Sunday, March 3, 2013

What does your last name mean?



By Diane Forrest


Not long after I married my husband we adopted a dog, a gift from a coworker.   My husband named him BJ, I don't know why, I guess it was like B.J. Honeycutt from the show MASH.  Hawkeye, determined to find out what his actual name was tried every way he could think of to find his true name, when in the end it was discovered that he was named after his parents, mom, Bea, and father Jay.  My husband must have really like the name, because with each dog afterwards was also given the moniker BJ.  


Naming a person is a little more important.  I learned very early that names were very symbolic, as in the Bible.  In some of the verses it would list the names of the people along with the meaning of the name.  So I assumed that if it was important enough to include the meaning of the name in the Bible, then it was important while naming a child today.  

When asking my parents about the origin of my name, and why it was chosen, I was hoping for a cool story rich with history.  The truth was, my father, who picked my name, told me he just like the name, and Diane was not a very over used name.  It means goddess of the moon, so I liked that part.


When it came time to name my child I gave a lot of thought to it.  With the history in my husband's family, I figured I would have a girl.  Everyone in his family had girls first.  It wasn't hard to come up with a name.  My last name at the time was McCoy, so I wanted to pick a name that sounded good with that, then I recalled a favorite poem of mine, Annabelle Lee, by Edgar Allen Poe.  Thinking that Annabelle was a little "dated" I decided on a more modern Amanda, and she could also be called Mandy, a favorite song by the wonderful Barry Manilow.  So, my choice was Amanda Leigh McCoy right from the beginning.  My trouble began when in my excitement, I blurted it out to everyone so when my sister -in-law, who was also expecting had her baby first, she named her Amanda.  Luckily, the problem was resolved when my little girl came out as a little boy.  Then another problem arose.  I was so sure I would have a girl, that I had never even considered boy's names.  A friend of mine brought a name book to the hospital, and I set about combing through the pages to find the perfect name for my little bundle of joy.  He was a beautiful baby boy, born by Cesarian, so there was no misshaped head or "stork bites" that can occur during a normal delivery.  I wanted to choose a name that was as sweet and beautiful as he was, but one that also had an important meaning.  I chose his name for the sweet sound of it, and it was not that common, and had the significant meaning of Healer.  

These days the people that I know don't even think about name meanings when naming a child.  My husband's last grandchild was named after sporting equipment, and the one before that has a name that means a pile of rocks. 

One important piece of advice I learned early was before you name a child, open the door and scream it as loud as you can.  Make sure you can say it loud and clear, because you will be hollering it for a long time when you call them in for dinner!

Do you know what your name means? Do you have any special history attached to your name?  Leave us a comment and let us know.

Annabel Lee
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea. 

Edgar Allan Poe

(All images from Google) 

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