Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What Does Your Name Mean?

Once a year when we have a Sunday School lesson that includes names of people or places and what they mean I like to look up the names of everyone in my class to see what their names mean and share that with them. They seem to like that and it’s fun to do. Last Sunday I had a lesson like this. It was about Jacob (“heal grabber”) having his named changed to Israel (“wrestles with God”) and his special place, Bethel (“House of God”) that he went back to with his family to build an altar and worship God.

Here is the list of the boys names I have in my class:

two Jacobs (heal grabber/trickster; Jewish origin)

Ian (God is gracious; Jewish origin)

Nicholas (Victorious People; Greek origin)

Kyle (narrow piece of land; Scottish origin) He wasn’t too pleased with his but he said it also means generous.

Timmy (To honor God; Greek origin)

Jesse (God’s gift; Jewish origin)

Steven (crown; Greek origin)

two Matthews (gift of God; Jewish origin)

Ryan (Little King; Irish origin)

Unfortunately, I forgot to look up Ryan’s name and felt bad that we didn’t know his. I looked it up as soon as I got home on www.parents.com/baby-names/search. I sent his dad a message on Facebook asking him to let Ryan know what his name meant.

At this site you can put in a name and get the meaning and origin or you can even put in a meaning and it gives you names. If you had the opportunity to choose a name for someone, what meaning would you like them to have? This is harder to do. I tried animal lover, kind to animals, competitor, athletic and no names popped up for any of these.

My name, "Karen", means pure and is from Greek origin. I looked up "Gerard" and his means brave spearman and is from English origin. I think that is a more interesting meaning than mine. Being the animal lover that I am, I also checked our pets names: “Manny” means God with us and is a variation on Emmanuel, “Abby” means a father’s joy, which she certainly is (both are Jewish origin) and “Spunky” wasn’t listed but it means spirited and courageous according to the dictionary which indeed she is! I knew what that name meant when I gave it to her because of her personality. If I had been a boy, I would have been named Keith which means wood.

You may want to check into what a name means before giving it to a child in case they get a teacher like me one day that does this.

This was one of the prompts from Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop (that I did a little late) but that's okay.

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Sandee said...



Defender of mankind

The shortened form of Alexandra and the feminine version of Alexander. One of the most well-known bearers of the name was 1950s teen icon and actress, Sandra Dee, most famous for her role as "Gidget" in the 1959 television film with the same name.

Famous bearers include Sandra Day O'Connor, an American jurist who served as the first female Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and film actress Sandra Bullock, who first came to fame during the 1990s.

That was fun. Have a terrific day Karen. :)

Melissa said...


Greek mythological name given to forest nymph that was turned into a bee when caught saving young Zeus from his father, Cronus. Stood out in the top 10 due to the premiere and success of the 1974 to 1983 "Little House on the Prairie" television series, starring Melissa Gilbert and Melissa Sue Anderson. Also influenced by singer and songwriter Melissa Manchester when her debut album was released in 1973. The name has many variations, but most trendy when spelled with "z", "ah", "y" or pronounced with the long "ee" sound.

Melesio Mel Messiah
Meliza Melisa Melyssa Melessa Malissa Mellisa Melizah
Missy Lissa Mel

FAMOUS Melissas
Melissa Etheridge (musician/singer)

Kathy said...


The Irish form of Caitlin that's been listed among the top 100 from 1920 to 1990, peaking at No. 9 in 1949. The name received a hike in popularity when actress Kathleen Turner launched a successful career in 1978 when she starred in the film, "Body Heat."

That's so weird about Kathleen Turner. Who knew?

BeadedTail said...

Very interesting. My name isn't listed though. :(


Miles Of Style said...

Persis = Woman of Persia (although I'm from India lolz)

Thanks for this post SITSa!

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

Beaded Tail: Sorry your name wasn't listed. I'll say it means "Creative." How's that?

heather@actingbalanced.com said...

stopping by from SITS - knew the meaning of my name but grabbed the details to share..


Middle English

A flowering plant

A flower and nature name associated with the variety of small shrubs with pink or white flowers which usually grow in rocky areas. Derived from the Middle English word, hather, it debuted on the chart in 1935 when British actress Heather Angel became known as an American film star. The name's most famous bearer is actress Heather Locklear who inspired the name since the 1980s with her television performances in "Dynasty," "T.J. Hooker," "Melrose Place," and "Spin City."

Heaton Heath

Hethar Hether Heathar
FAMOUS Heathers

Heather Graham (actress) Heather Simms (actress)

Jennifer C. Valerie said...

It was fun checking the meanings of names on that site. My name Jennifer means fair one. Thanks for sharing the link.

Anonymous said...

I believe mine, Maya, means "gift from God," but I forget the origin. I just looked up my son's and it means "A soldier, merciful." I like that :-) I hadn't thought to check the meaning prior to us naming him, so I'm glad it worked out ok, haha.

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