Saturday, October 17, 2020

Examples Of Names & Name Meanings From The Trending Hashtag "#MyNameIs" Which Was Created In Response To David Perdue Mocking Kamala Harris' Name

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post documents selected tweets from the trending "#MyNameIs" hashtag (October 17, 2020).

As background to those tweets, this post also provides an excerpt from a news article about Republican Senator David Perdue (Georgia) mocking Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris' name.

The  content of this post is presented for onomastic and political purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the creators of this hashtag.
and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

In the post that I originally published, I wrote that lawyer and author Meena Harris, Kamala Harris' niece, was the creator of this twitter hashtag. That was incorrect. According to this article, , that viral hashtag was created by the Biden/Harris campaign's Asian-American group. 

I sincerely apologize for this error.

From "
People Of Color Are Sharing The Meaning Behind Their Names After A GOP Senator Mocked Kamala Harris's Name"

"Learn how to say peoples' names correctly. It's part of their identity and doing so is a basic form of respect."

 by Clarissa-Jan Lim, October 17, 2020

"Georgia senator David Perdue is facing backlash for mockingly mispronouncing Sen. Kamala Harris's name at a Trump campaign rally on Friday, with many calling his remarks racist.

 "Ka-MAL-a, Ka-MAL-a or Kamala, Kamala, Ka-mala, -mala, -mala, I don't know, whatever," Perdue said as the crowd in Macon, Georgia, burst into cheers and laughter before he introduced President Trump.

That moment from his speech instantly went viral, and it was widely criticized on social media.

Perdue's communications director, John Burke, tweeted that the senator "simply mispronounced" Harris's name "and he didn't mean anything by it."

But many expressed doubt that Perdue would mispronounce the name of a colleague who sits on the Senate Budget Committee with him, and has served alongside the Republican lawmaker in the US Senate for years.

Versha Sharma


Imagine if your coworker of nearly 4 years did this to you

 Perdue and Kamala Harris have served in the Senate together for that long. The disrespect is intentional

Jon Ossoff


 US Senate candidate, GA

My opponent, GOP Sen. David Perdue of anti-Semitic attack ad infamy, just mocked Sen. Harris' name as "Kamala-mala-mala-whatever" at a Trump rally.


We are so much better than this.
This article includes a video clip of Perdue mocking Kamala Harris' name. Here's a link to a YouTube  video of that incident:

Senator Perdue's campaign spokesperson said that his mispronouncing Kamala Harris name  "didn't mean anything".

From "There's a reason Republicans are pretending they don’t know how to say Kamala Harris’ name"
by Jessica Sutherland, October 17, 2020
"Comma-la.” That is how you say Sen. Kamala Harris’ name. She says it correctly every time she introduces herself. The media gets it right, mostly. Yet because she’s Black, because she’s Indian, because she’s a woman, and because she’s a Democrat about to be vice president, Republicans are making a point to mispronounce her name, all in the hopes of knocking her down a few pegs through the petty act of othering."... 

This compilation of tweets from that hashtag were posted by People Of Color who share the origin and meaning of their names which aren't commonly found in the United States.

Some of these tweets are from elected officials or people who are running for office. A number of those tweets also include political statements in support of Kamala Harris and Joe Biden and against David Perdue and Donald Trump. 

Although they aren't included in this compilation, this hashtag also includes a few tweets from People of Color and from White people who shared the meanings of names that are commonly found in the United States. Also not included in this compilation are a few tweets from White people with names that are uncommon in the United States.

Numbers are added to this compilation for referencing purposes only.

1. Meena Harris


#MyNameIs Meenakshi. I'm named after the Hindu goddess, as well as my great great grandmother. I come from a long line of strong women who taught me to be proud of my heritage and to demand respect—especially from racist white men like @sendavidperdue who are threatened by us."

2. Preet Bharara


#MyNameIs Preet, which means love.

3.  Michelle Kwan


#MyNameIs Michelle Wing Kwan & in Chinese pinyin it's pronounced Guan Ying Shan. It means beautiful, strong and smart. What's not beautiful, strong or smart is mocking ppl for their 'foreign sounding' names. Join me in voting for



 instead #Iwillvote

4. Ilhan Omar


US House candidate, MN-5

#MyNameIs Ilham, I prefer Ilhan. I never liked the M sound. It means “Inspiration” in Arabic. My father named me Ilham and inspired me to lead a life of service to others. 

In his honor I am voting for an inspirational ticket over desperate and maddening one.

