What's In Nigerian Names?

I have been fascinated by the subject of names for a long time. I read an article in Newswatch magazine many years ago that sparked my interest in the politics and sociology of naming. This piece is an extension of that brilliant Op-Ed.

What's in a name? A lot. Especially in Nigeria. Nigerian names are particularly revealing. They amuse, shock, outrage, enlighten, ennoble, and empower.

Take the name Longshack, which - believe it or not - is a Nigerian name, not a British or American place name. The name is fairly common among our compatriots on the Jos Plateau. At first encounter one wonders if the name is a product of colonial Anglicization, a curious relic of colonial social encounters. One also wonders, on the lighter side, whether there might be a Shortshack to complement Longshack.

What about the monosyllabic names for which our Plateau brothers and sisters are also known? In Nigeria, Pam is not short for Pamela. It certainly is not a popular culinary oil substitute known to residents of America. Pams are living, breathing, vibrant humans from Plateau State . Lar may be a less common name on the Plateau, but what it lacks in number of bearers it makes up for in the prominence of its few bearers. Remember Solomon Lar?

Then there is Dung. It's the last name of my high school classmate. From - you guessed it - Plateau State . I am sure Miss Dung - if her marital status has not changed - would resist any comparison of her last name to a certain undesirable byproduct of the metabolic processes of a popular domestic animal.

In the Hausa speaking parts of the country, it is quite common for people to take on the name of their trade. Not as a way of drawing attention to their competencies, or as a strategy of - let's use a fancy postmodern term - business branding, but as a formal, legal identification. Inuwa Maidoya (literarily translated as Inuwa seller of yams) would not be a strange nomenclatural occurrence in these parts. Nor would Ibrahim Maishayi (Ibrahim the tea salesman) be uncommon.

These are acceptable, even dignified, vocations in the Hausa speaking milieus of Nigeria, where modesty of ambition and dignity in lowly labor are celebrated, if dying, virtues. Hausa men harbor no shame about engaging in trades that men in other parts of the country would shirk as "women's work." These adopted trade names show the social boundaries of the permissible, the tolerable, and the acceptable.

I often wonder why it is hard to find a Maitaba (tobacco salesman) in the Hausa states. There are, of course, plenty of Maitabas in the generic sense of tobacco seller. Smoking is after all tolerated in Hausaland and violates no mainstream Islamic precepts. But where in the name of nicotine are the Garba Maitabas and Lawal Maitabas?

Is the dearth of Maitaba legal name names a reflection of the ambivalent status of tobacco in Hausa social life? Does it say something about tobacco's existence at the hazy interstices of Hausa social life, or about the fact that tobacco straddles the social territory of de facto social toleration and timid condemnation?

In other words, it may be fine to sell tobacco and/or smoke it, but taking a tobacco-associated name pushes the envelope of social acceptability too far. What does this tell us about the place of tobacco in Hausa society? Perhaps it is that tobacco exists uneasily in the ill-defined and murky zone between socio-religious permissiveness and social resentment of habits that are tolerated but not encouraged.

If we can't find a Maitaba in Hausa society, we can't even conceive of a Maigiya (alcohol salesman). For no Hausa Muslim - or any Muslim for that matter - would associate their name with a product outlawed by their religion. Not as a trade name, and certainly not as a proper, legal name.

In the same Hausa context, individuals, especially those who are successful, like to adopt the names of their hometowns as their legal name. Aminu Kano, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Shehu Shagari, Kabiru Gaya, Shehu Usman Katsina are all names that boldly and proudly proclaim the ancestral origins of their prominent bearers. Through individuals' adoption of place names, five-hut villages have found instant fame, etched indelibly onto Nigerian history and our social consciousness.

But there is the occasional aberration. Even in Northern Nigeria, where the obsession with adopting the hometown's name is more fully realized. For instance, Sadiq Mamman Lagos is not a Lagosian. He is a popular Kaduna businessman, a member of a prominent family from Kaduna state, whose patriarch is said to have made his fortune in Lagos. Here is therefore an adopted place name that does not announce the bearer's ancestry but his abbreviated economic biography.

Still, identifying with the place of origin or adopted place of origin is a strong factor in the politics of naming among the Hausa. So strong is this relationship between naming and identity that even those who are suspected of having become Hausa through a process of voluntary assimilation have to try and establish a verifiable link to a hometown or village in Hausaland.

