What’s your name?

A while ago my smallgroup watched this NOOMA video. I always have to be careful while watching NOOMA videos because while they really get me thinking about my attitude in life, my application of the things I learn can, well, um…yeah…result in the events that have come to be known as ‘malteser moments’.

Now, for a variety of reasons I keep my ‘full’ and given name off the internet. Yeah, you did know that my real name isn’t Brunette Koala?

But I do think there’s a lot in the names we are given. Names have meaning.

Since I was a kid, I’ve been intrigued by the etymology of names. Years ago, I had decided on Sophie Rhiannon as one of my children’s names (seriously I had my entire life planned out when I was about 14…). That got changed when I discovered that Rhiannon means mythological nymph. As much as I loved the name, I just couldn’t call my child mythological nymph. 

But a few years ago, I started to look up the meaning of my name. And I though it was kind of cool.

In my first year of university, there were 5 people that had my name. Because I have 2 middle names, it looks on my birth certificate like my name is Laura Anne. It was just meant to be Laura. They kept getting me mixed up with the other students that had the same first and surnames as me. And so fed up, I said, fine…you know what, just stick a hyphen in there, because I want my middle name to be included on my graduation certificate (for some reason the university only include one middle name) and I’m Laura Anne on bank accounts and things anyway.

Now I’ve always known what Laura meant – it comes from Laurel - which they used as the victory crowns for Olympics and so on.

But I first called myself Laura Anne on my first day in a church voluntarily. Yeah, ok so I used my ‘formal’ name out of fear of being in a church and having to be all formal, proper etc etc etc.

Later, I think there was something beautiful in that because…

Anne means grace.

Likewise, my middle name which I got quite annoyed about people ‘leaving out’, I later discovered means worshipper of God.

Now, I don’t think my parents chose my names based on what they meant. My Mum had just always wanted a girl called Laura, and the middle names were after close relatives. But what well chosen middle names as I am a worshipper of God and have received so much grace.

Likewise, the nickname Koala was chosen for me based on particular characteristics my family associate with me. Hugs, smallness and constant sleepiness. ;)

I get fascinated with the names in the bible and how they are chosen almost prophetically or based on characteristics of the person. Something you find a lot in Africa too.

So what is your name? What does it mean to you?

PS On another note, my surname also could account for my feisty temper. :)

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5 thoughts on “What’s your name?

  1. I am always interested by the meanings of names too. Unfortunately my names don’t mean anything interesting, but they sound nice! It’s something I think about a lot in terms of what I’ll name my children one day. I think it means a lot to give someone a name based on what it means.

  2. My name means wise. I try to be! Once a friend who I was on a committee with made the observation that “Prue doesn’t say much in meetings, but when she does you need to sit up and listen.” I’ve always hoped that that was wisdom. I’m not quite in the same league as Solomon though!

  3. @Prue – Cool! “Sophie’ means ‘wisdom’. I thought that was kind of cool and was another side to why I named this blog ‘Learning from Sophie’.

    @keepfishing – You get a munro in Skye named after you too then! So you do specialise in any martial arts to help with your defending of men?

  4. Sophie and Prudence both mean wisdom/wise but they are different – Sophie is a philosophical type of wisdom, but Prudence is a practical wisdom. I have had a long conversation with my father-in-law on this topic… he gets on a topic and sticks with it like dog to a bone!

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