Category: baby name meanings
By Kara Blakley
We recently ran Kara‘s suggestions for subtly connecting girl siblings’ names. Now it’s the boys’ turn.
Matthew/Levi. Matthew is an American staple, spending decades in the Top 20, reaching as high as Number 2 in the 90s. But if, at Number 16, Matthew is still too popular for you, or if you want to honor a friend without directly repeating the name, consider Levi. Levi was the biblical Matthew‘s given name before becoming an apostle, hence the connection. Matthew McConaughey named his firstborn Levi for this reason in 2008.
Peter/Simon. Like Matthew and Levi, Peter and Simon share a biblical connection: the first pope was born Simon before Jesus nicknamed him Peter, meaning ‘rock’. Simon, perennially popular in Europe, has never been as common as Peter here, which makes it prime for Americn usage. Simone and Petra are attractive feminizations that also deserve wider use.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
One subtle way to celebrate Father’s Day is to give a future Daddy’s girl or boy a name with ‘father’ in its meaning, especially if the baby is due around this time of year. These baby names stretch across many cultures, some of them with religious significance and, as you will notice, the majority starting with the letter ‘A’..
Abba—a masculine name derived from the ancient Aramaic meaning “father,” Abba has been in use since the first century. Abba Eban (born Aubrey) was a noted Israeli diplomat and scholar, onetime ambassador to the US and to the UN. The name of the 70s Swedish pop group ABBA is an acronym of the members’ names–Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid.
People often talk about choosing a name with “meaning,” and I feel that nature names have meaning for everyone. They can help to give us a spiritual connection to the world around us, a respect for the power and beauty that surrounds us.
I was watching a show recently about what would happen to the planet if humans just disappeared from Earth tomorrow. The thing that struck me the most was that even with the massive amounts of pollution humans have already generated, and even though the nuclear power plants would meltdown and throw tons of radiation into the atmosphere, given just decades the trees and oceans would clean the atmosphere and plant and animal life would continue. The power of nature is awe-inspiring sometimes.
A visitor to our forums posed this question to the Berries: Would you give your child a name, a wonderful name that you truly love, if it had a negative meaning? How meaningful is the root meaning of a name, anyway?
The name in question was Kennedy, a name that has so much going for it: illustrious relatives, a stylish surname feel, a rhythmic sound, and growing popularity.
Some websites will try to tell you that Kennedy means “royal” or “loving” but it doesn’t. It means “misshapen head.” And that is the problem.
Or it’s the problem when, in fourth grade, the teacher decides to have the class do oral reports on their names: Where they came from, what they mean. And poor “misshapen head” is forced to announce her name’s unfortunate meaning in front of the whole class.