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February 21, 2008 / lazybug

What’s in a Name Anyway?

This has to be the best name I have come across in a long long time:

A young couple named Natalie Jeremijenkoand Dalton Conley recently renamed their four-year-old son Yo Xing Heyno Augustus Eisner Alexander Weiser Knuckles Jeremijenko-Conley.

I came across this one in Freakonomics.

This instantly reminds me of some of the strange, or shall I say, unique names I have heard in my life time (not necessarily in that order):

  • Eureka
  • Symphony
  • Sigma (So named, as my friend told me, because her mom loved mathematics)
  • Prince
  • Bombay Jayashree (The singer of Zara zara from Rehna Hai Tere Dil mein)
  • Sandali (Tum Bin fame)
  • Kehkasha (One song wonder from Hera Pheri)
  • Hansika
  • Himesh (Is there any other name irritates me more?)
  • Mimo (Mithun da’s son named after Michael Jackson and Mohammad Ali)
  • Ryan Sidebottom
  • Tata Young (Best known for her title song from Doom err Dhoom)

A few more could come up if tried a bit harder to recall them. But anyway, my point is this: girls seem to take the cake when it comes to strange names. Sandali, for e.g., is more likely to remind one of a sandal than sandalwood. And what to make of Kehkasha?

For some more such gems, here’s the Wikipedia list of unusual names.



Leave a Comment
  1. Liju Philip / Feb 22 2008 12:37 am

    Some of my colleagues in Hong Kong & China are named as follows

    Goldfish Wu, Alpha Yam, Rain Lee, Danby Cheng, Li Le, Ennan He….

    Some of our Thai colleagues have ‘porn’ in their names. It seems to be normal for them, but our firewall blocks all their mails because it lists ‘porn’ as an explicit word. hahaha

    But yes, nothing irritates as much as Himesh 😉

  2. Chittaranjan / Feb 22 2008 12:45 pm

    The name “Himesh” is as melodious as his songs 😛

    Sandali is not pronounced the same way as ‘Sandal’ (footwear) but more mike manchali….mebbe it stands for something soft!

    I don’t think Eureka/Symphony/Sigma/Prince are real names…just call-names or nicknames.

    And when you have people calle Tirupathi/Arunachalam/Simhachalam, why not Bombay for that matter 😐

    And Kahkashan is urdu for Galaxy or Space 😎

  3. lazybug / Feb 22 2008 4:03 pm

    @Liju: Those are funny names.

    @Ycee: Thank you for those explanations. All the names over there are real names not nicknames. The first two, in fact, happen to be my colleagues!

    Kahkasha is a punjabi girl. WHen was the last time you heard a Punjabi girl having a Urdu name?

  4. Chittaranjan / Feb 23 2008 8:13 am

    U mean like ‘Eureka Kapoor’ or ‘Symphony Shrivastava’? 😐

    And whats wrong with a Punju having an Urdu name? Its Hindi alright…

  5. lazybug / Feb 23 2008 3:24 pm

    Well, not Kapoor and Shrivastava…but other Christian surnames. Tell me one Punjabi name borrowed from Urdu…

  6. vinay / Feb 23 2008 4:29 pm

    Other funny names

    Konda (hill in Telugu)
    Chokka ( shirt in Telugu)
    Palak (a b-grade Telugu heroine imported from Mumbai)
    Jhalaknandini (another b-grade imported Telugu Name)
    Kimiyasi Nakamura

  7. Chittaranjan / Feb 23 2008 8:31 pm

    @Akki: If they’re Christian names then they’re probably regular. Converted Christians do have unique names. Say D’Silva or D’Cunha

    And abt that Punjabi names borrowd from Urdu, i can give u 2 off the top of my head: Kahkashan and Manmohan 😀

    @Vinay: that reminded me of a B-Grade joke abt Sri Lankan/Russian Names 😆

  8. Arul / Feb 24 2008 12:51 am

    Thai names with ‘porn’ in them are very common. Its like including ‘raj’ in a name, like Premraj, Rajaram, Rajkumar, etc.

    And, this guy in my neighbourhood in India is called Appu, his real name runs into 10 words, its basically a sloka! He has a cousin whose name consists of 13 words!!

    @Chittaranjan: Its not necessary that they have to be Christians if they have Western sounding names. The place they grew up matters a lot. I know someone called Henry Moses, he’s a 100% Brahmin, but grew up in the middle-east. I also had 2 Hindu friends who were brothers – Salim and Salil, they grew up in the middle-east and their parents gave them Muslim names so that they would “mingle” with the mainstream!

    And of course, I have many Arab friends in DC who have Christian first names, like Joseph, John, Abraham and David. They prefer those to the Arab equivalents Yousuf/Yousef, Yahya (John in Arabic), Ibrahim and Dawood.

    So you see, localization plays a pretty vital role in nomenclature.

  9. lazybug / Feb 24 2008 7:21 am

    Ycee: Who taught you Hindi at school? Since when did Manmohan become an Urdu word? As for Kehkasha, in Hindi it would mean laughter.

