Students share stories about their untraditional names

There are always several students In each grade that share a name. However, there are many names that stand out among the rest with a backstory just waiting to be told.


Andrew Cadle

Nicknames like Kake and Zip causes teachers and students alike to do a double take. All of these students with unique names have interesting stories about how they got them.

Vivian Shinall, Staff Writer

Names are insanely important—they help us determine our own identities and give others a way to define us. In Native American culture, names are chosen so purposefully that they are not given until the personality and talents of the child are determined to ensure that someone is a true representation of their character.

Here at BSM, our student body is filled with all kinds of different names. We have the classic, more common names that we hear everyday, but there are also names that stray from the norm. These names pop out at us, even on a black and white list of names on an attendance sheet (especially when substitute teachers have trouble pronouncing them).

Senior Zipporah Kaffey is no stranger to substitute mispronunciation. “With my full name, it’s a rare occasion that substitutes pronounce it correctly. In fact, once a sub actually made a rude remark as soon as she got to my name suggesting that it was impossible to pronounce,” Kaffey said. 

With my full name, it’s a rare occasion that subs pronounce it correctly.

— Zip Kaffey

The name Zipporah, while uncommon, has its own important meaning. In the Bible, Zipporah is Moses’ wife, which is fitting for Zip, as both of her parents are pastors. The nickname “Zip” emerged when she was in kindergarten. “People always found ways to mispronounce Zipporah and my older sister, Zeph, had a really cool name, so I decided to make one up for myself. With my nickname, people usually laugh and think it’s a joke. It’s also extremely annoying when they start singing Zippidy Do Dah or try and call me Zipper. Everyone, including my parents, call me Zip,” said Kaffey.

Just like Zip, senior Kathryn Trochlil, more commonly known as Kake, has her own nickname struggles. “Whenever teachers take attendance on the first day of school I have to mentally prepare myself for the all the questions I’m about to answer,” Trochlil said. “When I was younger I would sit there and try to explain basically my life story to them, spell out my name, or enunciate every letter as best I could,” said Trochlil. 

Whenever teachers take attendance on the first day of school I have to mentally prepare myself for the all the questions I’m about to answer.

— Kake Trochlil

Trochlil’s unique nickname is not a misspelling, as some might assume, but a result of her brother’s inability to pronounce her name at a young age, “My brother, who is almost two years older than me, couldn’t say ‘Kate’ and whenever he tried, ‘Kake’ would come out,” said Trochlil.

Oftentimes, names allude to people or places that are important to the family. For example, junior Landry Elman’s name pays homage to Tom Landry, the football coach of the 1960-1988 Dallas Cowboys. “Since I’m from Texas, football is a religion down there. My mom was—and still is—a huge Dallas Cowboys fan. When she was 12, she thought the name Landry was a fantastic name, so she promised herself that when she had a kid, be it a boy or a girl, she would name it Landry,” Elman said.

Uniquely enough, senior Sedona Brown was named after the famous red rocks in Arizona. “My grandparents have a house in Arizona and they thought Sedona, Arizona was one of the prettiest places they’ve seen, so they told my mom that should be my name. They were buying their house down in Arizona almost the exact same time my mom was about to give birth to me,” Brown said.

Finally, junior Ingrid Lundberg was named after a friend of her grandmother’s, who helped her survive World War II while she was in Germany. “One day I want to go on an ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ journey and find her,” said Lundberg.