I was looking forward to a nice Labor Day holiday weekend.
I was looking forward to a nice Labor Day holiday weekend. I had tickets to the East Carolina football game. I had burgers and dogs for the grill. I had golf balls to lose. I had a beach chair in the car.
But then came Hermine. Yes, that Hermine. That pesky little tropical storm that set out to ruin my three-day weekend.
Well, Hermine didn’t have too much of an impact — except the more than 5 inches of rain. I managed to get to the East Carolina game, where we had to endure one last shower before East Carolina stormed (Get it? I’m such a wordsmith) past Western Carolina 52-7.
But throughout this tropical storm, I had one burning question. And, it had nothing to do with the amount of beer I had in the refrigerator to get me through it.
I couldn’t help but wonder what the heck kind of a name is Hermine.
I heard various pronunciations of the name. Was it Her-Mean, was it Her-Mine-y or was it Her-Mine?
Turns out, Her-Mine is correct. Don’t ask me why. That’s what the hurricane specialists on the Weather Channel called it, and well, they’re “specialists” so they must be right. Also, don’t ask me how one becomes a hurricane specialist. I’m guessing it’s because they can pronounce all the hurricane names properly.
But still, Hermine? How many Hermines does anyone know? I’ve been on this earth 50 years, and I must say that not once have I ever encountered anyone with the name Hermine.
I’m not making fun of the name (that will come later). I’m just saying I’ve never met a Hermine.
So, I decided I would look up the name, and thanks to Al Gore and the Internet, I found www.behindthename.com.
It lists Hermine as a German and French name that is the female equivalent to Herman. (By the way, I have met a Herman.)
And, it’s the 87th most popular name in Norway. (For those who don’t know, Norway is a Scandinavian country in northern Europe, so I’m pretty sure Hermine translated in English means cold and boring.)
But thanks to Behind the Name, I did find an interesting tidbit. The name was once popular in the United States, well if peaking at .009 percent in 1894 is considered popular.
But apparently they don’t even like the name in Norway as much, as its usage peaked at No. 66 in 2012 but is now on a downward spiral.
Maybe because it made the list of hurricane names.
Of course, some hurricane names are popular ones such as Danielle, Alex. Matthew and Nicole.
Others are not so popular, such as Gaston, Otto, Shary and Tobias.
It’s like the high school lunch table all over again where the popular hurricanes with their nice looks and fancy cars all sit together and the others are outcasts with their no-name clothing brands, crooked teeth and pimply faces — not that I know anything about that.
The World Meteorological Organization is responsible for the names of hurricanes. Translated, I think the World Meteorological Organization means cold and boring.
Either way, the group creates a list of storm names on a six-year rotation. Yep, that’s right. So, if you stick around until 2022, Hermine is going to come back around, and that means even more people will be wondering what the heck a Hermine is.
You don’t have to wonder what Kenneth is. After all, in 2011, Hurricane Kenneth was the most powerful November hurricane ever recorded in the eastern Pacific Ocean, according to AccuWeather. Six years earlier (remember that rotation) in 2005, a Hurricane Kenneth also became a major hurricane and lasted 15 days before fading just as it approached Hawaii.
So I think we all know what Kenneth means — either strong and powerful, or quite the blowhard. You take your pick.
Ken Buday is the editor and general manager of the Havelock News. He can be reached at 635-5673 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.