A few years ago, some "disgruntled opponents" of then Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano state displayed their gripe by daring to question the Governor's Kano identity. All the governor had to do was simply remind them that his last name was the same name as that of a small, dusty village a few miles from Kano city. It doesn't get more Kano than that. That shut the "disgruntled elements" up, or ought to.

Even among the Hausa, one comes across the odd, accidentally Anglicized name. For instance, Ujudud Sheriff is a prominent journalist and has had no association with American law enforcement.

In the South, Osa Director is neither a movie director nor a director of a company. He is a newspaper editor whose directorial experience is limited to directing reporters under him on what subjects and stories to investigate or what kind of reports to write.

There is a pan-Nigerian dimension to our naming culture: names encapsulate statements of wealth and proud accomplishment across Nigeria's cultural and ethnic spectrum. Maikudi (the rich or owner of wealth) is popular among the Hausa as first and last name. Alhaji Maikudi Daneji is a prominent Kano businessman. Kabir Maikudi may be made up, but it is not implausible.

Olowo (the rich or owner of wealth) is a fairly ubiquitous name among the Yoruba, both as a praise name and a legal name. I knew Alhaji Abdullahi Olowo, who was the chief of the Yoruba community in Kano. Ironically, when I knew him, he was a financially troubled man who bore only traces of a once-wealthy existence.

In his peak as a wealthy, if notorious, moneyman, Victor Okafor preferred to be known as Eze Ego (king of money). He named his popular Lagos high rise Eze Ego Plaza to underscore his preference for this expressive, more declaratory name.

Nigerians want their names to do much more than identify them. They want it to supply a crisp, catchy summary of what they are about. How else do you explain the immodesty and vulgarity of proclaiming your wealth through your name? The Euro-American rich have their conspicuous consumption. We have our immodest names that bespeak our wealth and accomplishments. Not that our big men do not also consume conspicuously. They do.

But why stop at showy materialism when you can inscribe your status eternally onto your name - onto your formal, legal identity? It's a rare chance not to be missed.

Nigerians understand the politics and significance of naming. That is why few Nigerian names betray the random, whimsical vanity of the Hollywood variety.



1
What's In Nigerian Names?
Moses Ebe Ochonu posted on 01-11-2009, 20:45:58 PM

I have been fascinated by the subject of names for a long time. I read an article in Newswatch magazine many years ago that sparked my interest in the politics and sociology of naming. This piece is an extension of that brilliant Op-Ed.

What's in a name? A lot. Especially in Nigeria. Nigerian names are particularly revealing. They amuse, shock, outrage, enlighten, ennoble, and empower.

Take the name Longshack, which - believe it or not - is a Nigerian name, not a British or American place name. The name is fairly common among our compatriots on the Jos Plateau. At first encounter one wonders if the name is a product of colonial Anglicization, a curious relic of colonial social encounters. One also wonders, on the lighter side, whether there might be a Shortshack to complement Longshack.

What about the monosyllabic names for which our Plateau brothers and sisters are also known? In Nigeria, Pam is not short for Pamela. It certainly is not a popular culinary oil substitute known to residents of America. Pams are living, breathing, vibrant humans from Plateau State . Lar may be a less common name on the Plateau, but what it lacks in number of bearers it makes up for in the prominence of its few bearers. Remember Solomon Lar?

Then there is Dung. It's the last name of my high school classmate. From - you guessed it - Plateau State . I am sure Miss Dung - if her marital status has not changed - would resist any comparison of her last name to a certain undesirable byproduct of the metabolic processes of a popular domestic animal.

In the Hausa speaking parts of the country, it is quite common for people to take on the name of their trade. Not as a way of drawing attention to their competencies, or as a strategy of - let's use a fancy postmodern term - business branding, but as a formal, legal identification. Inuwa Maidoya (literarily translated as Inuwa seller of yams) would not be a strange nomenclatural occurrence in these parts. Nor would Ibrahim Maishayi (Ibrahim the tea salesman) be uncommon.

These are acceptable, even dignified, vocations in the Hausa speaking milieus of Nigeria, where modesty of ambition and dignity in lowly labor are celebrated, if dying, virtues. Hausa men harbor no shame about engaging in trades that men in other parts of the country would shirk as "women's work." These adopted trade names show the social boundaries of the permissible, the tolerable, and the acceptable.

