Sunday, January 03, 2010

What's in a name?

Kat has a post on names...
Which called to mind this, did you know the name Tiffany is a derivative of the name of today's feast day, Epiphany?  Yes it is true.
We make fun of modern names, but many are rather ancient.  There are quite a few strange saints names one might take advantage of as well.  Take Senator for instance - he was a saint, and what a cool name it would be for a kid.  Metro is another early saint - I could see calling a kid Metro.  Hartman is also a saint's name - really, there are many cool names of saints.  I would consider calling a son Martial, after St. Martial of Limoges - yep - you could spell it Marshall if you wanted. 
Last names work well too - especially of the British martyrs.  Take Ashley for instance - after Blessed Ralph Ashely - works for boys or girls.
Names can come from almost anywhere - even the place a saint is from - Saint So and So of York - thus one might name their child York.  If they were Asian and their last name was Nu, last name first would be; Nu, York.  Cool, huh?  Now I have an Aunt Mary-Jane, in Spanish she might be called, Marijuana.  Personally, I prefer girl's names like Apple - or Kat - love that name!
Photo:  Can't remember - but I think the woman's name is Tiffany.


  1. Bwahahahaha! You KILL me, Ter!

    I know a young lady who is pregnant - if it's a girl she wants to name her Ella Mae. I could barely contain the guffaw when I heard. Obviously this young lady is much to young to remember "The Beverly Hillbillies" or this name wouldn't even be an option!

  2. And yes, I know it was ELLIE May - but close enough!

  3. We ought to have laws like they do in the Scandinavian countries where a bureaucrat gets to approve name registrations.

    Last names, too.

    I ran across a guy last week whose last name was "Waste." How would you like to have that name in grade school.

    Of course some of us know a local woman whose last name is "Perfect." That would be a cross to bear, too, if you didn't make the A Honor Roll all the time. Of course for her it is her married name now.

    It would be nice to have lots of saints named "Marshall." It would give me more of a choice for a principal patron saint. I only know of two St. Raymonds.

  4. My pal's cousin is pregnant. They're naming her Memphis Marie. If that's not a madame from the old west, nothing is...

  5. Popularity in 2008 fm Soc. Security
    Rank Male name Female name
    1 Jacob Emma
    2 Michael Isabella
    3 Ethan Emily
    4 Joshua Madison
    5 Daniel Ava
    6 Alexander Olivia
    7 Anthony Sophia
    8 William Abigail
    9 Christopher Elizabeth
    10 Matthew Chloe
    11 Jayden Samantha
    12 Andrew Addison
    13 Joseph Natalie
    14 David Mia
    15 Noah Alexis
    16 Aiden Alyssa
    17 James Hannah
    18 Ryan Ashley
    19 Logan Ella
    20 John Sarah

    John made it to No. 20 for the men, but no trace of Mary.

  6. Ray, Mia is derived from Maria, so there is a trace of Mary.

  7. Ray - if mums and dadums would have called him Wasted his nick name could have been Ed - and no one would care would they. I grew up thinking my name was Little Bastard.

  8. Memphis Marie?!?

    What about Nashville Nancy? Or Chattanooga Chelsea?

  9. Ray,
    Well I did MY part in the Bring Back Mary campaign in 2007.
    Okay, so it was a personal campaign, but still...


    I know!!! My friend and I laugh and laugh about her poor baby cousin, strapped with that name.
    I had a great aunt named Georgia Tallulah Ward. And my G Grandmother was Texas Ann Dorman. Scary thing is, I have a pic of Texas on my wall, and I LOOK JUST LIKE HER! Mary for the longest time would look at that picture (her in a dang high-collared Victorian getup with a stern matronly bun) and say, "Mama! Mama!"

    Naming people after place names is goofy, if you ask me, but 8,000 times goofier if no one in your family's ever been there - that's right, I'm talkin' to you, little Cheyenne and little Dakota and little Sierra.

  10. I have a friend who had an aunt whose first name was "Minnesota."

    They called her "Soty", Ter.

  11. Ahhh....the "name game"...
    At the parish I grew up in the pastor (a crusty old Polish pastor) would attach the name "Mary" to every poor girl child that was given some awful name.
    I have a cousin named "Brandy"...ugh!How can you live your life with a name like that? Especially when you get to be 60-70-80 yrs old?
    But I am most edified by the information about "Ashley"; a niece of mine. I thought it was a derivative of "Aishling"[sp?] (Irish) but I love the association with the English martyr...I LOVE the English Martyrs! Thanks for the info, Terry!

  12. I've heard of priests doing that, Father.

    Well, think of it this way. When Brandy is 70, there will be zillions of other elderly Brandys. It won't seem so weird. Personally, I'd name a kid Vodka before I'd name one Brandy.
    But that's just me.

    If this baby was a girl (which I was just CONVINCED it was. Bzzzt.) she was going to be Anne Therese. I had JUST venerated a relic of St. Anne before I got pregnant, and Therese is a constant presence in my life these days.

    Instead, we have an Andrew Joseph, but we'll call him Drew after my dad, who died in April of this past year.
    But I'm totally saving Anne Therese for a possible future daughter.

  13. Cathy: Vodka? A nice Russian name, no?
    Andrew Joseph; what a very Catholic, manly and inspiring name!!
    God bless him and you all!

  14. Speaking of names: the Cathy's here confused me.

    Cathy, pregnant?

    Thought I missed an announcement.....:>

  15. Thanks, Father!

    Sorry, SF!

    Maybe I should be "Cathy of Chi-Town", haha.

  16. Well the priest who baptised me didn't think Melody was a name, so he recorded only my middle name, Katherine, in the parish records. So every time I have had to produce a proof of Baptism (such as for 1st Communion, Confirmation, or Matrimony) whoever was looking up the record would come up blank until someone remembered to tell them what name to look for.
    Good post, Terry, on names that are a little bit unusual (it doesn't make them bad!)

  17. Melody,

    As a genealogist, I would have INSISTED my child's name be recorded as it was on her birth certificate!
    I have searched for baptismal records of ancestors and been unable to find them at times, when I KNOW they were good Catholics and the babies would have been baptized. Maybe the name was written wrong?

    I think Melody Katherine is a lovely name for the record, no pun intended.


  18. Melody - O my goodness! Your patron saint could be, maybe should be, St. Romanus the Melodist. If only your parents had known so as to inform the priest who baptized you. I can tell you from experience, most parish priests know very little about the saints and Catholic devotions. It's true.

  19. Melody - Melania, an early Roman saint, would also have been a suitable patron.

  20. Where I live, reading the names at high school graduation is an adventure. One of my friends works in the public school system. One day, a mom came in who had just registered her daughter. The daughter's name?

    Le-ah. Old Testament and all that was what my friend thought.

    Lee-yah, right? Wrong. It was:


  21. Argent - I'm familiar with that story - it could be urban legend - but if not - the patron could still be Lea - feast day March 22.

    If the original story is true - the mom must have thought it cool to pronounce the dash when hyphenating the name.


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