Can We Name It? Yes We Can!

Nov 10th 2011

Today's topic comes courtesy of my daughter, who woke up in the middle of the night last night with a random observation: "Hey! I just realized that Bob the Builder and Barack Obama have the same motto!"

I've written at some length (1, 2) about the name Barack Obama and all it signifies. I have never written a word about cartoon construction mogul Bob the Builder. Because, you know, his name is Bob. And he builds stuff.

But Bob is an international phenomenon, and his name is a perfect testbed for the process of literary name translation. The Bob the Builder name has three components:

1. The guy's name is Bob.
2. He's a builder.
3. Alliteration.

Don't underestimate that third component. There's a reason the show's creators didn't name him, say, Stan the Builder. Bob's close cousin Thomas the Tank Engine offers further evidence of the power of alliteration.

In the best case, a translator can hit all three component targets. Germany's Bob der Baumeister, Poland's Bob Budowniczy, Norway's Byggmester Bob and the Netherlands' Bob de Bouwer are all triple bullseyes. France's Bob le Bricoleur ("Bob the Handyman") comes within a hair's breadth. If your local language isn't accommodating with B vocabulary, though -- or if Bob isn't a workable name for your audience -- something has to give.

In Finland, the name was the element that yielded: Puuha-Pete wears the tool belt and hardhat for Finnish kids. Pete is the character's personal name, and Puuha means a task or undertaking. But the Puuha-Pete association is so strong that "smart" online translators that look at context and usage patterns actually translate Puuha as "Bob"! (See last week's post for more on names in auto-translation.) Additional Bob-free, alliterating versions of the character name include the Slovenian Mojster Miha and the Scottish Gaelic Calum Clachair.

In some other countries, translators decided that Bob was the essential element and let the alliteration slide. Examples include Greece's Bob o Mastoras, Serbia's Majstor Bob, and Portugal's Bob, o Construtor.

Finally, lowest marks go to two names that miss multiple targets:

- The Czech name Bořek stavitel, which ditches the Bob but doesn't bother alliterating. Now that would have been a natural home for Stan the Builder: Standa stavitel. Bořek, in case you're wondering, is a short form of Bořivoj, a Slavic name unrelated to Robert. Of course, if you ask Google you'll get cartoon-centric translations, so Bořek translates to Bob in langauges like German and French...and, of course, to Pete in Finnish.

- Spain's Bob y sus amigos ("Bob and his friends.") This is the only translation that fails to mention that Bob is A BUILDER. My guess is this was a strategic attempt to ride the coattails of Thomas the Tank Engine, whose show is known as "Thomas y sus amigos." In the process, though, they robbed poor Bob of his very essence. I'll take the workmanlike Latin American version Bob, el Constructor over that every time.

Comments

1
November 10, 2011 11:51 AM

Cute! Don't forget that Dora the Explorer rhymes. That is pretty powerful too.

Looking back through the years, many of us can relate to cartoon characters that alliterate. Here are some that are not soon forgotten:
Bugs Bunny, Fred Flintstone, Mighty Mouse
Donald Duck, Daffy Duck, George Jetson
Secret Squirrel, Huckleberry Hound

2
November 10, 2011 11:58 AM

Brilliant post. Now I'm wondering about Bob's friends, in particular Wendy and Spud.

3
By SabbyLo (not verified)
November 10, 2011 1:53 PM

My son and I have been trying for years to figure out the cat's name. Kilcher? Pilcher? Filcher? Anyone know? Or where the name came from?

4
By SabbyLo (not verified)
November 10, 2011 1:56 PM

Ah, a simple Google search could have told me - Pilchard - a kind of fish. Interesting choice, among Bob, Wendy, "the bird," Spud... Pilchard kind of came out of left field!

5
November 10, 2011 2:14 PM

Very interesting!

Granted I'm a college student, and I don't watch much kids tv anyway, but I had no idea about the awful translation of Bob the Builder in Spain! It is hilarious though to watch the Simpsons and Family Guy and South Park in Spanish. For one, it *looks* the same and has all the same names, but it's with different voices that all speak another language! Definitely trippy. And then when there's a song or something, it's in English and they subtitle it. Weird mix. I wonder what watching Bob the Builder would be like.

