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What’s your name and where do you come from?

Have you shared a coke with someone yet? Or bought a bottle for a friend because it had their name on it? If you haven’t I think you might be in the minority. Most of my friends have been uploading pictures of coke bottles over the last few months and even more talking about it, the excitement of finding something with your name on it starts with pens in school trip gift shops and extends, it would seem, well into adulthood. I tip my hat to the marketing team behind this one – it’s pretty genius!

But there must have been so much more than an idea; I mean it’s easy to say ‘we’ll stick popular names on bottles and people will buy them!’, but how do you decide which names to choose? Then how many bottles of that name do you send to each shop? I’m certain, for example, that names popular in Paris differ from those which would fly off the shelves in Los Angeles. On a recent hunt through supermarket shelves hoping to buy a bottle for a particular friend I was introduced to names I hadn’t previously even heard of, names like Faisal and Amandeep, names I wouldn’t have even considered printing (would have been difficult really, as they were new to me!) let alone knowing where to send them. It must have been a mammoth task to research!

It struck me that your name used to say so much about you. It told people a lot about where you were from both geographically and in society and people were likely to judge you on it (or still do if you watch This Morning). Now in our multicultural society I know English Brandon’s, American Mohammed’s and a Thai girl called Mabel(!), and all these perfectly are normal.

But when I showed surprise at seeing names I didn’t recognise on coke bottles I was told it was wrong to say such things, as they are British names. Are they? I’m pretty sure their origins are from shores more distant than ours, just as my name is originally Greek! I know this, it’s a fact, so why is it ‘wrong’ to say?? If I were to survey Mohammed, Brandon and Mabel I’m sure they would be able to tell me where their names are from, likewise were I to meet an Amandeep (oddly I actually did today, but I think if I’d have launched into this topic she’d have thought me odd!) something tells me she wouldn’t say her name originated in Blighty! In fact when researching this the other day it was decided the most British name we could find was Edward, as it dates back to the stone ages and therefore the earliest known British history. Since then we’ve been conquered so many times that every name seems to have started in Greece or Germany or some other far off land. Saying my name isn’t British doesn’t offend me; political correctness gone mad!

So, what’s your name? And where do you come from? Or more specially where does your name come from? And at the end of the day does it make any difference to you in the slightest? Today you are you, that is truer than true, there is noone alive who is youer than you – no matter what you’re called!


About LilMissKaty

Just a normal girl who likes to try new things, go on adventures, spend time with fun people and tell stories...which is how this blog came about really!

One response »

  1. Apparently, WordPress still wants to make accessing your blog particularly frustrating. Anywho…

    I am one of the minority who have not searched for my name on a coke bottle. But I feel my reason for this is probably different to 99.9% of those who haven’t. (The fact I don’t drink coke could also be blamed.) I actually already have a photograph of my name on a coke bottle, because the whole thing happened in Australia long before it came to the UK (November 2011 was when my coke bottle photo was sent, wow!). I wonder if it was some sort of trial run?

    You make some very interesting points about location and name, you’re very right when you say that a name is not necessarily British. It’s not the same as saying a person isn’t British because they have that name. Just that the name’s origins belong elsewhere, it really is merely fact.

    One thing, however, is that names can to an extent suggest where you *could* be from. Doesn’t mean they’re right. But I can guarantee that there will probably be more Faisals and Amandeeps up here in the old mill towns than in, say, Cheshire. Those are areas which have higher populations of Muslims. I’ve come across a few Faisals in my time, up here. Several people with names you may not have heard of, also. Riyaz, Rossella (of Italian origin, the person & maybe the name?), Wajid, Zeba, Quoc, Shafia, Hamza, Sabiha, Mezabhin, Gulham…and those are just the few I found on my Facebook friends/remembered. Whilst there are areas of the country where traditionally Jewish names might be more common?

    I think my name is kind of boring in its origins. It’s of Irish and Gaelic origins and means fair/pale and that’s all there is to it. I was the only Fiona in my secondary school until my final year, though. And there were over 1000 pupils.


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