Sunday, June 21, 2009

Funny names

For the past month or so, I've been working on our annual 40-page graduation tab. It features pictures and names of all graduates in Litchfield County.

It's tedious work, placing photo after photo after photo - all of the same size, lined up in a row. But it can be fun, too, because some people have odd names. I found myself reflecting over a lot of strange things, such as names that can be both first and last names in the U.S., or names that can be both for boys and girls. See my lists below.

Names for boys and girls:
Leigh (Lee)

First names that can be last names:
Dillon (Dylan)
Kelley (Kelly)

Fun names that have a meaning:
Archer ("I use my bow and arrows every day")
Ashburn (ha, and this one is a reverend!)
Beavers ("are we building a dam?")
Best ("I'm the best!")
Bridges ("I cross the waters frequently")
Cash ("I don't carry any on me, sorry")
Couch ("No, I'm not a couch potato")
Cry ("I always cry")
Diamond ("A girl's best friend")
Gasser (can you even imagine?)
Godburn (are we burning God now?)
Grey ("gosh, I feel blah")
Farmer ("Yes, I live on a farm")
Flowers ("gee, it sucks to be a guy")
King ("I'm the king of the world!")
Mica (the mineral?)
Minor ("No, it's actually my major")
Parent ("I'm too young to have kids")
Pope ("No, I'm not THE pope")
Saltman ("I could use some licorice!")
Seaman (pronounced "semen," need I say more?)
Smart ("Of course I am!")
St. Sauveur (pronounced "saint savior" - the almighty)
Weeks ("I've been trying to graduate for weeks!")
White (that can be tough)
Woods ("I'm an outdoor kind of guy")
Yard ("I like being outside")

Names that mean stuff in other languages:
Finkelstein ("finch" and "rock" in German)
Himmel ("Sky" in Swedish)
Knaublauch ("Garlic" in German)
Nygren ("New branch" in Swedish)
Summa ("sum" in Swedish)

I actually came across one guy named the same thing for first and last name, but now I cannot remember what it was.

I know we have some weird names in Sweden, like the ones that mean "bear" (Björn) or "path" (Stig) or "stone" (Sten), but I cannot imagine anyone being called Anderson Anderson or Johnson Johnson (I have, however, met someone whose father's name was Mårten Mårtenson).


Anne Sofie said...

That brought some giggling...

I've pondered a lot over an American friend's baby granddaughters named after Democratic Presidents family names. Poor girls, was my first reaction, but since then I've noticed more girls named after Democratic Presidents. Can you please explain this habit?

By the way, most of us have names that mean something. Anne/Anna means mother in, I think, Hebrew, and Sofie/Sophia is wise in Greek. (A wise mother, isn't that what I am! ;-) ) And Viktoria needs no translation...

Maria said...

en kompis bror, som är halvnorsk, fick många pikar när han flyttade till USA. Han heter Odd Hellman. :)

Vickan said...

ASN> yes, it's true that all names have some sort of meaning, but with some names you don't even have to do any digging (or thinking) to know what it is, which makes them funner.

I'm not sure why people would name their kids after Democratic Presidents, but I know someone who i naming their dogs after Republican presidents. Also, why do people in this country insist on naming their kids (escpecially sons) after themselves? There are plenty of other names out there!

Maria> That's Odd.

Anne Sofie said...

Why people in the US name their sons after themselves:

1. In the land of no kings/queens it is the only way to get a number in one's name.

2. When parent and child have the same name, there is a lot less trouble to inherit things with names or initials on.

3. There is a lot of things to take care of when you have a new baby - so of course it wonderful to be able to skip one task.

4. And you don't have to argue with your husband/wife about the baby's name, if it is all set for generations to come.

5. For the mother/wife of junior/senior it saves time to cry out just one name when time for dinner. (I bought a gong...)

6. When one get demented, at least one can name some relatives.

7. I always mix up my husband's and son's names up when I tell them off, and that certainly takes the sting out of my anger. How much better would I be barking if they had the same name!


I suppose I could go on for ever making up (im)possible explainations for American habits of naming babies but, frankly, I have no idea. I do hope some of your American friends will inform us. Why not do some research at home? ;-)

Vickan said...

Will have to do some research - I've tried, though, and nobody can give me a better answer than "we just liked the name so much."

I call it poor imagination.

Anne Sofie said...

Oh... I certainly like my reasons better! No poor imagination here ;-)