How to greet a person with name "St.John Murray"?


New Member
Dear all,

Greetings from still-boiling HK.

I believe this is still an "English" question rather than a cultural one.

That I need to write an email to someone with name "St.John Murray", could anyone tell me what will be the surname? What does this "St." mean? I know the "Jr." in names like George Bush Jr. means the junior, but what about this particular case? Do we have any other "special" names you have seen?

Thank you very much!

  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    St is short for Saint.
    St.John is a fairly uncommon first name or surname (pronounced sin-jən).

    Unfortunately there are two possibilities: either he has a double surname (St.John Murray); or his first name is St.John and his surname is Murray. Do you know whether this name is first name and surname or just surname?

    If it's a double surname you have to address him as Mr St.John Murray
    If it's a first name, you address him as Mr Murray.


    New Member
    Thank you for your quick reply Chez!

    So far he called himself as "St.John Murray" only. But I got what you mean.

    One quick follow up question, that if we call him by the firstname, which is correct? "Dear St. John", "Dear St. john", "Dear St John" or "Dear St john"? Sorry for being picky, but I want to get this really clear. Thank you!!


    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I agree with Chez that St John is either a given name (first name, forename, Christian name) or a surname (last name). However, if you have been given the name 'St John Murray', I would say that it is very likely that St John is the given (Christian) name.

    If it is informal and you think you can use his given name, you should write 'Dear St John'. Otherwise, write 'Dear Mr Murray'. (The current UK preference is not to use the full stop in 'St John'.)


    Senior Member
    English English
    natkretep is right, but if he has written his name on a letter/email or any other written format, you should do whatever he did (with a full stop if he used one, without if he didn't).

    If it's not written anywhere, drop the full stop.
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