In fourteenth-century England, 2 out of every 3 males were named Robert, William, Henry, John, or Richard.
Chicago’s O’Hare airport was named for Edward “Butch” O’Hare who was shot down over the pacific in 1943. Prior to this it was named Orchard Field.
Oklahoma City’s airport is named after humorist Will Rogers.
The Lyon Aiport in France was renamed in honor of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of The Little Prince.
And, no, Moron Airport in Mongolia was not named after me.
What Do You Think?
If you had to change your first name, what name would you choose?
(Share your answers in the comments below.)
Naming Child #5?
Would a rose smell as sweet by any other name?
Names are definitely a hot topic around the Stilley household. Six weeks to go till Child #5 arrives and we haven’t even managed to put together a short list of name possibilities. I am convinced that it will be easier for John McCain and Barack Obama to decide on what name will be on the ballot as their running mate than it will be for us to come up with a name for this child.
We came to quick agreement on names for Parker Jordan, Daniel Willmann, and Gabriel Paige. But, with Tessa, Susan had been in labor for about six hours before I gave in. Susan leveraged her pain and agony to get the name she wanted. And, I’m glad she did. It is hard for me to imagine Tessa by any other name.
How different would Tessa have been had we given her a different name? How would her life have changed? Would people have treated her differently?
The Penguin Classic Baby Name Book, by Grace Hamlin
The Penguin Classic Baby Name Book is probably my favorite baby name book. Not that we would actually use many of the names that are found in it, but it is fun to peruse and think about the works of classic literature from which the names were culled.
For instance, I can’t see myself naming Child #5 Caspar. When I think Caspar I think “friendly ghost.” Not exactly the first impression I want Child #5 to make. There just aren’t that many people who are going to think, “Caspar, yes, he was the stalwart American courtier of Isabel Archer in Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady.” I’m afraid that Child #5 would never forgive Susan and me if he was stuck with the nickname Boo.
Or, Giocondo. Doesn’t that sound more like a description of Florida real estate than a baby’s name? [Read more…]
Simon Says, "Just Call Me Peter"
Last October during our church’s missions festival we had a guest pastor in from Russia with whom we have been working. His name was Peter. Well that is what I called him, but every time I turned around someone else seemed to be calling him a somewhat different version of “Peter.” I asked him why people around here, who have known him for much longer than I have, seem to call him by so many different names. However, communication was difficult, so he just said for me to call him whatever I wanted. I did not understand.
Maybe now I do.
In The Penguin Classic Baby Name Book, Grace Hamlin writes regarding Russian names;
It’s difficult to keep the names straight in a sprawling novel like Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina even without the added unfamiliarity of Russian names. Compounding the problem is the Russian system of using a first name and a patronymic. Most confusing of all is the fact that Russians are constantly playing with names, creating a string of nicknames from a mere pair of syllables. Finally, a Russian character in high society is likely to bear a French name, owing to the aristocratic affection for Western European habits.
The combination of first name and patronymic is used politely, by acquaintances, so upon meeting someone named Pyotr Ivanovich Lupachkin one might address him as “Pyotr Ivanovich.” (Not all translator render name thus, however.) In a ballroom, he might be know as “Pierre.” And his family might call him, variously, Petya, Petrushka, Petr, or Petinka.
After reading that, I better understand why my Russian friend Peter might be known by so many variations of his name. However, I now feel impoverished because my own family only refers to me by two names, “Kevin” and “Hey, you.”