6
November 10, 2011 3:01 PM

Don't forget SpongeBob Squarepants!

I've had to buy SpongeBob stuff for my nephew in Germany, where he's SpongeBob Schwammkopf, or translated, SpongeBob Spongehead.

French: Bob L'éponge (Bob the Sponge)
Spanish: Bob Esponja
Russian: Gubka Bob Kvadratny Shtany (Sponge Bob Square Pants)
Icelandic: Svampur Sveinsson (Sponge Swenson)
Danish: SvampeBob Firkant (SpongeBob Quadrilateral)
Italian: Spongebob
Welsh: SpynjBob Pantsgwâr (SpongeBob Squarepants)

The alliteration is only kept in German and Icelandic. (I'll keep looking in other languages.) Must be really difficult to translate...

7
November 10, 2011 3:11 PM

This is fascinating. I think to me the alliteration loss is the most satisfying solution, since I think it's totally bizarre for names to be changed when there is no compelling reason because the original name exists in the new language or has a clear obvious counterpart.

And I love Spongebob Quadrilateral.

And, belatedly, thanks to everyone for the congratulations from two threads ago. Rupert James and I are now finally home from the hospital. During our two weeks in the hospital we lucky to receive excellent care and also enjoy the company of some very well-named babies. Most striking was a little Eula. I asked the parents if it was short for Eulalia, and indeed, it was! What a delightful surprise! I really like it... very liquid and on-trend while delightfully vintage revival in feel. And in addition to Eula, which has a hipstery truncated-Beulah feel, there are other more blending-in nicknames as well. Great choice.

We also received some good input on nicknames for Rupert, including an anaesthetisiologist who said he knew a Rupert who went by Rupaldo. We aren't nicknaming yet, but Rip might be an occasional just-by-me nickname and RJ seems to be the choice for the occasional nicknaming by the Spouse. I think Roo is also adorable in the baby stage.

Lastly, I want to report that my mother, who had once pronounced Rupert as "such a stupid name" when I mentioned it years ago, actually guessed it in our baby betting pool (her second entry, first was Siegfried)... so needless to say she's totally thrilled with herself and the name and the chocolate she is receiving as a prize. So, I urge anyone in a similar situation who feel like a family member's thoughtlessly blurted-out comment might have ruined a name for them... just go ahead and give the name to the baby. All will have been forgotten when there's a tiny adorable person that the name is attached to.

8
November 10, 2011 3:12 PM

lucubratrix, congratulations and thanks for the story about your mother! It's a great point that a relative's first knee-jerk reaction to a name can change in a hurry.

9
By I don't know my name (not verified)
November 10, 2011 3:31 PM

Congratulations, lucubratrix! What an awesome story.

10
November 10, 2011 4:25 PM

Linnaeus-Thanks for the translations of SpongeBob. I love SpongeBob Quadrilateral. That is great!

11
By Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm (not verified)
November 10, 2011 4:50 PM

Congratulations lucubratrix!

I am also a fan of SpongeBob Quadrilateral. Makes him sound smarter than he is, ha!

And as for the initial post, I'm firmly in the alliteration category. I'd rather see the character's name changed to be alliterative, a la Standa stavitel.

12
November 10, 2011 5:06 PM

Congratulations lucubratrix! Sounds like all is going well for you and your little Roo (perfect nickname - adorable as a baby, and able to embarrass him as a teenager =P)

Spongebob Quadrilateral is awesome! I completely forgot about Spongebob. I've watched that in Spanish (and Chinese, but I have no idea what they called him since I understood 0% of that) and surprisingly, Bob Esponja works. He loses the Squarepants part of his name, but the theme song still works to the same tune. Youtube it, it's funny even if you don't speak Spanish.

