Chris Duggan has one of the more exciting — and dangerous — jobs in our clan. He’s a bona fide Hollywood stuntman who appears to specialize in slam-bang action work. Major film credits include Get Carter (2000), Dreamcatcher (2003) and First Wave (1998), according to his IMDB page, but he’s busier than that limited filmography lets on. Mr. Duggan wasn’t available to comment on what the life of a professional stuntperson actually involves, but we can safely assume that it’s far more exciting than whatever you or I happen to do for a living. To our man in Hollywood, we say: Stay safe, Mr. Duggan!
We’re willing to bet you’ve idly wondered where your name comes from more than once. Perhaps you’re truly fascinated by the history of your name, whether it’s Kris Duggan or a close variation thereof, or something entirely different.
Because we don’t have all day, we’ll limit this discussion to the history of the name “Kris” and close variations, such as Chris, Christopher, Kristian, Christian, Christina, and more. As it turns out — and perhaps you already suspected this — they have more in common than you might imagine.
Origins of the Name Christopher
The name Christopher dates back to Greece in the early Common Era. The original Greek name was Christophoros, which translates literally to “bearer of Christ.”
Clearly, “Christophers” weren’t around in the days of the ancient Greeks, whose heyday predates the time of Christ by several centuries. By the time the name “Christophoros” rolled around, Greece was in the process of “Christianizing” — that is, immersed in a cultural exchange that would eventually push out the old polytheistic structure and replace it with monotheistic Christianity. Saint Christopher is widely credited with popularizing the name, but there was no guarantee that it would spread at the time.
And Christian? Well, That Makes Sense
Even more so than Christopher, “Christian” is quite clearly bound up in the Christian religious tradition. Originating nearly simultaneously in various parts of Europe (though apparently with the greatest density in northern Europe and Scandinavia) during the late Middle Ages, this name was just as it sounded: a signifier that the bearer was a member of the Christian faith. It should be noted that “Kristian,” a common variation to this day, was the spelling of choice in Scandinavian precincts.
Common Variations of Christopher and Christian (As in “Chris Duggan”)
Part of what makes the study of names so interesting is accounting for the linguistic variations in common names. “Christophoros” remains uncommon beyond the Greek-speaking regions, of course, but variations on it exist in virtually every corner of the Western world. So, depending on where you’re from, you might know your fellow “Christophoroses” as:
- Christoph (Germany)
- Cristofor (Romania)
- Christophe (France)
- Kristof (Dutch)
- Kristoffer (Sweden, Norway, Denmark)
The same goes “Christian” (often spelled “Kristian,” as we noted) and “Christina”:
- Cristian and Cristina (Spain, Italy, Portugal, and other countries)
- Cristiona (Ireland)
- Kristina (Sweden)
And, of course, these names often exist in shortened form. (See: Kris Duggan.) In some countries, Cristinas or Christinas are more commonly known as Cris or Cristi; ditto for Christophers and Kristophers (Chris and Kris, respectively).
Names Are Funny Things
Well, that just about wraps our discussion of the origins of the name(s) that may or may not have brought you to this website today. We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about where your own name comes from. If you’re not a member of the extended Kris/Chris/Cris family, we encourage you to learn more about your own name’s history and meaning. You might discover something you never knew about yourself.
If you’re reading this, fellow Kris Duggan, you know what it’s like to share a name in common. But what if your name-ganger (like doppelganger, but for names) happens to be someone more famous than yourself?
Must you be consigned to a life lived in the shadow of a fairer, better-known person? Or is it within your abilities to turn this association to your advantage and embrace the awesome power of name recognition?
Our bets are on the latter. Here are some ideas to make the most of your name association with a celebrity name-ganger — past or present.
Get to Know Your Famous Name-ganger Better
Under ordinary circumstances, the person with whom you share a full name may not be someone to whom you’d pay any special attention. But these aren’t ordinary circumstances.
Read up on your name-ganger; Wikipedia is a good start, but probably should not be your only resource. Learn more about their background, what they’re famous for, their lifestyle, and any extracurricular activities or causes for which they’re known.
Figure Out How Popular (And Likable) They Really Are
Tease out how popular this person really is. Not every famous person is equally well-liked or well-regarded. In certain domains, such as politics and sports, you’ll find characters that “enjoy” near-universal revulsion.
Elsewhere, it’s just as common to find public figures with remarkably high “Q” scores — a key measure of personal likability used in show business. How well your name-ganger comes off is important to your treatment of the association.
Identify at Least One Thing You Do Better Than Them
Next, turn the tables on your name-ganger by identifying at least one thing you do better than them and emphasizing this difference in your personal branding. Since you’re unlikely to work in the same profession as your name-ganger, this could be as easy as calling yourself a better lawyer or nurse or economist than whatever start of the screen or page or stage you happen to share a name with.
Call Them Out by Name, But Know Where the Line Lies
While we’ve thus far assumed that it’s best to lean into your name association with a particular famous person, it’s important not to take things too far. You don’t want a good-natured running joke to turn into fodder for a lawsuit. Above all else, be respectful of your name-ganger’s privacy and humanity, just as you’d prefer them to be of yours.
Keep Your Head Up — It’s Yours, After All
In the end, you are your own Kris Duggan (or whatever your name happens to be). No one can take that away from you, not even the far more famous person with whom you happen to share a first and last name.
The last thing you want to do is permit an inferiority complex to take root. Sure, you might never be as well-known as your name-ganger, but you still have much to be proud of. Name recognition isn’t the only measure of personal or professional success.
So, while it’s perfectly acceptable to lean into your celebrity association, you should resist allowing that association to define you. There’s so much more to your story than a mere accident of birth.
Do you share a name with a famous person? How do you handle the burden?
Mr. Kris Duggan hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment’s largest city. Living in the shadow of the Sandia Mountains, he’s privy to some of the Lower 48’s most dramatic scenery and weather conditions. No wonder, then, that he’s an avid photographer who specializes in sunset and night sky scenes.
Our resident Albuquerque Kris Duggan has plenty of other interests, too. When he’s not waiting for the golden hour or hiking uphill for a clearer view of the night sky, you can find him taking a University of New Mexico basketball game (go Lobos!) or spending time with his beloved family.