THE SOUL is shaped by words, images, & experiences.

THIS BLOG is about those things that have left their impression on me. I'd love for you to comment on what affects you.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Naming Baby

Imagine going through life with a name like Tuna. A grade school classmate of mine was called this. She came from some exotic foreign country. I can't recall which; I only remember my teacher not being very diplomatic by commenting that the name was "unfortunate". No wonder most immigrants change their names.

The strangest name I've come across here in Greece is Omorphoola. It is a woman's name derived from the word omorphos, which means beautiful. The name sounds
anything but beautiful to me, an American. Especially when a Greek calls an Omorphoola by her more common nickname: Phoola. (Foola?) I always hope these women won't emigrate out of Greece to some English-speaking country where they're likely to be tagged as simpletons.

The name game works both ways. We knew an American girl here named Emma. To us the name sounds innocuous and pleasant enough. But whenever this girl would give her name to a Greek, she would receive a funny look. It turns out emma is the Greek word for blood.

Ever wonder how novelists come up with names for their characters? (For this, check out: A Boy Named Sue on Writers' Rest.) Or what state of mind some people were in when they named their kids? Brandy is a popular American name. Nevertheless, it puzzles me why anyone would label their daughter after an alcoholic drink.

Then there are those who choose certain names because of their meaning. God was this type of Father. We read in Matthew 1:23 that He called His Son "Emmanuel, which being interpreted is God with us", and, "Jesus", "Lord who is Salvation". God was serious about names. He often renamed people, giving them a label that perfectly described them.

Come play the name game, and share the story behind your name, your kid's name, your pet's name, your character's name, or just funny names you've heard.


Lori said...

When I searching for baby names for our first child, I loved checking out the meanings of names. The name I liked (Olivia) meant "Olive tree"... not particularly profound, so I kept looking. I began to search my meaning, starting with "holy". To my surprise, "Olga" means "holy"... and it happens to be the German form of the name "Olivia"! So there we have it. I got to choose my favorite name after all. Happy on all fronts.

Lydia said...

Nice name. Glad that worked out. And then there's the symbolic olive leaf the dove brought back to Noah after the flood.

We helped our mom name our baby sister Olivia. Afterward, my grandmother told my mother that our great grandmother's maiden name had been Oliva.

Anonymous said...

Lydia oh Lydia, say have you met Lydia,

Lydia, the Tattooed Lady.

She has eyes that folks adore so,

And a torso even more so.

Lydia oh Lydia, that encyclopidia,

Oh Lydia the Queen of Tattoo.

I have heard this sung to me many times when I was being introduced to someone and made me feel like I belonged in a circus. But in Acts 16:13-15 and 40 I came to know a Lydia that was a faithful, willing servant of God.
-Mother of Lydia "Soul Cuts" Tsirozidis.

the untatooed Lydia said...

Oh yes! That song lives on! An Englishwoman from the soup kitchen sings that to me every time she sees me. And there are some days I feel as if I DO belong in a circus. ;)

But you're right about the Seller of Purple Lydia in the Bible. She has made me prouder of our name, and she has inspired me to fill her hospitable shoes.

Brenda Susan said...

I have gone by my middle name (Susie) since childhood when a friend said that I was too little for my real name (Brenda). Recently I have learned that Susan means "Graceful Lily" & Brenda means "Flaming Sword". Now God has been re-awakening the "flaming Sword" part of my personality that was hidden beneath the too sweet little lily all these years.I am learning to be both Brenda & Susan!