Every now and then, I get a new student who does not have an English name and so I have to give one to him or her. Many times I've given then names of family members. Usually when I give the students a family member's name, I pick one that is not common in Korea. Among the family members' names that I have given to students are Louis, Maggie, Dayna, Kit, Shiloh, Kelsey, and Mariah. I've given students other names as well. Recently I wrote a list of boy names on the board for a student and he picked Zach. In Korea, that is not a very common name. Often it is pronounced like Jack because Koreans have trouble with /z/. Within the past couple of weeks I named a student Aaron. I have never seen a Korean student with that name. I think that most Koreans are not familiar with that name and so when they give students an English name, that one is not picked.
Giving the students an English name is nothing new for me, but yesterday (3/14), I had the rare opportunity of giving an English name to a co-worker. The company just hired a part-time employee. I didn't know his name and so I asked; he didn't have an English name. So, another co-worker told me to pick a name for him. The first name that came to mind was Wayne. I was thinking of Kevin Arnold's older brother Wayne from The Wonder Years. The name Wayne was vetoed and so I had to think of another name. I was racking my brain trying to think of one and so I went to my computer and went to a list that I had typed, but never finished. Hank, Henry, Victor, and Todd were all vetoed. The name that was chosen, and was the first name written on a post-it note, was Eli.