Author Topic: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread  (Read 1002336 times)

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #9630 on: August 17, 2014, 02:37:11 PM »
What do others know of naming customs?  Curious here.
In Zulu/Xhosa traditions, a child will be named by the paternal grandfather, with no input from the parents. Names aren't really just words like "Katherine" or "Emily", they are words with direct meanings (like Chastity or Mercy). The child can be named along a number of different themes including:

- named after famous people (e.g. Nelson Mandela was named after Lord Nelson, Kaiser for Kaiser Wilhelm is another common one.)

- named after aspirations of what they want the child to become (e.g. Doctor Kumalo, and I've worked with a Sheriff)

- named after the character they want the child to have (e.g. Nhlanhla means lucky, Dumisile means praised)

- named after something happening around the time of the child's birth (so if you have a lot of children, you might name the new baby Anele, which means enough. Or if you want more, you might name the child Andile which means to multiply. If a child is born in a difficult time in the family's life, they might name it Ayanda meaning the family are arguing)

- named in response to the birth of the child (e.g. Bongiwe meaning we are grateful, Dumazile meaning she disappoints).

There's a nice long list of names with meanings here to give you some idea of the diversity:

Imagine going through life named "Disappointment" or "FamilyArgument".  :P
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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #9631 on: August 17, 2014, 04:26:42 PM »
...Imagine going through life named "Disappointment" or "FamilyArgument".  :P



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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #9632 on: August 17, 2014, 10:09:06 PM »

I don't know about the boys' names, but the reason for those four girls' names are (retrospectively) fairly obvious.  Anne and Mary are the most common saint names for girls, so they showed up a lot.  Elizabeth and Katherine were both very common because they each have so many variations.  You could have an entire football team of Katherine Elizabeths, with each having a different, name-derived nickname.
It was also common to name your child after the currently reigning monarchs.  Henry VIII's fifth and sixth queens, Catherine Howard and Kathryn Parr, were both named for his first queen, Katharine of Aragon.
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