Author Topic: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???  (Read 1641363 times)

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jalutaja

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17940 on: December 11, 2013, 03:03:43 PM »
My point is that I'm curious about how it is in other cultures--if names are mostly non-obvious in meaning or literal, how strongly the meaning factors into the choice, etc..

What I find is hard to figure out why in English Dawn is a male name, but in my language the word meaning Dawn is a male name and evening low is the female name (there is even a legend about star-crossed lovers with these names.

I think Levi-Strauss talks about this in one of his books. What gender things are can vary widely from culture to culture. For example, in German, sun is feminine and moon is masculine. I find this fascinating as all the cultures I am familiar with associate the moon quite strongly with the feminine. Another German example: maiden is neuter while woman is (obviously) feminine.

Well, in my language we even do not tell gender when talking about people - no he an she, just the word meaning "this person".

So words themselves have no gender - it makes learning other languages so hard for us.

Also - translating into other languages can be hard, when a person gets mentioned casually and we just do not KNOW is this person male or female who has been mentioned.

lemons

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17941 on: December 11, 2013, 03:16:25 PM »
My point is that I'm curious about how it is in other cultures--if names are mostly non-obvious in meaning or literal, how strongly the meaning factors into the choice, etc..

What I find is hard to figure out why in English Dawn is a male name, but in my language the word meaning Dawn is a male name and evening low is the female name (there is even a legend about star-crossed lovers with these names.

I think Levi-Strauss talks about this in one of his books. What gender things are can vary widely from culture to culture. For example, in German, sun is feminine and moon is masculine. I find this fascinating as all the cultures I am familiar with associate the moon quite strongly with the feminine. Another German example: maiden is neuter while woman is (obviously) feminine.

Maiden in German is "Maedchen" (or you can replace the ae with an a with an ulaut).  Any word with a "-chen" ending is neuter, it's one of the language rules.  So while on a strict translation basis, Maiden is neuter, it's really more that any diminutive is neuter and maiden happens to be a diminutive.

Lynn2000

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17942 on: December 11, 2013, 03:22:15 PM »
My point is that I'm curious about how it is in other cultures--if names are mostly non-obvious in meaning or literal, how strongly the meaning factors into the choice, etc..

What I find is hard to figure out why in English Dawn is a male name, but in my language the word meaning Dawn is a male name and evening low is the female name (there is even a legend about star-crossed lovers with these names.

Dawn is a girl's name in English.  Don is a boy's name.

This. Don is usually the short form of the name Donald, which has a totally different origin from the word/name "dawn." They do sound quite similar, though, especially with certain accents, so if you've only heard them and not seen them written down, it would be easy to confuse them.
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jalutaja

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17943 on: December 11, 2013, 11:00:02 PM »
My point is that I'm curious about how it is in other cultures--if names are mostly non-obvious in meaning or literal, how strongly the meaning factors into the choice, etc..

What I find is hard to figure out why in English Dawn is a male name, but in my language the word meaning Dawn is a male name and evening low is the female name (there is even a legend about star-crossed lovers with these names.

Sorry, a typo from my side - there would be nothing to ponder about, if (like I accidentally typed) Dawn would be male name in both languages.

Why are women called Dawn in English, but men called Dawn hear?

The other names with meanings do not have such common English counterparts - for men most common ones are Rock and Glowing, for woman Wave, Poetry, Flake (like in snow-flake), Flower.

Dawn is a girl's name in English.  Don is a boy's name.

This. Don is usually the short form of the name Donald, which has a totally different origin from the word/name "dawn." They do sound quite similar, though, especially with certain accents, so if you've only heard them and not seen them written down, it would be easy to confuse them.

Lynn2000

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17944 on: December 12, 2013, 11:10:11 AM »
Well, the thing with names is--IMO--at heart they're all kind of nonsensical. :) Or I should say, they're much more dependent on culturally-specific attitudes than on anything resembling universal logic.

For literal names--like you could use that word in an ordinary sentence--I think a lot of them "work" better for girls than boys in the US. Like if a family is trying to do all plant names or gem names or virtue names, it's a lot easier to find ones that fit girls better. My impression is, flowers are considered to be feminine culturally, so most flower names would be considered female. Trees, on the other hand, have a cultural image more related to masculinity, so more of them would be considered to make good boys' names.