Edit: The lyrics of the Bob Esponja theme song, translated

Are you ready kids?
Yes captain, we're ready
I can't hear you
YES CAPTAIN, WE'RE READY
oooooooooo
He lives in a pineapple and under the sea
Bob Esponja!
His body absorbs and doesn't explode
Bob Esponja!
The best friend that you could wish for
Bob Esponja!
And like a fish it's easy to float
Bob Esponja!
Everyone now
Bob Esponja, Bob Esponja
He is Bob Esponja

You all have kids and I know you know the tune. Try singing along! For those of you who haven't watched kids tv in the past 10 years, it starts off staying true to the real thing, and then goes way off the deep end (pun totally intended) talking about not exploding.

13
By Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm (not verified)
November 10, 2011 5:05 PM

And off-topic, I think we settled on a girl name for our potential second daughter. Except I'm not even pregnant yet, so it may totally change.

But the winner for now is Clara! The two middle name options are Estelle (for my mom, sister, and great grandma) or Marilyn (for my husband's grandma).

Do you think Clara Estelle or Clara Marilyn sounds better? Our daughter is Eleanor Kathryn. I kind of like how Clara Estelle has the reverse starting sounds, but I worry it might be too matchy. But then Marilyn ends the same as Kathryn...and that might be matchy too! Thoughts?

14
By Birgitte (not verified)
November 10, 2011 5:20 PM

My son has a Bob book in Norwegian. As a translator, I really admire the consistent way the names are translated.

For instance:
Wendy = Wenche (yes, this is where the word wench comes from, meaning young girl)

15
By Alli (not verified)
November 10, 2011 5:24 PM

I just had the Bob the Builder song stuck in my head the other day. This is a fun post. I love the Spongebob translations too. My favorites are Spongebob Quadrilateral, and Spongebob Spongehead. Pretty great :)

Jessica:
I like Clara Estelle. I think Clara and Marilyn kind of run together with the similar 'a' sounds. Eleanor and Clara is an adorable sibset.

Yesterday I met a baby girl named Daphne. She was adorable, and I don't think I've ever met a Daphne before, so that was exciting. My little sister had an imaginary friend named Daphne when she was a toddler. Her other imaginary friends were Percy (a girl) and Doodoo. Quite the diversified namer.

16
November 10, 2011 5:25 PM

Wow! I thought I was the only one who noticed that the President used Bob's catch phrase. You have a very observent daughter. I also am thrilled that you're exploring names of other languages; that adds to the fun of names.

17
November 10, 2011 6:13 PM

Lucubratrix - I love Roo as a nickname! Makes me want to pick a name that can have it!

18
By A Rose, nli (not verified)
November 10, 2011 9:08 PM

Congrats lucubratrix!

I love Spongebob Quadrilateral! And the Spanish translation of the theme: "and like a fish it's easy to float"...?

I think that alliteration is more important than keeping the name the same for Bob the Builder.

@ Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm: I like Clara Estelle more than Clara Marilyn and I doubt anyone would notice the matching sounds unless it was pointed out to them.

19
November 11, 2011 1:12 AM

Jessica-Clara Estelle flows better. Doesn't even faze me that the sounds are reversed from your other daughter.

Had to Google the REAL lyrics to SpongeBob fancynancy, so here they are:
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
Sponge Bob Square Pants!
Absorbent and yellow and porous is he.
Sponge Bob Square Pants!
If nautical nonsense be somethin' ya wish.
Sponge Bob Square Pants!
Then drop on the deck and flop like a fish.
Sponge Bob Square Pants!
(apologies for you all that will be singing this all day now)
and go to this site for more translations:
http://members.outpost10f.com/~lindax/spongebob/spongebob%20lyrics.html

The Hungarian and German doesn't work well. The Dutch comes out a bit funny "yes everyone knows what the freak is".

20
November 11, 2011 1:26 AM

This is a really fun post! I had to laugh at some of the translations very amusing. I also like spongebob quadrilateral :)

@ Jessica - definitely Clara Estelle for me. It flows better and is a nice match to Eleanor Kathryn. The reversal of sounds would be a point in favour of Clara Estelle in my opinion, but I love stuff like that :)

@lucubratix, I'm so glad you are home and doing well and I still love the name Rupert! Glad you are getting good feedback. I like the Roo nickname option.

