Is "I didn't get your name" only used when someone has told you their name but you forgot it so you ask again or is it also natural to use when the other hasn't mentioned his or her name?

  • It's not exactly "natural", but it's often done deliberately. Receptionist / hospitality worker, or whatever knows perfectly well that she didn't ask for the name earlier (and it wasn't spontaneously offered anyway), but in some contexts it's a bit "rude" to explicitly call attention to the fact that a visitor hasn't identified himself. Saying I didn't get your name is just a conventional "little white lie" whereby the speaker pretends the omission was her fault (forgot to ask/didn't hear), even though really the visitor probably should have introduced himself much earlier. Commented Feb 1, 2021 at 16:47
  • ...don't forget many, many movies (especially Westerns) where "the stranger" rolls up in town, and at some point a barkeeper or hotel clerk comes out with this line. At which the stranger drawls menacingly That's because I didn't give you my name! (with the implication You ask too many questions!). Commented Feb 1, 2021 at 16:54

1 Answer 1


It's not that natural for someone to say "I didn't get you name" if that person hasn't mentioned it yet. It doesn't seem right to ask someone to sort of repeat something they haven't said before.

  • It can be a polite way to ask in a situation where the person should have mentioned their name but didn't. Then you are assuming the blame (falsely, to be sure) rather than assigning it in a way that might be embarrassing. Commented Feb 1, 2021 at 16:54

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