Names
Does your name have any special meaning? Do you like your name? What name do your parents/relatives call you? Would you like to change your name? Does anyone in your family have the same name as you? Are there any differences between how people name their children now and in the past in your country? How do people choose names for their children?
Vocabulary
  • Motto (noun) - a short sentence or phrase that expresses a belief or purpose.
  • Unique (adj.) - being the only existing one of its type or, more generally, unusual, or special in some way.
  • Name someone/something after someone/something - to give someone or something the same name as another person or thing.
  • Old-fashioned (adj.) - not modern; belonging to or typical of a time in the past.
  • Nickname (noun) - an informal name for someone or something, especially a name that you are called by your friends or family, usually based on your real name or your character.
Questions and answers
M: Rory, does your name have any special meaning?

R: Well, everyone's (name) has a special meaning, don't they? Mine describes the qualities of being red-haired and connected to royalty, well, my first name does. And then if I think about my family name, we have a family motto connected to it, which means learn to suffer. So make of that what you will.

M: Do you like your name?

R: Well, almost everyone does, don't they? Actually, there was a brief time when I wanted to change it to something else. But now I appreciate it for the unique thing that it is.

M: What name do your parents or relatives call you?

R: Just the first one unless I'm in trouble, in which case, it's my full name. Although I think that's true in a lot of places, isn't it?

M: Would you like to change your name?

R: Well, like I said, I used to want to change it. But that was just a phase. And I don't want to anymore. But even if I did, in Scotland, you don't have to do anything special to change your name like a deep pole or something like that. It's one of the few countries where this is not a requirement, actually.

M: Does anyone in your family have the same name as you?

R: No, I think that would be a bit confusing, wouldn't it? I've never quite understood why some people are named after their fathers and their mothers, to be honest. It just seems like a lack of imagination.

M: Are there any differences between how people name their children now and in the past in your country?

R: Well, I suppose there are more names to choose from now, aren't there? And more old-fashioned names seem to have, well, fallen out of fashion, for lack of a better term. There also seem to be fewer nicknames as well, but that's just my opinion. I don't know if that's an actual fact or not.

M: How do people choose names for their children?

R: Well, you have to ask them, wouldn't you? I know my parents went with traditional Scottish names, because that was something that worked well for them. But I'm not sure that's something that's true for everybody, is it?
Discussion
M: Thank you, Rory, for your answers! Rory Fergus Duncan Tequila Godzilla Goodwillie.

R: Wait, hold on. What? Where did the tequila come from?

M: Tequila Godzilla. Rory Fergus Duncan Tequila Godzilla Goodwilly. I'm just adding random names to your name. So just for the fun of it. You have four names, why not six?

R: Six seems excessive, at least in Scottish culture. But then how many names do you have? Four?

M: No, I have three. I have my first name Maria. Then, no, actually, Molashenko, that's my surname. Maria, my name, my first name, and the middle name. Sergeevna. So three names. Easy,

R: Although your middle name, it's got a different logic behind it to mine. My parents picked my middle name as a fashion statement, which means that it's not done for serious reasons. Whereas your middle name is done for different reasons, isn't it? Like if we talk about how children are named in Russia.

M: Yeah. Just because of my father. He's Sergey. So I'm Sergeevna. So just after my father.

R: Yeah. And there's a word in English to describe this as well. It's patronym. And I think it's the same word in Russian as well, isn't it?

M: Hmm. So patronym? Right? Or the middle name.

R: Not quite. Patronum doesn't mean your middle name. It means it's the name from your father.

M: Ah, okay. What's the middle name?

R: The middle name is just... It can be a name that's given for religious reasons. Or it can be done as sort of a fashion statement. It's something about class, for example, or about aspirations.

M: Right.

R: It could also be a nickname.

