Monday, March 14, 2011


Today, names are like labels. Want to invent something? Name it. Just discovered something? Name it. Wanna know how to call someone? Name them.

Personally, I LOVE names. They're one of my long-time obsessions. {...*adds it to sidebar list*} I love naming things, and I love making up names. But I got to thinking about it, and names shouldn't be like labels. A long time ago, they weren't. Names were something intimate and almost destiny-shaping. Names used to MEAN something.

In Ghana, the first part of a kid's name depended on the day he was born.

In Nigeria, kids were given 3 names: first, a name that relates to the family's circumstances. Second, an attribute the kid is hoped to have. Third, a family name.

In Hispanic countries, kids used to be named according to which saint's day they were born on.

In ancient Hebrew times, kids were just simply named something meaningful.

Wouldn't it be cool if it were still like that? You'd tell someone your name was Sarah, and they'd automatically know that meant "princess." Or maybe a baby was conceived in Hawaii, so the parents name it Innis, which means "island." Or say you want your child to be brave, so you name him Drystan, meaning "bold."

Then there's the downside, though. I mean, some names have awesome meanings, but sound...awful. Like Kuonrat {"bold counsel"}. Or Leofwine {"dear friend"}.

But still. Wouldn't it be cool to live in a name-oriented culture, where names are meaningful and intentional? I think it'd make everyone feel special to be named for a real reason. It would almost feel like people were "worth more." Haha, isn't that a totally twisted thought?

I used to hate my name. A lot. I thought Stephanie was completely boring, right up there with Jane and Martha (no offense to anyone named that). I changed it several times growing up.

Now, I really like my name. I really do. "Stephanie" is Greek, and Greek is my favorite language. I like the "ph" because it shows the Greek-ness. And I like that it means "crowned." To me it's a way of saying "royalty" without the implied prissiness of "princess." I dunno. I just like it. I'm not sure if my parents put THAT much thought into it before they named me, but it's cool that it still worked out.

What about you guys? Do you like your name? Were you named for a reason?



  1. hi there
    thanks for stoppin by, and for commenting =)

    i love my name. ive liked and disliked it throughout my life. finally came to terms with it =P
    it means "like an angel" and that seemed to have an effect on my childhood. i was a very goody 2 shoes, i hated being in trouble, i followed all the rules, and felt bad when i didnt..
    i think stephanie is a pretty name.

  2. sweet pea: No problemo. That's really cool about your name affecting you. I'm not sure if mine had the same effect or not...although I did used to be bossy, so I guess "crowned" works a little bit for that XD

    Thanks :) I kinda like it too.


  3. My name is Sarah, and I've never been terribly fond of it, and often "changed" my name as well. I was always a tomboy, and thought it didn't fit me, though I suppose I've grown some kind of affection for my name over the years.

    I like your name :)

  4. Cool! My sister's name is actually Sarah, but "princess" totally fits her, lol XD I really like Jezebel.

    And thanks :)


  5. thankyou for your lovely comment:)
    this is a great post and your blog is so wonderful!
    my name means wisdom i used to hate it also but i now i love it, i love that you put alot of thought in names, it's very interesting and when you have kids it's good to know youll put ALOT of thought into their name, much love.x

  6. No problem! I'm glad you liked my post so much :) I didn't know Shannon meant "wisdom;" that's really cool!


  7. I am definitely not a princess ;D

    Jezebel is a long standing nickname, but not for being promiscuous, hahaha!

  8. My name is Hazel and I've always loved it simply because it's quite old-fashioned and not really common. I haven't come across many Hazel's and the ones that I have are in the elderly generation. But I don't see it as an "old" name. To me examples of "old" names are Ruth and Betty and I don't think Hazel fits there. (No offense to people called Ruth or Betty though!) Also I think my name is Gaelic... I think. And that's awesome because I live in Ireland. The only thing I hated about it was that I was called "Hazelnut" at school which sucked. Although I try and make it sound special, there's no getting away from the fact I was named after the singer Hazell Dean who was a "one hit wonder".

  9. My name is Carmen which in Latin means song and in Spanish means "fruit garden" (lol) according to the authority of all authorities, Facebook.

    I used to hate my first name like you and a lot of your commenters and now quite like it too just like a lot of you. Funny how things grow on you!

    Growing up I much preferred my middle name Allison (my spelling - I found out after many years of spelling it the common way that my mom spelled it on my birth certificate with a y).

  10. My name is Alana- meaning "little rock"
    I think that's pretty cool.. I'm small.. but I'm stable. I love that. Also, It comes from "Alan" , a lot of the men in my family (Dad, brother, uncle, grandpa) are named that. It makes me feel connected :).

    I LOVE the idea of naming because of the meaning. I will never name my kids anything that doesn't have a good meaning to it.. cuz I think it has a big impact on who they turn out to be :).