It seems as if they more my students become aware of western culture, the weirder their english names are. When I started the weirdest names were like, “Cookies” and “Chanley” but now I’m getting so many odd names that make those look positively white bread.
Here are some of the names of my new students this year.
- Silverdew (A normal name for a fairy, a weird name for a human)
And I also have plenty of “normal” names with crazy spellings.
- Agata (no “h”)
- Kaery (pronounced Carrie)
In the past I had a student named “Jose” who knew the proper pronunciation (Hose-eh) but preferred the wrong pronunciation as her name (Joes) so I had to make sure to say a normal name incorrectly with her.
And check out this amazing combo that showed up on my class list. What are the odds?!
(If you don’t know what this references I find that “inconceivable!” But here’s a hint:)
And I think I have the record-breaking name. The one that wins “weirdest name of all time.”
I asked him if I could call him Ante and he said “no.” So Antetokounmpo it is! (Turns out it is a NBA Players name, but being ignorant to sports, I had no idea.)
Some teacher hate weird English names and insist the students change them. But I love them. I’ve had enough Wendy’s and Jessica’s to last a lifetime. Give me a Silverdew and Petty any day! At least I can remember those. And as someone who has a Chinese name (and loves it) I know the importance of choosing your own name and connecting with a different part of you by that name. That’s why even when they are weird, I always work to pronounce them correctly. (And it is why on my roll call, after the Name “bass” I wrote “fish” and not “guitar” so I could remember which pronunciation to say.)
Are you an English teacher? What are some of the weirdest names you’ve had from students?
Here is my first post when I first arrived in China about their funny English names
Here is one I wrote a few years later