  10. Chittaranjan / Feb 24 2008 9:41 am

    Nope. I’m pretty sure Kehkashan means Galaxy.
    And I also came a cross a Kehkashan Patel while looking it up…

  11. lazybug / Feb 24 2008 10:48 am

    Kehkasha means laughter in Hindi. I can bet on that.

    • Kehkeshan / Dec 29 2009 10:21 pm

      it is kehkeshan not kehkesha! and it means galaxy and it is an urdu word. i know coz my name is kehkeshan by the way. just thought clear up all th confusion.

    • Uma Dixit / Mar 5 2012 1:02 am

      You lose your bet my friend.

      The word for laughter in Hindi is “kahkaha” (plurs kahkahe) – not “kahkashan”.

      The latter in urdu means stars. Got it ? 🙂

  12. Chittaranjan / Feb 24 2008 3:19 pm

    Woh “kahkahat” hogi bandhu!

    And this site says: The meaning of Kahkashan
    Kahkashan has multiple meanings and origins. The Indian version of Kahkashan means Stars. The Unknown version of Kahkashan means milky way.

  13. pramodasanthi / Feb 25 2008 7:09 am

    Akhil! I think you forgot few names from our authors… Chee See Gee, Min Huei Hsu, etc which looks very funny names to me 🙂 and by the way… Why is ‘Eureka’ listed first? I think she is ur first thought? Is it true? 😉

  14. lazybug / Feb 25 2008 7:14 am

    @Ycee: I think these two are different words then.

    @ Prasanthi: When it comes to strange names, Eureka tops the list. She doesn’t make it to the top of any other list though. 😉

  15. Prasanthi / Feb 25 2008 7:22 am

    Who knows that? Let me check it when you make another list Akhil 😉

  16. Prasanthi / Feb 25 2008 7:28 am

    Any way strange people with strange names first comes to mind…

  17. lazybug / Feb 25 2008 7:33 am

    I’ll let you if I prepare such a list. Right now though, I am in no position to do that. 😦

  18. Chittaranjan / Feb 25 2008 8:20 am

    aha! Do I sense some interest w.r.t. Eureka from Akki’s side? @Prashanthi: Care to elaborate further 😉

    @Akki: I don’t think they are different words…just the spelling is different: Kehkasha/Kahkashan.

    Don’t u rmr the Himesh song: “Kahkashan hai tera chehra…yaadon mein hai ter pehra!” ?? Also the Masha Allah song from Saawariya? If u hear those properly, u will surely agree that Kehkasha means galaxy 😀

  19. Prasanthi / Feb 25 2008 8:46 am

    @Chittaranjan: There is a girl ( spinster) called Eureka………

  20. Prasanthi / Feb 25 2008 8:47 am

    in his office…

  21. lazybug / Feb 25 2008 4:32 pm

    …who is going to get married in a few months …

  22. Chittaranjan / Feb 25 2008 7:03 pm

    OIC. Saari…… 😳

  23. Prasanthi / Feb 26 2008 5:41 am

    @Chittaranjan: Y saari… No one is getting married in a few months here. Don’t believe him.

  24. Chittaranjan / Feb 26 2008 2:16 pm

    Iz it? Tharkee Akki 👿

  25. lazybug / Feb 26 2008 4:46 pm

    Tchah! What’s the world coming to? Yehi din dekhna baki tha.

  26. Chittaranjan / Feb 26 2008 6:46 pm

    Blame it on the Commies!

    Anyways, so u agree on the ‘Kahkashan’ meaning?

  27. lazybug / Feb 27 2008 5:18 am

    Well, since you’ve agreed on the Manmohan meaning, I guess I can give this one away. But not sure. :p

  28. Chittaranjan / Feb 27 2008 8:15 am

    You have to! BTW, whoz the Kehkashan in Hera Pheri?

  29. lazybug / Feb 27 2008 10:19 am

    She’s the girl who dances with Akshay Kumar in the opening song. She also appeared in a video of Daler Mehndi.

    Here’s the Hera Pheri Video:

  30. farishte / Jun 17 2008 12:40 pm

    What does Sandali mean? It’s a very beautiful name, I’m intrigued by it.

  31. Lazybug / Jun 17 2008 12:43 pm

    Sandali means Sandalwood-like. I am guessing, but it’s an educated guess. 🙂

  32. Kehkeshan / Nov 29 2009 4:35 pm

    Hey! By the way my name is Kehkeshan and as far as i know it means galaxy (cluster of stars). Just thought I would clear up the confusion!

  33. Kehkeshan / Nov 29 2009 4:36 pm

    Hey! By the way my name is Kehkeshan and as far as i know it means galaxy (cluster of stars). Just thought I would clear up the confusion! thanks

  34. Uma Dixit / Mar 5 2012 12:59 am

    Kahkashan means galaxy in urdu.

    Kahkashan DOES NOR mean laughter in hindi.

    The word for laughter in Hindi is “Kahkaha”. Got it ?

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