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#1
Old 05-03-2007, 04:11 PM
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Who was the first Shaniqua?

The origin of most Anglo forenames is lost to antiquity. Many are based on Biblical characters, but even then the origins are unknown.

The first name Shaniqua didn't become widespread until the late 1980s. Before that time, it was practically unknown. Distinctly African-American names are a fairly recent phenomenon, with its origins in the 1960s; before then, the names of African-Americans really didn't vary much from modal Anglo names. It's impossible to know who was the first person named David, Edward or Mary, but with a very recent vintage, it's likely that the first woman named Shaniqua is alive and well. Who is she?
#2
Old 05-03-2007, 05:05 PM
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I imagine when/if we are able to search all relevent birth records and/or census records online should be easy to track down. Until then....
#3
Old 05-03-2007, 05:51 PM
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This may be true for the name "Shaniqua" in particular, but many other given names that in the US are considered "African-American" are actually standard Arabic names, whose origins are also ancient. E.g., "Jamal" and "Rashida".
#4
Old 05-03-2007, 05:59 PM
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Social Security tracks the popularity of the top 1000 baby names, and Shaniqua cracked the top 1000 in 1989, rose to 313 in 1991, then dropped to 794th in 1994. After that, it appears it was out of the top 1000.

Of course that does not account for variations in spelling, like Shaneekwa, Shanikwa, Shaneequa, etc. Each variation is tabulated as a separate name.

Last edited by Fear Itself; 05-03-2007 at 06:00 PM.
#5
Old 05-03-2007, 06:07 PM
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You know, it's only a matter of time before this thread gets ugly.
#6
Old 05-03-2007, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KneadToKnow
You know, it's only a matter of time before this thread gets ugly.
Why?
#7
Old 05-03-2007, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KneadToKnow
You know, it's only a matter of time before this thread gets ugly.
Really, I don't want this to be a "why do black people something something something?" or "unusual names" thread. The moment that happens, I hope a mod closes it.

Considering how a relatively common name rose out of thin air, I'm just curious as to whether the first person to have that name is known by someone, or that the person was mentioned in some article on children's names.

Last edited by elmwood; 05-03-2007 at 06:14 PM.
#8
Old 05-03-2007, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmwood
The moment that happens, I hope a mod closes it.
Glad to hear it. And I am sorry, I truly didn't mean to threadcrap.
#9
Old 05-03-2007, 10:09 PM
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Are you interested in Shaniqua in particular or recently created but popular names?

The whole "I want my baby's name to be unique" thing has become fairly popular lately. And then for every parent like that there are some more with open ears for names to copy. As soon as a name reaches critical mass, it then falls in the hands of parents who want popular names and there you go.
#10
Old 05-04-2007, 12:01 AM
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I nominate Ellen Cleghorne, originator of "Queen Shenequa" (sp?) on SNL circa 1990.
#11
Old 05-04-2007, 01:24 AM
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According to the Social Security Death Index, the earliest "Shaniqua" (who is now deceased, of course) I could find was born in 1975. "Sheniqua" is 1979. "Shanique," 1972. "Shanequa," 1979.

edit: Of course, that doesn't answer you question about live Shaniquas, but should give you a ballbark idea of what time period to look for.

Last edited by pulykamell; 05-04-2007 at 01:25 AM.
#12
Old 05-04-2007, 01:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Operation Ripper
I imagine when/if we are able to search all relevent birth records and/or census records online should be easy to track down. Until then....
But maybe she lost her wallet in the 70's.
#13
Old 05-04-2007, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell
According to the Social Security Death Index, the earliest "Shaniqua" (who is now deceased, of course) I could find was born in 1975.
Why is she dead of course?

Last edited by samclem; 05-04-2007 at 06:56 AM. Reason: fixed coding
#14
Old 05-04-2007, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluethree
Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell
According to the Social Security Death Index, the earliest "Shaniqua" (who is now deceased, of course) I could find was born in 1975.
Why is she dead of course?
Because living people don't appear in the Death Index. Here, have some coffee on me...

Last edited by Nava; 05-04-2007 at 06:56 AM.
#15
Old 05-04-2007, 07:05 AM
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I cacn find a women named Shaniqua Rene Johnson as being the (adult, probably) daughter of a 47-year-old lady who's obituary appeared in the _Port Arthur(TX) News_ in 1975. FWIW, the deceased mother was originally from Evergreen, LA. but had lived in Port Arthur for the last 29 years of her life.

