January 12, 2008

What's in a name?

What's in a name? A question you have all heard before, I am sure, and one we rarely pay attention to. But sometimes, what's behind the name, can be rather interesting.
Names can mean all sorts of different things. For example, we know that Michael means "Who is like the Lord", Gabriel means "strength of God", and Raphael means "healer of God". It is an interesting note that in Hebrew the 'el' at the end of each of those names means "God". This was pointed out to us by Fr. AriEL (Emphasis added). His name means "Lion of God". (And it fits him!) My middle name ELizabeth (emphasis mine) means "Consecrated to God".
But what is more interesting than the meanings of names, is when they fit the bearer. For example....
Amanda means "worthy of love", which fits me (I think) because of my sanguine personality. (Sanguine people are fun-loving, affectionate, light-hearted people, more on that later!) Of course, since it is my name, I am now asking Your opinion on how well you think it fits me. (See the comment box below! :)
For those of you who have read the books "The Shadow of the Bear" or "Black as Night" by Catholic author Regina Doman, you will be familiar with the character named "Bear". You will also know that his real name is Arthur. But how many of you knew that "Arthur" is Old English/Celt for "bear-man"?
Other names....
He he... Frodo means "wise". I suppose he was.
One of my favorite names, Robert, means "bright fame", and that certainly fits one bearer of the name, Robert E. Lee, who was one of the most famous men of the Civil War and the Mexican War. (Well, in the Mexican War he was famous in the army. I don't think the rest of the world saw him as very famous.)
Susie Lloyd, author of "Please Don't Drink the Holy Water!" has some interesting things to say about names...
The tendency to bequeath to your kid a name expressive of all your aspirations is nothing new, however. My research show that it dates all the way back to the Old Testament... Time and again we see Old testament women getting carried away with joy as they give their sons canticle-size names such as , " God Has Seen Fit to Remove My Reproach From Among Men Thereby Granting Me a Son in Whom Rest All My Newfound Hopes of Never Having to Be Left Out of Another Mothers of Future Patriarchs and Prophets Meeting" (which translates to "Dan").
I always wondered how kids with names like that managed to have normal childhoods. Imagine a neighbor from the next tent down coming to the door. "Mrs Abraham, can God Has Heard the Cries of His Handmaiden and Granted Me a Son in My Old Age come out to play?"
... Protestants tend to go biblical... For Catholics however, the sky's the limit. But this has problems of its own.
"Benedict Francis Pio! You get that cat out of the dishwasher!"
"You just wait until your father comes home "Miss Regina Caeli!"
"Jerome Athanasius, how many times have I told you not to pick your nose?"...
By far, the avid papists have the hardest time administering discipline. How can you yell at somebody named John Paul?

So, if you are curious about what your name means, Behind the Name.com is a great place to start. (I have a link for it around here somewhere...) Let me know what your name means and how it fits you. If it doesn't, let me know how it doesn't.

Leave a footnote!


  1. At long last you've posted something for me to read while I am sitting here in pain ;-)

    Actually, wisdom tooth extraction was kinda fun - or at least interesting!

    See ya later!

  2. Hello, Amanda!
    I don't mind at all if you post Three Blind Mice, and Row Your Boat, or the lyrics to Rose of Bethlehem!
    Thanks for asking!
    Have a blessed day!

  3. miss fishy/little bearJanuary 12, 2008 at 12:46 PM

    Great post, Amanda!!! Especially because I needed a laugh right now (more tonight!)...
    Btw, my personality test for the Fairytale Novels came out:
    52% Bear
    49% Blanche
    48% Rose
    46% Fish

    So I am actually a lot of bear (instead of little bear) =)
    Also, what did you answer for your last question? (the snow, water, tree, roses one)
    See you tonight!

    Orange ruffy
    or do you prefer butterfly fishy???

  4. true image/bringer of victoryJanuary 12, 2008 at 12:51 PM

    I forgot...
    My name means "Vera Icon" true image. also...
    "Latin form of BERENICE, the spelling influenced by the ecclesiastical Latin phrase vera icon meaning "true image". This was the name of a legendary saint who wiped Jesus's face with a towel and then found his image imprinted upon it."
    Berenice means "bringing victory"...interesting, huh!

  5. Miss Fishy, I am... (drum roll please!)

    65% Rose (But we all knew that!)
    50% Blanche (not surprised she's 2nd)
    44% Fish (the sarcastic and intillectuall part of me!)
    41% Bear (never could relate as well to him.)

    I ansered "roses". How 'bout you?

    Don't you ever call yourself an orange ruffy or I'll... disown you!

  6. fits me sometimes.means generous.

    "worthy of love" it fits you sometimes.

  7. My first name is a Wlsh pet form of some other name.

  8. My personality test for the Fairytales Novels came out as:
    47% Bear
    43% Blanche
    37% Fish
    23% Rose
    I am more bear than than I am of a fish or a rose. I answered my last question "water."


Welcome, and thank you for taking a few minutes to share your thoughts with me! I do love reading all and any comments. =] Please note that I do moderate, and any comments that do not meet with my standards and approval will be deleted. Thank you!