SUMMARY: Cultural changes.I've lived in the same valley for more than 40 years, but the names that surround my life have changed significantly.
High school, 1974Here are names from my senior high school yearbook in Cupertino--first name on each of the first 10 pages:
... you get the idea. I know how to spell and pronounce the names. I often know whether they're male or female (although some European names--like Kim and Robin--can be used for either).
Same school, 2011Here, I pick 10 names from the current newspaper for that very same high school in Cupertino, in the order in which I found them:
... well, the first names are mostly still familiar--still can spell and pronounce, still know gender, but the last names are of a whole different ethnic origin.
And now, well...
Working environmentHere are the names of one team I worked with for most of the last year:
Wei Guo (go figure, different person)
Allan Lillich (token non-Beijing resident)
...and here are the names of 10 people I've worked with and around for the last 3 months (all ALSO in Cupertino):
(and the first names of people in my cubicle and across from me: Rohan, Praveen, Balakrishna, Mohammad, Amar, Mirshad, Venkateswarulu)
The last few years have been educational for me in the name department. Learning how to pronounce and also starting to learn genders that typically go with the names. I still have a long way to go.
Dog namesSo I got to thinking--what about dog names?
I found this cool page with Indian dog names. What if I'd named Boost "Neela," meaning "Blue"?
My cousin's dog is Jamela, which is Arabic for "beautiful"; the same site has tons of Arabic dog names.
You can also search the web for, say, Swahili dog names, African dog names, or your favorite.
Click hereI wanted to find !Kung dog names--!Kung is the Bushman language. If you've ever seen The Gods Must Be Crazy, you've heard it: The ! represents a clicking sound and it's one of the few languages that uses that sound regularly. But I search for "!Kung dog names", "San dog names", "!Xhosa dog names"--all clicking languages--but no luck.
We have a couple of dogs around here whose registered names include "!":
Do you suppose they're pronounced with clicks? And are they male or female? What ever happened to King and Queenie?