What’s in a name?

Here in southern Africa you regularly meet people with, shall we say, interesting names. Everything from the cute (like Pretty, Gift and Princess) to the what-the-hell-were-you-thinking kinds (to give you a bit of an idea, I’ve met people called Spacious, Jealous and Corner). Recently, I visited a creche in the north-east of South Africa. Here’s a sample of their birthday lists:

Names

Names

 

Some of these parents may not be much liked by their kids once they are old enough to understand the meaning of their names… It may also be a good idea to offer free spell-check at the name registration office. But the Most Unfortunate Name Typo Ever must be that of poor Warship’s parents (a young man that my husband once met)… I assume that they were aiming for something church-related rather than hostile boats…?

Nevertheless, this is also one of the reasons I love living in Africa. Things are weird and wonderful, and no-one tells what you can or cannot do they way they do where I grew up. Many of these people cannot read or write in English, but they still have a good go at it. I love African English!

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