Mental Floss

Weekend Word Wrap: What's in a Name part 3

David K. Israel
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If you missed the news, my wife and I named our son Jack Nathaniel. We really did take all your comments into consideration, especially those who talked us out of Maximilian/Maxim/Max/etc. (Apologies to those named Max who love their names: nothing personal—it just didn't work well with Israel.)

As already discussed, original names are becoming harder and harder to decided on and come by. To wit: a couple in Beijing recently settled on the @ symbol for their son's name. The AP covered the story and reminded us that, "Written Chinese does not use an alphabet but is comprised of characters, sometimes making it difficult to develop words for new or foreign objects and ideas." They also dropped this curious factoid: "As of last year, only 129 names accounted for 87 percent of all surnames in China."

Apparently, the couple thought @ was a cool name because @=at, and "at," in Chinese, can be pronounced in a way that sounds a lot like the phrase "love him." (ed note: rolling eyes)

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So I open the floor to you loyal Wrap readers: what other people have associated with special symbols or used them as a name? I can't think of another right now, but I'm sure there are plenty more where Prince, Page and @ come from.

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