word is being pronounced by a speaker with a strong Irish accent. You find this pronunciation of "by" enshrined in the spelling of such mild oaths/exclamations as "begorra" (literally "by God") and "bejasus" ("by Jesus").

    To answer your question about register, therefore, I would say very informal, spoken.
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