Sunday, October 30, 2011

What's in a Name...

I'm not sure how we got on the subject, but the idea of peoples names came up in a conversation. Parker and Addison mentioned their friend "Gazi" as a name they liked here in Senegal. Let's be clear though - they have not forgotten any friends names back in Berkeley ;+}

As it turns out Parker's  teacher Madame Diolinda Davies-Pignier (who is French) provided us a list of names of all the kids in his class.  Gazi happens to be in Addison's class.

Interesting thing about names - we all have one, and maybe we've even tried to look ours up to see where it came from, or asked our parents how did you come up with my name? or maybe you've done a search to see "who famous" you might share the same name with. Turns out the study of names is called onomastics, a field which touches on linguistics,  history, anthropology, psychology, sociology and much more. Clearly an interesting subject for some, but I'm not here to go too much further into that.

So here's the list for your viewing pleasure:

Male Names:  Amadou, Jean Bernard, Nathan, Rami, Mamadou, Nader, Oumar-Henri, Abbass, Ibrahima, Matthieu, Louis-David, An Jun, Ismaila

Female Names: Karen, Samira, Farah, Adja Fatou, Sandra, Yasmine, Maeva, Pétronille, Fatmé, Fiwa, Sérèna, Djilane

Now after having been here for 2 months it does seem the names stem from either African/Senegalese/Muslim, European/French or Lebanese origin which is the population of the families we have been meeting here at the school.

And lastly, just to keep the record straight - Parker and Addison's names just came from a book without any thought on our part that they were actually street names in Berkeley, until it was brought to our attention by a friend also living in Berkeley  why we did not name them Alcatraz (and some other street I've forgotten) but if he is reading this blog - he can remind us ;+} 

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