What’s in a name? Students open up about the meaning and history of theirs


Luara Alves ’22

My name, I like to think that it has character and personality. I mean, most people can’t pronounce it and I have to say it at least twice and then spell it, but I don’t mind because I know that I love my name. Luara was the princess of the moon, the daughter of the village chief who fell in love with the man from the other tribe and was desperate to stay with him. She was so desperate that she asked a witch to take her and him to the moon so they could be together. The witch did it and they stayed on the moon for the rest of their lives and are now eternal. Alves is a name I got from my grandparents’ father’s side. It came all the way from Portugal when my great-great-grandma got to Brazil and fell in love with a slave, aka my future great-great-grandpa. They fell in love, married and the line Alves continued until it got to me. My name is perfect. I feel so connected to it. Besides the fact that I have 3 names with my last name it’s hard for me but I like because it’s unique. I normally hide in the crowd because I’m shy and anxious about talking with people, but my name makes me talk and explain and try to make people say it the right way (even Americans that can’t pronounce the r without sound funny). My name is perfect and chosen for me for a reason and I believe in it.

Mary Doan ’22

My name is Mary Doan. The origin of my first name isn’t completely known, but there are theories that it can mean “beloved,” “bitter,” or “rebellious” from Hebrew. I’m actually named after a doctor that helped my mom give birth to me, but that’s not the only reason why I have my name today. Since my parents came from Vietnam, my dad wanted me to have a name that could be easily pronounced. He even changed his own name from “Phuc” to “Jim” so that he could assimilate into the US better. They were also Christians, so the Virgin Mary was also taken into account. My surname “Doan” isn’t a common Vietnamese surname like Nguyen or Tran. Apparently, it was associated with royal guards or military generals in Ancient Vietnam, though I’m not sure if the sources used to prove it were credible. It also originated in China, with other variants being Duan and Tuan.

Rocio Marroquin Guzman ’22

I really don’t know anything about my name, to be honest. I’ve never really ask my parents about why they chose my name. The name Rocio, if I’m not wrong, is a Spanish name, which means “dew”. I think the reason of never asking my parents about why the chose that name for me is because I never really liked it. Mostly because people don’t really know how to pronounce it, and I don’t like repeating it all over and over again because they seem to never get it right no matter how many times I’ve told them the right way. I’ve never really met anyone, in person, with the same name as me. My family’s surname is Marroquin. I don’t really ask about its’ story because I know that my dad doesn’t know as well. There was period of time when I really started to hate my surname. It was around the time I moved to Everett, because people didn’t know how to pronounce it, but I love it now. I know that the reasons of why I hated my full name is silly, but I’ve learned to love it. Well, maybe not entirely my first name, but its a work in progress. I realized that my name is part of who I am. It’s been there since I was kid, and maybe even before I was born, and also because I have no choice, lol. That is all I can say about my name, nothing fancy or interesting, but I would like to learn more about it.

Alexander Paniagua ’22

My name is Alexander but I don’t like to go by that. In fact the only person that calls me that is my mom and sometimes she calls me by my last name which is Paniagua. My last name sounds like bread and water in Spanish and about a thousand people have made a joke about that and let me tell you it is pretty funny until about the fifth time, then it gets tired. I don’t like my name because it sounds too formal and is a name you give to baby of the royal family, that is why I go by Alex which is a standard white guy name and that is an okay name, not the best, but at least its not Eugene or something like that. Most of my family that lives in Massachusetts has the last name Paniagua, but I have other family that has my grandpa’s last name from my mom’s side, which is Lopez, which is a really Hispanic sounding last name. In my opinion I’d rather have Paniagua as a last name than Lopez because Lopez is a more common last name, especially for Latinos, and Paniagua sounds more unique. I find it funny when some people find it difficult to pronounce it. When I was younger I was pretty embarrassed because some of my teachers said it wrong, but now I find it funny because these teachers teach us how to read and write, and yet can not pronounce my last name.

