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Question of the Week: How meaningful is meaning?

July 14, 2010 Linda Rosenkrantz

Some parents put a lot of  stock in the etymological definitions of names, while others brush that element aside as having little to do with a name’s real meaning and image in the modern world.

So, our question today is: how important a factor is the literal meaning to you when considering your name choices?

Would or did you actively seek out a name that means, say, strength or hope or love or beauty?

Would you rule out a name with a negative meaning, such as “pig” (Portia)  or “crooked nose” (Cameron) or “crooked mouth” (Campbell)  or “misshapen head” (Kennedy) or “bald” (Calvin), on the chance that your child will constantly be checking himself in the mirror for signs of a prophecy bestowed?

Or is this way down on your list of considerations—or maybe not even there at all?

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