I often wonder why it is hard to find a Maitaba (tobacco salesman) in the Hausa states. There are, of course, plenty of Maitabas in the generic sense of tobacco seller. Smoking is after all tolerated in Hausaland and violates no mainstream Islamic precepts. But where in the name of nicotine are the Garba Maitabas and Lawal Maitabas?

Is the dearth of Maitaba legal name names a reflection of the ambivalent status of tobacco in Hausa social life? Does it say something about tobacco's existence at the hazy interstices of Hausa social life, or about the fact that tobacco straddles the social territory of de facto social toleration and timid condemnation?

In other words, it may be fine to sell tobacco and/or smoke it, but taking a tobacco-associated name pushes the envelope of social acceptability too far. What does this tell us about the place of tobacco in Hausa society? Perhaps it is that tobacco exists uneasily in the ill-defined and murky zone between socio-religious permissiveness and social resentment of habits that are tolerated but not encouraged.

If we can't find a Maitaba in Hausa society, we can't even conceive of a Maigiya (alcohol salesman). For no Hausa Muslim - or any Muslim for that matter - would associate their name with a product outlawed by their religion. Not as a trade name, and certainly not as a proper, legal name.

In the same Hausa context, individuals, especially those who are successful, like to adopt the names of their hometowns as their legal name. Aminu Kano, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Shehu Shagari, Kabiru Gaya, Shehu Usman Katsina are all names that boldly and proudly proclaim the ancestral origins of their prominent bearers. Through individuals' adoption of place names, five-hut villages have found instant fame, etched indelibly onto Nigerian history and our social consciousness.

But there is the occasional aberration. Even in Northern Nigeria, where the obsession with adopting the hometown's name is more fully realized. For instance, Sadiq Mamman Lagos is not a Lagosian. He is a popular Kaduna businessman, a member of a prominent family from Kaduna state, whose patriarch is said to have made his fortune in Lagos. Here is therefore an adopted place name that does not announce the bearer's ancestry but his abbreviated economic biography.

Still, identifying with the place of origin or adopted place of origin is a strong factor in the politics of naming among the Hausa. So strong is this relationship between naming and identity that even those who are suspected of having become Hausa through a process of voluntary assimilation have to try and establish a verifiable link to a hometown or village in Hausaland.

A few years ago, some "disgruntled opponents" of then Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano state displayed their gripe by daring to question the Governor's Kano identity. All the governor had to do was simply remind them that his last name was the same name as that of a small, dusty village a few miles from Kano city. It doesn't get more Kano than that. That shut the "disgruntled elements" up, or ought to.

Even among the Hausa, one comes across the odd, accidentally Anglicized name. For instance, Ujudud Sheriff is a prominent journalist and has had no association with American law enforcement.

In the South, Osa Director is neither a movie director nor a director of a company. He is a newspaper editor whose directorial experience is limited to directing reporters under him on what subjects and stories to investigate or what kind of reports to write.

There is a pan-Nigerian dimension to our naming culture: names encapsulate statements of wealth and proud accomplishment across Nigeria's cultural and ethnic spectrum. Maikudi (the rich or owner of wealth) is popular among the Hausa as first and last name. Alhaji Maikudi Daneji is a prominent Kano businessman. Kabir Maikudi may be made up, but it is not implausible.

Olowo (the rich or owner of wealth) is a fairly ubiquitous name among the Yoruba, both as a praise name and a legal name. I knew Alhaji Abdullahi Olowo, who was the chief of the Yoruba community in Kano. Ironically, when I knew him, he was a financially troubled man who bore only traces of a once-wealthy existence.

In his peak as a wealthy, if notorious, moneyman, Victor Okafor preferred to be known as Eze Ego (king of money). He named his popular Lagos high rise Eze Ego Plaza to underscore his preference for this expressive, more declaratory name.

Nigerians want their names to do much more than identify them. They want it to supply a crisp, catchy summary of what they are about. How else do you explain the immodesty and vulgarity of proclaiming your wealth through your name? The Euro-American rich have their conspicuous consumption. We have our immodest names that bespeak our wealth and accomplishments. Not that our big men do not also consume conspicuously. They do.

But why stop at showy materialism when you can inscribe your status eternally onto your name - onto your formal, legal identity? It's a rare chance not to be missed.

Nigerians understand the politics and significance of naming. That is why few Nigerian names betray the random, whimsical vanity of the Hollywood variety.



