Are you watching?  The US plays Japan today in the finals of the Women’s World Cup in soccer.  My other half is a big fan, and we’ll be glued to the set this afternoon along with our two young daughters.

Could there be a more apt moniker for a goalie than Hope Solo?  Yes, my friends, this is actually our goalie’s name.   Otherwise, the US and Canada largely failed to surprise me with their given names, but here are some more I found scintillating for our nerdy purposes.

A few quick observations: Brazil and Equatorial Guinea think highly enough of their players so they only go by one name.  All the Japanese names end in a vowel.  All the Korean players have double names.  Colombia loves the letter Y.

Do you examine credits and jerseys like a hawk every chance you get?  Anything that intrigues you here?


USA: Hope Solo


Australia: ColletteServet, Teigen





Canada: Carmelina, Marie-Eve


Colombia: Yineth, Yuli, Carmen, Yoreli, Yulieht, Lady, Ingrid, Orianica


England: Fara, Eniola, Dunia, Siobhan





France: Celine, Laure, Ophelie, Sandrine, Corine, Sonia, Eugenie, Camille, Elodie, Berangere, Gaetane, Marie-Laure


Germany: Nadine, Bianca, Saskia, Babett, Annike, Simone, Inka, Birgit, Ursula,

Celia, Verena, Ariane, Fatmire, Lena, Almuth

Japan: Nozomi, Yukari, Azusa, Sakim, Kyoko, Mizuho, Kozue, Aya, Nahomi,

Homare, Shinobu, Miho, Rumi, Megumi (x2), Asuna, Yuki, Karina, Mana


Korea: Myong Hui, Hong Yon, Un Byol, Myong Gum, Jong Sun, Sol Hui, Hyon Hi, Su Gyong, Un Sim, Yun Mi, Ye Gyong, Myong Hwa, Un Ju, Chung Sim, Jong Hui, Pok Sim, Un Hyang, Jin Sim, Mi Gyong, Song Hwa, Chol Ok

10 Responses to “Name Scouting at Women’s World Cup 2011”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Doesn’t Formiga mean “ant”? Not sure if that’s a good name.

    Marie-Laure always reminds me of the French In Action movies, the younger sister if Mireille (a great name, btw).

  2. You Can't Call It "It"! Says:

    Formiga does mean ant in Portuguese! I just looked it up. Maybe some of them use pseudonyms and some use their real names?

    I thought the same thing about Marie-Laure.

  3. Martina Says:

    My best friend is from Brazil, named Renata but pronouced “Henata” in Portuguese. She introduced us to a friend whose name is Marie Louisa but goes by Malu for short.

  4. You Can't Call It "It"! Says:

    Love that! Malu is adorable.

  5. Rita Says:

    Formiga is a nickname; her real given name is Miraildes (yikes!).

  6. Rita Says:

    I adore Bérengère (and the oh so unusable Berengaria) – I’m a sucker for medieval names.

  7. Lola Says:

    Ah, Japanese names are so my style; I’m not big on having lots of vowel sounds in a row, so their usual consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel pattern is perfect for me.

    I think I read somewhere that at one stage in South America it was really trendy for parents to swap Js to Ys in names (as they make very similar sounds in Spanish) – could explain all the Columbian Ys, although I could also be completely mistaken.

  8. NameLover Says:

    Linguistically, Japanese names pretty much have to end in a vowel since consonants are always followed by vowels. The language is syllabic, and comprised of consonant vowel pairs. I’m guessing that the name exception above, Sakim, has either been Anglicized and is actually something like Sakimu with a very soft u sound that Western ears wouldn’t hear and so it was left off when it was translated — or Sakim’s name is perhaps not actually Japanese but may be Korean.

  9. hyzen Says:

    Oh, I love a lot of the French and German names– Berangere, Gaetane, Marie-Laure, Saskia, Annike, Inka, Verena, Lena…

    Korean given names are almost always two syllables, no more, no less. Each syllable represents a chinese character with some nice meaning and which is otherwise deemed to be lucky. Traditionally, one of those syllables is chosen by a member of the child’s grandparent’s generation, and shared by all children of that sex in that generation (so siblings and cousins would have one syllable of the name in common, you might have Young-jin, Young-mi, Young-ah, etc.). People don’t always adhere to that format for various reasons–and more recently it has become fashionable to give names which are Korean words (like Sarang/love, Haneul/heaven or sky), rather than Korean transliterations of Chinese characters–but that is why all of those Korean players have the two syllable names you noted.

  10. You Can't Call It "It"! Says:

    I’m in love with Berangere, Saskia, and Verena too.

    Fascintating on the Korean names Hyz. Any chance you want to write a separate post for us?

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