M: Oh, a nickname.
R: Or some people... Oh, God, in my family, they've done this as well. I have an uncle that changed his first name. So his original first name became his middle name. So yes, it happens for all kinds of reasons, actually. But middle names are for different reasons. Patronyms are related to your father's name.

M: Ah, off, okay. So we have our first name, we can have our surname or family name, or second name. And also this middle name or patronym.

R: You could have both.

M: Or you can have just Tequilla Godzilla, just as a fashion statement.

R: Yeah, or you could just make something up completely. And like I say in Scotland, that's something that's very easy to do, at least as far as I'm aware. To change your name in Scotland. You don't need to do anything legal. Where's to change your name in England, you need all kinds of legal documents. What's it like in Russia? Do you have to do the same thing?

M: Well, to change your name, you should change all your documents, you should go to a special place and do some things and files, some I don't know.

R: So there's no need to do this in Scotland. Like you just say this is my name and you can change it later on.

M: Okay, this is my name and that's it.

R: I would point out that this is not something that happens regularly, it's just something that doesn't have a system behind it, yet, anyway.

M: What's the meaning of Rory's name? So Rory told us that my name means redhead.

R: Or it describes the quality of being red-haired. So if you're, if you're watching this video, then you can obviously see that my parents kind of got that wrong. It's just a nice Scottish name for them. I don't think they chose it for that particular meaning.

M: Also, Rory means the name of Red King. So Rory is a king, we have royalty, royalty on the podcast.

R: Yeah. And also the Duncan clan used to be, well, there used to be a King Duncan, for example. So the clan name is connected to royalty in that way,

M: Duncan.
M: Oh, oh, so when you do know stuff, you go like, oh, Maria is beautiful, isn't she? Right? But if you're not sure, Rory is smart, isn't he? So you're not sure, you're asking a question.

R: And here for the purposes of the exam, I mean, you're not really asking the examiner questions. So your intonation should be following, shouldn't it?

M: Yeah.

R: Oh, I just did it there.

M: Well done you! Names could be unique, traditional names, modern names. What else?

R: Unique, traditional, old-fashioned. And if you're super lucky, like me, you can use a very special word which I didn't use to describe this, but I should have. So you can have a traditional form or you can have a version of it. So my name Rory, R O R Y is the English version or the anglicized version of Ruri, which is the name in the original Scottish language.

M: Ruri!

R: And so if you have a word similar to anglicized, then you'll be quite lucky in that sense. But if you don't, then don't worry, because for example, a lot of students from Asian countries like China and Japan, choose a name in English as well to describe themselves. So you could also talk about this quality too.

M: You can say that, Oh, I'd prefer an unexpected name, or my name is one of the top feminine names. Feminine - for women. Or one of the top boys' names. Top like the most popular names.

R: Although in my case, I think I was pretty much the only Rory Fergus Duncan Goodwillie in the entire Russian Federation and probably the world.

M: Can you imagine that if you had like two Rorys in your family? Kind of like, Rory, not you, another Rory. No, you, Rory, sit down, you, Rory, stand up.

R: Well, I imagine that like, there will be other Rory's around but it's never come up that often. It's not really a popular name, which is helpful.

M: Oh, yeah. So what name do your parents call you? So parents call you by name, right? Or they can call you by your full name. Rory Duncan Fergus Goodwilie, come here.

R: Will you ever get it right?

M: No, what did I do this time?
R: But probably like, everybody has some kind of connection to some sort of famous person at some point, and through their name, or through their family name.

M: Well, Maria, Maria, you know, has many origins and meanings. You can also say it about your name. Oh, my name, it has many origins and meanings. It means beautiful. Also, merciful, and pretty much Virgin Mary. Right?

R: So all kinds of modest aspirations there.

M: Also, it's interesting that, historically, Maria was the name given to males, to men. So as a male middle name, so it was like, back in the 18th century, it was like, Rory Maria Gonzalez Tequila Godzilla.

R: I should point out, if there are any Spanish speakers listening, please know that we're not making fun of your culture. It's just people being silly with names.

