#18 Learn people’s names and use them

It’s important.

If you’re terrible at this (as I am), repeat a person’s name back to them when they introduce themself to you.  It’ll help you remember, and if it’s an unusual name they can correct you if you pronounce it wrong.  If you forget, just ask and apologise, it’s okay, but always better to do it sooner rather than later.

When I first started working in North London (some four years ago now), I worked with lots of Jewish children.  On my first day I panicked and struggled as I was faced with many names that were new to my ears, there were Eliyahus, Yehudas, Vereds and Shoshanas, beautiful names, that I struggled to remember.  I reminded myself that although it seemed easier to not learn them, it was SO massively important that I did.    When I put my mind to it, it was no more difficult than trying to remember any other new names, I just panicked myself about it.  Now I’ve got name learning down to an art.  I can (just about) learn 30 children’s names in a couple of minutes, I have little memory tricks I use.  I can teach them to you if you’re ever as bad at names as I am! (Or was!)

The meaning of Eliyahu comes from Elijah or Elias, who was a prophet and a wonder-worker in the northern kingdom of Israel during the reign of Ahab, according to the Biblical Books of Kings.

Yehuda comes from (the book of) Jude.

Vered means “rose” in Aramaic.

Shoshana also means “rose”, but in Hebrew.

Lottie is usually short for “Charlotte”, meaning feminine.  But as there’s no actual meaning for the name Lottie, (you are definitely a Lottie, not a Charlotte), I guess you could choose your own meaning.

Mia means ‘mine’.

Emilie means to strive, to excel, or to rival.

James means ‘he who supplants’.

Amie is a literal translation of the French word ‘friend.’


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