Would you like to suggest a nickname for a particular skater?
Let me start with some Japanese skaters:
Kozuka,Takahiko (小塚崇彦, literally “high prince on a small mound”). As “prince” (hiko, Old Japanese píko) is the most essential part of the whole, let’s call him “Hiko” (the Prince) as his English nickname. Note: I love the semantic contrast in his name: small vs. high. It inspires thoughts: “One would rather stand high on a small hill than sit at the bottom of an alp”.
Takahashi, Daisuke (髙橋大輔, literally “high bridge, great help”). I don’t like Dai (from Middle Chinese dầj “big”) as his nickname, which is the only Chinese element in an otherwise original Japanese name, and which is not the essential meaning of the whole. I prefer calling him Suka (the Helper).
Ando, Miki (安藤美姫, literally “peaceful, beautiful lady”). Miki (the Beauty) is a fitting nickname. Note: Ando (あんどう) probably came from Proto-Japanese *ǝ̀ntà “quiet, peaceful” and was later transcribed in Chinese characters as 安藤 “peaceful wisteria”. The given name Miki (美姫 みき) came from Middle Chinese mí “beautiful” + kɨ “fine lady”.
So we have Hiko the Prince, Suka the Helper, and Miki the Beauty.
Gotta Have Music
That is so fascinating!
I've always loved the look and sound of Japanese names. It's great to learn a bit about their meaning.
The name Elene Gedevanishvili (Georgian female skater) is a cultural melting pot. Apparently the European name Elene, derived from Greek Helénē (Ἑλένη), was adopted when Georgia was one of the republics that made up the former Soviet Union.
More interesting is the family name Gedevanishvili (გედევანიშვილი), literally “child of Gedevani” or “child of the councillor”, which has a Persian title “Dewan” (“councillor”) embedded within native Georgian words. So we have: Ge (გე) “this” + devani (დევანი) “councillor” + shvili (შვილი) “child”.
I don’t know which part of Georgia she was from, but the use of “shvili” is characteristic of Eastern Georgia.
Last edited by skatinginbc; 11-13-2011 at 04:21 AM.
Six Point Zero
Perhaps the word "serene" is more accurate than "peaceful"? It seems like the more appropriate term if we're talking about a person's temperament, unless you're contrasting it against someone who is belligerent. "Beautiful Serene Lady" seems better suited for her.
Originally Posted by skatinginbc
Good suggestion. My English is not that great as you might have figured.
Originally Posted by Krislite
Translation is a difficult job. The Japanese name Ando is sometimes transcribed in Chinese characters as 安東 "to pacify the east" or "peaceful east". If to stay true with the word origin, it would be "peace" 安 that underlines her name, although "serene" (originally meaning "unclouded" and gradually adopting the sense of "calmness" in later time) would be a better choice in English. There is a trade-off: to reflect the etymology of the Japanese word or to convey its meaning more effectively in English? I don't know. It's a hard one.
Last edited by skatinginbc; 11-13-2011 at 03:17 AM.
Shibutani (渋谷, しぶたに), the surname of American ice dancers Alex and Maia, can be roughly translated as “Valley of Raw Beauty”. Alex’s Japanese name is Hideo (ひでお), literally “outstanding man”, and Maia’s Harumi (はるみ), literally “vernal beauty”. Note: The Japanese word tani (谷) “valley” (as in Shibutani) is etymologically related to Turkish ten “big river” (as in Denis Ten, I guess).
Denis Ten, a citizen of Kazakhstan where Turkic is the "State" language and Russian the "official" language, probably adopted a Turkish surname in spite of his Korean ethnicity (The surname of his great-great-grandfather is Min, not Ten). His Russian name is Yurievich (Юрьевич) “son of Yuri”, which contains a Slavic ending -vich “son of”. I suspect the “Yuri” here might not mean “George” or “farmer” as the Russian name typically does. It could be a Korean name of the same pronunciation, i.e., 유리 or 瑠璃 “glass”.
This stuff is so amazing! I love etymology, and I especially love the etymology of names. I love that Yuri might have a Korean origin or a Russian one. In science they call that convergent evolution: two elements that coincidentally look alike but that have different origins. How cool.
I've noticed two typical constructions in Georgian last names, the -shvili suffix in Elena's name and the -dze in (hope I don't misspell this) Anton Sikharulidze's name. Choreographer George Balanchine's original surname was something like Balanchivadze. I wonder what the -dze signifies.
I think I once heard that surnames with -enko in Russia meant that the family originated in the Ukraine. Is that accurate?
One name that fascinates me is Katia Gordeyeva's surname. The beginning syllable almost sounds Scottish. Does anyone know anything about its construction?
Skatinginbc, you've hit on one of the principal problems of translation: is it better to make something sound more natural to the new language or remain true to the original language? That's why there are so many translations of the same literary works, especially in the case of poetry. If you read two translations of The Iliad, for example, it could be like reading two different texts!
Yags, Plush, Shibs, Gizmo, Tat, Shiz. I don't know about all these cutsie names.
Wicked Yankee Girl
I can tell you about Ross Miner's last name, because my mother was a Minor. What! Not the same name?
Nope. Not only the same name, the same family.
When Thomas Minor/Miner got older, it bothered him what he should have engraved on his tombstone, so he wrote back to relatives in Chew Magna, near Bristol, in England and asked how the name should be spelled. The relatives answered that it couldn't possibly be Miner, which would have indicated that their common ancestor worked in the mines; it must be Minor, Latin for either smaller or younger. Thomas changed his name to Minor, and his youngest son, Manasseh, who was still living at home, changed his last name, too. The older sons, who were already married and had children, kept the spelling Miner.
We know all this story because Thomas Minor kept a diary from 1653 to 1720 that was preserved by his descendants and that currently resides in the state library. It is also available on Google Books.
I have a copy of it in print form.
It's mostly a record of weather and small daily happenings-it looks like he might have kept it as a combination calendar/almanac, since neither of those convenient items was readily available in CT in those days.
Many of the folks whose families have lived in CT a long time have a Minor or Miner somewhere in the family tree, because Thomas had a lot of children, and almost all of them lived to have children of their own.
One of the decendants was this guy (Dr. William Chestor Minor):
And also the interestingly named Major Miner Spicer
It's a family habit to use relatives' surnames as first names.
From the name of Miki (美姫), I imagine "beautiful princess". 姫 means "princess". Honestly, as a mother of two daughters, it takes courage for me to name my daughter "beautiful princess". In the case of Miki Ando, she is not beaten by her name though.
There must be many courageous Japanese mothers since Miki is a common name for Japanese girls.
Originally Posted by Morning Glory
Yes, Miki is a common name but using "姫" is rare. Mostly other Chinese characters are used for naming Miki. Then, Miki does not mean "beautiful princess". Mirai's Chinese character is "未来". This means "future" but we also can read "未来" as Miki.
Originally Posted by SkateFiguring
BTW, I heard Yuna's mother's name was 美姫, too. I don't know how to pronounce it though.
Last edited by Morning Glory; 11-13-2011 at 12:06 PM.
But isn't 姫 the "ki" in Miki?
Originally Posted by Morning Glory
Yep. But I don't know other girls who use "姫" as "ki". Maybe someone, but I don't know.
Originally Posted by SkateFiguring