Sunday, January 10, 2010


DH had an unplanned trip to the Middle East this week. 4 days notice to be precise. Holidays interrupted. Work beckons. This time he flew into Dubai but had to go straight from there to Abu Dhabi. So he booked a driver. Upon arrival at Dubai airport he was relieved to see a driver waiting for him with a big sign saying "Mr Darryn".

Naturally we laughed at that but it interested me that name conventions around the globe can be quite different. The names of some of the people Darryn has meetings with in the Middle East are very interesting. Their names tell those in the know a lot about family connections. Names are often chosen in these places to reflect the family history and honour forebears more than because the parents think it's quirky (as is often in the West).

Muhammad, which means “one who is praiseworthy”, is often given to boys as an honorary prefix and is followed by the name by which they are commonly known. It is regularly cited as the most common name in the world, though there is no concrete evidence. It came be spelled a number of ways (Mohammed is common in the Middle East.)

I often wonder what people in other places make of our names.


Sandra said...

It's really interested how different cultures choose given names.

A Chinese guy once told me that he could tell another Chinese person's whole genealogy from their name.

Janine said...

I wonder what a lot of middle eastern people would think of our names? I wonder if they would find them interesting or non eventful?

Penny said...

so long as nobody calls me Peggy I'll be happy.

Jenny said...

Very interesting about names in different cultures