5.Ro Khanna


US House candidate, CA-17

#MyNameIs Rohit, and my friends call me Ro. It means bright light in Sanskrit. This election, #IWillVote for an inclusive America by voting for @joebiden & @kamalaharris

6. Ted Lieu


US House candidate, CA-33

#MyNameIs Ted W. Lieu. The “W” is short for “Win-Ping” which in Mandarin means Cloud of Peace.

Also, make sure you vote. And if you are voting by mail, don’t forget the stupid secrecy envelope if your state requires it.  

Ayanna Pressley


US House candidate, MA-7

#MyNameIs Ayanna Soyini Pressley. My mother, may she rest in power, gave me this name which means beautiful flower in Swahili. She told me I’d make history and the world would learn how to say it right.

8. Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta


#MyNameIs Malcolm Kenyatta. My father named me to honor the legacy of two giants in the black diaspora: Malcolm X and Jomo Kenyatta. @sendavidperdue might not care, but my name reminds me everyday the systems of discrimination we must uproot...

9. Symone D. Sanders


#MyNameIs Symone, which means “to be heard” and since 1989 I’ve been speaking truth to power. I truly believe my vote is my voice <— not a joke! That’s why I am fired up and #IWillVote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. We can do this y’all! Now is the time to be heard!! [Raised fist emoji]

10. Be A King


#MyNameIs Bernice, which means “bringer of victory.”

11. BrooklynDad_Defiant!


#MyNameIs Majid M. Padellan. Majid means "glorious" in Arabic. It is a Muslim name that I didn't really appreciate as a kid, because people couldn't pronounce it and teased me about it.

On November 3rd, we'll vote out the nasty, moronic racists and enjoy a GLORIOUS win.

12. Gautam Raghavan


My great grandmother’s name was Kamala. Not “Kamala-mala-mala, I don’t know, whatever.”

#MyNameIs Gautam. It means bright light. The kind of bright light a Biden-Harris Administration will represent. And that is why #IWillVote.

Join me & make a plan at

13. Jeff Yang


#MyNameIs Jeff, the closest my parents could get to my Chinese name, 致和—pronounced “Chih-Ho.” Kids who learned my Chinese name called me Cheeto anyway.




 think they can get away with playground racism at @KamalaHarris

 They won’t.


14. Zara Ahmed, DrPH


#MyNameIs Zara. My parents spent a lot of time and energy picking out a name that would be easily pronounceable for non-Indian people. But they shouldn’t have had to do that. It shouldn’t be on POC to shave off pieces of our culture to make life easier for white people.

15. Bee Nguyen Honeybee


#MyNameIs Nguyen. I pronounce it “WIN.” Nguyen stems from the Chinese word “ruan” — a string instrument that is plucked. According to the 2010 Census, it’s the 37th most common surname in the U.S. It’s even on a coke bottle!





 on a bottle?

16. Shekar Narasimhan


#MyNameIs Shekar Narasimhan which means a Hindu god who represents a half man-half lion. Exhibits courage and humanity. My son’s name was Sidarth to symbolize Gautama Buddha, the enlightened One. We are proud Americans and can pronounce others names correctly.

Quote Tweet

Shekar Narasimhan


My son S.R. Sidarth was called a name on August 11, 2006 by a sitting Senator named George Allen. That did not end well for him and this will not end well for this Senator named David Perdue. Please support @JonOssoff so he can retire him.

@JoeBiden @KamalaHarris @RohiniKos…


17. Qasim Rashid for Congress


US House candidate, VA-1

#MyNameIs Qasim. It rhymes w/Awesome.

Qasim means 'one who distributes' & 'generous' & 'handsome' in Arabic.

I'm an immigrant to America & the Democratic nominee for US Congress. And when we win in 17 days, I'll be the first Pakistani American in US history elected to Congress.

18. Shaun Jayachandran


#MyNameIs Shaun Deepak Jayachandran. My first name means God is Gracious, middle name means lamp, and my last name means Victory Moon. Our names matter. They have meaning and beauty. So, when a Republican Senator mocks and mispronounces the name of Kamala Harris – 1/2
I can't find the 2nd part of this tweet, but I can imagine what it would say.

19. Chung Seto


#MyNameIs Chung - 仲菁. My paternal grandma named me. Along with my given name it means “the best.” Our names matter. So, when a Republican Senator mocks & mispronounces the name of


 – his colleague of four years – we have only one option: Vote. Them. Out. #iWillVote

20. Shasti Conrad


#Mynameis Shasti, she is the Goddess of children in ancient Hinduism. My (adoptive) mom gave it to me when I arrived from India. To leave India, I had to have an Indian name on my birth certificate so I knew where I came from. I love my name and you will say it right.

