Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What's in a Name?

Man, I'm a terrible blogger! I don't even want to know when my last post was. But here's the latest.

The other day in one of my lessons my student (and friend) Evi was talking about some of her co-workers. One of them is from Germany and is named Dirk. Now, apparently it wasn't even necessary to mention his country of origin because over here, Dirk is quite simply a German name. I did not know that. Yes, she told me, anyone named Dirk, Detlef or Uwe is obviously German. I have to admit that I haven't met many people in Austria with those names so I guess she's right. I just never thought about it before. When you're from the USA, anything goes. Growing up I had friends with names like Carrie, Sejal and Tameka, not necessarily names that you'd be able to identify as strictly "American". Which brings me to a question - is there such a thing as a typical American name? And what about Austrian names? Last names are one thing. In Vorarlberg you can often tell which town someone is from by his or her last name (yes, really). But I'm not so sure about first names. That's something I need to research.
What does your name say about your roots?