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.

  • Elfin
  • Mice
  • Petty
  • Fries
  • Yudi
  • Fancy
  • Lareina
  • Oreo
  • Silverdew (A normal name for a fairy, a weird name for a human)
  • VV
  • Memory

And I also have plenty of “normal” names with crazy spellings.

  • Windie
  • Agata (no “h”)
  • Ayn
  • Kaery (pronounced Carrie)

In the past I had a student named “Jose” who knew the proper pronunciation (Hose-eh) but preffered 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!

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 a 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 pronoucne 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


Mark · October 17, 2018 at 6:52 pm

Last year, I had a student called Mountain Chicken…. I think that was the weirdest, but I have students who call themselves Hercules, Scarlett (a guy), Spencer (a girl), Able (so called because when I asked what his English name was, he opened a dictionary at ‘A’ and called himself the first word he found…. at least it wasn’t Aardvark). I have a student called Pony this year, and Cinry (not Cindy), and weird spellings of names too. I have a Lemon and an Eleven in the same class. A couple of years ago, I had two students in class, both next to each other on the register called ‘Mark’ and ‘Wilson’, which was pretty amusing. I had a student called Javier, who I presumed was named after Javier Bardem but was in fact named after a Mexican footballer. Shows what I know! I also taught a student in high school called Lego once. I think it’s interesting a lot of names they pick, seemingly ‘normal’, are considered old people’s names in UK. E.g. I had a student last year called Hilda, who was like 18 or 19. In Britain usually today, Hilda would be the name of a pensioner. Similarly names like Esther and Ethel. I had a Dragon in one of my classes, and a Salamance (which I said is a place in Spain, but he told me he was named after a Pokemon)…. he later changed his name to Travis.

Becky · October 23, 2018 at 12:51 am

Haha, there are some pretty good ones! Mountain chicken is by far the best.

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