I know this doesn't help much.
#16
Old 05-04-2007, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapo
"I want my baby's name to be unique"
I went to school with a girl named Unique. Her parents must've started with that sentiment, then literalized it.
#17
Old 05-04-2007, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmwood
The origin of most Anglo forenames is lost to antiquity.
I don't think this is entirely true. The Anglo-Saxon roots of many English given names seem to be understood, for example --

Arnold - Arenvald
Edward - Eadweard
Robert - Hrodebert
Roger - Hrothgar

-- and so on. And furthermore, the meanings of the roots or components of many of these names also seem to be known to scholars of Anglo-Saxon languages. "alf" means "elfin"; "helm" means "protection"; "gar" means "spear"; "beorht" means "bright"; "ric" means "ruler"; "stan" means "stone"; "wald" means "forest"; "wynn" means "friend"; "wulf" means "wolf"; "ead" means "wealthy"; "weard" means "protector" and so on.
#18
Old 05-04-2007, 12:40 PM
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We may know the meanings of most names, and their origins in other languages, for instance Arnold being a derivative of Arenvald, but when did "Arenvald" first start being used as a name? That is lost to history.

Shaniqua isn't a derivative of Sean, Shane, Cheryl, Charlotte or any other common Anglo name. It literally popped out of nowhere. All names had to have a person that was the first with it as a label. We don't know who the first Arenvald, or some even earlier derivative of Arenvald, was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapo
Are you interested in Shaniqua in particular or recently created but popular names?
Really, recently created names that are popular.

FWIW, I'm only using "Shaniqua" because it seems like the most common example of a modern, recently coined name that has achieved widespread popularity. I'm at a loss for other commonly used new names; maybe "Sunshine" and "Harmony" among children born in the 1960s, or post-Splash "Madison" as a girl's name.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
I cacn find a women named Shaniqua Rene Johnson as being the (adult, probably) daughter of a 47-year-old lady who's obituary appeared in the _Port Arthur(TX) News_ in 1975. FWIW, the deceased mother was originally from Evergreen, LA. but had lived in Port Arthur for the last 29 years of her life.
Was that the first mention of the name in print media? We could be on to something.

Last edited by elmwood; 05-04-2007 at 12:45 PM.
#19
Old 05-04-2007, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmwood
Shaniqua isn't a derivative of Sean, Shane, Cheryl, Charlotte or any other common Anglo name. It literally popped out of nowhere.
I'm not sure I agree. Two data points:

1. SeŠn, the Irish form of John, is popular and has a wide number of derivatives. Spelling is often phonetic (Shawn, Shane), and there are feminine forms (Shawna).

2. It is not uncommon for a new name to be created by combining the parents' names... I have a friend who was named this way, also African-American, and I've seen it in other cases too.

"Shaniqua" looks like a combination of Shan + Monica / Monique. I'm going to hypothesize that the first Shaniqua was the child of a Shawn and a Monique.
#20
Old 05-04-2007, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drake
"Shaniqua" looks like a combination of Shan + Monica / Monique. I'm going to hypothesize that the first Shaniqua was the child of a Shawn and a Monique.
Mashups are common for creating names in Utah, too.

Shaniqua may not be a direct derivative of Shawna - at least, we won't know unless we know the parents of the first Shaniqua.
#21
Old 05-04-2007, 04:11 PM
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There has been a Chenequa, Wisconsin (pronounced the same) since 1928.
#22
Old 05-04-2007, 04:33 PM
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Oh God I know Iím going to get slammed for this but: do other groups create unique names? African Americans have the aforementioned Shaniqua (with itís variant spellings like Fear Itself mentioned) and WASPs seem to have Britney/Brittenee, Katelyn/Katelynne/Caitlin. And donít even get me started on Hollywood names.

But do traditionally Hispanic names such as Miguel get modified? Are there British children name Rejineld? Little boys in Toronto named Peeyair? Is a couple in Munich planning on naming their son Hanzz?
#23
Old 05-04-2007, 05:21 PM
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White families in the south have been known to do it.

Different cultural memes therefore not quite the same "sound" or "ring" to them as the black neo-names, but aside from that, similar-enough process.