Fantastic news about your mother accepting the name. It does make the difference when there is a cute baby attached. We have had a few relatives that haven't been that keen on Astrid. My Nanna is one of them, she finds it 'weird and hard to remember'. She is in her 80s and she'd never heard the name before. The other day an old farming friend pointed out it's on old royal name as it belonged to Astrid, Queen of the Belgian who was married to King Leopold III. Now my nanna thinks the name is fabulous!

hmmm Astrid and Leopold, that's a good sibset :) I actually have Leopold on my list.

21
By annonymous (not verified)
November 11, 2011 1:47 AM

agree about waiting out the baby name!! I have always loved the name Finn (for like the last 15 years!!) and anytime I mentioned it, everyone thought I was crazy, mom & husband included. Well, child #3 was a boy, and after much debate, my blessed hubby agreed to name him Finn... and to this day, everyone tells me they love his name, including Grandma. So glad I didn't listen to them initally!!! :)

22
November 11, 2011 3:45 AM

The Dutch also says "he's as yellow as a cheese souffle."

23
By Amy3
November 11, 2011 9:02 AM

This discussion of Bob the Builder and Spongebob is hilarious. I agree that maintaining the alliteration makes Bob *work* better in other languages, and I love Spongebob Spongehead and Spongebob Quadrilateral.

@Jessica, Clara Estelle sounds much better to me than Clara Marilyn where the two initial sounds of both names are too similar. Clara and Eleanor are a beautiful sibset.

@Chimu, no surprise that I love Leopold with Astrid!

24
November 11, 2011 11:08 AM

From a poker-playing expectant father (and having nothing to do with Bob the Builder):

"So my wife is pregnant and it's either a boy, or possibly a girl with a penis. We've been unable to come to any agreement on a male name. Here's where I want to enlist the help of TLDR.

Names that I would like but my wife has shot down:

Tesla, Akira, Kaneda

Name that we would use if it was a dwarf (it is not, according to the ultrasound):

Tyrion

Girl name that my wife likes and I'm cool with:

Keira

Girl name that I am not cool with but my wife likes:

Chloe

Background information:

I'm white, my wife is Chinese. It's looking like it got size from me (arms and legs are longer than normal - and I am 6'7"), and we both have abnormally wide shoulders, so he will likely be somewhat physically imposing. The last name is Nickolas, and we probably want to avoid alliteration.

What we're looking for: names that sound a little exotic for the US, but not ridiculously ethnic. Chinese and Korean names are far too ethnic to not be absurd for a kid whose primary language is english, which is why I pulled a couple of my options from animes where the race of the characters is kind of up in the air.

Anyhow, I'm looking for anything creative that we might overlook in our own research. I'm fine with pulling names from fantasies or science fiction (Tyrion and Akira, FFS), but want to avoid anything with strong religious overtones. There will be no Ezekiel, Joseph, Joshua, Buddha, or Muhammad. No Thor either. No Sven."

The thread with the deliberately unhelpful responses from his fellow poker players: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/63/lounge-discussion-review/help-name-my-baby-1124699/

If anyone would care to make suggestions, I'll forward them to this dad-to-be.

25
November 11, 2011 12:11 PM

Lucubratrix: Congratulations on Rupert, and it's good everyone's home safe!

Miriam: Nikola. Barring that, Nikolas. He's a Tesla fan, that should get his approval and still feel like a good, solid choice--

Crap, that's his last name. Okay...

Astronomers would work: Tycho. Kepler. Herschel. Sagan. Hoyle (bonus for the card game reference).
Copernicus is a little long and clashes with Nickolas--but like Nikola Tesla, he was Nicolaus Copernicus. Kopernik? Kuiper? Cooper?

