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Old 08-21-2008, 10:14 AM
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Usain Bolt's first name

Short question: What's the origin of Usain Bolt's first name? My mother's pet theory is that it's a variant of the Arabic name Hussein, but I'm skeptical about this - I don't know a lot about Arabic, but I know enough to know that it's a language focused mainly on consonants. You find many variations of Hussein with different vowelization, but I think it's unlikely that the word would have dropped a consonant. Of course you never know what wacky ideas parents can get, but I still doubt that.

Does anyone have the SD on the origin of that name?
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:32 AM
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Apparently, his aunt picked it out, but can't remember what it meant.

http://jamaica-star.com/thestar/...ews/news3.html
Old 08-21-2008, 10:35 AM
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I assumed it was a variant of Hussein. I don't see any evidence that Bolt has Arabic ancestry, but the Usain spelling strikes me as being consistent with Jamaican pronunciation.
Old 08-21-2008, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pandNH4
Apparently, his aunt picked it out, but can't remember what it meant.

http://jamaica-star.com/thestar/...ews/news3.html

If not even the inventor of the name can remember, we will probably never find out. Thanks for the input, though, pandNH4.
Old 08-21-2008, 10:36 AM
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I scanned 152 pages of Google results and found no references to "usain" other than those about Bolt, FWIW.

There were a few references to Persian or Arabic "usains" in Google Book results, but those turned out to be "Husains" where the H was rendered as a separate character in the book's typeface-to-Google-translation.

The Muslim population of Jamaica is miniscule- under 1%- so it's probably safe to assume that his parents, who are nominal Christians- made it up.

ETA: When I clicked "submit", there weren't any freaking responses. Oh well- I was pretty much correct.

Last edited by Really Not All That Bright; 08-21-2008 at 10:40 AM.
Old 08-21-2008, 10:42 AM
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There's a response on Yahoo! Answers that said that Arabic-sounding names have been trendy for a number of years. I'll refrain from posting the link, because some of the responses seem to be from complete goofballs, so consider that, too.
Old 08-21-2008, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright
I scanned 152 pages of Google results and found no references to "usain" other than those about Bolt, FWIW.
Searching for "usain -bolt" might save you a bit of time. Then all you can find is info on the United States Agricultural Information Network.

There is one Afghani weaver with that name looking for a Kiva loan. I'd imagine if anything that it is a French spelling of Hussein, but it seems very rare if so.
Old 08-21-2008, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror
Searching for "usain -bolt" might save you a bit of time. Then all you can find is info on the United States Agricultural Information Network.

There is one Afghani weaver with that name looking for a Kiva loan. I'd imagine if anything that it is a French spelling of Hussein, but it seems very rare if so.
does -whatever keep Google from returning stuff with "whatever" in it?
Old 08-21-2008, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror
I'd imagine if anything that it is a French spelling of Hussein, but it seems very rare if so.
I don't think you'd find too many people of French ancestry in Jamaica. It's a British colony.
Old 08-21-2008, 12:23 PM
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I remember reading about a young Mexican mother who quickly got across the USA border when her water broke, and then named her son Usaborn.

I have my doubts about the accuracy of that story, though.
Old 08-21-2008, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright
does -whatever keep Google from returning stuff with "whatever" in it?
Yes. And putting "whatever this is" in quotes brings up only stuff with exactly the full phrase whatever this is. You can achieve the same things through the "advanced search" option, found in really small type next to the search window.
Old 08-21-2008, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror
I'd imagine if anything that it is a French spelling of Hussein, but it seems very rare if so.
"Hussein" in French is... Hussein. (Consider for example Saddam Hussein and King Hussein of Jordan on the French Wikipedia.) Some Arabic names are transliterated differently in French and in English (for example the Libyan leader's), as are most Russian names, but this isn't one of them.

I also thought that "Usain" was a variation of "Hussein". Arabic and other foreign names appear to be quite popular in some Caribbean and South American countries (and North American countries as well, for that matter). According to pandNH4's link, the runner's nickname is "Vijay", which is clearly an Indian name, so it's quite possible that his name is in fact a variation on "Hussein".

Last edited by Hypnagogic Jerk; 08-21-2008 at 01:36 PM.
Old 08-21-2008, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23
I assumed it was a variant of Hussein. I don't see any evidence that Bolt has Arabic ancestry, but the Usain spelling strikes me as being consistent with Jamaican pronunciation.
Yeah, given that my Jamaican landlady would ask me whether I "ad seen er heggs" that's also what I guessed.








For those who've never thought about Jamaican Hs, the question in normal spelling/pronunciation would be whether I "had seen her (hen) eggs." We bought different qualities to ensure that we wouldn't confuse the boxes.

Last edited by Nava; 08-21-2008 at 01:59 PM.
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