I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,
but I've never been able to believe it. I don't believe a rose WOULD be as nice
if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage."
— from "Anne of Green
Gables," by L.M. Montgomery
I was talking with a friend recently, and somehow we got onto the subject of names and their meanings.
It's probably one of my favorite subjects to ponder, as evidenced by the multiple "name your baby" tomes I have lying around. (Unsolicited tip to first time parents: all the books have essentially the same names. And you can find them all on the internet for free.)
I love going through my baby name books to see which names we bandied about during all my different pregnancies. It's funny to realize that I am still attracted to all of the names we picked, but how obviously NOT RIGHT they were for the particular children I have.
Some unused names on the short list for my children?:
Girls: Isabel, Margaret, Charlotte, Lydia
Boys: Henry, Asher, Joseph, Charles
Maybe one day I'll get to use some more of these names, but anyone who knows my children in real life knows that these names just don't fit them.
For me, the meaning of the name is just as important as the way the name sounds. More than once, when faced with a choice between two equally lovely names, Rob and I have been completely won over by the meaning of the name we ultimately chose.
My own name, which as a child I thought sounded too "baby-ish" (whatever that means . . . I WAS a baby, for crying out loud!), has always been redeemed by its meaning.
Aimee means "beloved." Pretty awesome, right? I mean, in one little name, I get the gift of knowing that my parents thought me lovable from the get-go.
And I'm also pretty tickled with the fact that my name states right out: "beloved." It's just already there, built-in love. Bam.
Robert's name means "bright fame," and although I'm pretty sure his parents picked his name for family reasons, I think the meaning suits him.
I don't think of it as meaning famous in the way of a celebrity, but more of his character. He's such a good soul, that he is like a light to others. People naturally follow his example, especially my sons, which thrills me.
All of our children have very traditional names, many of which come from family and all of them are saints' names as well. A kid's got to have a go-to saint after all.
Francie's real name is Hebrew, and it originally meant "bitter," but there are other meanings for her name that I like better. Plus, she is named after the greatest woman EVER.
I won't say any more, but if you're feeling clever, you may have guessed it already. Besides, she goes strictly by a family nickname -- so much so, that most people don't even know her real name and are shocked to learn it.
Her middle name means "great one." That might seem hard to live up to, but so far she's got it in the bag.
I just love that Fiver's name means "little ears" or "he who hears," especially considering all of his early hearing trouble. I just like to think that was God's little way of making sure Fiver was only listening to love, to what really matters.
And his middle name means "God is gracious." You better believe it.
Sally's name couldn't be more perfect for her, even though we had a hard time deciding on it. Her first name means "full of grace," which is appropriate for our girl who spends her time dancing from place to place. Her middle name means "industrious," and once Sally is on a project, there is no way that project is not getting finished.
For Bun, we chose his name more for the way it sounded and the family connection than for its meaning. His name means "Supplanter," which is kind of weird when I think about it in terms of our family alone.
To supplant means to supersede or replace, usually in a dynastic context. Unfortunately, Bun was not born into royalty, so he'll have to muddle through somehow. Besides, he's a second son, so he would have been the one promised to the church. Maybe I'll just promise him to the church anyway.
And Mopsy's name means "God is my oath." How can you go wrong with God as your oath, right? And her middle name means "light," which she already is. She smiles so much that the kids call her Sunshine.
All of this name talk makes me interested to know about you, my friends. Do you like your own name and what it means? Is there another name you wish was your own, like Anne Shirley when she wished so hard to be called Cordelia by Marilla?
What about your children? Did you pick names based on sound, family history, meaning, a combo of all of the above? Are your children's names a perfect fit, or is there something you always wished you had named them and didn't?