I have a cousin Veerellen, a niece Keela, have had as classmates people named Sharilee, Anshela, Jovaunn, Suzelle, Jebbert, ...and while no longer considered unusual because they caught on, I suspect the first Jerome (pronounced Juh-ROME) and Jared (JAR-edd) might not predate the first Shaniqua (although if someone comes along with a reference to Jared Smith of 1703, I'll accept that).
#24
Old 05-04-2007, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHunter3
I suspect the first Jerome (pronounced Juh-ROME) and Jared (JAR-edd) might not predate the first Shaniqua (although if someone comes along with a reference to Jared Smith of 1703, I'll accept that).
From a tombstone in Lincoln, Maine

Sacred to the memory of Jared Bates,
Who died Aug. the 6th, 1800.
His widow, aged 24, lives at 7 Elm Street,
Has every qualification for a good wife,
And longs to be comforted.
#25
Old 05-04-2007, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHunter3
I have a cousin Veerellen, a niece Keela, have had as classmates people named Sharilee, Anshela, Jovaunn, Suzelle, Jebbert, ...and while no longer considered unusual because they caught on, I suspect the first Jerome (pronounced Juh-ROME) and Jared (JAR-edd) might not predate the first Shaniqua (although if someone comes along with a reference to Jared Smith of 1703, I'll accept that).
I don't know if I am totally misreading the meaning of the above paragraph, but Jerome and Jared both date from ancient times.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jared
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome

A net search easily turned up these references. Just because a name is popular among the rural or undereducated doesn't mean it's a recent fabrication.

Last edited by HMS Irruncible; 05-04-2007 at 05:36 PM.
#26
Old 05-04-2007, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
I suspect the first Jerome (pronounced Juh-ROME) and Jared (JAR-edd) might not predate the first Shaniqua (although if someone comes along with a reference to Jared Smith of 1703, I'll accept that).
Hmm, there's a Jared in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 5. That doesn't prove that it was used as a name in English-speaking countries until recently, but I'm guessing there must have been a few.

I'd also guess that a fair number of people have been named after Saint Jerome over the years.
#27
Old 05-04-2007, 05:41 PM
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My grandmother, an Irish-Canadian born 1915 in Saskatchewan, is named Wonnitta. I do not know if her parents were unable to spell Juanita, if they wanted to be creative, if they wanted something other English-speakers could pronounce, or what.
#28
Old 05-04-2007, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHunter3
I suspect the first Jerome (pronounced Juh-ROME) and Jared (JAR-edd) might not predate the first Shaniqua (although if someone comes along with a reference to Jared Smith of 1703, I'll accept that).
Here's a fairly well know Jerome born in 1903..... nyuk-nyuk-nyuk!
#29
Old 05-04-2007, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erie774
Oh God I know Iím going to get slammed for this but: do other groups create unique names? African Americans have the aforementioned Shaniqua (with itís variant spellings like Fear Itself mentioned) and WASPs seem to have Britney/Brittenee, Katelyn/Katelynne/Caitlin. And donít even get me started on Hollywood names.

But do traditionally Hispanic names such as Miguel get modified? Are there British children name Rejineld? Little boys in Toronto named Peeyair? Is a couple in Munich planning on naming their son Hanzz?
Remember the whole Elian Gonzalez thing? He had a sister (or was it a cousin) named Marisleysis, which I've been told is a "made-up" name gaining some popularity among Hispanics.
#30
Old 05-04-2007, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drake
My grandmother, an Irish-Canadian born 1915 in Saskatchewan, is named Wonnitta. I do not know if her parents were unable to spell Juanita, if they wanted to be creative, if they wanted something other English-speakers could pronounce, or what.
I got one better... growing up here in the rural south I knew a girl named Juanita and her parents insisted on pronouncing it "Jooa Nita".

Then there was that Mexican-American comic from about 15 years ago whose last name was Martinez and he prounounced it simply "Martin Ez." He said he had people telling him all the time that he's saying his name wrong.
#31
Old 05-04-2007, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
I can find a women named Shaniqua Rene Johnson as being the (adult, probably) daughter of a 47-year-old lady who's obituary appeared in the _Port Arthur(TX) News_ in 1975. FWIW, the deceased mother was originally from Evergreen, LA. but had lived in Port Arthur for the last 29 years of her life.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmwood
Was that the first mention of the name in print media? We could be on to something.
Yep. That's the earliest I could find. And she had to be probably about 20 or so at that point.

Interestingly, on the same page, was the obituary of "infant daughter" death of Sharesa Nicole Riley.
#32
Old 05-04-2007, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erie774
Oh God I know Iím going to get slammed for this but: do other groups create unique names? African Americans have the aforementioned Shaniqua (with itís variant spellings like Fear Itself mentioned) and WASPs seem to have Britney/Brittenee, Katelyn/Katelynne/Caitlin. And donít even get me started on Hollywood names.
Like I said, I don't want his to become a "strange black names" thread.

As posted earlier, another group that gives their children unique names are Mormons. They're about as whitebread as they come.