..Read the full article
Re: What's In Nigerian Names?
Tola Odejayi posted on 01-11-2009, 20:45:58 PM

I have been fascinated by the subject of names for a long time. I read an article in Newswatch magazine many years ago that sparked my interest in the politics and sociology of naming. This piece is an extension of that brilliant Op-Ed.

What's in a name? A lot. Especially in Nigeria. Nigerian names are particularly revealing. They amuse, shock, outrage, enlighten, ennoble, and empower.

Take the name Longshack, which - believe it or not - is a Nigerian name, not a British or American place name. The name is fairly common among our compatriots on the Jos Plateau. At first encounter one wonders if the name is a product of colonial Anglicization, a curious relic of colonial social encounters. One also wonders, on the lighter side, whether there might be a Shortshack to complement Longshack.

What about the monosyllabic names for which our Plateau brothers and sisters are also known? In Nigeria, Pam is not short for Pamela. It certainly is not a popular culinary oil substitute known to residents of America. Pams are living, breathing, vibrant humans from Plateau State . Lar may be a less common name on the Plateau, but what it lacks in number of bearers it makes up for in the prominence of its few bearers. Remember Solomon Lar?

Then there is Dung. It's the last name of my high school classmate. From - you guessed it - Plateau State . I am sure Miss Dung - if her marital status has not changed - would resist any comparison of her last name to a certain undesirable byproduct of the metabolic processes of a popular domestic animal.

In the Hausa speaking parts of the country, it is quite common for people to take on the name of their trade. Not as a way of drawing attention to their competencies, or as a strategy of - let's use a fancy postmodern term - business branding, but as a formal, legal identification. Inuwa Maidoya (literarily translated as Inuwa seller of yams) would not be a strange nomenclatural occurrence in these parts. Nor would Ibrahim Maishayi (Ibrahim the tea salesman) be uncommon.

These are acceptable, even dignified, vocations in the Hausa speaking milieus of Nigeria, where modesty of ambition and dignity in lowly labor are celebrated, if dying, virtues. Hausa men harbor no shame about engaging in trades that men in other parts of the country would shirk as "women's work." These adopted trade names show the social boundaries of the permissible, the tolerable, and the acceptable.

I often wonder why it is hard to find a Maitaba (tobacco salesman) in the Hausa states. There are, of course, plenty of Maitabas in the generic sense of tobacco seller. Smoking is after all tolerated in Hausaland and violates no mainstream Islamic precepts. But where in the name of nicotine are the Garba Maitabas and Lawal Maitabas?

Is the dearth of Maitaba legal name names a reflection of the ambivalent status of tobacco in Hausa social life? Does it say something about tobacco's existence at the hazy interstices of Hausa social life, or about the fact that tobacco straddles the social territory of de facto social toleration and timid condemnation?

In other words, it may be fine to sell tobacco and/or smoke it, but taking a tobacco-associated name pushes the envelope of social acceptability too far. What does this tell us about the place of tobacco in Hausa society? Perhaps it is that tobacco exists uneasily in the ill-defined and murky zone between socio-religious permissiveness and social resentment of habits that are tolerated but not encouraged.

If we can't find a Maitaba in Hausa society, we can't even conceive of a Maigiya (alcohol salesman). For no Hausa Muslim - or any Muslim for that matter - would associate their name with a product outlawed by their religion. Not as a trade name, and certainly not as a proper, legal name.

In the same Hausa context, individuals, especially those who are successful, like to adopt the names of their hometowns as their legal name. Aminu Kano, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Shehu Shagari, Kabiru Gaya, Shehu Usman Katsina are all names that boldly and proudly proclaim the ancestral origins of their prominent bearers. Through individuals' adoption of place names, five-hut villages have found instant fame, etched indelibly onto Nigerian history and our social consciousness.

But there is the occasional aberration. Even in Northern Nigeria, where the obsession with adopting the hometown's name is more fully realized. For instance, Sadiq Mamman Lagos is not a Lagosian. He is a popular Kaduna businessman, a member of a prominent family from Kaduna state, whose patriarch is said to have made his fortune in Lagos. Here is therefore an adopted place name that does not announce the bearer's ancestry but his abbreviated economic biography.

Still, identifying with the place of origin or adopted place of origin is a strong factor in the politics of naming among the Hausa. So strong is this relationship between naming and identity that even those who are suspected of having become Hausa through a process of voluntary assimilation have to try and establish a verifiable link to a hometown or village in Hausaland.

