Subtly named after famous people

I work at a language school where students come from countries all over the world to study English & French. I am constantly surprised at how many kids (they are in their teens and twenties mostly) are given the names of famous people -usually translated into their own language, but it’s still obvious to me! Here are some of them, off the top of my head. My friend says she’s certain that the parents don’t think about the famous person connection when they name their kid -that many of these are just popular names in their respective countries.

What you think of these names. Would you ever use one? [name]Do[/name] you know of other not-so-subtle famous names being currently used?

Gutenberg (that was his first name and he wasn’t [name]German[/name])
[name]Juan[/name] [name]Sebastian[/name] & [name]Johan[/name] [name]Sebastian[/name]
Lady [name]Diana[/name] (I asked, should I call you [name]Diana[/name]? No, she said, call me Lady)
[name]Miguel[/name] [name]Angel[/name] ([name]Michael[/name] [name]Angelo[/name]?)

LADY [name]Diana[/name]? Was she British?

In my boyfriend’s grade 5 class last year, there was a boy who had recently moved from [name]China[/name] named [name]Jackie[/name] [name]Chan[/name].

I think (though I could be wrong) I read somewhere that [name]Miguel[/name] [name]Angel[/name] is a pretty common pairing of names among Hispanics.

Most of the names don’t sound that bad, except maybe Lady.

Did Gutenberg go by a nickname? That’s a pretty big name to saddle a kid with.

[name]Juan[/name] [name]Sebastian[/name] and [name]Miguel[/name] [name]Angel[/name] aren’t an uncommon Spanish combinations, Lady [name]Diane[/name] is…interesting.

I went to college with a Chinese-American man named [name]Walter[/name] after [name]Walter[/name] Conkrite. I always thought that was interesting as he was a first generation American. Maybe his parents chose it to help him assimilate?

I have friends who met in a White Stripes chatroom and eventually fell in love and married. They ended up pregnant with twins, a boy and a girl and named them [name]John[/name] and [name]Margaret[/name]…but call them [name]Jack[/name] and [name]Meg[/name]. Anyone who knows what huge fans they are and how they met thinks its really cool, especially because the names are normal enough. Didn’t bother them that [name]Jack[/name] and were married, and it honestly doesn’t bother me either.

I know a [name]Hendrix[/name], [name]Lennon[/name], [name]Marley[/name], and a Cobain [name]IRL[/name] whose parents are fans of the said musicians. [name]Hendrix[/name] is actually a girl ( as is [name]Marley[/name]) who goes by [name]Henri[/name] which is adorable. Cobain goes by [name]Coby[/name], the rest go by their full names.

lahdeedah: no, Gutenberg when by his full name all the time at school at least. Maybe he has a nn in his home-town/country, but he never told us if he did. You’re right about [name]Miguel[/name] [name]Angel[/name]… I’ve met several of them, and several [name]Juan[/name] Sebastians too. I’m always curious to know if the parents are aware of the association and named them that on purpose or just liked the name combos.

minnieabby: The first Lady [name]Diana[/name] that I met was deliberately named after Lady [name]Diana[/name] [name]Spenser[/name] and was born around the time of her death. However, I have met more than one Lady [name]Diana[/name] and several other girls named Lady with a different mn. Or spelled Leidi and pronounced Lady. They are all from Latin American countries.

ausmarie: yes, it seems common for Chinese parents to choose old English names for their children. I met several women my age named [name]Lily[/name], [name]Winnie[/name] (for [name]Winnifred[/name]), [name]Hilda[/name], etc. [name]Lily[/name] and [name]Winnie[/name] are cool names now, but 30 years ago they wouldn’t have been! The above named [name]Winnie[/name] wrote a newspaper article about how [name]Asian[/name] kids end up with older names. Her parents apparently went to an older (and therefore respected) staff member of her school when they immigrated to [name]Canada[/name] and this person chose her English name. Others’ names were chosen from older classic books that are likely no longer popular here, but are though of as popular there. I find the “English” names that non-English speakers choose when they immigrate here to be fascinating!

Yes, my brother “[name]Leif[/name] [name]Eric[/name]”… after [name]Leif[/name] Ericsson.

I also know someone whose name is “[name]Hank[/name] [name]Williams[/name]”… after [name]Hank[/name] [name]Williams[/name] Sr.

I think for me it would depend on the name and how out there it looks.