Saturday, 1 January 2011

7 Names You're Likely to Hear in Malawi

I recently had an email through from from someone who was wanting to know a few ideas for Malawian names, this got me thinking about the names Malawians give their children, and so I thought I'd blog it! So here's my take on 7 names you'd be surprised to hear in Malawi.

1. Loveness
One of the stranger names I've heard, Loveness seems to be a derivation of loveliness. The lady who possessed this name was suitably lovely!

2. Chance
Pronounced 'Chancey', this is not a hugely common name, but one I've heard in my travels. Quite fun - you can only imagine the origins!

3. Charity
Quite a cute one, charity is a popular name in Malawi.

4. Blessings
Also quite a cute name, blessings is a popular name in Malawi. This is translated from the name 'Dalitso'.

5. Shame
The owner of this name was actually called John, but he was known as Shame - when asked why, there was no coherent answer, just something that he had always been called. I sensed there was another story there, but didn't manage to get to the bottom of it!

6. Happy
No, not a dwarf, but the name of someone I met in the Karonga Boma area, all his friends called him Happy - a really appropriate name for someone from Malawi, I'm sure you'd agree!

7. Chastity
Hmm...ok while some of the others I can understand, and think are quite cute - this is the most ironic name I've ever heard (you give your child the name Chastity) but then religion does play a big part in many Malawian people's lives so maybe it's a reflection of that!

So those are just a few names that I've picked up in Malawi - are there any I've missed? I'd love to hear your comments!