26
November 11, 2011 1:10 PM

Miriam-Wow what a challenge he has. My first thought was Kai. Other ideas:
Tristan; Campbell; Ramsey; Odin; Tolen

27
By Anon. (not verified)
November 11, 2011 1:42 PM

Miriam--My suggestions are Ivan or Marick. I have a friend with Asian heritage who named her son Koy. Not my style, but variety is the spice of life!

Jessica--I like Clara Estelle more than Clara Marilyn, and I think it sounds nicer with your other daughter's name.

28
By Essy01a (not verified)
November 11, 2011 2:54 PM

Miriam - wow I have to admit I love that guy's name choices, Tesla, Akira, and Kaneda - considering they all end in "A", for a boy that's interesting.

I'd be interested in knowing if he chose Tesla for a love of the scientist or the car or in a weird way environmental awareness... it's really too bad his LN starts with "Nick" but I would suggest Edison - another famous inventor in relation to electricity also Edison Chen is a famous Hong Kong actor/singer... Edison Chen is also a half-caucasian/half-chinese, also Edison Chen was in the live action movie version of the anime Initial D - so Edison hits a lot of potential factors. (the only caveat would be... Edison Chen had a sex scandal and in HK that's a HUGE deal, like it's career ending over there so if the child is around lots of people from HK then they'll all know Edison Chen...)

other -A ending possibilities:
Micah
Noah
Luka
Shia
Koda
Kenna
Sasha

Chinese names are generally descriptions since they use characters... so a nod to the baby's Chinese side could be done through the use of a "noun" or "verb" name, as well as being either hypermale or hyperfeminine - boy names are about strength and power while girl names are related to beauty and flora...
I can't really think of any except maybe Bear, Fort, Garrison, Gage, Archer maybe...

29
November 11, 2011 3:12 PM

I just saw a commercial with persons testimonials, one of the names was Blade. I think that would be an interesting name to give a kid. Along the lines of Gunner, Dodge, Ryker, Steel, Cannon, etc.

30
November 11, 2011 3:20 PM

Laura-this needs to be a post if it isn't already on the Namecandy site.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/11/gabriel-zakuani-trendy_n_1088033.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl13%7Csec3_lnk3%7C111861

31
By Anna S (not verified)
November 11, 2011 5:17 PM

Re: Spongebob Quadrilateral - I hate to spoil the fun, but the translation of Firkant to Quadrilateral is a little off the mark. (It sounds hilarious though!). Basically, Firkant is a plain and simple word ("four-edge") while quadrilateral is much more technical and/or mathematical. SpongeBob Rectangle is probably the best re-translation; but really, the name is just plain ridiculous! I don't know why they dropped the pants (ha!) but I suspect it's because anything akin to SquarePants would be a verbal monstrosity (à la RectangularTrousers).

@Miriam - I'll suggest Conrad and Tyler. Poker-Dad and wife seem to gravitate towards K and T sounds.

32
By Essy01a (not verified)
November 11, 2011 5:29 PM

great article find zoerhenne ! I much prefer an adjective to an noun name don't know why, they just sound more name-ish than nouns. I wonder if they considered the noun, Trend. Trend is only a letter different than Trent and it has a more masculine ending - the -dy ending makes me think of Wendy, Sandy, Mandy, etc. but even still Trendy doesn't sound too feminine to me possibly because of the Tren- beginning. I have to admit I kind of like it.

I also really like some of the suggested adjective names especially Wilder (like the adjective not the verb pronunciation).

33
November 11, 2011 6:34 PM

Linnaeus beat me to it on Tesla: I would endorse it as a lovely name... for pretty much anyone with any other surname. I think it's totally non-doable for them, though.

I like your alternates, especially Tycho. Galileo is I think useable -- could be Leo for short? And at least one celebrity thought Ptolemy was usable.

And I think Odin and Thor are actually totally useable in my neck of the woods. Odin is a nice suggestion by ZR because I think it hits a lot of current trends (O, ends-in-n) but is still very much off the beaten track stylistically.

34
By Beth the original (not verified)
November 11, 2011 9:23 PM

I know a little girl named Tesla, actually. It's a nice change from Tessa.

