Shanequa, LaQuanda, etc: Strange Names among African Americans

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by madanthonywayne, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. EmmZ It's an animal thing Registered Senior Member

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    Emma's a good sturdy name

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    My friend called her son Cameron (meaning hooked nose). Now he's all grown up and decided to change the spelling of the name from the Scottish spelling to the Persian Kamran because it has more meaning (prosperous).
     
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    There was a very famous and beloved lady in Texas named Ima Hogg.
    Grace means good will (Latin origin) and Katharine means purity (Greek). Actually the name was first used in its Russian form, Ekatrina, but it was hellenicized by a culture that revered everything Greek.
    I presume it was a play on Hawaii's first King, Kamehameha.
     
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  5. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    change the Her to Him and you have nailed the conversation my husband and I have every weekend. Now when he asks me, I say "turn this car around and take me home. I have no problem making bologna sandwiches for supper"
     
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I once knew a guy named Gene Poole.
     
  8. John99 Banned Banned

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    i would prefer not to name my next child. i would much rather have the child name himself when he is old enough to speak of course...or herself but moreso for a boy.
     
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    In the large families of the past every child needed a name so he would know when people were talking to him instead of somebody else. I think there are a couple of years of that before a child becomes old enough to do justice to the freedom to name herself.

    I'm sure we're all curious as to why you think that freedom is less appropriate for a girl.

    Haven't there been cultures--and perhaps some still exist--in which a person is given a name but gets to choose another as a rite of passage into adulthood?
     
  10. Ganymede Valued Senior Member

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    Completely stunning. I don't think you realize how ignorant and bigoted this statement is. Who are you or anyone to question what someone names their child. If find it incredibly revealing that you believe Blacks go out of their way not to assimilate by naming their kids Sheniqua. By utilizing your logic it's safe to conclude that Sarah Palin is going out of her way to not assimilate too, since she named her kids Track, Willow, Piper and Trigg. How many people do you know with those names? It's a fact that names like Shanequa, LaQuanda are more common then Track, Willow, Piper and Trig. So in the end, it's Sarah Palin who really hates America AMRITE?


    /checkmate

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    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  11. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

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    There's a guy in my company named "Peter Johnson". I can help but snicker everytime I say his name.
     
  12. Ganymede Valued Senior Member

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    Bullshit, 90% of the most prominent Blacks in American history all had European names. Martin Luther King, Booker T. Washington, Fredrick Douglas, Lewis Latimer, George Washington Carver, Rosa Parks, Emmit Teal, Medgar Evars just to name a few. The ignorance in this thread is mortifying. Also, please explain to me what's an American name? If it's not native American, then it's not a American name. Your mixing up American names with European names.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  13. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Booker is a European name?
     
  14. Ganymede Valued Senior Member

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  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Many given names are co-opted surnames, and Booker T. Washington is an example. So are Jefferson Davis, Jackson Browne, Wilson Pickett. So are all the Madisons toddling around today, since it's been one of the most popular baby girl's names in recent years. You can bet that any name ending in -son was originally a surname, duh!

    People often give their baby the surname of a beloved politician or other celebrity. Roosevelt Grier was a big football star back in my day, and lots of kids were named Lincoln. Aren't there some Kennedys? Reagans?

    I'm sure there are a few Presleys, Lennons and McCartney's out there. Probably some Eastwoods and Norrises and maybe even a Schwarzenegger or two.

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    In America I wouldn't be surprised to meet a Hershey or a McDonald.
     
  16. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    That's because the fad for wierd names didn't come around until, I don't know, the sixties or seventies.
     
  17. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    This (ongoing) trend is especially annoying because it results in first names that don't indicate the gender of the person.
     
  18. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Getting back to the OP I think these names were part of the getting back to African roots movement of a few decades back. I am white, I cannot imagine the descrimination some of these folks experienced...growing up thinking that you were less intelligent because of your race...feeling inferior.

    We need to get past that stage and I think we are. In the overall scheme of things this is not going to matter much in the long term. Who cares what people want call themselves as long as they are upright individuals.
     
  19. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    I really hate Palin, but one doesn't have to resort to "she doesn't want to fit in" as an explanation for her naming her kids as she did, since "Trigg," "Willow" and "Track" are already-existing names/words that have been in use for centuries and have meanings. I might think they're stupid-sounding (and in fact, I do) but I can at least appreciate that she chose those names for a reason other than simply wanting to be weird.

    "Shanequa", on the other hand, is entirely made up and has no meaning. If someone gives their kids a weird name that doesn't actually mean anything or have any significance, I'm not sure how to explain it other than wanting to be different for the sake of different.

    That explanation would be much more convincing to me if they were using genuine African names, or African words, or anything that had any meaning or significance. Instead, most of them seem to be entirely made-up and devoid of meaning.
     
  20. The Esotericist Getting the message to Garcia Valued Senior Member

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  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Texas Attorney General "Big Jim" Hogg named his daugher Ima in 1882. He did not invent the name Ima, he got it from a poem his brother wrote. Nonetheless, he had to be aware that he was setting a World Record For Giving Your Baby A Crappy Name and 127 years later I'm not sure that anyone has yet stolen it from him. One of America's most beloved philanthropists, she always signed her name illegibly and went by I. Hogg.
    You mean like Shawn, Marion, Pat, Jo, Bobbi, Robin, Carol, Marty and Shannon?

    In Spanish they're rather casual about it when doling out names with religious connotations. I had a female friend named Rosario, which is a masculine noun, "Rosary". California actor A Martinez's first starring role on TV was on "Santa Barbara" as the character Cruz, a feminine noun, "Cross." He goes by "A" (no period) because his name is Adolfo and he wanted to distinguish himself from his father and grandfather--talk about a name with no gender clue.

    "Is A Martinez here?" "Yes, I'm a Martinez, I'm Bob Martinez." "Oh yeah, and I'm a Martinez too, I'm Gloria Martinez. Which Martinez do you want?" "No, I want A Martinez." "Well take your pick!"
    Oh yeah? Those names are less weird than Shanequa just because they are real words? What do the rest of you think? If I name my kid "Refrigerator," it's okay then?
    It was a fad among show business people in the 1960s, especially rock-and-rollers. Grace Slick has a daughter named China (she thought of naming her God and that persists as an urban legend although she changed her mind) and Cher's daughter Chastity now calls herself Chaz.

    And who can forget Frank Zappa's daughter Moon Unit and son Dweezil? The hospital refused to put "Dweezil" on his birth certificate so his birth name was Ian Donald Calvin Euclid Zappa. The family called him Dweezil and when he became old enough to realize that was not his legal name he insisted on making it so. Obviously he had no bad feelings about the name.

    These days in the USA we encounter so many people with foreign names that I don't see why anyone bats an eyelash at a made-up name that at least conforms to English phonetics. Many Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese, Persian and Korean names are pretty hard to pronounce. At least I can say "Shanequa" and get it right.
    Richard and Katherine Mather named their son Increase. He passed the favor along and named his son Cotton. Is that a whole lot better?
     
  22. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    There is at least one Mike Hawk running around in Canada...
     
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    The cot-caught merger is primarily a northeastern U.S. phenomenon and is not widespread in Canada. I.e., cot/caught, don/dawn, sod/sawed, chock/chalk, dodder/daughter, holler/hauler, etc., are not homophones to most Canadian speakers. So they don't pronounce "Mike Hawk" the same as "my cock."
     

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