Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What's In a Name?

"What is in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Nay, Shakespeare. I think not my good sir. If a rose was called a “Ploofinmizer” (which is a word I just made up), I am certain it would not smell as sweet. Names are very important.
For instance, there is a town that I know of called Two Egg. I am not kidding. Can you imagine if the President of the US revealed that his home town had a name similar that? I can hear the laughter now. That name just doesn’t evoke the same prestigious air as a city such as Jamestown, Philadelphia, Jerusalem, or Rome.
Good writers will tell you that names matter as well. I am certain that Elizabeth Bennett might never have become beloved by so many if Jane Austen had given her the name Fannie Fainfeather. Or what about Sherlock Holmes? He wouldn’t seem nearly so clever if his name were John Brown. What if King Arthur, Sir Lancelot and Lady Guinevere were called King Knut, Sir Belch and Lady Bertha? Might you find them as romantic then? Ha ha! In literature names are clues to the identity of the character. You just know that Gandalf the Grey is good and that Soromon is evil by their names. How could a man named Voldermort be anything but cruel and a woman named Lilly Evans be anything short of angelic? Much is in a name.
Have you ever met someone that didn’t fit their name at all? It’s quite comical really. It would be amusing to meet a very tall model named Sally Short. (I am laughing at the mental picture in my head!)
After all that being said, you should know that I absolutely love my name.
Jennifer means “fair one” and is of Welsh origin. It is a variant of the name Guinevere, who was King Arthur’s wife in the Arthurian tales. (Which is really cool to me. I love those stories!)
Christine means “anointed” or “Christ follower” and is of Latin origin.
Blair is a famous Scottish surname, originating from the pre-9th century Gaelic word “blar,” meaning field, plain or battlefield. There were many prominent men named “de Blair” in Scottish history.

I love that my first and last names now have Celtic origins. And in the middle I have a very “Christian” name. Call me an odd-ball, but I was really excited that Jonathan’s last name was Blair. I had always hoped that I’d marry into a good name. (Not that my maiden name is bad, just very common.) I love the way it rolls of the tongue! I feel that it fits me very well.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one that feels as such about names. Needless to say, I’m going to have an extremely hard time choosing names for our children (especially the girl’s names). Then again, Jonathan jokes that we’re going to have 4 rambunctious boys. Maybe I won’t have to worry about it after all. I like lots of Celtic boy names anyhow.

BTW, I’ll take any suggestions for elegant, somewhat uncommon girl’s names! Not that I need to worry about that for quite some time (Lord willing). I just want ideas!

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