35
November 12, 2011 12:36 AM

RE: The name "Milo". My sister Carole/husband Marco named their Rhodesian Ridgeback (Dog)"Milo". Everybody LoVeS his name...Beautiful dog/Very Loving; and "Peaceful" in nature. Thanks for info re:his name!

36
By mama gray (not verified)
November 12, 2011 5:31 AM

I am SO glad i don't know the tune to the Spongebob theme song! The Icelandic Svampur Sveinsson sounds pretty cool, though.

37
By Alli (not verified)
November 12, 2011 4:43 PM

Miriam: I really like Akira, too bad his wife shot it down. Since he's apparently an anime fan, here are some related suggestions:
Archer
Ryder
Elric
Alphonse
Ace
Shiro
Kenji
Ren
Gray
Sebastian
Ciel
Senri

38
By the velveteen rabbit (not verified)
November 12, 2011 7:45 PM

My favorite childhood cartoon alliterations were Strawberry Shortcake and her nemesis, The Peculiar Purple Pie Man. Although I didn't much care for the character, I used to chant his name over and over in fits of giggles.

Completely off track:
I met the most adorable sibset this morning.

Pos3y Viol3tta & Amab3l J3an.

I believe their ages are about 2 and 5.
I'm now obsessed with their names! So cute!

39
November 13, 2011 11:04 AM

And now I have the song from Britney Spears running though my head:"Oops {they} did it again"
Check out this rather unfortunately named celebrity baby:
http://tv.yahoo.com/news/bachelor-alum-shayne-lamas-gives-birth-baby-girl-140500260.html

40
November 13, 2011 12:50 PM

I'm probably one of the few who thinks this, but Press is really not as bad as it could be. I know we all hate on Apple since she was the first crazy celebrity baby name, and Apple is definitely growing on me, but I would much rather be named Press than Apple. For one, it's easy to pretend it's a nickname for something like Presley or Precious. Also, it's close enough to Jess or Tess that when a little girl introduces herself as Press, people won't think it's too crazy. Dahl, on the other hand, I'm not so sure about.

41
November 13, 2011 2:36 PM

fancynancy, Dahl is a family name. Fernando Lamas married Arlene Dahl. Their son Lorenzo Lamas is the father of Shayne Dahl Lamas. It's perfectly normal in US naming practice to use a family surname as a given name. I don't understand why you think Press isn't too crazy, but aren't sure about the common practice of using family surnames as given names.

42
November 13, 2011 3:06 PM

Miriam - Gotcha. I had no idea about the family connection and went straight to Roald Dahl (decent namesake, but seemed random) or a gross kre8ive misspelling of Doll.

43
By JLP (not verified)
November 13, 2011 5:24 PM

I'm in my late 20s and all my peers are becoming first-time parents. What has amused me is seeing that the higher the woman's education (all 6+ years of post-secondary education), the more Anglo the name choices. Even these names are "old," traditional names that have many global variants, these couples are sticking to low-key variants, even those couples who live abroad.

Margaret (x3)
Helen
Sarah (x2)
Elizabeth
Anna (x2)
William (x2)

I am tempted to make much of the difference between this list and the one that I could create for friends with 2-4 years of post-secondary education (i.e., Ava, Emily, Katie, Ashley, Emma, Lucy, Lily, Annaliese, Madeline, Ethan (x2), Owen). But I think that my data pool is hardly big enough for anything conclusive. It's quite odd to see these two groups' reactions to the naming choices of the other. (I'm still an outsider as I am not planning a family for a while yet.) Regardless, there is a lot of pressure to "fit in" with peer expectations.

44
By SabbyLo (not verified)
November 13, 2011 5:45 PM

Jessica,
I like Clara Estelle written much better, but prefer Clara Marilyn spoken.

I'm sure your daughter won't constantly have to say her first and middle names together, but since Clara ends in "uh" and Estelle starts with "uh," those "uh" sounds will require a slightly awkward breath stop between the names.

Or you could just mush them together and say it like Claire Estelle.