21. Deepa Sharma Scales


#MyNameIs Deepa. I was named by my Bade Papa, our paternal grandfather. It means ‘light’, and was given to me because I was born on Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights.

22. Sree Sreenivasan


#MyNameIs Sreenath Sreenivasan. Little white boys used to make fun of my name when I arrived in NYC as a kid. Now, a Republican Senator mocks the name of


. Go to to make a plan to cast your vote for leaders who respect our values. #iWillVote

23. Subodh Chandra


#MyNameIs Subodh. Means good knowledge. My parents named me that, valuing education. So I worked hard. Our names—w/ meaning & beauty—matter.



@KamalaHarris' name; we must vote 'em out. #IWillVote for leaders who respect our values & names:

24. Curtis Chin


#MyNameIs Curtis. When my mom was growing up in Hong Kong, her favorite film was the American comedy Some Like It Hot starring actor Tony Curtis. Basically she named me after the worst drag performance ever. Mocking drag queens is wrong. So is mocking Kamala’s name. #iwillvote

25. Pin Young


#MyNameIs Pin. 賓 means "honored guest." My aunt came up with the name because we are merely guests of this world.

My name is not Ping Pong, as a racist tRumper called me the other day. The @GOP finds racist behavior like this acceptable. Vote Blue to stop racism.

26. Dr Sushmi Chakraborty, MD


#MyNameIs Sushmi. It means beautiful smile. My last name (though phonetic) is a struggle for many of my patients. But I come from a lineage that I'm damn proud of so "Dr C" isn't gonna cut it.

27. Mansi Patel


#MyNameis Mansi. It means from the mind. In western thought, the mind is associated with thought and the organ associated with it is the brain, and in eastern philosophy, the organ associated with the mind is the heart.


Proud to support #Kamala, who has both."

28. CC - Flip the Senate, Reform the Court Statue of libertyMicroscopeDNA


My name in Gujarati means someone who eases worry. I come from a line of strong kick-ass women. My grandmom was a freedom fighter and created a women's org. And my mom left her whole life behind in India to create a new life for me. I am so proud of my heritage. 

29. Ling Luo


#MyNameIs Ling, in Chinese, means beautiful sound of jade! My parents cherished me of a valuable and sound life. I extended to be a singer received numerous awards when young, now a big voice advocating AAPI community in democratic political involvement! #IWillVote. #VoteDemocrat

30. Maulik Pancholy


#MyNameIs Maulik. In Sanskrit it means "Original." In Hindi, "Precious." My grandfather said it's the "origin of thought" - the unknown place from which ideas spring forth.

I won't stand for the mocking of

@KamalaHarris' name.  #IWillVote #BidenHarris2020

31. Bo Ren


#MyNameIs Bo. The Chinese character铂 means white gold SparklesMy dad named me after a semiprecious semiconductor on his circuit board. In Kindergarten I refused to pick an Anglo name after we immigrated to Michigan bc I was proud of my heritage and I loved Bo Jackson. #BoKnows

32. LaVidaLopa


#MyNameIs Lopa, a shorter form of the name Lopamudra who was a wise, female philosopher in ancient Vedic Indian literature who contributed to the hymns of the Vedas. The strength I find in my name is something a racist like @sendavidperdue will never understand!

33. Nikita Srivastava


#MyNameIs Nikita. It means warmth, kindness and unconquerable. My parents immigrated from India to make sure their future family could have every opportunity to grow. I can’t wait to vote for ally,

@JoeBiden, and our first South-Asian and Black woman VP, @KamalaHarris


34. Madalene Mielke


#MyNameIs Madalene Xuan-Trang Mielke & my middle name means “beautiful spring” in Vietnamese. My last name is German & is equally challenging to pronounce. Learning to say people’s names correctly is a sign of respect.

35. Chung Seto


#MyNameIs Chung - 仲菁. My paternal grandma named me. Along with my given name it means “the best.” Our names matter. So, when a Republican Senator mocks & mispronounces the name of @KamalaHarris – his colleague of four years – we have only one option: Vote. Them. Out. #iWillVote

36. Anjana


#MyNameIs Anjana. Sometimes I go by AJ cuz I’m afraid that if the powerful White man can’t pronounce my name, I won’t be considered important. But Un-juh-na is the name of the bold & brave Goddess mother of Lord Hanuman, so I work on being the bold Anjana that deserves to be seen

37. Danya Rafiqi


#MyNameIs Danya Rafiqi. That’s Dawn-yuh as in a tree branch abundant with blessed fruit in Heaven as described in the Quran, and Ruh-Fee-Key, no not like Lion King, like my Grandfather who wanted his children and grandchildren to chase their dreams and never look back.



