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"?
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.
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