Kara Cintron ’22

My mother came up with my name. She is really indecisive and that is expressed through my full name. Kara Antoinella Miranda Cintron. My mom got my first name from a coworker she worked with. They were mutual friends and she loved her name. Same idea for Antoinella and Miranda–these were all fond coworkers of her and she really loved all their names. She knew she wanted my name to be one of the three, but couldn’t decide. So when I was born she ended up making Kara my first name, and instead of getting rid of the other two, she put them as my middle names. Cintron just comes from my fathers last name. I love my name, I appreciate the length of it and find it funny at times. I think it’s unique and i’m so glad my mom didn’t end up naming me Miranda. I never really thought about changing my name but I love the name autumn. I would rather just name my future daughter autumn instead of changing my name. I identify as she/her. My last name comes from my father’s. Fun fact my grandfathers name is Jorge Luis Cintron. My father is the second, and my brother is the third. I think it’s funny when we get mail and we have to take a second to figure out who’s it is. Overall I love my name and I wouldn’t change it for anything else.

Roodny Frere

My first name is Roodny. When I was born, my dad wanted my name to be almost the same as my mom and his name but they couldn’t find the right combination for both of their names to make my name. My father’s name is Robert and my mom’s Odeline. I didn’t like it at first but as I grew up I learned that it’s what represents me. I haven’t found anybody else with my name, so I feel more special. And my last name is Frere which is in French means brother. This makes me feel special even more. I don’t really know the full meaning of it but I remember my grandpa told me it’s means “we stick together.” I always wanted my name to be some version of Bryanna because my little brother name is Bryan but after 2 days of trying to remind my self that I want my name to be Bryanna I quit, and so go on I kept on trying to change it. But I couldn’t so I gave up. I only hate when other people or teachers pronounce my name wrong or spell it like “Roodney” with an e it’s so frustrating. I always tell them that it’s spelled without and “e” but they kept on doing it, sometimes I ignore them, because that’s not my name.

Isaac Banhos

I know that my name was thought by my parents,  but the original name that I can think of is in the Bible. The son of Abraham is named Isaac and God told Abraham to give his only son as an offering to God and just as he was about to sacrifice his son, the lord gave him another option of sacrificing a sheep and the lord was testing to see his faith. My last name, actually I used to not like it because it sounds like bathroom in Spanish and shower in Portuguese (Banho) and kids who understood that would make fun of me and it usually never bothered me until some kid took it too far. But as I grew older I just lost interest in caring about what others had to say about me and so now I guess I do like my whole name. Also apparently the last name Banhos was a royal family back in the day and the last name is usually most prevalent in Brazil but it was used a lot back in Kansas 1920 and I recently found out that the last name also dates back to Britain and Ireland usually having a family of red heads. Now I’m happy I got this last name. I see it as a gift from the Lord and am thankful to my parents for it.

Brendan Paiva-Carroll

The story behind my family’s name, wow what a question. I’ve never actually asked like where did my family’s name came from. They have always told me so many great stories about my ancestors and many more people in my family. Talking about how strong and how courageous they are were and how they haven’t changed much since coming here from Portugal makes me think now behind the meaning. Like really, what does my family name mean? What does it stand for in this world? I know the family name “Paiva” is a Portuguese surname. I’m pretty sure there is also a place called Castelo de Paiva. Which honestly is amazing, to be named after a castle is a true honor. And I know that maybe multiple people have the same last name as I do. It’s honestly shocking, if you were to search up the surname Paiva, how many people pop up for it. My last name is something I take pride in. As a matter of fact, my last name is what most people know me by. My older brother came up with it, going by the name Paiva, and eventually it was thrown onto to me as ‘Little Paiva’ by his friends. Then my friends thought that it would be cool to go by Paiva, so now if you hear “Paiva” in the hallway, you know that’s me.