#MyNameIs Shehn, which means falcon. I was named for Guru Gobind Singh’s pet falcon, and the honor, courage, and strength he embodied in the face of adversity. My community and I are stronger and more courageous than the racism thrown at us and we use our voice to vote you out.

39.Anjali Mehrotra


#MyNameIs Anjali - It means "divine offering" in Sanskrit. Also cupping of hands in greeting across the subcontinent. These are American names now. #OurNamesMatter. Our families matter. Join me in voting for Biden/Harris ticket that reflects America. Go to

40. Mallika Chopra


#MyNameIs Mallika. It means Queen of Flowers. In Sanskrit, jasmine. In Urdu, queen. Some of my Muslim, African & African American brothers & sisters share names  Malik, Maliq, Maleeka. I, Mallika, voted today. Join me & visit to make your plan. #IWillVote

41. Paurvi Bhatt


#MyNameIs Paurvi (it’s pronounced “pour-vee” or “poh-ravi”. Not poorvee or Polly).   My nickname is “Dipti”   Together- my names mean Light from the East. My parents waited for the stars to signal the best names for a powerful woman.   #KamalaHarris VOTE. 

42. Krishna Upadhya MD, MPH


#MyNameIs Krishna and I go by Krishna, not Kris or Christina and not “Hairy Krishna” though I have been called all of those. My parents named me after my dad’s beloved younger sister who is an accomplished professor of geography, mother and grandmother [emoji of the Flag of Nepal] #KamalaHarris #VOTE

43. Roshan Mody


#MyNameIs Roshan. It is a Parsi name that means light where there is darkness.  My grandmother chose that name for the first family member to be born in America. That name rendered me the subject of racism and bigotry my entire life. And I could not be more proud to have it.

44. Aishwarya Arjunan, MS, MPH, CGC,CPH (she/her/hers)


#MyNameIs Aishwarya and it means wealth and prosperity. It's also an avatar  of the Goddess Lakshmi. It's ridiculous & callous to see someone that calls themselves a leader & a representative of the people to be so tasteless & rude. Vote THEM out! 


45. Eaman Fahmy


#MyNameIs Eaman.  Ee/maan. It’s Arabic for faith. When I was young I longed for a “regular” name, wishing I could find my name on mugs & keychains. Now I love it b/c my faith is central to who I am and what I hold dear. It is the driving force behind my activism & community work.



#MyNameIs Viễndi, and it's Vietnamese in origin. My mom wanted a name both Vietnamese & English. Means something like "far from home." 99% of people I know don't pronounce it right, but schools and friends had been saying it like ven-dee for so long I couldn't correct them.

47. Seema Nanda


#MyNameIs Seema, which means "limit."  It's ok (but hard) to mispronounce my name, but mocking an Indian name in 2020 is just as wrong as it was in 2006 (remember when George Allen called a Sen. Webb staffer macaca and welcomed him to America?).  Vote. Them. Out.

48. Dr. Raj Panjabi


#MyNameIs Rajesh (pronounced “Raa-jay-sh”) and it means “ruler of kings.” Maybe it’s ironic, but I’m proud to be an American because our freedom, our nation, our democracy, was born from fighting against the rule of kings

49. Dr. Raj Panjabi


...and #MyNameIs Panjabi, or people of the Punjab: the land of five rivers.

Punjab was the cradle of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization — the people who brought us the system of numbers, like the ones we will use to count votes in this election.

50. Vanita Gupta


#MyNameIs Vanita, which means beloved woman.

51. Tala Ashe


#MyNameIs Talayeh. It means “pioneer” in Persian & comes from the Shahnameh. I have felt my share of Othering & racism by people like


. I will be voting for




 because I know we are a nation of immigrants & I am proud to be one.

52. Abdul El-Sayed, MD, DPhil


#MyNameIs Abdulrahman. It means “devotee of The Most Merciful.” It reminds me how important mercy is in this world.


For a long time, I thought it meant I couldn’t run for office.


Then I did. Because my name is as American as apple pie...and baklawa.

53. Nabilah Islam


#Mynameis Nabilah and it means noble in Arabic. Bullies like @sendavidperdue

 are not new, they butcher our names to makes us feel small & to make us feel like an other.

Nabilah is an American name and so is Kamala’s.

54. Daniel Dae Kim


#MyNameIs Daniel Dae Hyun Kim, or in Korean, 김대현. It means “great and powerful one.” My name is not “Macaca” or “Kung Flu.”



