to be called something, someone called something

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henrylee100

Senior Member
Russian
How normal/standard is it in English to say that somebody is called something, meaning that that is their name.
For example would it be ok to say, 'He's called Peter' instead of 'His name is Peter', or to talk about a person called something, as in 'a guy called Jared dropped by here asking for you' (instead of a guy named/by the name of ...), for example how normal/ok does this line from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' Stagger Lee sound to you, people:
'Well, bartender, it's plain to see I'm that bad motherf..ker called Stagger Lee, Mr Stagger Lee' ?
 
  • Miss Julie

    Senior Member
    English-U.S.
    In general, British English uses "call" ("I met a bloke called Peter today")...

    ...while North American English uses "name" ("His name is Peter." "I met a guy named Peter today.")

    However, we (in N.A.) also can say: "His name (name given at birth) is Robert, but people call him Bob (nickname) for short."

    You're using a song lyric by a British group as an example, thus the use of "call." (And in song lyrics, anything goes!!)
     
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