What’s in a name?

September 3, 2006

When I was pregnant with Sophia and trying to figure out what to name her, I stumbled across a really cool name etymology site called Behind the Name. My days of baby naming are over, but it’s still fun to peruse the assorted names and their meanings every so often.

With my son, I really wanted to name him Drake (“male duck” or “dragon”). Unfortunately, I was the only one who liked that name, so we went with my #2 choice, Trevor (“big village”). Maybe you can tell I didn’t really choose Trevor’s name because of the meaning. Truth be told, I am a hopeless Anglophile and I wanted a name that sounded really English. At the time, Trevor was pretty rare on this side of the pond, so I thought it was perfect.

For his middle name I originally came up with Noel (“Christmas” but not pronounced like No-el) but ultimately decided to give him Edward (“rich guard”) in tribute to by father (Edgar – “rich, blessed” + “spear”) and my grandfather (Edwin, also “rich guard”).

During my second pregnancy, I started thinking about names almost immediately. My first choice for a girl was Elizabeth (“my God is abundance”) Gloriana (“glory”) in tribute to my favorite historical figure, Elizabeth I. Unfortunately, Dan thought it only fair that if I picked one name, he should be able to pick the other name.

So I selected Sophia (“wisdom”). It was an older name, pretty, and (thanks to the actress Sophia Loren) it sounded Italian. (Dan is half Italian, so I wanted a name that reflected her heritage.) For her middle name, Dan chose Donata (“given”) as a tribute to his father, whose middle name was Donato. Wisdom given…. it almost sounds like we picked it out based on the meanings.


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