A few years ago, some "disgruntled opponents" of then Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano state displayed their gripe by daring to question the Governor's Kano identity. All the governor had to do was simply remind them that his last name was the same name as that of a small, dusty village a few miles from Kano city. It doesn't get more Kano than that. That shut the "disgruntled elements" up, or ought to.

Even among the Hausa, one comes across the odd, accidentally Anglicized name. For instance, Ujudud Sheriff is a prominent journalist and has had no association with American law enforcement.

In the South, Osa Director is neither a movie director nor a director of a company. He is a newspaper editor whose directorial experience is limited to directing reporters under him on what subjects and stories to investigate or what kind of reports to write.

There is a pan-Nigerian dimension to our naming culture: names encapsulate statements of wealth and proud accomplishment across Nigeria's cultural and ethnic spectrum. Maikudi (the rich or owner of wealth) is popular among the Hausa as first and last name. Alhaji Maikudi Daneji is a prominent Kano businessman. Kabir Maikudi may be made up, but it is not implausible.

Olowo (the rich or owner of wealth) is a fairly ubiquitous name among the Yoruba, both as a praise name and a legal name. I knew Alhaji Abdullahi Olowo, who was the chief of the Yoruba community in Kano. Ironically, when I knew him, he was a financially troubled man who bore only traces of a once-wealthy existence.

In his peak as a wealthy, if notorious, moneyman, Victor Okafor preferred to be known as Eze Ego (king of money). He named his popular Lagos high rise Eze Ego Plaza to underscore his preference for this expressive, more declaratory name.

Nigerians want their names to do much more than identify them. They want it to supply a crisp, catchy summary of what they are about. How else do you explain the immodesty and vulgarity of proclaiming your wealth through your name? The Euro-American rich have their conspicuous consumption. We have our immodest names that bespeak our wealth and accomplishments. Not that our big men do not also consume conspicuously. They do.

But why stop at showy materialism when you can inscribe your status eternally onto your name - onto your formal, legal identity? It's a rare chance not to be missed.

Nigerians understand the politics and significance of naming. That is why few Nigerian names betray the random, whimsical vanity of the Hollywood variety.



..Read the full article
Re: What's In Nigerian Names?
Britroyal1 posted on 01-11-2009, 21:55:13 PM
Excellent and a most witty article. I was hoping though that you would shed some light on those who in a fit of overzealous piety think it fit to name their children, "godstimeisthebest, godswill, gospelchild, goodboy, redeemedone, myredeemerliveth etc. These people never fail to crack me up. The kids grow up with these eccentric names and get their asses kicked in school. No wonder the bible says "I will visit the sins of the father on the son."
Re: What's In Nigerian Names?
Agidimolaja posted on 01-11-2009, 23:46:06 PM
Olowo as a name in Yoruba Kingdom does not necessarily mean a money man or a rich person like Maikudimeans in Hausa Kingdom.

The name Olowo is actually a short form of the original name.Cutting a name short is a common practice among Yorubas,therefore people are always faced with the task of probingfurther so as to know what the real name is so as to arrive at the correct meaning of that name.

"Dele" is a short form of several Deles - Oladele, Oyedele, Omodele, Ayodele etc.

Olowo could be the short form ofOlowolaiyemo{a rich man is a popular man, or you are known because of your riches}.

Olowo may as well be a name but under normal circumstance, it was given to that person as nickname,not as legal name even if he controls lot of money.

Here are few Olowos;Olowolagba{moneyman is the senior}; Olowoloba{moneyman is the King}; Olowoofoyeku{moneymanlacked no chieftancy tittle} etc.

Hausas are more tolerant with names than those of us from the Southern part of the country.

Hausas are known to call people bynames that we may say are quite unacceptable in the Southern part of the country. One wonders why they do it. Is it just for the sake of proper identification or for the sake of convenience or just an aspect of social life?

Hausas sometimes do call people by the nameof the particularailment or disability which that person is suffering from.

His name is Sule but he is limping. Be not surprised to hear people calling him"dan gurugu".Aminu had one of his legsamputated and people started to call him, "mai kafa daya".How about Isa who is called simply as "ma'ido ndaya"because he is a one eyed man.

Surprisingly, the onethat is called by the name of hisparticular ailmentis neveroffended for being so called.

In the South, especially in Yoruba Kingdom such is never tolerated.

Yorubas also use trade, place of abode or place of work or the type of work as an added name for the sole purpose ofproper identifications, especially when there aremore than one person answering same name.

