Shanequa, LaQuanda, etc: Strange Names among African Americans

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

  1. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

    Wow Fraggle is actually wrong for once. Yes we Canadians do say it like that. You can even pause like 7 seconds between "Mike" and "Hawk" and it's actually even more funny.

    I was wrong also, I just learned from my source (Shorty) the guy's name from her middle school was even worse. Mike Hunt. Yes the way it is "said" in Canada, is funny from Newfoundland to Vancouver.
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Sorry, I guess I wasn't paying attention when I was working in Vancouver and Toronto. However, I double-checked the geographical chart in the Wikipedia article and it agreed with me. It said there are a few cities in Canada where the cot/caught merger has taken place, but not many. It's not standard even in the USA.
    I think that's universal throughout the anglophone world. Most guys with that name probably go by "Michael," "Red" or "Shorty."

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  5. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

    Heh well Wiki is never wrong right?

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    There are actually "few" Canadian cities, period.

    People in Vancouver often sound Californian actually (certain sayings anyway). Toronto has a very broad range, natives (born/raised) actually speak about the most middle of the road Canadian accent possible. People cannot tell I am Albertan and would have never guessed it. The accent, colloquialisms, culture is very similar from the interior of B.C, all the way to Nova Scotia. Quebec exempted as it always is in all things...

    I find it very very funny that many Americans seem to think we all talk like we are from Newfoundland, with their very distinct "Aboot" and lazy way of shortening up words.

    I blame Bob and Doug Mackenzie and Southpark.
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Yes, there is a Pacific Coast Sprachbund. It goes back at least to the 1960s when Vancouver produced several acid-rock and protest-rock bands and was affectionately known as San Francisco North.
    Yes, and they have their own dialect of French. CĂ©line Dion made several lovely albums in French before the Hollywood machine discovered her and taught her to sing formula pop ditties in English.
    Why do they need the dialect since we've learned from watching South Park that Canadian heads have such a unique manner of articulation during speech.

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    Entertainers, especially comedians, need a shorthand way of identifying foreigners, so they develop linguistic caricatures from their most extreme dialects. We used to laugh about the fact that until very recently, many American characters on British TV shows spoke like they were from the South.
  8. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Marion=so far as I can tell, another example of a last name that because a genderless first name
    Pat=short for Patrick or Patricia or something else that probably indicates gender
    Jo=not a name I'm aware of, but I'll take your word for it
    Bobbi=not a name I'm aware of, but I'll take your word for it

    Anyway, I realize that there's no iron-clad reason why first names need to denote gender. I just think that the ability of first names to denote gender seems like a useful trait, and it's a shame to lose it.
    I didn't say that they aren't weird, I said that I can imagine reasons for picking them as names other than a simple desire to be weird. I don't need to resort to "they just didn't want to be like everyone else" as an explanation.
  9. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    I worked with a guy named Erin. After 4 sons, his mother desperately wanted a girl and instead of naming him Aaron, she chose the female version. He was always explaining it, especially when he showed up for job interviews.

    I had a male boss named Kelly, males and female co workers both named Jerry.

    I know Teresa who married Terrance, both known as Terry. She reverted to Teresa, which made for a lot of paperwork and confusion in her family.
  10. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Of course there are examples of people not following the normal gender name conventions, but that doesn't change the fact that the vast majority of people named "Shawn" are male, etc.
  11. TBodillia Registered Senior Member

    Back in the day, I used to be in sales. I usually dealt only with couples and usually was given only basic information on a little card. I always hated when the card had two...well, cross gender...names. Kim & Terry is the couple that stands out in my mind: He was Kim, and she Terry.

    In the Army, my closest friend was a guy named Stacy. I know a man Terry that married a woman Terry. I went to school with a guy named Kelly and dated a girl named Kelly. There are just too many "gender ambiguous" names.

    Shawn, Marion, Pat, Jo, Bobbi, Robin, Carol, Marty, Shannon... if you do a Google search of images you'll see how most of those names cross gender lines. Bobbi is usually the feminine version of Bobby and Jo is the same for Joe.

    And, Bobbi Jo used to be a very popular name for southern girls. Petticoat Junction, a late 60s TV sitcom, was centered partly around three girls: Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo, & Bettie Jo.
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Shawn Colvin, a famous female singer. Boys are more likely to be named Sean, but Shawn Phillips was a moderately famous singer in the 1970s.
    I cheated: Marian is feminine and Marion is masculine. Actor John Wayne's real name, the most masculine guy of his generation, was Marion. It's like Frances/Francis.
    Robin Williams, a famous male actor.
    Carol O'Connor, the male actor who played Archie Bunker in one of America's most beloved TV sitcoms, "All in the Family."
    I personally have known half a dozen women named Marty and not one man, although we all loved Marty Feldman the comic actor.
    Shannon Hoon, the male singer in Blind Melon.
    It's hardly universal among the world's cultures. In Chinese given names the first morpheme is chosen to identify a generation and it applies to both girls and boys. The second morpheme can be anything the parents desire. I think I already mentioned my old Chinese girlfriend. She and her brother were born during the Japanese occupation of Manchuria and they were each named "I remember [name of one of the provinces that comprise Manchuria]."
  13. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, I was pretty sure you were going to come up with a list of people whose names don't follow the gender conventions, but that doesn't change the fact that the conventions exist and are useful. If you tell someone "I want you to meet my friend Carol," they will probably assume that your friend is female, Carol O'Connor notwithstanding. See my last post.

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