Sunday, February 17, 2008

What's in a name?


I never used to think much about what names meant. I knew that in the Bible, a person's name was very significant, that it basically told a short, one-word story about that person. But today? It isn't often that you hear someone's name and then nod knowingly, as if they have just revealed their character or destiny to you.

Now, for the most part, parents just pick what they like. When I was pregnant with Asher, I tossed around all sorts of names that had been on my unofficial name list for a while. I couldn't have told you what any of them meant. But then Kris suggested the name Asher, which he told me meant "happy." The meaning is actually what sold me on the name. I really liked the thought of giving him a name which would hopefully describe his personality. Boy does it ever!

Now don't get me wrong. That child has his moments for sure! Kris and I joke to each other when he is in the midst of a whine or freak-out fest "is he always this happy?" because that is what we hear all the time from people. The answer is of course "no!" He is not always happy, but the usual tone of his disposition is.

He smiles and waves at most people he encounters, strangers and friends alike. He belly laughs when he gets tickled or startled. He talks and sings all day long, to me and to himself. He reads to himself and puts the book down for a moment to fully take in the joke he apparently just came across. He will pause his moment of utter despair to show you his tongue or tell you what the puppy-dog says and then return to the fit.

So I think that there is something to this name thing. Granted, I am basing this hypothesis on the results of an incredibly small test group, but still...I feel a little pressure now. Should we name this baby "Asher II" or "Asherina" a la George Foreman? That would probably get a little confusing.

Any name I like now has to pass the "meaning" test. And since I am very picky about names, this cuts the list of possibilities way down. The criteria is not too trendy, preferably not on the top 100 list, nothing starting with "Ky" or ending with "ly", no friends with that name, and now, must mean something positive. Ugh. This will be a challenge.

Any ideas?

10 comments:

susanna said...

I love Asherina. Especially if she's a ballerina. Then she would be Asherina the Ballerina!

You should do a name search for names that mean "sleeps a lot" or maybe "perfect". Wait. Don't. We'll probably use those names ourselves! :)

Too Cute said...

His name really does suit him well. Good luck picking out the next one!!

I can't wait to see what you're having........and hear the name you choose!! I've got my embroidery machine ready!!

Becca

Mamaw said...

If it is a girl, name her Molly. The name Molly means beautiful, smart, talented, full of charm,glowing,likes to eat,lovable,vivacious,sensible,kind,happy,friendly, and loyal. I think that just about covers it.

hilarylarson said...

jamie: asher's mamaw is sooo smart - i know you will chosse her choice in names!!!

Robin said...

When do you find out what you are having? I think it is soon, but I can't remember.

Jamie said...

Robin--I find out this coming Tuesday, assuming our little friend is in an obliging sort of position. I will have a talk with him or her on the way explaining how insurance is not paying for this so mom and dad expect a great show on the little screen for the cash we are dishing out.

mandycrowell said...

I've always loved old-fashioned names..one of my favorites is Evelyn which is celtic and means "light".

I also love Clara which is French and means "bright" and Anice which is scottish and means "grace"

Patti said...

Asher and Anna Claire.
Asher and Isaac (not sure about a middle name here).

You didn't mention if you were opposed to alliteration. Some are. I came across Isaac while I was re-reading The Chosen last night trying to decide if that's going to be my book club offering. I still don't have a copy of Robinson Crusoe, dangit. Hey, how about Robinson? I had the worst insurance EVER when I was pregnant with Hudson. We had to pay out of pocket for so much stuff. I finally told my doctor that I wouldn't agree to any more blood work/testing unless someone's life was in danger.

Jamie said...

Patti--that is exactly what I told my doctor about bloodwork. I felt pretty confident foregoing the STD tests.

And i like both of those names, but my cousin is named Anna and I think Kathy has already called Isaac ;)

Anonymous said...

Ok, a great name just hit me today as I was riding in the car! I don't know the meaning of the name, but it is Amelia.

I also love Molly's suggestion. :-)

Sue

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