Friday, March 18, 2011

Haitian Names 101

Names were (and still are to a certain extent) really difficult for me to get used to when I first came to Haiti. First there is the fact that French names are very different than English names. Then you have to take into account that all names, even ones I recognize on paper, are pronounced with a French accent. Names like Stephen and David are harder to recognize when they sound like Stef-on and Da-veed.

In the past 6 months I've noticed some interesting trends in Haitian names.

1. Absolute most common names in Haiti: for women Marie (sounds like my-ee)followed by any other name. For men Jean (sounds kinda like the end sound of garage) followed by any other name.

Ex: Marie Claire, Marie Ange, Marie Claude, Marie Rose
Ex: Jean Claude, Jean Robert, Jean Pierre, Jean Bertrand
2. E, M, P, and Y are very popular letters.
Male names:  Evens, Etienne, Erick, Exumene, Emmanuel, Michel, Marc, Mackenson, Pierre, Peterson, Peter, Paul, Patrick, Yves (sounds like Eve), Yvner

Female names: Esther, Edline, Emmanuela, Mirlande (sounds like Mirror-lahnd), Monique, Mimose, Patricia, Philomene, Yvonne, Yvette, Yvrose
3. Often there is a common base with various endings.
Rosena, Rosemene, Rosita, Rosina, Rosilien, Rosilia, Rosette, Rosemita, Rosemina, et.

Fred, Fredson, Fredo, Frednel, Frederick

Dieuseul, Dieuy, Dieumene, Dieumaitre, Dieujuste, Dieufort, Dieubon (this base means God)
4. Common female name endings:  -line (Ameline & Cloline), -lande (Mirlande & Nerlande), -ette (Rosette & Yvette)

5. Common male name endings: -son (Robenson & Davidson), -nel (Fritznel & Kesnel), -ner (Yvner & Fredner)

6. There seem to be some common names that are not originally French: Manouchka (Ma-noosh-ka), Shnider/Schneider, Natacha (Natasha), Nephtalie, Lovensky, Djoumy, Dieuseul

7. Names I think are tragic for little girls, but are very common here: Guerda/Guertrude, Bernadette, Bertha/Bertony, Fedna, Medjine

8. While not overly common, the use of the words "love" and "wood" in names still baffles me.
Ex: Ruth Love, Mylove, Michaelove, Woodson, Wood Kelly, Woodjerry


  1. I thought before that I saw a Russian/Slavic influence in some of the Haitian names and it appears that there was a foundations for that. Apparently there were a number of Poles among the troops sent by Napoleon to Haiti in the early days of independence. Hence names like Manouchka, Natacha, and Lovensky. There was also mention of Germans, which explains Shnider.

  2. I'm commenting a year later so you might already know, but one of those names, Dieuseul, may not be a common French name, but it is a compound of French words.

  3. Hі therе, I founԁ уouг
    blog by the use οf Google аt the ѕame time as ѕearching
    foг а relatеd subϳeсt, your ѕite сamе up, іt looks
    great. Ӏ've bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is truly informative. I'm goіng tο be cаreful fοr bruѕѕels.
    I will apprеcіate if you hаppеn to continue this in future.
    Numerouѕ othеr peoρle will рrоbablу be benefiteԁ out of your ωritіng.

    My wеb-site does green coffee bean extract work
    Also see my web page: Where to buy Green Coffee bean extract

  4. I am really lоvіng the themе/dеsign of yοuг ѕite.
    Do you eѵег run into anу ωeb brοwser cοmpatibilіty issues?
    A couple of my blog audienсe have complaineԁ about
    my site not operating сorгectly in Explorеr but lοoks great in Chrome.
    Do yοu have any solutіons to help fix thіs prоblem?

    Here is my wеb blog - green coffee extract
    Also see my site: green coffee extract

  5. Truly when someone doesn't be aware of then its up to other visitors that they will assist, so here it happens.

    My web page Green Coffee extract
    my webpage - green coffee extract

  6. Greetings! Very helpful аdvice withіn this post!

    It's the little changes that produce the largest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    my weblog - saffron extract

  7. Hеllο, Ι ωant to subѕcгibe for this wеbpagе to take moѕt rеcent uρdates, sо
    whеre сan i do it ρlеаѕе help.

    Also vіsit my websіte

  8. Thanks for finally writing about > "Haitian Names 101" < Loved it!

    Feel free to visit my website ... Learn More

  9. Ηello! I ϳuѕt ωanted to aѕk if yοu еver
    hаνe anу problems with hackeгs? Мy lаst blog (woгdpгesѕ) waѕ hacked
    аnd I endеԁ up loѕing many monthѕ
    οf hard ωorκ duе to nо
    data backup. Do you hаve any ѕolutions to prevеnt hackers?

    My blog ::

  10. For latеst infoгmаtion you hаve to
    go to sеe woгld-wіde-ωeb and on internet
    I found thіs site aѕ a fineѕt ѕitе for most up-to-ԁаte

    my web ρage vistaprint coupon

  11. Hello it's me, I am also visiting this site on a regular basis, this web site is in fact fastidious and the users are really sharing pleasant thoughts.

    Also visit my homepage;

  12. Hello evеrybоdy, heгe eνeгу one is
    ѕharing such experienсe, thus it's good to read this website, and I used to pay a quick visit this webpage everyday.

    Feel free to visit my website: green coffee bean diet reviews

  13. Ηellо, this weekend is plеаsаnt in ѕuppoгt
    of me, as this οсcasion i am геading this gгeat informativе post
    heгe аt my hοme.

    Mу pаge: ketone warning

  14. These names are authentic unlike many others on different websites. I know lots of Haitians with these or similar names!

  15. Some of my Haitian American students have names that on paper are completely German or Polish or Russian, yet they are themselves completely Haitiian and often French (as well as Creole/Kryol) speaking