What’s in a name?

When I found out I was having twin boys, I thought long and hard about their names. This is because I have a strange name that people often mispronounce and misspell, so I didn’t want to inflict the same pain upon my children. So, for my precious babies, my criteria were simple:

  • Easy to pronounce
  • Easy to spell
  • Must have a profound meaning

What's in a name-

During the months leading up to their birth, Gabriel and I went over various options for our second son (Michael). This is because I already knew I wanted the first one to be named Matthew. How did I come by this name? It wasn’t anything great or profound, I simply met a two year boy when I was in my teens named Matthew and he was the cutest and nicest little thing ever. When I researched the meaning of the name Matthew, I was hooked! Matthew is derived from the Bible and means “Gift of God”. Saint Matthew is said to have been one of the twelve disciples, a tax collector and the author of the first Gospel in the New Testament. Now, my husband and I are not religious persons but for us the name was fitting. Our children are a gift from God and it was only fitting that the first born got a name suited to that.

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Naming our second twin Michael was a little trickier. We went through a variety of names before settling on the name Jonathan, which means “God has given”. Nice name and meaning isn’t it? Yes, we thought so too. But then we realized it didn’t sound good when you called it out loud with Matthew. For example, if they are being mischievous and I have to shout “Matthew and Jonathan”, it just didn’t have a ring to it. Also, in my country’s native tongue (patois), Jonathan is often mispronounced and that was (and still is) a big no-no for me. Gabriel and my parents also agreed, so it was back to the drawing board. One day my mother said, “What about Michael, have you considered that?” Somehow, that one eluded me so I said it out loud; Matthew and Michael. Okay, it had a little ring to it. It is hard to mispronounce or misspell Michael. Okay, we may have a winner. The final test was to check out the meaning. Lo and behold, the name Michael means “Who is like God”. Michael is one of the seven archangels in Hebrew tradition and the only one identified as an archangel in the Bible. In the Book of Revelation, he is portrayed as the leader of heaven’s armies, and is considered the patron saint of soldiers. Ding, ding, ding!! We have a winner!

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So, here I am with my gift from God and two archangels; my husband Gabriel’s name means “God is my strong man” and he too was one of the seven archangels. What more could a wife and mother ask for? Have my boys lived up to their names? Yes indeed! Matthew is a whiz at Mathematics and not someone you want to mess with when it comes to borrowing or negotiating money and finances. Michael has demonstrated excellence in his Cub Scouts group and greatness in academics, especially Science, and is well on his way to becoming a great leader. As for our archangel Gabriel, he leads the family with the strength God bestowed upon him.

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I am sure there are many other things to consider when naming your child as I found out in these articles:

These are all great things to consider and I hope my story and the articles above can be helpful to you or a friend.

Share with us your story of how you named your child(ren).

 

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2 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

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