The power of a Name

Names.

Names….. Names….

What is your name?

Have you ever really thought about your name?

Lets take a trip back to the past.
Throughout history we see people associate and greatness or weakness with names.
Names had meaning. It wasn’t I will name this : some random lettering because I feel like it.
No names had a purpose.
We can even relate this to marketing, a great brand name can be the game changer.

The question to ask is why do names seem to hold such power? How can a name change anything about you, me, a product, or anything?

See names can find association, and that association can determine what comes to mind when we come across a particular name.

Think about it, if you hear the following names what do you think of?

  • Hitler
  • Einstein
  • Elvis
  • Julius
  • Abraham
  • Solomon
  •  Jezebel
  • Marilyn
  • Carter
  • Clinton
  • Britney
  • Charlemagne
  • Elizabeth
  • Mohamed
  • Jesus

Now depending on what pop-culture, and how long you’ve been alive/how well you know your history, will determine which names stick out to you for particular reasons.
But when you hear a name, don’t you normally associate it with a previous owner of it and determine/judge someone/something based on that?

I mean think of the kindest person you know. What is their name?
Now think of the meanest person you know. What is their name?
If you don’t know many people to change your opinion of the mean person’s name, would you ever name your kid after that name?
Probably not. Most of us will write names off as bad names, or associate bad behavior to certain names.
But why?

Well lets look in history, in particular the Bible.
In the Bible you find names with their meaning. There was a reason behind stuff. Someone’s name usually had an association with it.
Adam – Man of earth
Eve – Life, or Mother of all living

Still with me?
People had names, and their names were based on something. They had weight or meaning behind it.
It wasn’t a case of, “Oh that sounds pretty”. It was, “This will be called … which means …”
Names had purpose and meaning.

Now that we are kinda on the same page lets start with the questions that arise with this topic.
First off what how in the world did parents come up with such life influencing names?
The one that comes to mind is Jacob from the Bible. Jacob, meaning trickster (or something similar when translated). But think about it. His name affected most of his life till God renamed him.
It was like his name brought on a list of issues/sins/struggles, etc. with it.
But how would his parents, Isaac & Rebekah, foresee this?
|| Pause||
||Longer pause||

Did think about that? I’m mind boggled. How could you look at a newborn baby and know, or guess the type of person they will be and the name they should have to go with who they are/will be.
Now obviously not all names had implications from future events.
Moses had a name that meant – Drew from [water]… but later on we see how that “Drew from..” comes back into play with all of his life events.

Hopefully I’m relaying my crazy thoughts well enough for you to follow.

So here is what I have concluded:
Names are powerful.
Our minds associate names with people, places, or facts we know.
At one point names were given with meaning behind them.
-And during that time a lot of people met qualifications to their names.
–These parents were very insightful, to say in the least!

I mean maybe I’ll figure out the deep mystery behind this when I become a parent…. Or maybe its a lost art.

Before we go though, let me raise a question that will hopefully make us think about names a little more before casually naming things with no care in the world.

What if the parents had no clue.
What if today’s parents have no clue.
No clue about what, you ask?

Well what if I hinted at earlier, what if a name brings things with it?
What if by association certain names will struggle with certain things. Naming someone something would cause an association of characteristics.
What if?
I won’t say it is. But I won’t say it isn’t. I just find it an interesting theory.

And with every rule we seem to find there is always some exception, especially in the English language… but that is an entirely different subject and we’ll talk about that another time.

For now leave with the question that you can ask yourself as life goes about,
“Do names still have significance to them? Or have they lost their power for the most part?”

Food for thought!
-David Sager

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One thought on “The power of a Name

  1. I do believe names still have meaning just look at your name or mine Drew this is my real name but more likely it came from the name Andrew. Depending where the name came from they have different meaning mine is more scottish but also since it is a form of Andrew it biblical as well. names are a spider web of sorts depending which way you look or go

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