Monday, April 13, 2009

What's in a name?

Being a teacher (well, sub for now) means I come across many interesting names quite regularly. If a name really grabs my attention, I write it down because they are always fun to share and look back on :) I thought I'd share a few today...

One morning in February I was in a first grade class, walking around the room checking students off the attendance list while they did their morning work. I heard some students using the word "whisper" and I smiled to myself, thinking it was a good sign that they knew to follow the rules and whisper to each other if they had any questions. Next thing I know, a student yells "Whisper! We have a sub today!" Well lo and behold, this little Whisper comes and sits in the empty desk before me. Whisper was a sweet girl that I will remember for a long time.

I had another first grade class that gets the award for the greatest confusing names of all (so far, at least). I begin my class like I do each time, introducing myself and then going around the room so I can hear the students pronounce their names. This class had me laughing in amazement... To my left sat Monesha, and as I went around the room there was also a Ranesha, Danesha, and Dranesha (all with the beginning short "u" sound and none of these girls were related). That's not all... I also learned that there were two boys in the class sharing similar names: Xavier and Xavian. That's six students out of fifteen so far... the last two interesting names in that class were Q'Darius and Dequarius. What a day that was! I remembered those 8 names because they were so unique and confusing :)

When I work with Rose's girls, we have two sisters named Nitheria and Nigeria. I wonder about the story behind those names... One of the girls doesn't even go by her name, but goes by "Pooh" instead because of her resemblance to the character :) Their third sister is Shetallis, a name so unlike Nitheria or Nigeria, that again I wonder how that name came about. Their brother goes by "Gator" and he's a 2nd grader as tall as I am! I'm not sure of his real name. Another interesting name of a girl that hangs out with us when we have Rose's girls is Vanity. What a name - poor girl.

A few weeks ago I subbed in fourth grade and met a boy named Kirill. I immediately associated this name with the shrimp-like krill found in the ocean. Hmm... maybe a family name that's been passed down? Not sure. Today I taught music for 2nd, K, and 1st grade. In my 2nd grade class I was going down the attendance, calling out names so I could associate the name with a face. The names on the paper are listed last name, first name, middle initial. Well, one student in particular was listed as Smith, Willow A. (note: Smith is not the true last name). I thought this was a student with two last names and the first name was the initial - a mistake on the paper. Nope, no mistake... I asked whose last name was Smith, and this girl raised her hand stating her name as Willow. Interesting, I thought, and unique. Then I recalled a movie character with the same name... Remember Grandmother Willow in Pocahontas? Maybe this Willow will grow to be as wise as Grandmother, yet not creepy like the old talking tree ;) 

Names are personal. Some are very common, others are passed down from generation to generation, holding family sentiment, and then there are those that make you raise your eyebrows and laugh in amazement. I look forward to adding more names to my list in the future! 


Rebecca Louise. said...

I completely get you. I am doing my nurse's studies and I meet so many patients/clients with unique names. The worst are the ones I cannot pro-nounce!

They are personal but something we should be proud of :).

I love how you name is spelt.

Kristy Zabel's Blog said...

LOL I think every teacher can share some stories about wild names they've heard. There are some very strange ones indeed! Sometimes I try to say a kid's name, but it's not quite their name. I just did that yesterday, actually... I said Lamariah instead of Lamayah. Oops! :-P :) hehe

katharinesuzanne said...

One of the boys that I babysat this summer was named Kyrill too.
I had never heard of it before, so it's funny to now that someone else has that name :)

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