I love Clara, by the way. If I'd had a daughter she would have been Clara or Cora. Or Dinah... Good thing I never had to choose, I guess. :)

45
By Guest87 (not verified)
November 13, 2011 11:18 PM

A longtime reader-but-not-poster here, feeling the need to jump in after reading certain comments...

For the poker-playing dad--as a person of Japanese descent, I would just like to point out that several of the anime-derived names he and others have mentioned are distinctly Japanese (Akira, Shiro, Kenji...) and will probably read that way on a child with an Asian background. Asian cultures (and people) are not interchangeable! Giving the child a Japanese (or Korean) name is not actually a means of honoring his Chinese heritage! If there are relatives still in China or in the immigrant generation, it's more likely to make them really upset.

Obviously it's the parents' choice, and for all I know the relatives would be fine with these names. And it sounds like the dad's primary reason for liking the names is that he's a fan of the anime in which they appear. But it sounds like he 1. is not even aware that Akira is a Japanese name and 2. seems to view Chinese and Korean names as interchangeable. This dad is clearly sensitive to the potential implications of names in other categories (religion, European ethnicity)--it seems like he should be aware of the same considerations with regard to his favorite anime names.

The parents might be better off honoring their favorite anime with a more Western or invented name from it, and/or honoring the Chinese side of the family with a name that's actually related to that heritage.

(As a sidenote, while many anime characters look ethnically ambiguous to Westerners because of the hair/eye colors and the fact that they don't look like Western artistic conventions of representing an 'Asian' face, many of those same characters are seen by people in Japan as Japanese or Asian. That said, I'm not an anime fan, so I don't know about the specific characters named--and no doubt there are 'ambiguous,' mixed-race, and non-Japanese characters in anime of various types.)

46
By Guest87 (not verified)
November 13, 2011 11:47 PM

Er, I realize that my previous post kind of comes off as saying 'no one who is not Japanese can possibly give their kid a Japanese name!' That's not exactly what I meant. Go ahead, parents, name your kid Akira as a tribute to the character (and maybe to Kurosawa as well). It's just good to be aware of the implications of the name you choose ... and because of history and racism and relative population levels, in the US, using an Asian-ethnic name from an ethnicity your child does not belong to has different implications from giving your child a European name from an ethnicity they also don't belong to.

47
November 13, 2011 11:58 PM

fancynancy-Apple is growing on me too. I am not sure Press will. Even Sunday Rose doesn't sound so bad anymore. I would love to know the full story behind Press. The fact that they did not give the child the full name of Presley or Precious (which is still nms) is telling. It might represent a love of newspapers/paparazzi or ironing clothes or something else weird like that. It isn't Trendy but it's pretty close.

48
By Jane 7 (used to be Jane 6) (not verified)
November 14, 2011 10:52 AM

the velveteen rabit: My husband and I both love Posy as a nickname for Josephine (one of my husband's longstanding favorites). But every time we mention it to anyone, the reaction is always negative. Like 12 or more negative reactions and no positives. So, anyway, yea that you thought Posy was cute. Maybe it's too cute for people? I don't know...

49
November 14, 2011 3:11 PM

Jane7-When I hear Posy I think of two things: the flower, and the word poser. Now the flower meaning is fine (although I would pick any number of others before Posy because I don't really like P names) but the definition of poser according to the urban dictionary is this-1.one who pretends to be someone whose not. 2. who tries to fit in but with exaggeration. So that is not what I would want for my child and therefore it would be a negative for me.

It does rhyme with Josie and Rosie and those are cute though. Even Maisy or Daisy might be okay.

50
By mk
November 14, 2011 11:15 PM

Press is an awful name, Press Dahl is even worse (although I like the fact that Dahl is a family name). I never thought Apple was that bad. zoerhenne: According to an article, the parents say the name is based on the fact she was getting a lot of press.

Jessica: I like Clara Estelle far more than Clara Marilyn, even though I general don't like middle names starting with a vowel when the first name ends with one. I didn't even understand what you meant about Clara Estelle matching her sister until I read everyone else's posts, so I don't think it wil be an issue.