Author Topic: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???  (Read 1994222 times)

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iridaceae

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17925 on: December 11, 2013, 12:52:08 AM »
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."

You mean Madison doesn't mean daughter of Maud? *puts hand to forehead,  faints*

It's a bit out of date but Leslie Dunkling's The New American Baby Name book,  which focusses on the UK,  talks about popularity and trends.

starry diadem

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17926 on: December 11, 2013, 02:28:21 AM »


It's a bit out of date but Leslie Dunkling's The New American Baby Name book,  which focusses on the UK,  talks about popularity and trends.

Perhaps she needs to revist her book title to avoid her readers having the moment of confusion I just experenced!
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Nikko-chan

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17927 on: December 11, 2013, 02:58:55 AM »
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!

iridaceae

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17928 on: December 11, 2013, 03:52:31 AM »


It's a bit out of date but Leslie Dunkling's The New American Baby Name book,  which focusses on the UK,  talks about popularity and trends.

Perhaps she needs to revist her book title to avoid her readers having the moment of confusion I just experenced!
Leslie is a man. So,  Mr Dunkling.

Elfmama

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17929 on: December 11, 2013, 11:23:21 AM »
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)
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lady_disdain

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17930 on: December 11, 2013, 01:51:49 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 love that!

jalutaja

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17931 on: December 11, 2013, 02:00:30 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.

Betelnut

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17932 on: December 11, 2013, 02:10:12 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.
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lady_disdain

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17933 on: December 11, 2013, 02:11:12 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.

jalutaja

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Re: Baby Names - You're kidding Right???
« Reply #17934 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 #17935 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 #17936 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 #17937 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 #17938 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 #17939 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.