Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mohammad: A Controversial and Surprisingly International Name

I recently looked up Wikipedia's list of popular given names all around the world. It gave a lot of perspective on how "normal" can change depending on where you are. For instance, Mohammad comes out at number 1 in a lot of places due to the muselm population in a lot of areas of the world. By the rule of popularity, Mohammad/Muhammed is a more popular name than Jacob could dream of being in some areas. Even with that information, nobody in America would ever use that name.People make jokes about Mohammed being too sacred to be shown in cartoons or telivision in the US, but it begs to differ against that belief when you see so many people naming thier children after thier prophet. You find other names that people in the US would probably stumble over, but are ubiquetous in some areas.Kazakhstan's #1 name for boys in 2010 was Yerasyl. Seoyeon is the South Korean version of Isabella. Yet mention naming your child these names in American sites and you'd probably get the internet version of the stink eye. It's just too big a world for European names to be the end-all-be-all for "normal". 

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Friday, February 17, 2012

In Defense of Maple Sylvie

Am I the only one who thought "Oh, how darling!" when I heard of the latest Celebrity Name Maple Sylvie? Many people are saying that it sounds too much like Maple Syrup, but I think that makes it even sweeter.Maple syrup is almost as iconic as the trees it comes from. Sylvie is also a lovely name, and adds a lot of sprightly zest to the middle. Ever since Maple has been suggested as an actual name, I've been intrigued. I hope that the latest Maple helps people name more of their children with the name.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

The Pony Name Game

I'm going to admit it now: I love My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. One aspect of the show that I love above all things is how diverse the main characters are. This show teaches that girls do not all act one way, and they can bond together despite of and because of their differences.I've sometimes toyed with the idea of what their names would be if they were human and not living in a fanciful world. For those uninitiated to the show, the characters have very fanciful names. There is Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Applejack, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash. Thier personalities are all different, which makes it fun to come up with real names that match the personality. Here is a round up of the personalities of these ponies and how everyone (or everypony?) can use with making up the names:

Twilight Sparkle: Heavy reader who is socially awkward.
Pinkie Pie: Happy-go-lucky and loves to party.
Rarity: Sophisticated; has a flair for the dramatic.
Applejack: Hard-working and down-to-earth. Comes from a culture like in the American south.
Fluttershy: As her name gives it away, she is shy and gentle as a butterfly's wing. She also loves animals.
Rainbow Dash: Total tomboy. Always trying to be "cool"
The uninitiated (and yes, some would say there is an initiation to watching the series) can look it up on wikipedia to learn more about the characters. Anyway, here are my ideas for more real names for the main cast.

Twilight Sparkle= Twila Felicity
Pinkie Pie= Philippa "Pippi" Adamina (In the series, her full name is Pinkamina Pie)
Rarity= Verity Nicolette
Applejack= Jackie Jean
Fluttershy= Felicia Edith
Rainbow Dash= Iris Althea

I chose these names because they fit my own personal interpretation of the characters. There are plenty of other names that fit my interpretation and the interpretation of any other person. I challenge anyone who likes the series or a good name game to give a shot at naming the mane cast with more probable names. Welcome to the herd!

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Make Shanti Happen

No seriously, Shalom.
I think it is becoming a trend. Used by two people on different sides of the lifestyle spectrum, Shalom has that calm-before-the-storm moment where two people have it used and you think it's an interesting coincidence. Then BAM, it's everywhere. So far it is used as a middle name, but as we all know, middle names are a gateway drug to first names. Before Shalom becomes a household name, I would like to reccomend we have a look at Shalom's Indian cousin: Shanti.
They are creepily similar. They both have two syllables, start with a soft Sh like a librarian gently shushing a child, and they both mean "peace".Shanti is a lot less popular, but given Shalom's presence in nameworld, Shanti definitely has a chance to shine. It's also a nice way to spruce up a popular, fussy, or boring name. Here are some ideas for using Shanti:

Margaret Shanti
Shanti Isabelle
Agatha Shanti
River Shanti
Shanti Violet
Novella Shanti
Zia Shanti

No matter what version of Shanti is used, it already comes with a song that you can sing and dance to. If you love Bollywood, prepare to be delighted.