Discussion Questions about Names

Names are not mere labels; they carry profound meanings that often reflect cultural, historical, or familial significance.

Names can be windows into cultural traditions, religious affiliations, or even the circumstances surrounding a person’s birth.

Do you know what your name means?, do you like your name?, would you like to change your name?

Have a look at the following list of ESL conversation questions about names.

Name Preferences and Opinions

  1. What’s the most beautiful girl’s name you’ve heard?
  2. What’s the best boy’s name you’ve heard?
  3. Are there any names you absolutely hate? If so, what are they, and why do you hate them?
  4. Do you think names shape our personality? To what degree?
  5. Some parents give their children names in alphabetical order. Do you think this is a good idea?
  6. What do you think of parents who make up unique names for their children?

Personal Name Details

  1. How did your parents choose your name?
  2. Are you happy with your name? If not, why not?
  3. Does your name have a meaning? If so, what does it mean?
  4. Do you have a middle name? What is it?
  5. In your culture, when you introduce yourself, does the last name come first or the first name?
  6. Do you have a nickname? If so, what is it? How did you get it, and do you like it?

Name and Relationships

  1. What was the name of your first girlfriend or boyfriend?
  2. Have you ever dated two different people with the same first name?
  3. Do women change their name after marriage in your country, or do they keep their maiden name?
  4. How did you choose your children’s names?
  5. Are you named after anyone in your family?
  6. Do you feel pressure to live up to your name?

Cultural and Societal Perspectives

  1. What do you think of people who name their children after months, seasons, or days of the week?
  2. Is it common in your country to name a person after a person in the Bible?
  3. Do you know some names that can be a boy’s or a girl’s name?
  4. Can you name some notorious people or criminals?

Entertainment Favorites

  1. What’s the name of your favorite singer?
  2. What’s the name of your favorite character from a story you’ve read?
  3. What’s the name of your favorite writer?
  4. What’s the name of your favorite novel?
  5. What’s the name of your favorite restaurant?
  6. What’s the name of your favorite television show?

Name Changes and Preferences

  1. Have you ever changed your name?
  2. Do you have names in two different languages? If not, would you like to?
  3. If you could change your name, would you? What would it be, and why this name?
  4. Do you wish your name was less common or more unusual?
  5. Have you ever known a boy that has a “girl’s name” or a boy that had a “girl’s name”? What was it like for them?

Manuel Campos, English Professor

Manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of EnglishPost.org, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English