Really, it's not the middle-class WASPs I'm finding naming their kids Brittenee and Katelynne, but rather those of a working-class exurban and rural Confederate cultural orientation, whose skin in the area between their heads and shoulders reflect light in the in the wavelength range of about 625 to 750 nanometers.
#33
Old 05-04-2007, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmwood

Really, it's not the middle-class WASPs I'm finding naming their kids Brittenee and Katelynne, but rather those of a working-class exurban and rural Confederate cultural orientation, whose skin in the area between their heads and shoulders reflect light in the in the wavelength range of about 625 to 750 nanometers.
The book Freakonomics explains this phenomona. A name gains popularity with the rich and middle class strata (say, Britney or Ansley) and then a few years later, those same names are adopted by poorer folks, usually with modified spellings.

Last edited by monstro; 05-04-2007 at 10:11 PM.
#34
Old 05-04-2007, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monstro
The book Freakonomics explains this phenomona. A name gains popularity with the rich and middle class strata (say, Britney or Ansley) and then a few years later, those same names are adopted by poorer folks, usually with modified spellings.
Drifting off topic but is anybody else noticing a rash of little Reagans over the past few years, as a girl's name? That seems like such a cruel thing to do to a child.
#35
Old 05-05-2007, 12:51 AM
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Shaniqua J. Gable, 73, Cove, Texas
Shaniqua J. Collins, 72, Richmond, Virginia
Shaniqua Williams, 71, Brooklyn, New York
Shaniqua D. Alston, 66, Henderson, North Carolina
Shaniqua L. Lewis, 67, Corsicana, Texas
Shaniqua L. Oliver, 67, Washington, District of Columbia
Shaniqua Nikita McElroy, 65, Houston, Texas
Shaniqua Rasberry, 66, Houston, Texas
Shaniqua M. Jackson, 65, Dallas, Texas
Shaniqua R. Panton, 64, Deltona, Florida
Shaniqua S. Poole, 65, Brooklyn, New York
Shaniqua N. Tuck, 65, Houston, Texas
Shaniqua Dansbury, 64, Baltimore, Maryland
Shaniqua Gresham, 64, Atlanta, Georgia
Shaniqua Hammond, 64, Barnwell, South Carolina
Shaniqua Lampton, 64, Hewitt, Texas
Shaniqua Turner, 64, Waco, Texas

Source Information:
Ancestry.com. U.S. Public Records Index [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007.
#36
Old 05-05-2007, 04:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHunter3
I suspect the first Jerome (pronounced Juh-ROME) and Jared (JAR-edd) might not predate the first Shaniqua
Would that be JťrŰme the common French name ? as in Saint JťrŰme, feast day 30th Sept ? or a new strain varaiant ?
#37
Old 05-05-2007, 04:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintCad
From a tombstone in Lincoln, Maine

Sacred to the memory of Jared Bates,
Who died Aug. the 6th, 1800.
His widow, aged 24, lives at 7 Elm Street,
Has every qualification for a good wife,
And longs to be comforted.
IOW, come on over and hit it.
#38
Old 05-05-2007, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmwood
Like I said, I don't want his to become a "strange black names" thread.
OK, let's include a white Scotsman. JM Barrie invented the now pretty common Wendy back in 1904.
#39
Old 05-05-2007, 07:38 AM
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Slight hijack:

Here is some research on the origins of distinctly black American names.


http://ideas.repec.org/a/tpr/qjecon/...3p767-805.html

This was linked from a related article in Slate:

http://slate.com/id/2116449/
#40
Old 05-05-2007, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walloon
Shaniqua J. Gable, 73, Cove, Texas
Amazing. I didn't know the name would be that old. To be honest, I thought the oldest would be in their 30s; maybe the early 40s at the oldest. Considering the newspaper reference and this list, it looks like the name has its origins in eastern Texas. I wonder who Shaniqua Gable's parents were; if she's the first, I'd be curious to know how they came up with the name.

Last edited by elmwood; 05-05-2007 at 01:47 PM.
#41
Old 05-05-2007, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monstro
Remember the whole Elian Gonzalez thing? He had a sister (or was it a cousin) named Marisleysis, which I've been told is a "made-up" name gaining some popularity among Hispanics.
I read somewhere, that Elian's name was a combo name. His mom took the first half of her name (Elizabeth) and the last half of his father's name (Juan) and put them together to make Elian.
#42
Old 05-05-2007, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapioca Dextrin
OK, let's include a white Scotsman. JM Barrie invented the now pretty common Wendy back in 1904.

