This post got me thinking, perhaps most people don’t think of names until they need name their child. The concept is foreign. You see, I’ve long been a name person. I may not be able to tell you a lot about Saint Patrick, for instance, but I can tell you his name says it all. Noble, that’s what Patrick means. Alternate forms of the name include Patricius (Latin), Cothraige (Old Irish), Pátraic (Middle Irish), Padric (Middle Welsh), and Patric (Old English).
Occupational hazard, I suppose.
When I was eleven years old, I plunked down a dollar fifty of my hard earned cash to purchase a book of names. First thing, I thumbed through the pages to find my name: Amy (Beloved) Jo (God will increase). My parents did me proud.
From then on, that small paperback was as much a part of me as my right arm. There I’d be, a gawky kid in geometric prints and jelly shoes, with a large lace bow in my hair–carrying a notebook, Lord of the Flies, and Name Your Baby. Perhaps there’s a reason I never quite fit with the in-crowd.
I, of course, thought nothing of it. Others on the other hand . . . they’d point to the book, chuckle, and ask if there was anything I’d like to tell them. They were not nearly as clever as they hoped. Obviously, I was prepared to name any character that may possibly pop into my head, at any given moment. And name him appropriately.
I still have a tendency to look down upon those who do not treat the naming process with proper respect. When friends and family announce the birth of a child, I barely whip out a congratulatory greeting before looking up the name. If it’s good, I sigh with relief; if it’s bad, I tip-toe back to inquire whether or not the child is named after someone special.
Being hopelessly sentimental is the only thing that saves me from being a complete name-snob. After all, naming your child “dirt-clod” becomes more palatable if he happens to be the namesake of his great-great grandfather who managed saved the lives of seventy people with little more than a toothpick and flyswatter.
So what does this post have to do with anything? Nothing, really–except maybe to say, if one day you happen to tell me the name of your baby, I respond with “Oh, is she a namesake?,” and you answer in the negative–you may want to rethink.