Whatís in a name? Do we make the name or does the name make us? Can your name really affect the type of person you will become? How many times do parents pick names that mean certain things? Do they really believe that if the babyís name means ďGallantĒ that the child will be that as he or she grows up? What if the parents just pick a name that sounds good? When a baby is given a name at birth, does the meaning fuse with the child, forming it into what the name means? Like a spell from a fairy tale? How is it that when you look up a meaning to a name, it seems to describe that person even though they may have never known what their name meant?
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Take me for example. Jennifer Denise Cameron. Simple enough name. The story my mom tells me is that the name Jennifer was not very popular at the time I was born and she thought it was pretty. Denise was after my momís favorite cousin. And of course, Cameron came from my father.
Letís begin with the first name. Jennifer. After researching various websites, the general consensus is this: Welsh or Celtic meaning white wave, white spirit, fair one, pure, gentle spirit. Well I do try to be that. I believe that over my life I have tried to be gentle and compassionate towards other people. I try my best to be pure and my complexion is fair. And how is it that even though I did not know my nameís meaning until I was in my teens, that I was already the embodiment of the name? My teachers all said that I was one of the most gentle young ladies, fair to all, pure in my intentions. A truly gentle spirit. I have been down some rough roads, made some bad decisions in my life, but when it comes down to it, I am still that same little girl who wants to help everyone and for life to be fair for those she cares about.
Then there is Denise. This was interesting. Depending on the translation, I am either a lover of wine, or crazy. Let me explain. Following are the translations for Denise:
French from Greek; A lover of wine. The feminine form of Denis/Dennis, which means Ė from the Greek: wild, frenzied; also a lover of wine. From Dionysus, the mythological God of wine and drama. One other meaning was noble. So does that mean I am a noble insane lover of wine? Well, I like to believe that I am noble to my friends. I have just recently become a wine drinker and have come to thoroughly enjoy it. As for the crazy or wild frenzied partÖ.well, just donít talk to anyone who has known me for a few years. I can be a bit odd, but not crazy. At least not enough to be committed, I donít thinkÖ.
Then there is my surname, Cameron. This is lovely. Scottish meaning crooked or bent nose. Sometimes the last name has changed or has had many branches that it is no longer pure. Not mine. I am truly a Cameron. Not that I have a hideously bent nose, but it does slant to the right a bit. And my dad, uncles, and my grandfather have prominent noses.
So according to the meaning of my names, I am a crazy, wine loving, gentle spirit with a crooked nose. Not much of a positive thing, I guess. But in essence, that is who I am. Isnít it funny, though? I knew for years what Jennifer and Cameron meant, but only now did I find out the meaning of Denise. And only recently, say within the last year have I really begun to enjoy wine. Ironic? Or is that how this name thing works?
What if something happens to change that person? I went through a time in my life where I was bitter and didnít trust anyone. But I still couldnít be down right mean. I was still fair and gentle. Honestly, I can not maliciously hurt someone. Regardless of what happened to me that should have made me an angry, hateful woman, I still remain what my name suggests, fair and gentle.
Is it possible that circumstances in our life can change us so that the definition of our names no longer pertain to us? I donít know. For me, though, I find it interesting that I am who I am, which is a living definition of my name.