No, I don't think he did, really, although Barrie's use of it would have popularised it somewhat. However, as a pet name for "Gwendolen" or "Gwendolyn", I do think it existed before Barrie.
#43
Old 05-05-2007, 09:04 PM
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Didn't Shakespeare invent a name or two ?
#44
Old 05-05-2007, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapioca Dextrin
OK, let's include a white Scotsman. JM Barrie invented the now pretty common Wendy back in 1904.
From your cite, no, he didn't invent it; he popularised it.
#45
Old 05-05-2007, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celyn
No, I don't think he did, really, although Barrie's use of it would have popularised it somewhat. However, as a pet name for "Gwendolen" or "Gwendolyn", I do think it existed before Barrie.
I had the same thought, but the Oxford Dictionary of First Names, which is fairly good about this sort of thing, credits Barrie. Apparently it's a derivative of "friend" ó via baby talk and reduplication (friend > fwiend > fwendy-wendy > Wendy). The resemblance to "Gwendolen" is coincidental. (Oddly, they don't have an entry for "Shaniqua.")

Jonathan Swift invented "Vanessa," but as a nickname; I don't know who bore it first as a given name.

Last edited by Dr. Drake; 05-05-2007 at 09:20 PM.
#46
Old 05-05-2007, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erie774
Oh God I know Iím going to get slammed for this but: do other groups create unique names? African Americans have the aforementioned Shaniqua (with itís variant spellings like Fear Itself mentioned) and WASPs seem to have Britney/Brittenee, Katelyn/Katelynne/Caitlin. And donít even get me started on Hollywood names.

But do traditionally Hispanic names such as Miguel get modified? Are there British children name Rejineld? Little boys in Toronto named Peeyair? Is a couple in Munich planning on naming their son Hanzz?
Oh goodness gracious! Latinos are horrible at creating names. Mashup names are very common for both genders (often with unfortunate results) and the first generation of victims of mashup names is already having babies and giving then mashups of their mashups.

Now they are just making them up. Girl names tend to have Y's all over the place (a very uncommon letter in the spanish language). And then there is the new trend of names that are not pronounced according to normal spanish rules for pronounciation. The latest trend for boys' names are A*iel where * could be any ridiculous combination of consonants not commonly found in normal spanish.

And then there is the US inspired names which include the names of medications used on the mothers during pregnancy and delivery. Usmail and Usnavy are also seen around (for both sexes). English family names (e.g. Washington) are also used for boys first names.

I don't think any other culture is as unkind to their offspring as the Latino when it comes to inflicting names on them.
#47
Old 05-06-2007, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erie774
But do traditionally Hispanic names such as Miguel get modified? Are there British children name Rejineld? Little boys in Toronto named Peeyair? Is a couple in Munich planning on naming their son Hanzz?
Interestingly, some European countries (I know Hungary & Germany for sure, but also some other ones IIRC) don't allow made-up names or divergent spellings. Names have to have established precedent and have to be gender-specific and not offensive. One can petition to have a new name, but I don't know how easy it is, and I think it's often up to the name registration official. Generally, not on the list = not allowed.
#48
Old 05-06-2007, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapo
Oh goodness gracious! Latinos are horrible at creating names. Mashup names are very common for both genders (often with unfortunate results) and the first generation of victims of mashup names is already having babies and giving then mashups of their mashups.

Now they are just making them up. Girl names tend to have Y's all over the place (a very uncommon letter in the spanish language). And then there is the new trend of names that are not pronounced according to normal spanish rules for pronounciation. The latest trend for boys' names are A*iel where * could be any ridiculous combination of consonants not commonly found in normal spanish.

And then there is the US inspired names which include the names of medications used on the mothers during pregnancy and delivery. Usmail and Usnavy are also seen around (for both sexes). English family names (e.g. Washington) are also used for boys first names.

I don't think any other culture is as unkind to their offspring as the Latino when it comes to inflicting names on them.
It is difficult for me to think I am in any position to judge the "quality" of a name bestowed by people of a culture not my own, on their own children.

Also, cites would have been nice in this post.

-FrL-
#49
Old 05-06-2007, 11:20 AM
SDSAB
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 71,832
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz
From your cite, no, [Barrie] didn't invent [the name Wendy]; he popularised it.
Correct. The Master Speaks: https://academicpursuits.us/mailbag/mpeterpanwendy.html
#50
Old 05-06-2007, 11:26 AM
Graphite is a great
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 25,705
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir
Hey! I know that czarcasm is a pretty intelligent, witty, spiffy kind of guy, but calling him "Master" is a stretch.

*The link goes to an excellent staff report by Czarcasm
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