Lily, Rose, Iris, Violet, Jasmine (flowers) are all well-established as female names here. If they have a brother, the parents would probably move into tree names like Ash, Oak, or Pine, which are still kind of uncommon names for kids period. Or they'd go more general, like Leaf or Forest. And there's always exceptions anyway--Willow, for example, is a tree, but also a well-established name for girls. Same with Acacia, Laurel, Olive, Hazel. Why is a laurel tree considered "feminine" while a pine tree is "masculine"? No idea, really. :)

The website 20,000 Names is very interesting in this regard. If you go to their list of "flower names," there are 18 they declare unisex, 60 for boys, and 481 for girls. I don't know how accurate their derivations are, of course, or how close the names are to the language anymore. For example, they say a boy name is Ren, Japanese, "water lily." When someone talks about water lilies in Japanese, do they use the word "ren"? Is there something about a water lily that makes it seem culturally appropriate for a boy, and not so much for a girl? I dunno. I think it's neat to think about, though. :)
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cwm

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17945 on: December 12, 2013, 12:35:11 PM »
Everette. As a man's name. Now don't get me wrong, Everet or Everett I would think is a man's name. But not with the -ette ending.

twiggy

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17946 on: December 12, 2013, 06:09:22 PM »
I was listening to the radio today and heard a service man's message to his family. He gave his name, which I don't remember, and a holiday greeting dedicated to his wife (again, I don't remember her name) and their two daughters:

Genesis and Journey.
In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children.  The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted.  The result is unruly children and childish adults.  ~Thomas Szasz

Lorelei_Evil

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17947 on: December 12, 2013, 06:29:36 PM »
I've been hearing those 2 a lot more in the last 5 years or so.


VorFemme

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17948 on: December 12, 2013, 06:55:09 PM »
You have to remember, when reading baby name books or websites, that a lot of names have been sanitized and/or given a completely fictitious meaning.  "Kennedy" for instance, does not mean "armored head." It means "ugly head."  "Hollister" does not mean "from the holly wood"; it means "brothel keeper."


Just a small note: If i ever have a child, I am coming to you guys and asking you what the names I have chosen REALLY mean!
So you don't want to name your daughter "Knarrabringa" even though you love the sound of it? (Old Norse, "merchant-ship boobs" i.e. very generously endowed)

I could always pick that name if I go for a Viking persona in the Society for Creative Anachronism or at a Renn Faire.  Unless DD grabbed it first...I've always blamed the "German milkmaid genes" - but found out that there are genes on Mom's side of the family for that, too - if you go back a couple of generations.  I've never seen enough old photos though to track down who looks like which side of the family...

I have a morbid wondering about what the term for "merchant ship bellied" or "belly like a sail in a high wind" would be - but I'm not sure if I really want to know.  Just wondering if it "sounds pretty" or not...
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 06:58:32 PM by VorFemme »
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

squeakers

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17949 on: December 13, 2013, 02:32:50 AM »
Quote from: jalutaja

Why are women called Dawn in English, but men called Dawn hear?

The other names with meanings do not have such common English counterparts - for men most common ones are Rock and Glowing, for woman Wave, Poetry, Flake (like in snow-flake), Flower.

You would have to go back to the roots of your language and the myths associated with them to see why Dawn=Male name.  Perhaps the Sun personification is male and anything associated with the sun=male.

I think that Dawn as a female name is because the sun is weak at sunrise and sunset.  And women are always thought/written as to be weak in most myths.
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Rohanna

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17950 on: December 15, 2013, 11:08:19 AM »
Perhaps because the Dawn is often described as something pretty or beautiful, and that is something valued for women?
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English1

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17951 on: December 16, 2013, 04:59:54 AM »
The Hebrew name meaning dawn: Shachar. I believe this is unisex.  I don't think there is much logic behind the allocation of most names to boy or girl or both.

Elfmama

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17952 on: December 16, 2013, 10:09:20 PM »
The program from Grandson#3's Xmas concert listed a Reality and a Genesis.
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I don't go crazy.  I AM crazy.  I sometimes go normal. 
Please make a note of this for future reference.
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Jones

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17953 on: December 16, 2013, 10:32:30 PM »
Everette. As a man's name. Now don't get me wrong, Everet or Everett I would think is a man's name. But not with the -ette ending.

This was the name of my ex's father; I remember being surprised the first time I heard it too.

cwm

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17954 on: December 17, 2013, 10:30:40 AM »
Leosthene. Not Leosthenes, which is what almost all of the search results return, just Leosthene.

I also saw a Tituba the other day, but that just reminded me of high school when we performed The Crucible. I just didn't realize that name was still around. Not very common in my corner of the world.