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?


Anonymous said...

I always think of names like Brad, Jessica and Chad as "American" though I have absolutely no basis for such a judgement having never been there ;P

Tatersmama said...

Hmmm... I went to school with a "Dirk", but some reason I remember his last name as being something Irish. I can't remember exactly, but after all these years, I can still remember the way he smelled. (nice... sort of cinnamony...lol!)
Summerfield! That's it... Dirk Summerfield. I guess that's not Irish at all, is it? lol!

And thanks so much for commenting on my blog. I'm now a follower of yours. :)

Homestay Mama said...

Very interesting, thought-provoking post! I'll come back when I have more time.