What’s in a Name?

Sophie, Emma, Michael –  these are beautiful names (not to mention very popular), but what do they mean?

Ever since I was a little girl, I thought about what names I would choose for my children. I think it’s a fun thing that most little girls do. You get to imagine that you’re a grown up with your own family, telling your imaginary children to clean their rooms and eat their vegetables. However, I didn’t know that names had so much meaning behind them until I got older.

Choosing a name for the new member of the family is quite an undertaking. This will be the name that will help to define who they are and will be attached to them their entire life. Since TV and movies are in the homes of most people today, many form a bond with the names of popular characters.

You can see the influence of this in the 2011 Top Five Names on the Social Security Administration website. Names like Jacob, Noah, Isabella, Sophia; can you pick out which ones were taken from TV or movies, hmmm? You’ll also notice a couples names topped the charts for years in a row. I was surprised to find out that Emily was #1 for girls for at least 10 years.

I became curious about what my name means too. Lynn, for example, is my middle name. I was surprised to find out that it means waterfall. However, if Lynn is used as a shortened form of Lynette, it can mean grace or little beauty.

You may already be aware of the meaning of your name because it meant a great deal to your parents. Some parents choose a name for the meaning rather than how it sounds or how it coordinates with a last name.

Many times, a name is passed down through generations in remembrance of a beloved grandparent, in honor of mom or dad, or the attachment to an aunt, uncle, cousin, or even a close friend.

If you curious about the meaning of your name, I located Meaning-of-Names.com to define a few of my friends and family.

What was important to you when selecting names? Did the meanings behind them influence your choices?