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Published: March 22nd 2020
I thought whilst I have a captivated audience of self isolaters I should write something to keep you jollied up.
So I thought I would share a little of the child naming conventions of the world that I have come across as it came up again the other day here in Fiji, a little amuse-boosh for you. And some local photos.
The Fijians take a concept of birth-events as the core to child's name. So for example if your uncle bought a car near your birth day then you might be called 'New Car' or if your parents used a computer for the first time you might be named 'Computer'. Or if someone drowned in the river, you might end up being called 'Drowned' - yikes that got dark!
So moving swiftly on like the current at the mouth of the river, and we find ourselves in Nigeria, where I once had the pleasure of meeting 'Thankgod' - one word, lower case g, In English. Which may have been a rather more pleasent variation of the poor kid from Zimbabwe called 'Mistake'. I don't know if they were named after the conception reaction or the
first words after the mother had delivered the baby.
Then of course you have the Ugandan's with their beautiful adjectives, 'Happy', 'Peace' and my favourite 'Abothi' meaning 'surprisingly useful'!
If we move a little further south but stick to Africa, we find ourselves in the household items section with names such as 'Fork' and 'Table' or one most unusual 'Ballot Box'.
Then I guess we can't forget the Oriental names which inspire the west to view China and it's surroundings with a mystical aire, and with strong beliefs in destiny and luck it's important you get it right on day 1. Bringing out glorious names such as Hui Yin translating as 'Excellent Fame' and is now is a very successful poet! Or Ying Yue Chang - first name: reflection of the moon, surname: river. Which inspires a special shout out to all the Richard Head's and Benjamin Dover's in the world, who had the misfortune to grow up in the west with a far drier sense of humour than our eastern counterparts.
I'm getting side tracked lets move to Korea and get a bit more orderly, so how quicker to name your child than by order.
I had the pleasure of playing hockey with sisters Sang-Eun and Sang-Kim which I could have sworn translated as first Sang and second Sang. But on a bit of desktop research now, I can't find anything to back me up... Any Korean speakers please help 😊
Apologies for the debarcle, and on to the South Americans, Arabs and Israelis, an interesting grouping I know, but all go full throttle on the religious names, with innumerate Abraham's, Jesus's and Mohammed's throughout. Of course, if you want to be safe side of all three Monotheistic schisms you can safely go with Adam.
North America and Europe are now tending away from the supporting roles of religious characters such as Tim, Paul, Seth and the like, moving to the movie centric glamourous names such as 'Apple' and 'Cupcake' and 'Chelsea' which takes us nicely back probably the to the idea of event based names!
Of course, in all these examples, I might only be talking about a fraction, they don't neccesarily mark the majority and certainly there are no rules, except in the Netherlands where you have to select from a pre-approved list. Honourable mentions of course to the artist
formerly known as a symbol formerly and laterly known as Prince. And Sitting Bull, a name depicting the power of Sioux patriach.
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