Saturday, January 23, 2010

What's your name again?

Most of our names have a meaning. Mine for example - Rebecca - stems from the hebrew word Rivqah which could have meant "a snare". I usually like to think of it as meaning "captivating" ;) . Love, which is the swedish form of Louis, which is the french form of Ludovicus, which is the latin form of Ludwig, stems from the german name Clodovech which means "famous warrior". If you'd like to find out more about your own name I found a really good site called --> <--
But this isn't what I'm after here.

Names not only mean things, they also have a feel to them. Some names feel old, some feel strange, some feel foreign or very native. If anyone in sweden told me their name I could immediately say what kind of feeling that name has for a swede, or at least to me. Rebecca feels like a western name, although it comes from a hebrew word. It feels like you could be called Rebecca in most European countries and American countries too. Love feels like an unusual swedish name, even in sweden it is quite rare.

Then there are the common non-christian sounding names which can be divided into old-people names and young-people names. Old people names would be names like Kurt, Sten, Torsten or Rolf for males and Gudrun, Ingegerd or Gun for females. Non-christian young people names could be names like Erik, Wiggo or Björn for males and Elin/Helena, Linda or Jenny for females.

Most people in sweden are named after the common christian sounding names though, like Tomas, Stefan or Martin for males and Maria, Anna or Sara for females.
Modern sounding names (or names commonly given to small children nowadays) could be Maja, Nellie or Moa for females and Lucas, William or Arvid for males.

Then there are names which can be given to either males or females like Kim, Robin or Eli.

Then you have the ugly sounding names (sorry if you're reading this and this is your name :/) like Einar, Roger or Harald for males and Ulla, Tora or Hedda for females. Ugly names are quite subjective though, if you know someone who's awesome with an ugly name, the name tends to become cooler too, like with Rutger Hauer.

Obvious foreign sounding names would be most asian, arabic or african sounding names. Like Rei, Mohammed or Idris.

Well there you have some examples of how names could mean something to someone without actually talking about the original meaning.

Everytime I hear the name of someone I give some thought to the feeling of their name and if it could say something about their personality (usually it says slightly more about their parents though). But then I wondered, how does this work in other countries? When I hear foreign names I don't know if they have an "ugly", "old" or "modern" feel to them in their country. Like the japanese names Tohru or Yozu. What kind of feel do they have to japanese people? To me they only sound foreign. Or the english names Susan, Jean or Ethan. What kind of feel do they have to people with english as their native language?

I'd really like to know. Maybe I should simply ask; How does your name feel?

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