Understanding the Name That Names You

Remember selecting your child(ren)'s name(s)? Possibly, you have a new or dusty Book of Baby Names somewhere in your house?  Maybe, you Googled the meanings of names. Everyone seems to be curious and bombards the expectant mother with questions like: “How did you choose that name?” or “Family name?”  How about “Wow, that's a strong Bible name!”

Names are highly important as you know. It is a gift we give our children.  A possible list of sources for children's names are: #1 Bible characters (usually Samson is not popular); #2 a relative or a friend; #3 a quality the mom and dad hope the child might possess; #4 a charming characteristic of the baby or child; #5 just the wonderful sound of the name; and #6 naming babies after a place where wonderful memories are attached.

I have a childhood friend whose parents combined their two first names as a point of honor for their only child, Henri Sue. Another friend whose name is Maryann named one daughter, Deborahan.  I love the uniqueness and special bond.

At book signings, I refrain from writing children's names in a purchased book of #Ivan Becomes a Hero, until someone has written the name on a piece of paper. I have a few sample books (now) because I jumped the gun and wrote too soon. For example, should I write Sarah or Sara? See what I mean?

I did not know the meaning of my two sons’ names when I was pregnant. I chose Jason when I heard someone call out to a friend named Jason. I loved the sound of the name because it was unusual at the time and sounded strong. Later, we realized back in the 70s many parents also loved the name! When Jason was older, we discovered the meaning of his name was Healer and Michael a name passed down from my husband's father to my husband and then to our first born son has the meaning: Liken Unto God. For our second son, I had always loved the name Steven and Matthew. So after Frank was in the delivery room when Steven was born, his words were basically, “You should name him what you chose!” Yep, no pain no gain! Steven's name was legally changed when he was older to the Biblical Stephen which means Crowned One, plus Matthew – Gift of God.

Take my name for instance, Linda means Beautiful in Spanish so when people say Linda - they are saying “Beautiful!” Nice name to be called. I grew up in the South (as you know). I love Southern people, culture, and scenery. My mom must have loved the Southern name Nell. As I wrote in another blog, there were 4 or 5 Lindas in my fifth grade classroom. I was not fond of Nell as my middle name. I rarely used it preferring to ignore or hide it. My college roommate used to call me, Linda Nell -  which irritated me. But much later in life, during a life trial, I uncovered the meaning of Nell and it was humbling indeed that my mom chose to give me this mighty name. Nell means Champion/Shining Light/The Bright One. I shed a few tears at these revelations. 

My husband's name, Frank, means Free One and that describes him. My first granddaughter's name is Rachel which means Little Lamb and Moriah (Biblical). She is so tenderhearted to anyone hurting. Julia is our second granddaughter and she is named after my mother. Julia means Industrious or Youthful which both described my mom. Since a toddler, Julia's personality has been to be a helper. In kindergarten this year, she received the Good Helper Award. Her middle name is Orlit (Hebrew).  Jadon, our third grandchild means God Has Heard and Michael (as above). Their mom's name is Veronica or True Image.

My dad's name was Floyd without a middle name. I found the meaning of his name when I was older and it meant Wise One or Full of Wisdom. Honestly, my dad influenced me greatly because he was an avid listener but when he spoke it was invaluable as he had a non- judgmental heart that flowed with understanding. 

I could go on and on --- but you get the idea. I am curious to know if you feel your name relates to you.  Any stories to share even about friends or family? Hopefully, I piqued your curiosity to discover the meanings of many dear names. One thing to remember: meanings can be different depending on their ethnic origins/roots. Subconsciously, there are times I hear a name that I have researched and I wonder if that person has those qualities or characteristics. It's like a child growing into mommy or daddy's shoes... each of us is a "work in progress" as we understand the name that names you.  

Linda Rossetti Brocato/Brocato Publishing/Touching Hearts....Changing Lives  July 16, 2013 

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