This well-loved preemie cabbage patch doll came with an adorable birth certificate and the name “Otto”. As a little girl, I took one look at him, and promptly renamed him “Murphy”. I have no idea where the name Murphy came from. The names of several of my other dolls changed on a regular basis, but not Murphy, his name was always constant. The small patch of yarn hair in the middle of his plastic head has been washed countless times, and he now wears baby clothes that once belonged to my little brother. Like many of you, I can trace my love of names back to my childhood. I was always naming dolls, pets, and inanimate objects. But why do we love names? What is it about names that we find so interesting?
Just a few reasons why I think we love names….
Yes, I do love the name Hope, but I also believe that names bring us hope. The time leading up to the birth of a new child is simply miraculous. There is an excitement in the air that cannot be explained. People coo over tiny, precious baby clothes, and make predictions about who the baby might resemble. The hope of a new little being entering the world gives us joy and brings people together. Whether you are brainstorming names for your future children, or helping someone else choose names for their little ones, there is an element of hope involved.
Bringing Characters to Life
Several of the people who have found my baby name videos are writers in search of the perfect character name. Have you ever read a book and fallen head-over-heels in love with a name? I sure have. Many of my favorite names have come from characters that I adore. I think it is brilliant when a name is so perfectly aligned with the mood and feel of a character. It could be an extravagant name, like Alexandrina, a name an author invented, such as Vanessa, or a simple and understated name, like Jane. I find writing to be a cathartic experience. It makes sense to me that others who are called to write might also be drawn to the beauty of bringing a character to life with the perfect name.
History & Heritage
I love combing over my family tree. I find it thrilling to learn what names my ancestors had, and which names have been passed down through our family. Names tie us to our lineage. I can trace my own family back to several different countries (I may do a blog post on this later). I also find it fascinating how immigration has changed both first and last names. Many people specifically seek out names that represent their family ancestry. Irish names, for example, have become hugely popular amongst Irish-American’s. Names are a way to connect with our heritage. Passing down a name or using a cultural name is a way to share history with future generations.
Why do you think people love names?
Hugs & fairy-dust ~ Meagan