Do you find names fascinating? I know that I sometimes wonder how people come up with names for their children.
For our children, my hubby and I chose names depending on what we agreed on – not much – and which names we liked. Our first daughter’s name came from a song, our second daughter was named after a relative, and our third daughter’s was a name I’d always admired. All three of our boys’ names were derived directly from the Bible.
The Bible says that a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.
In Biblical times, names often either had a specific meaning (Eve – the mother of all living, Peter – a stone) or children were named after relatives. Notice in the story of the birth of John the Baptist from Luke 1:59-63 KJV:
And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.
And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.
I’ve noticed that the Amish also name their children after relatives in many cases, as well. For example, my friend Samuel was named after an uncle. Same first name. Same last name. So, how do they keep each other’s names straight?
I know that I used to get annoyed because I had a popular name. I couldn’t go anywhere without someone else having my name. It just so happened that my name was the most popular name for girls the year I was born. Go figure.
So, back to the Amish. How do they distinguish who is who? Well, my friend Samuel has his father’s first initial as his middle initial, as do all his siblings.
Some Amish groups give names based on a person’s character or how they look. Think: Curly Mose or John’s David or Lazy Pete. Mose is the Mose with the curly hair, and David is the son of John, and everyone knows about Pete.
What about you? Were you named after someone? Do you know what your name means?
I put together a fun little game. It’s called, ‘What is your Amish name?’
Please comment below and let us know:
1. Were you named after anyone that you know of?
2. Do you know your name’s meaning?
3. For fun – What is your Amish name?