What do Our Names Mean?

The chief purpose of purpose of name, of course, is identification. From the beginning of history, children have been given names at birth or soon afterwards to identify them. But when parents gave a child a name in ancient times, they also wanted the name express something to have a meaning.

For example, it might describe his appearance or be a term of endearment. Christian names are usually drawn from some older language. For example, it might describe his appearance or be term of endearment.

Christian names are usually drawn from some older language. For example, Benjamin comes from the Hebrew; Andrew from the Greek; Amy from the Latin; Alfred from the Anglo-Saxon.


Originally, these names had a meaning. A girls born during a famine was sometimes called Una (Celtic for “yellow”) or Blanche (Frence for “white”). Other examples of names that have definite meanings are David (beloved), Susan (lily), Deborah (bee), and Margaret (pearl).

In England and the United States any name desired by the parent can be given to a child. But in France and Germany, a name must be chosen from an official list. When a name translated from on language to another, it often undergoes interesting changes.

For example, Henry is a Teutonic name is translated from one language to another, it often undergoes interesting changes. For example, Henry is a Teutonic name meaning “head of the house”. It becomes Harry, Hal, Henri (French), Heinrich (German), Enrico (Italian), and Hendrick (Danish).

Last names, or surnames, became common only about 900 years ago. They were added because it became too hard to identify people by Just one name. Surnames developed in various ways: by including the father’s name, or the town lived in, the occupation or business, and so on.

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