Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What's In a Name?

True Story...

One morning as a father was dropping off his son for class at the preschool
where I was working

He suddenly stopped
looked at me

"Why did your parents name you Tundra"?

(and before I could remind him that my name is actually Tondra)

he continued with...

"Don't they know that tundra is a dry and barren land?

You are not dry
You are not barren

So, you know what? 

From now on I'll call you... Tropics."

and he did!

He changed my name that day because he had learned from his tribe in Africa
that names mean something

And it still makes me laugh as I remember
that each morning as he walked in he would say,

"Hello Tropics.  Today is a beautiful day."

That was over 15 years ago.

Fast forward a few years...

When I was dating my husband one day out of the clear blue he said
"If I ever have a son, I want to name him Micah because it means to be like the Lord"

and sure enough

we got married
and two years later
we had a son

and while pregnant I went online to look up names and their meanings

I scrolled through

lists of names
their meanings
and their language of origin

(yes, I'm a former Spelling Bee champion, don't mock me)

until I got to one name and its meaning that literally gave me chills

The background story...

I've been told that when my grandfather's younger sister was young, she fell and broke her hip.  It was "back in the day" so the medical treatment was not all that up to par (translation= her hip was set improperly).  To complicate matters even more, her hip being set improperly prohibited it from healing properly, which resulted in her walking with a severe limp for the rest of her life.

But when I saw the meaning of her name,
it literally gave me chills

because her name actually means:

"Crippled one"

Then I began to understand the relevance and importance of "what's in a name"?

I have since gained a better understanding for names and their significance,
as I've read how in Bible times people were named

as a direct reflection of who they were
what they would be
or what would occur in their lives 

Names meant something
and when necessary
names were changed to reflect the "new" purpose or direction for a person's life

So what's in a name?

How important is what we let people call us?
How important is what we answer to?

Do you know what's really in a name?

(Matthew 1:21)


  1. I remember you relaying the story of your aunt to me. Our names are so important. I have toyed with the idea of changing my name for years. But for now, I think I wil just stay Terri! And Terra to my family and close friends!

  2. Amen and amen! If only all people took forethought into what they name their children. I'm so happy I got this insight before I named mine and went beyond what just sounds cute. Now if only I could find the meaning of my name ;-)