Can the word “christen” be used in an entirely non-religious context to describe the naming of something like a building


Is it appropriate (and culturally sensitive) to use the term christen in a sentence such as:

The building was christened the Stone Center in memory of Dr. Stone, whose research made it possible.

Some dictionaries say that christened means just to name something, while other dictionaries and web searches only bring up the sense of giving a person their Christian name.

Perhaps christening the Stone Center has the second problem that Stone is a last name, not a Christian name?

Best Answer

It is used all the time for the initial naming of a variety of objects, such as ships, buildings, even cars. Just because a word has its roots in Christianity, does not mean that its usage implies Christianity.

Although I am Indian, I do not regard it as offensive, or "Christian" to use the word christened.

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