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Picture of Kalleh
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Apparently a Duke University professor wrote that African Americans just "feel sorry for themselves," and he compared "the Blacks" unfavorably to "the Asians." He specifically argued that African Americans adopt strange names because they lack a desire for integration, as opposed to Asian Americans who choose "simple old American" first names. Here is an article about it.

Certainly Ramakrishnan makes a good point - the comments smack terribly of racism. And Indian Asians (20% in America) don't tend to use American sounding names. However, I was intrigued by the "European sounding" names of Imogen and Maxton. Have you heard of them? I surely haven't.
 
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My late father made a similar assertion. He was born and raised in South Carolina, so consider the source.
 
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To us in England many Americans seem to adopt strange (to us, anyway) first names, whether they are black or white, Asian or Hispanic. In particular, people tend to use what we'd think of as a last name or one we'd usually associate with the opposite sex.
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I was intrigued by the "European sounding" names of Imogen and Maxton. Have you heard of them? I surely haven't.
Imogen is a moderately unusual girl's name - it might even have originated in Shakespeare's Cymbeline - she is the daughter of the eponymous king.

Maxton is a last name and a place name originating in Scotland - there is a town and a Clan Maxton in the Borders region. I wouldn't be surprised if some American has used it as a first name, though.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Most Ameracunz know nothing of the origin or meaning of names.
 
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That's an interesting observation Geoff because when I'm travelling around the world, after I have told people my name, I am often asked what it means. Our cultures don't really take much notice of name meanings at all.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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I just put Maxton and Imogen into the Name Voyager, and Imogen showed nothing since 1960, though peaked in the 1920s. Maxton, however, showed nothing before about 2000, but now there has been an spike. These are all names used in the U.S.

As for knowing the origin of names, I think it depends. Surely I know the origin of mine, Ken's and my kids' names.
 
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From what I've observed, Asian names have pretty clear meanings. Do you find that to be so? Western family names were once clear in that they suggested a place of origin or an occupation, or family relationship. Today it's either less clear or outrightly forgotten.
 
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Not sure about Asian names. I think many in the U.S. know the derivations of names and often have purposes for naming their kids (e.g., after people in their family). However, the place of origin or occupation that the name came from, I agree, may not be known.
 
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Indians of the Americas are well-known for naming offspring for events in their lives. One Indian boy asked how he had gotten his name and his mother said, "You remember how, before your brother was born, I was scared by a wild animal? That is why he was named Running Bear. And before your sister was born, I saw a baby deer and named her Little Fawn."
"But how did I get my name?"
"That's a sad story, Broken Rubber...."
 
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