Monday, April 11, 2011

What's in a name?

I get so many questions about my kids names. I just want to clarify what some of the names mean.

I will start off with my name: Jennifer
Jennifer means "White Wave" or "Fair Phantom". That sounds so pretty but if you dig deeper to find on why the name means white wave or fair phantom you'll learn a bit more. The name was branched off of the name Guenevere; the same Guenevere that was married to the King Arthur. The story goes that she was unfaithful and sleeping with Aurthur's friend and greatest warrior, Lancelot. She was said to have been abducted by King Mordred. When she was eventually returned to Arthur, he had her condemned to death for infidelity and ordered that she be torn to pieces by wild beasts. Later on her pail body washed up from the lake. Stories tell the she haunts the lake where she was found.
The other story of her death is that she locked herself away in a tower because of the guilt that she fell for falling in love with the knight in shining armor. She later died of a broken heart. Both are good stories. The name comes from the story of her death.

My middle name is Ruth. Not as pretty as the name Jennifer but the meaning is better. Ruth means "friend". In Hebrew it means "companion". The name Ruth comes from the book of Ruth and shows how she was kind and compassionate to her people.

Now for Texas. The meaning of Texas is "Friend" in Caddo Indian. Why the name Texas? When my husband was out of town in Texas I called him and told him I was pregnant. We were thinking of a different name to name the baby but a couple months before, my sister in law that was expecting took the name that we had chosen. I didn't want two children with the same name. Right after that happened, one night my husband said said, "What do you think of the name Texas?" I said I liked it and we never really talked about it after that. Then when it was time to fill out the birth certificate, I put down "Texas James Nelson" never even asking Spencer if that was the name that he really wanted. Our parents were not too happy on the way that we picked his name. One parent was upset that we kept the name secret, and the other didn't like the name Texas. I love how we chose the name and the meaning behind the name. I love the name Texas.
Texas has started to say that he wants to change his name. I love his name but he is starting to tell people every once in a while that his name is "Tex" and that's ok.
Texas' middle name is James. James means "Supplanter" and it's Hebrew. I think the meaning of James comes from the King James. Supplanter means: one who wrongfully or illegally seizes and holds the place of another. King James was a sneaky man! My husband and I picked the name James because it is my husbands middle name.
Texas' full name is feng shui and has good balance.

Now for Marilyn's turn. Marilyn is a combination of Marry and Lyn. Marry means "Sea of Bitterness". Why would I name my daughter that? Have you ever heard the story how the sea is salty from the tears that people have cried? Or how Marry cried bitter tears when Jesus was crucified. I feel that the name Marry is a powerful name with feeling behind it.
Lyn means pretty. Spencer and I had a bet going on. He wanted to name her Maryland. I won the bet and her name is Marilyn. That is how we got the name Marilyn. Sad but true.

Marilyn's middle name is June. I know she wasn't born in the month of June. The month of June was named after the god Juno. Juno is the Roman "Goddess Of Marriage & Childbirth". She was not the Goddess of Infidelity. She is the queen of all the other gods and that shows power. The name Juno is connected to love. Ancient etymologies associated Juno's name with iuvare, "to aid, benefit", and iuvenescendo, "rejuvenate". Juno was a goddess that showed nurturing. There are many stories of the Goddess Juno. I felt that the name June fit well with the rest of her name other than the Hebrew and Roman mix. I love that the meaning behind Marilyn's name has so much emotion.
I feel that Marilyn June is a name that can be grown into.

I have seen lots of names that work well for little kids but when they get older and get jobs, what are they going to go by? I wanted names that would work for them as children and as adults.

I have so many people ask me why I name my kids what I did. I tried to pick out names with depth and meaning. Most of the time I don't want to explain the meaning of the names. I have gotten bad comments from people with that don't even know the meaning of their own children's names. Seriously, I think those people shouldn't be aloud to speak.


dannyscotland said...

I think your kids' names are wonderful. Of course, all that really matters is that you and they like them, but for what it's worth, I do, too. Our daughter's name is Karina, and we gave her my middle name, which is also my grandmother's maiden name. She immigrated from Scotland when she was 19 to come to America and be with her husband, who she had met and married during WWII. She only went on 3 dates with him and they were married over 50 years, until he passed away. Her first name, we just chose from narrowing down a bunch of lists, but it was going to be spelled with a C. My name is Kathy and my husband wanted her name to start with a K like mine. So that's how she got her name. I love names, and I love to hear what people name their children. I must own 10 baby name books! I love learning the meanings and just looking at the names in there, and how they change over time. I have one book that was my mom's, and it's funny to look at some names on the boys' side that are no longer considered boys' names.

Jen said...

Thanks Kathy. I have Zero baby name books. I have gone to bookstores and flipped though some of them... but I've never bought any.
Worst name ever: Virginia. They pronounce it in the south: Vur-GyNah. Please stop naming you children that if that is the way you are going to pronounce it.