Category: baby name blogger
Two weeks ago I had my first experience shopping for a car. While in high school, I had been given a 1992 Dodge Dynasty by an uncle, and after I graduated and was pregnant with my oldest son, my grandparents gave me their 1995 Ford Taurus. My Taurus finally gave out on me two weeks ago, so my father, my husband and I set out to find me a car.
While walking around the used car lot, it struck me just how unique some of the names of these cars were. Some were unique in a way that just seemed far-fetched. Some were unique in a way that could be considered daring, but at the same time up-and-coming or trendy. And then there were some that years ago would have been a stretch, but now seem commonplace. Much like baby names.
Naturally, being the name enthusiast I am, this led to me researching car names as soon as I got home with my newly-purchased 2008 Dodge Caliber. What I didn’t expect was how many options there were beyond the standard car brands like Ford, Lincoln, Mercedes, Porsche and Romeo, all names we’ve heard before. Branching out into the models issued by individual car brands, I found so many options, and many trends I did not expect.
Here, for instance, are car names that were used for babies first:
They’re all Americans. OK, that’s a start.
They all have great names. That’s also true.
They had inspirational lives? Also correct.
But what links this Depression-era photographer (Evans), former slave (Truth), and Southern writer (O’Connor) with people named Journey, Amble, or Voyage? Names like Strider, Skip, March, Hiker, Pacer, Saunter, Trek, Ramble, Lane, Pike, Track, Racer, Skipper, Dash, Lane, Streeter, Strada (Italian for ‘street’) also fit the bill.
Still stumped? Saunter, in French, is Flanerie. Mais oui, c’est vrai. (Translation: but yes, it’s true!)
And Saunter, we learn from Thoreau in his 1850s essay, Walking, has its etymological origins in the Middle Ages, “from idle people who roved about the country…and asked charity, under pretence of going à la Sainte Terre“—to the holy land, till the children exclaimed, “There goes a Sainte-Terrer”, a saunterer—a holy-lander….
Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre, without land or a home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere.” At home anywhere.
If I could choose a single identity for myself, it would be that. A saunterer, at home anywhere. And everywhere. In fact, that urge to walk the world and see it up close and from the ground is what got me started on My Big Walk, a year-long daily walking project that I’m chronicling on my new blog.