Thursday, September 22, 2011


I've had my fill of Vivians.  It's a popular English name here, in spite of the fact that it sounds too old for our students and it always comes out sounding like "Wiwian."

My teammate Sara introduced me to the concept of using an "Approved English Names" list with our freshmen classes to prevent them from choosing un-names like "Sdeven" and "Vampire."  We are both in agreement about the over-use of the name "Vivian," so we cleverly deleted it from the list.

We gloated.  What a glorious thing;  I shall teach 224 students and none of them will be Wiwian.

This morning I received the following text: "Hello Alison.  My original English name is Alexis.  But now, I want to chang my English name.Finally,I decide my new English name is Vivian.Could I chang my English name?  Can you give me some advice?Thank you very mush!"

I replied, "You can change it if you want, but the reason I didn't put 'Vivian' on the name list is that it sounds like an older woman's name, and also many students mis-pronounce it."

"Can you tell me why 'Vivian' sounds like an old woman?"

"It's just not a name people commonly use anymore, so most Vivians are the age of our parents or grandparents."

"I think it does not matter,for me,it is unique.  My English name is Vivian.  But, can you tell me some advice about Shirey?  Thank you for you help."


"OK, just make sure you use your new name on your name card.  Shirey is not a name."

If I can't keep out the Vivians, I'm at least going to put my foot down on "Shirey."


  1. Other awesome English names that made an appearance this week:


    It never gets old.

  2. I kind of like Sdeven... That spelling actually makes more sense than Stephen, when you sound it out!

  3. cracking up over this...hilarious!

  4. Idk...old fashioned names are really trendy in the US right now. It seems silly to delete names from the list just for that reason! I know a girl named Vivian, and it doesn't seem that strange.

  5. Vivian is one of the only ones we deleted due to old-fashionedness. I still have plenty of other students with older names -- Clementina, several Estellas, Eunice, some Ednas, Vera, and more.

    I think "Vivian" grates on me because it's so commonly chosen and because students with cute, young names like Alexis change their name to Vivian. In fact, the student I once named after you (Emily, in 2009) later changed her name to Vivian.

    In other news, Sara has added "Mote" and "Pepsi" to her list of freshmen who need new English names.