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What's in a name?

December 5, 2017

Do you have a fascination with names or is it just a strange quirk of mine? I love hearing about the process parents' go through to pick a name. The meaning of names, different spellings, history... ugh precious. I may or may not have a list of my favorite names... 


But really, what does a name say about a child? I have a new nephew who was named Fulton Gregory. When I told people his name they are like, wow, what a strong name. Where did it come from? I agree. I think Gregory is particularly strong. It actually is my father's first name. My sister chose to name her boys after their grandfathers. Fulton is the religious side of the name. It comes from Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen- a Catholic priest who was a famous speaker and is now up for canonization for sainthood. Naming a child after a person- family member, famous person, or a personal role model- gives importance to the name. It is a gift to have someone name a child after you. An act of honor. 


It is important to my family to have a religious aspect to our names so we have an instant role model in our life. My name, Malerie Elizabeth comes from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. She was the saint who started the parochial school system in the United States and was a devoted wife and mother to five children. Malerie was just a name my parents liked. Knowing I was named after a saint, I have a particular special devotion to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. I feel like I can relate to her in a way.... we don't just share a name. She was a strong woman who cared for her five children- a single mother after her husband died young. She was a devoted woman to her faith. Raising five children is a job alone. Yet, she was able to accomplish such an amazing task of beginning the parochial school system. I feel honored to be named after such an amazing woman. 


All my siblings' names actually start with the letter 'M'. We have a Matthew, Melissa, Malerie, Monica, and Mark. My parents chose these names primarily because they liked them. (They did not necessarily choose all our names for another reason besides personal opinion) Monica was named after St. Monica whose feast day was in August which is her birth month. Mark was named after my father's brother who was born a stillborn. Matt's middle name is my mother's maiden name- Clinton. 


I love when parents take naming their children seriously. It not only shows love and excitement for the child, but it is a story. Some parents like a particular theme of names- maybe religious, old English, warriors, certain syllables, nicknames- so many options! I love hearing about sibling's names because it says something about how parents' name their children. Usually they all have a common theme and it's so creative! 


Some parents go for the traditional names- Katie, Emily, Jacob, Hannah, Michael, Matthew, while some get very out there: Ocean, Hazel, Damarias, Braylon, North. Many, many options. 

The meaning behind names is something some people really look at. Whether a name means "strong", "brave" "wild one".... for some families it is important. The Bible has great examples of this! 


Names are so unique and though they don't always tell you about the person, they say something about the family. My top names right now are Luke Nathaniel and Adelyn Clare, Lilianna Rose, Sophia Lucy, Kolbe Ignatius... I stick to mainly middle religious, pretty names,  but I also like some nicknames. For boys I think I like a longer middle name. But for girls it works better to have a short middle name. Who knows. I'll probably change my favorite name tomorrow. And I guess I should also let my spouse have a say..... Luckily, I have time :) 

What's the meaning behind your name?

How would you choose to name your children? 



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