What’s In a Name?

About 99.9% of the people that I have met have this in common, that identifies them as a human being, full of soul and value.  It is more precious than gold, silver, or platinum, or any other inanimate object. Whereas most inanimate objects remain nameless and soulless, each human being that I have ever met, that has walked on the face of this earth, has . . . a name!

Behind each name, there is a meaning, whether good, bad, or even humorous.  Names were important in ancient cultures, because they reflected the society and the environment that person was born into at the time, or their unique personality trait or traits.

Now, I see that people are often named after family members or relatives, or they are named after something or someone that the parent or parents like or admire.  Some, wanting their new child’s name to be unique, opt for a name that is over-the –top or even silly.

Though I don’t have children, I do know how it feels to be both valued and devalued. If I were to have children, and wanted to pick the best name for him or her, I would follow these three criteria so he or she would know that they are loved and valued, at least in terms of naming them:

  1. Make sure the name has meaning to you.—Take the naming process seriously. For instance, do not name your new daughter “Apple” if you don’t like apples or are not interested in the fruit at all. Make sure the name has meaning to you, as a reminder to always value your child, so that he or she will know your deep love for him or her.
  2. Make sure the name is true to the values that you would like your child to espouse.—For instance, if you place a high value on honesty, it would not be advisable to name your new son “Jacob,” which means “supplanter” or “deceiver” in the Biblical Hebrew. If you would like your child to feel loved by you always, a good name for your son may be, for example, David, which means “beloved,” or if it is a daughter, Maria, which can mean “beloved” too.
  3. Make sure the name is something that you (and/or your significant other) will both like.—For instance, do not name your child “Broccoli” if you or your significant other hates broccoli.  (I personally would NEVER name my child Broccoli, under any circumstance, even though I do like broccoli,” but that was just a theoretical example.) I would also not name your child after your  (or your significant other’s) childhood bully, or a person in you(or your significant other’s) life that you don’t like or harbor angry or resentful feelings towards.

Your name

So many people in this world feel like they are just a number or a face in the crowd. One of my friends feels that he is being treated as if he were “expendable.”  Even though many people in society may treat you as if you were replaceable, please hear me out right now:  There is only one of you with your unique strands of DNA, with your unique first, middle, and last names, and with your set of experiences and life story.  No one can be exactly who you are, and contribute your specific blessing or blessings to this hurting world. No one!

Moreover, many of you have names with deep, spiritual meanings. Some of you may not even have thought to research the meaning of your name.  However, you may be surprised, or at least, blessed to know the meaning and the story of your name.

My name, Patricia, means “noble.”  Though I often fall short, I try to live up to my name every day!

A few other name meanings:

Boys:

David= “beloved”

Matthew=”gift of God”

Gregory=”watchman”

Girls:

Sarah=”princess”

Emily=”industrious”

Sophia=”holy wisdom” (Source: https://www.behindthename.com/name/sophia)

 

If your name is meaningful to you, I would try to live up to your name value. For instance, if you are an Emily, work hard in everything you do, and if you are a David, live like you are loved, because you most likely are. Know, also, that you have intrinsic infinite value, even if you don’t know the meaning of your name.

Everyone has a story and a name. Let’s treat everyone with dignity and value because everyone is unique, and everyone has a right to be named and counted as a full, loved human being.

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9 thoughts on “What’s In a Name?

  1. I agree with you – names are an important aspect of one’s identity, almost like a declaration of who you are. My name means “thanksgiving” in the South African language Setswana, and it’s only now that I’m intentionally learning to be grateful every day 🙂

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  2. This is actually funny because my name has meaning, but no tin the conventional sense… My name is actually my mother’s name + my father’s name put together 😀 so in terms of meaning it changes a bit, but it really is unique and meaningful!

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  3. I’ve ended up choosing my own name, because I felt so uncomfortable with the one given to me. It represents a person I no longer am. It’s freeing in a way, getting to be me on my own terms.

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  4. Love this. Names are so important. We chose our sons names based on meaning. Aidan was preemie born at 26 weeks so we chose his name because it means little fire. Alijah means God is my lord. Both their middle names are Nathanial which is gift from God.

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