A person's name is Alabi. There are however more than one Alabi around the compound or village.Which Alabi? Any of the above listed may be added to his name so as toset him out from the other Alabi{s}.

Alabi Eleran{Alabi the meat seller}, Alabi Eko{Alabi that is living in Lagos}, Alabi Ode{Alabi the hunter}, Alabi kafinta{Alabi the carpenter}etc.

Present day Ogun and Lagos States suffered captivities during the bad old days of trans-atlantic slave trade.

After the abolition of slave trade,few people who could still remember their homeland returned back. They however came withtheir English and Portuguese slave masters'surnames.

TheseEnglish or Portugesesurnames {Martins, Johnson, Williams, Berckley, Gomez etc}arevery commonin Ogun and Lagos States.

But a particular name rumbles my stomach whenever I hear it or when I hearda Lagosianintroduced himself as such.

I wonderedwhy these families failed to pay particular attention to the english language meaning of the name.

The name is,SAVAGE!

Is there any one among of you readers who would gladly name his child SAVAGE?
Re: What's In Nigerian Names?
Akuluouno posted on 01-12-2009, 02:34:10 AM
HEHehehehehhe,

My Dear Mo,

Na waoo for you. I have just finished reading an article in the Times of London titled "Nominative Determinism. Please let me kindly repost it here for the benefit of esteemed villagers.
However as you read, let me remind of one man formerly known as Ashikiwe Adione Egom, whose surname in Igbo literally meant "How many people want to buy me". This caused a lot of fun amongst my friends because we wondered if peradventure the man was so marketable in those days days of human trafficking that there was a scramble for his purcahse
Mo should also not forget about the Mutum Bius, Jawandos, and all other funny names which though not restricted to the north is indeed fun to discuss


QUOTE:
What's in a name? 10 cases where moniker maketh man
December 16, 2008

The New Scientist gave it the name nominative determinism - the idea that there is a link between people's names and their occupation.

In their book Yes!, Goldstein, Martin and Cialdini cite the classic piece of research that supports the idea that nominative determism really exists. A study of the rolls of the American Dental Association shows that more people called Dennis become dentists than you would expect if the choice of profession were purely random.

And now we have the exquisitely named Bernard Madoff, making off with his client's cash.

Here are my top 10 examples of nominative determinism.

1. Theodore Hee. Mr T. Hee was responsible for most of the early comic storylines for Walt Disney films.

2. Cardinal Sin. The classic example, I think. Jamie Sin was an Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church of the Philippines. Wikipedia helpfully notes: \\"His name should not be confused with \\"cardinal sin\\", which is synonymous for the seven deadly sins\\".

3. Judge Judge. In July of this year Sir Igor Judge was appointed Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.

4. Amy Freeze. Fox News Chicago's Chief Meteorologist could hardly have chosen a different profession. Save, perhaps, setting pay for Government employees.

5. Patty Turner. The inevitable name of the wife of McDonald's CEO Frank Turner.

6. Governor Blagojevich. The man responsible for introducing Americans to the British slang term \\"blag\\" which as the dictionary puts it means \\"To rob, steal [origin unknown]

7. Dr Fred Grabiner. This is what the internet is for. A forum on appropriate names yields this brilliant moniker for a gynaecologist.

8. J. W. Splatt and D. Weedon. The New Scientist campaign was spurred on by the discovery of these two authors of an article on incontinence in the British Journal of Urology (vol 49, pp 173-176, 1977).

9. Usain Bolt. Surely his surname influenced the career of the world's fastest man? The same cannot be said of Marina Stepanova. This is the ideal name for an elite hurdler. But she earned her first titles under her maiden name of Marina Makeyeva, so her name can't have influenced her choice of career. Perhaps, though, it influenced her choice of husband.

10. Paige Worthy. Nominative determism has also fascinated the Freaknonomics blog ever since they discovered this fact checker for Good magazine.

Posted by Daniel Finkelstein on December 16, 2008 at 01:18 PM in Miscellaneous | Permalink
Re: What's In Nigerian Names?
Anioma777 posted on 01-13-2009, 10:33:22 AM
Apart from traditional names which I am highly infavour of, some are just outright right stupid, Then again which one consine me, "na mypikin"?

Nonsensical names like the following below must have their owners cursing their parents:-

1. DETERMINATION....wtf!!!!

2. ENDURANCE.....is the child destined for long distance running

Please add to the list when your bored
1
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