Note: I read all comments and respond to most. --- New posts every 10 to 15 days...except when life decides to get in my way by dropping a log into my pond.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

"N" is for... What's in a Name?

What is in a name? If the meaning of a name always described the person, then everyone named Mary would be bitter, and all called Barbara would be barbaric. That cannot be all there is to a name. 

James Smithson, Smithsonian Institute
The names given to towns, streets, parks and even buildings have frequently been chosen just to recognize a certain individual or to commemorate a particular surname. Of course, this garners considerable significance for the name someone is given or born with.

Often names are chosen simply to honor someone in their family tree. My grandfathers' names were Cyril (German) and Gilbert (Danish). The first named his son, Cyril, but gave him a different middle name, disannulling him as a "Junior." 

There are 5 grandchildren in my parents' tree. Their names, from oldest to youngest, are: Christopher, Christa, Carrie, Chad and Chelsey. All "Cs" -- not planned, we didn't sit down and have a discussion about it -- it just happened that way.

My contribution to the mix was Christa. I wanted to give her some way she'd never forget Jesus Christ as she went through life. Such a simple thing to have it as part of her own name, I had thought, so that each time she wrote it she'd remember.

The names of my grandmothers were Hulda (German) and Uarda (Danish). Does anyone ever give their kids names like that anymore?! I haven't heard of this country anyway. But that doesn't mean it hasn't happened. I would think it would be a bit tough going through school with names such as those.

I'm just as guilty for thinking up an odd name, as my next choice for a girl was to be, Tapestry Rose. "That's a hippie name," my husband insisted. He didn't appreciate it like I did. I loved the meaning that was conveyed by the concept of a tapestry -- beautifully and intricately woven together -- yet as soft and supple as a rose.

I have one final thought to consider...

Be careful not to laugh too hard if you hear of someone naming their next baby, Snicklefritz, because it just might become the name of the next school, park, or even the street that your great great grandchild decides to live on ;~)


Karen Peterson said...

Names are very interesting. I especially love when people give a child a name that has some meaning, not just because they like it.

M Kathy Brown said...

Karen ~
Thanks for knocking on my door and leaving your name :~)

Julie said...

I think names are so interesting, and sometimes I've wondered if our names have any influence on our personality. I doubt it, but it's interesting to consider. I laughed about snicklefritz, cute!

M Kathy Brown said...

Julie ~
I believe we might flex our personalities just a bit to fit our name as we go through school -- but only when and if we actually *like* our name :~)

Thanks for coming by!