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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Track meet results

Looking over my daughter's state Class L championship track meet results from last night, I couldn't help but be struck by some of the competitors' first names. Here are some of my favorite girls' names:

-Chalsea (She won the 55 meter dash; second place went to a girl named Chelsea, which proves that spelling ability and sprinting ability are not perfectly correlated.)

-Ali (What are the odds her father was not a boxing fan?)

-Arabia (It does have a sort of romantic, thousand and one nights feel to it.)

-Mercedes (The car company was originally named after a young girl, though I suspect this runner's parents did not know that; things have now come full circle.)

-Applelonia (Apollonia is the female variant of Apollo, who was the god of sunshine, music, and poetry; Applelonia must have been the goddess of apples.)

-McKinley (The lone white entrant. When someone is given a last name for a first name, you need no other data points: you know the family is pretentious. It's only fitting that they reside in Darien.)

-Danyelle (It's striking how many sprinters' names are just slight misspellings of common names. She finished ahead of a Danielle in the 55 meter hurdles, proving the same point Chalsea did.)

-Janae, Denese, Joya, Dannielle (Change or subtract just one letter of each of these names to get a normal name.)

And from the boys' results:

-Tirrell (If I had a dime for every variant of that name I've ever seen...)

-Donarth (As in "Don't arth, don't tell.")

-D'Vonte (Certain segments of the population seem to favor apostrophes.)

-Taj (Perhaps his parents enjoyed a streak of luck at Donald Trump's casino.)

-Lexus (My personal favorite; his parents are obviously aspirational.)

-Brydell (He only got fourth in the 300 meter dash: always a bridesmaid, but never a....)

-Storm (He is a 12th grader, too old to have been named after the X-Men character, who was a woman anyway.)

-Lake (I actually like that name, it's got a nice peaceful, bucolic feel to it.)

-Synque (An athlete definitely has to be in sync to run the hurdles, which is his event.)

-Adante ("Andante" actually means a slow tempo, which is slower than allegretto but faster than adagio; Adante undoubtedly has a good sense of rhythm.)

-Kwency (It's rare to see both Anglophilia and Afrocentrism combined in the same name.)

-Amanze (He won the high jump with the less than amazing height of 6' 2", but also won the long jump with an amazing leap of 23' 3".)

-Darius (Roman names, too, seem to be favored among a certain sector of the populace)


Perhaps I am too closed-minded. There is something to be said for a completely new name: it makes you more memorable. My own name, John, is the most common in the English language: you don't get any more boring than that. And many is the person who hasn't been able to remember my name -- for that, or other reasons.

On the other hand, if you're a Lexus, no one will ever not remember your name.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought Darius was Persian...
Entertaining post John, reminiscent of your previous analyses of names at track meets. It's good to see that there is such creativity even in New England. :)
G

John Craig said...

G --
Thank you.

Even in New England? As opposed to old England? I thought you Irish Republicans didn't give a hoot about comparisons like that.....

John Craig said...

PS -- Just looked it up, you're right, Darius is a Persian name. There was one Praetorian Prefect by that name, but by far the most famous Darius's (I,II, and III) were kings of Persia.

My son would have really laid into me for that one.