, her name is not “Kamala Mala Mala I Don’t Know Whatever.” #Respect. One more reason to vote for




55. Ayodele (You’re Still On Mute) Okeowo


#mynameis Ayodele. my dad's name is Ayodele. my granddad's name was Ayodele. Ayodele means 'joy has come home' in Yoruba. let's allow joy to come home in 17 days & restart the work of building an America for the many.




57. Asian Americans for Biden


We can all relate to this kind of backhanded racism—which is still racism and wrong. KAMALA means Lotus Flower in Sanskrit. Our names have meanings. We matter. Joe and Kamala care. #mynameis #iwillvote



#MyNameIs Emiko. I’m named after my Aunt and it means Smiling Child. I started going my “Miko” in college because I was tired of hearing it mispronounced. I’m proud of my heritage. I’m excited to vote for




 because they respect diversity.

59. Chris Lu


#MyNameIs Chris, but my middle name is Pey-Ning. In Chinese, it means abundance of peace. It's the kind of peace we'll all feel with Joe Biden as president

This country belongs as much to me, @KamalaHarris  and every kid with an ethnic name - as it does to David Perdue

60. Aftab Pureval


#MyNameIs Aftab. It means sunshine. In one generation, my parents have gone from immigrating to this country to watching their son serve as an elected official.

I can’t wait to vote for @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris because they value diversity and believe in our American story

Wagatwe Wan-spooky 👻 🇰🇪 🇧🇸


#MyNameIs Wagatwe. It means leader. I'm named after my grandmother and I insist people know and say my full first name: it's not just about respecting me, but respecting her and my ancestors.

It's three syllables. It's really not hard if you actually try to say it.

[Here's one more tweet from that hashtag that were added on October 18, 2020]

62. Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu


#MyNameIs Adeşola shortened to Sola which I prefer to spell as Shola because the 'ş' is the 'sh' sound. I love my name✊

In Yoruba it means 'crowned with wealth' or 'this crown makes wealth' as my father explained to me

Our names matter - Say. My. Name.

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Visitor comments are welcome.


  1. Here's information about how I got my African name "Azizi"
    How I Got My African Name
    Written by Azizi Powell

    Note: I wrote this post on January 22, 2005 as part of this thread on the Folk & Blues discussion forum How did you choose your mudcat name? This post is presented without any corrections, additions, or updating.

    In the late 1960s [1967-1969] I was a member of a organization that focused on African culture. Like other members of that group, I wanted an African personal name. My male friend at that time, Zayd, said he would give me an African name. And because I just loved loved loved him, I said I would accept the name that he selected. So out of the kindness of his soon to be cheatin heart, Zayd gave me a choice of two names-either "Aziza": Arabic for "one who is rare & precious" or "Azizi": Kiswahili with the same meaning.

    Back in those days {and now} a lot of female names given to African Americans from the Arabic language and other language sources {as well as names which are creatively 'made up'} end with the 'ah" sound, names like "Keisha", "Maisha", "Malika", "Fatimah", "Kadisha", "Aaliyah". I liked the idea of "Azizi" because it sounded more unique.

    But in those days {and still today} there was also a brand of makeup called "Aziza". The REAL reason why I choose 'Azizi' instead of 'Aziza' is that I didn't want to give somebody the opportunity to look at me and say "Aziza, you forgot your make-up, girl."

    So I've been 'Azizi' now for 37 years-and I try to live up to that name with or without wearing makeup."

    -Azizi Powell

    1. Here's an excerpt of a comment that I added to that 2011 pancocojams post's discussion thread on September 1, 2011

      "In the late 1960s and the 1970s, afro-centric African Americans referred to our biological personal names & biological and married surnames (last names) as "slave names" if those names were of European or Hebrew origin. And we referred to the Arabic or traditional African language names that we choose or were given as "free names". Usually people just chose or were given an African/Arabic first name, and kept their biological or married last name. That's what I did.

      Most of the people I know don't know my "real" first name (I'm not tellin' lol). The name "Azizi" is very real to me, but I've never legally changed it. I introduce myself using that name, and friends have sometimes shortened it to "Z". I'm retired now, but when I worked I asked people to call me "Azizi", saying that that is my "nickname". I just found that it was easier to do that then to get into this explanation (for White people). Sometimes I'm asked if I am Muslim, and I respond that I'm not nor have I ever been (not that there's anything wrong with being Muslim).

      My former husband & I named our children African frst and middle names. One son's first name is Yoruba, the other son's first name is a shortened form of a Yoruba name, and my daughter's first name is a blend of part of my name and part of my then husband's "free name". I consider her name to be African too, although it's not traditional African. I'm basing that on the position that African Americans are an African people]"...