Names [Sunday, Feb. 06, 2005, 5:07 pm]
Last night I got to babysit a little baby for a few hours. She must have been only about 6 months old - and so adorable. I just love babies. This may sound odd, but one thing that's cute about a lot of them is that they have little bald patches on the backs of their heads. My little brothers all did too, because they would be laying down for most of the time, and looking around, and so the backs of their heads would rub against the bed so much that they'd have little hairless patches. It's easier to see if the child has dark hair.
Believe it or not, last night was also the first time in my life that I've actually fixed a bottle for a baby. I've changed countless diapers, carried crying children, applied band-aids, made meals, zipped jackets, and tied shoes. But all of us kids were strictly breastfed, so I never had to do bottle duty at all. It really wasn't that hard or exciting, so I didn't miss much.
The little girl I babysat was named Anduin. Isn't that such a sweet name? When I have kids they're going to have original-sounding names like that. They won't be getting names that 10 million kids in this country are also claiming as their own.
I love reading about people that were given names that meant something in their own native language, mainly in Bible times. A lot of the information on names can be gleaned from footnotes, but it's also apparent that children were given names that had certain significance in the language that the people spoke -for example, in Exodus 2:10 - ...and she named him Moses, for she said, "Because I drew him out of the water."
It can be interesting to discover what our names mean in their original languages (Laura means "laurel crowned" or "the laurel" in Latin), and I often wonder if it was better back when the meaning of names were less discreet. For example, the name Isaac means "laughter," or "laughing." But picture people using that in its original language. It would be like saying in English, "Hey Laughter, come here."
Personally I have a great appreciation for the way that a lot of the Puritan, or Pilgrim children were named. They were given names like Constance, Patience, Faith, Charity, Prudence - names that had obvious significance in English, not in some ancient language that no one spoke anymore. Older names certainly have their merit too. I've just always admired those names that are simple, original, and meaningful, without being too wacky, and I'd like to give my own children names like that someday.
Vitality - Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009