So I'm in the midst of preparations for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy (AKA Frankenstorm), and I was thinking that Sandy was such an odd name for a storm that seems destined to inflict some serious damage on my area. When I hear the name Sandy, I think of Olivia Newton-John in Grease or the loveable dog in Annie. Sandy's a friendly, let's-hang-at-the-beach kind of name—not a name that means "I'm going to shove the beach into your basement."
It's most commonly a friendly nickname for Sandra, which means "defending men." Not exactly what this storm plans to do, given that it's headed for the most populous area of the country.
Apparently, some people do decide to name their kids after hurricanes and major storms—I guess figuring that might inspire their son or daughter to be a real force of nature. But it isn't like it's a big bunch of naming experts picking out the names for these storms—it's a set of meteorologists at the World Meteorological Organization who put their heads together and choose names. There are a six-year rotation of names, and they are often repeated year after year, until a named storm inflicts some real damage—like Andrew, for instance, and then the name's retired and a new one takes its place. My name, Lisa, has been on their list for a while, and is due to be recycled in 2016 again. I'd rather that it keeps hitting the rotation, rather than see it cause death and destruction.
Photo: Hurricane by Vladislav Gurfinkel / Shutterstock.com