M: What's family motto?

R: Family motto is like a slogan that describes the values of a group of people. So in this case, it's the family. And in the case of my family, it's the quality of learning to suffer through things.

M: When you say if you like your name, or you dislike your name, you can say I used to hate it, I used to dislike it. I used to, in the past. Right? But now I adore it.

R: Used to is a grammar structure. And so are all of the question tags that we used. Shall we comment on them?

M: Hey, go ahead!

R: So there were lots of them. Although I think the pronunciation didn't really very much when it was like everybody does, don't they? Or actually, I think that's true for a lot of people, isn't it? So the grammar structure doesn't change. If you have a positive first part of the sentence, then the question tag will be negative, or if it's a negative first part, then the question tag will be positive. But if we think about the intonation, question tags can have a falling intonation, like, isn't it? Or it can be going up when you say, isn't it? So, what's the difference between those two things, Maria?

M: Oh, oh, so when you do know stuff, you go like, oh, Maria is beautiful, isn't she? Right? But if you're not sure, Rory is smart, isn't he? So you're not sure, you're asking a question.

R: And here for the purposes of the exam, I mean, you're not really asking the examiner questions. So your intonation should be following, shouldn't it?

M: Yeah.
R: Oh, I just did it there.

M: Well done you! Names could be unique, traditional names, modern names. What else?

R: Unique, traditional, old-fashioned. And if you're super lucky, like me, you can use a very special word which I didn't use to describe this, but I should have. So you can have a traditional form or you can have a version of it. So my name Rory, R O R Y is the English version or the anglicized version of Ruri, which is the name in the original Scottish language.

M: Ruri!

R: And so if you have a word similar to anglicized, then you'll be quite lucky in that sense. But if you don't, then don't worry, because for example, a lot of students from Asian countries like China and Japan, choose a name in English as well to describe themselves. So you could also talk about this quality too.

M: You can say that, Oh, I'd prefer an unexpected name, or my name is one of the top feminine names. Feminine - for women. Or one of the top boys' names. Top like the most popular names.

R: Although in my case, I think I was pretty much the only Rory Fergus Duncan Goodwillie in the entire Russian Federation and probably the world.

M: Can you imagine that if you had like two Rorys in your family? Kind of like, Rory, not you, another Rory. No, you, Rory, sit down, you, Rory, stand up.

R: Well, I imagine that like, there will be other Rorys around but it's never come up that often. It's not really a popular name, which is helpful.

M: Oh, yeah. So what name do parents call you? So parents call you by name, right? Or they can call you by your full name. Rory Duncan Fergus Goodwilie, come here.

R: Will you ever get it right?

M: No, what did I do this time?

R: Let's not focus on that. This is not the focusing on "Rory's name show". This is focusing on "grammar, and pronunciation, and vocabulary show".

M: Yeah, so but like vocabulary-wise, can I say like, my parents call me by my first name. So call me by my first name?

R: Yes.
M: Or you can say my parents call me by a nickname or they use a nickname?

R: Yeah. So my parents use my nickname, for example, would be one way of looking at it.

M: Yeah. And a nickname could be like a variation of your name. Something like okay, Maria, like Mashulya. Yeah? Would it be my nickname? Like kind of like sweet.

R: If you wanted to be like high-level band nine, you could say the diminutive form of my name is... Masha, or Rorochka depending. Which is just another way of saying the cute version of my name.

M: The cute version of my name. So you can see my relatives sometimes use the cute version of my name. What is this?

R: Diminutive?

M: Diminutive. Yeah, and could you give us in a sentence? So my parents call me by...

R: Yeah, my parents call me by, well, my parents don't call me that. My Russian friends call me by the diminutive form of my name. Rory, Rorochka, sorry.

M: Sweet. Sweet. Right. Would you like to change my name?

R: Would I like to change your name?

M: Yeah. Would you like to change my name, Rory?