Rudy Andrade Guerrero

It is kind of triggering that my first last name, Andrade, is always marked incorrect by spellcheck for some reason but whatever. I don’t know where my name came from but I did ask my parents about how they came up with my name. My dad didn’t let my mom decide either my name or my brother’s name, thank goodness. I don’t remember what mom was going to name me but all I remember was that it was awful and not pleasing. So between Rudy and the other option I much prefer Rudy because in this country there aren’t a lot of people with my name. I am pretty sure that I am the only Rudy in this school, which is very, umm, interesting I guess because I wouldn’t like sharing the same name with 50 people. Going back to the origin of how I was named Rudy… My decided that he liked the name Rudy so that’s it. My pronouns are he/his/him. I have thought about an alternate name if I wasn’t named Rudy. My middle name is Edenilson which kind of resembles Eddie. It is easy to say and people are going to understand whenever they asked for my name. The number of times I have had to repeat my name to people due to my accent is astronomical. I guess people stop functioning when ever someone rolls their r’s because whenever I do decide to roll the r in my name people cannot understand me. Most of the time I have to spell it out for them or my friends help me out. A weird/funny story is, I already use the name Eddie whenever I order something from Starbucks or any food chain restaurant that asks for my name because is a losing battle when ever I use my real name. Its an uncomfortable/awkward situation that I would rather save myself from then keep trying.

Guilherme Castilho

My full name is Guilherme F Castilho. My mother thought of the name Guilherme because it sounds just like my brother’s name but in a different sense, which is Gustavo. But to be very honest I prefer the name Gui. Personally, I find my name to be simple and peaceful to say, something about someone shouting out “Gui!” makes me pretty happy and feel needed. But my full name kinda disturbs me–it’s not that I don’t like my full first name, but it just doesn’t have the same feeling as what people call me. I never thought about changing my name, but I would definitely prefer it if people called me Gui. My last name, Castilho, comes from my father’s side of the family. To me, it gives a sense of toughness, I’m not sure why, but it just does to me, considering my whole family works on farms and such. I’ve personally never heard many stories considering the Castilho family, but from what I can tell, we are hardcore farmers and love where we come from. But at the end of the day, there’s one thing I would love to do with my name: I want it to be a name heard around the world. A name more people could name their kids in generations to come, for people reading the articles and seeing the name Gui on the news a lot of the time, it’s one thing I’ve always dreamed of.

Deborah Do Nascimento

My name was originally going to be Yasmin, but last minute my mom decided to put the Biblical name Deborah, thats why theres an H at the end, because its Biblical. Deborah was the fourth judge mentioned in the book of Judges in the bible, and soon became a strong warrior. My name is also very Brazilian, its more common there. I mean you still hear it here in the US, but only if its an old lady haha. Not in Brazil though, that’s why I feel more comfortable introducing myself when I go back to my country. I haven’t always loved my name, I used to think it was ugly, and a grandma name, which I still think it is, but learned to appreciate my name, and remember the strong and beautiful Deborah from the bible. Deborah is a Hebrew name that also means Bee. Thats why I had my first birthday party Bee themed. I dress up as a little bubble bee, and it was adorable. My last name is Nascimento, which means birth and uprising. I think its a very beautiful and powerful name. So for example here we call is “Birth certificate” in portuguese its “Certidão de nascimento” I’ve never really had a problem with my last name, I think its pretty, but I love to watch people attempt to pronouce it, it’s hilarious. I would never change my name now, but I absolutely adore the name April, I wanna name my daughter that, so maybe if I could be born again, and had the choice, I would choose the name April.

Carl Durham

I come from a long line of Carl Dean Durhams. Believe it or not, my full name is Carl Dean Durham the third. My grandfather was Carl Dean Durham senior and my Dad was Carl Dean Durham Jr. When it came time for my parents to name me, my grandfather told my dad that he should name the child after his hero, being my grandfather. My dad then said that he would name me after my own hero. He was referring to naming me after my dad rather than my grandfather. Either way, I would be named Carl Durham. However, instead of calling me Carl, my parents call me Trip. One day, my father was watching Star Trek. In this episode, they explain that one of the characters, Charles Tucker the third was referred to as Trip because he was the third and that trip is short for triple. My dad saw this and had the genius idea to start calling me Trip. My mom had no idea of this, but she agreed to call me Trip because she liked the name. One year later, after I was born, both my parents were sitting on the couch, when that exact episode of Star Trek came on. After hearing the explanation, my mom looks over to my dad and says, “You named our son after a Star Trek character?” You could tell from her voice that she was not happy about it. My dad, taking pride in his choices, yells, “Yes I did!” She then made him sleep on the couch that night. That is the story of how I got my names.