Monday, December 19, 2011

what's in a name?

I find names very, very fascinating. I love learning about name meanings and origins. I find it interesting how a perfectly lovely name can turn into something ugly sounding because of a mean person or a character perceived as a villain in popular culture. Or sometimes we meet an incredible person with an unfortunate name, but we end up liking the name because of the person.

I also love asking people about their own names, or why they chose their children's names. Some people choose to name their children after family members, a sort of tribute to the family tree. For instance, my husband's family is full of men named Henry. It has been recycled through generations, and we love the name because of that. Other people decide on names because of meaning. A family in the town where I grew up named their daughters Love, Hope, and Faith. I happen to love the name Margot because it means "pearl." I imagine myself referring to a precious daughter as "my pearl." And some people just want to call their children something they like. I met a woman recently who gave her three sons names that cannot be misspelled. What an interesting naming logic!

I don't know where my obsession with names originated. Perhaps it comes from being named Sarah, like so many other girls of my generation. Having a very popular name has made me want more unique names for my own children. In any case, I have turned into one of those women who has thought out my future children's names, first AND middle. The funny part of all of this is that my husband and I are not planning on having children for at least a few more years. Perhaps by the time we do have children those favorite names will have changed. Perhaps not. Until then, I am sure I will continue to ask people about the hows and the whys of their children's names and continue to build a list of favorites for the future.

Do you like your own name? What would you rename yourself if you could?

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