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Friday, November 30, 2007

What's in a name?

I met a man recently whose name roughly translates Hope Unscare-able. First name Hope...last name...Unscare-able. Unscareable isn't a word in English but it sounds so much better than unable to be scared. What a name! I like it. I like what it means.

In a recent blog post I talked about the names of some of my students when I taught school. I wondered why people would name a child something like Green if their last name was Akers. I don't understand why you would do that. I know that one can't help their last name unless they legally change it. Why would someone whose last name is Carroll name their son Darrell? I don't know. Brian wanted to use the name Mason for one of our boys. I said no. Mason Dixon...are you kidding me? I never even entertained the idea. If I had considered it he probably would have backed down, because I don't believe he would have ever used it for real.

In Turkey names mean all kinds of things. I met a guy once whose last name was 'Lightning'...as in thunder and lightning. His first name was 'Sky King'. Gokan Simsek. Interesting to me. Then there is the last name Karaibrahimoglu...dark Ibrahim's son. Our neighbor upstairs has a daughter named 'fresh green almonds' and our next door neighbor's name is 'I am the rose.'

I know that our names mean things as well. Most of the time we have no idea what they mean though. Anna Grace for instance...Anna means grace, and Grace means grace. We gave her a double helping of grace...and knew we were doing it. Most people don't know that Anna means grace, but if they know her they know that we are the ones who need a double dose of grace! I think the difference is we don't usually name our children names that tend to still be used as normal vocabulary words. Most of us don't have kids named Rain, Flower, Decree, Sapling, River, or Dimple. Of course there are those people named Rose, Grace, Crystal, etc. who are lucky enough to know what their name means without having to look up it's etymology.

Natalie - Christmas child
Frances - Frenchman

Hmmmmm.....

7 comments:

Kristen said...

Interesting info about the Turkish names...I love learning about the meanings of peoples names. That's one of my favorite things to discover about Bible names were the meanings...The meanings of mine are:

Kristen--Follower of Christ/Christian

Elizabeth--God's promise/My God is an oath

derya said...

i think, we believe that names kind of effect who you are gonna be. like the bible times, the meanings of the names were important. but, i confess there are some really funny ones. like my mom's name; dondu (she turned) because they wanted a boy and ended up being a girl. how cruel! and i had a friend whose name was gunes parlar (sun shines) :)
well, my name is awesone as you know. it means ocean and very wise person. now, that's me!

Dixon Ailesi said...

Kristen...hmmmm...not sure who this is.

Looking at your profile doesn't help. I know a Kristin in North and a Kristy in North Carolina...but Kristen...not sure. I also know a Kristen in Texas who would say that science is her industry but her middle name is D'lynn. Of course it is 1:23 in the morning so I might just be too tired to figure it out now. I guess I can sleep on it.

Kristen said...

Ok, I tried to reply again...but it isn't showing up...so I'll try again, sorry if it shows up twice...

Anyway, this is Kristy in NC (aka Kristen who commented earlier). My real name is Kristen and I changed my blogger account to that name. Sorry for the confusion.

Gina said...

According to a Turkish dictionary Billy used, my name "gina" means "disgust" in Turkish, although I'm sure it's not pronounced the same way. When I gave my name to someone at a Starbucks over there, they spelled it "Jena". So I try to remember not to spell it for them, or I might get some really strange looks!! I have a bookmark my Mom gave me that says "Gina" means "queen". HA!!!

Hahn at Home said...

My recent cell phone unlimited text because I have three teenagers call was take by a woman named Rain Flowers. And, Em came home to tell me about her new friend at school - Dove (which I remembered by adding, "One quarter cleansing cream."

Natalie said...

hahn - rain flowers sounds like something a person would choose themselves. i do know people with the last name flowers...but they don't have a daughter named rain. i also know an 11 year old named dove. but i never thought of the soap. that never crossed my mind. i thought bird...