Thursday, February 22, 2007

Meaning Behind the Name

There are a hundred different ways that people find a name they like to use for their child. They could have read it in a book, heard it on a show or movie, or even know someone with a name they like. But how many of these people actually stop and think about the meaning to the name, or even know the meaning to the name? Is it important? Should people be named more on how something sounds or what the meaning is?

Does the meaning even matter? A child could be given a name that doesn't fit them at all. A name could be given to a child because of the meaning, and then the meaning doesn't match up with how the child turns out.

Take for example the male's name Lang. It is of Scandinavian origin and means "tall man." It is a very nice name, but it can't be assured that the meaning is going to fit the child when he grows up. Lang could very well turn out to be a short man when he reaches adulthood. There is nothing wrong with that, but the fact remains that the meaning of the name does not fit his character.

A second example is the name Kenneth. It is of Celtic origin and means "handsome." Not every guy in the world is going to be considered handsome. This doesn't mean that if someone isn't handsome then they are ugly, though. It just means that looks are subjective.

If we can't determine how our children turn out, then why are Lang and Kenneth chosen as names? Surely their parents realize that just because you name a child something doesn't mean he/she is going to end up fitting the meaning. This must mean that meaning has become less and less important in this day and age, and that how a name looks and sounds is the key to choosing a name.

Another example is Jacob, which is of Hebrew origin and means "supplanter." It is a very common name in the world, but chosen for its meaning? Doubtful. Supplanter means "one who replaces something else." It is unlikely that people really imply this when they name their child this. The meaning is quite vague.

There is the opposite aspect of this, though. Names that have wonderful and loving meanings but are often overlooked because they aren't as common nowadays. The first example of this is the female name Adora. It is of Latin origin and means "beloved one." That is a very beautiful meaning to give to a child, but it is becoming less and less favored as more dominant names, like Sarah which means "princess" seem to appeal to parents more often now.

Then there are the names that are made up, that have no real meaning besides what the creator might have them imply. Is there anything wrong with these names at all? Not at all. In fact, one may argue that there is much more meaning to them than any of the already used names. Why? Because they are created specifically for the child, there is already an expressed love between the parents and the child. They're honoring their child with something unique and meaningful to them, not meaningful to the world.

So does meaning matter? To those want it to, yes. To those that don't, no. There is nothing wrong with that. The important thing is to give a child a name that you feel fits them, and a name that is given to them because you love them and not because you are obsessed with a certain word, or name, or anything like that. The name will be part of their life so it's important to choose wisely.

This article has been submitted in affiliation with http://www.BabyNameVote.Com/ which is a site for Baby Names.

About the Author

Jake Rose is an artist and an author from Massachusetts.

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