R: No, there can only be one Maria.

M: Sweet. You can say I don't need to do anything special to change my name or it's a very difficult procedure. So I wouldn't want to change my name. Or I'd like to change my surname or a middle name. Or maybe you want to add Tequila Godzilla to your name. Then we can use a nice phrasal verb, to be named after somebody.

R: Yes.

M: So for example, yeah, I was named after my great grandmother, who was also Maria, for example.

R: And for my middle name, I was named after the dog of my family's friends.

M: Dog?
R: Yeah, they had a dog called Fergus So my parents thought that would be a hilarious idea.

M: Rory, you shouldn't have said that. You've just mentioned that you are royalty and Red King. Dog?

R: There's a whole load of things about my name that are not right. So the red-haired part, the royalty part, the dog part and the whole learning to suffer part which I'd completely disagree with. Like don't suffer through things, just, just don't tolerate it. Don't put up with suffering. Do something about it.

M: Why don't you just add Tequila Godzilla? Alright? Rory Tequila Godzilla.

R: In fact, it makes more sense for you to add it because first of all, you're a lady. And then second of all, because it's like, it all matches up with the feminine forms because they end in -a.

M: Oh, yeah, Tequila Godzilla. Godzilla. That's really feminine.

R: Yes, Maria, Maria Molashenko Tequila Godzilla. What's your problem?

M: Okay, some names can fall out of fashion. Some names could be fashionable, and the old-fashioned names which just fell out of fashion, so they just like... They're not fashionable anymore. And then the last question is interesting. How do people choose names for their children? Exactly. How? How do people choose names? Well, I don't know. We can say they choose the top names, the most popular names.

R: They name people after somebody they like.

M: Yeah, they name people. Or you just can say, I'm not sure that's true for everybody. So maybe some people choose really extraordinary, unexpected, unique needs.

R: But pay attention to question tags. I'm just looking at them here. Like so you'd have to ask them, wouldn't do?

M: Rory, let's choose the name for you. You don't have a choice. Okay? But you are changing your name. Let's imagine.

R: I like it. You don't have a choice that you're going to this.
M: So there is no choosing whether to change my name or not. So you have to choose it. But I'll give you options and, dear listener, could you please write in the comments which name will go well with our Rory Duncan, The Red King. Alright, so your new name, Rory, are you ready?

R: Okay.

M: Zosimus. Zosimus. Bram. Dudley. Dudley Fergus Goodwillie. Sebastian. Octavius. Or Osvaldo.

R: All of those names sound totally ridiculous.

M: No, you have to choose one.

R: Why do I have to choose one? Why?

M: No. Because, because. Okay, so which name would you choose, Rory? Zosimus, Bram, Dudley?

R: I guess Bram.

M: Bram? Would you be Bram? Bram Duncan Fergus Goodwilie. Bram. Okay. Rory Bram. All right.

R: Like Telegram.

M: Oh, boy. Could you please write things about your name? So what's your full name? And if you want to change your name, which name would you pick? Dudley or Sebastian? And would you add any ridiculous names like banana hammock? Tequila Godzilla?

R: Can you write in the comments what your names mean? If they have any meaning, because that would be cool to find out if there are similar names with similar meanings in different countries.

M: Yes. For IELTS, you should know the meaning of your name.

R: There is a perfectly normal English sentence. You should know the meaning of your name for this particular English language exam.

M: You can just make it up.

R: My name is "Powerful burning eagle".

M: "The Queen of everything".

R: Yes, "Queen of everything". Get out of my way.

M: And give me this band nine, Mr. Examiner? What is the meaning of your name? I wonder. Band two? Right. What's the meaning of my name? Band nine.

R: Everything that comes out of my mouth means band nine.

M: Thank you very much for listening, for watching, for your comments! I'm sending you love, joy, and...

R: Gorgeous grammar and vocabulary for a high score!

M: Bye!
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