American Lit 10/17 – What’s in a name?

Over the weekend you were supposed to read chapter 1 of Song of Solomon. If you didn’t, tonight’s your night to catch up.

Today we talked about the significance of names and naming in the book, though not necessarily what specific names in the book mean. We found out that the Dead family ascribes great importance to a name.

In class, we used http://www.behindthename.com/ to learn about our own names. Tonight, and preferably in the comments below, explain how your name and your identity are connected. Do you go by a nickname? Does the name meaning or popularity reveal your identity somehow?

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4 thoughts on “American Lit 10/17 – What’s in a name?

  1. Le in English has no meaning while LEE derived from the the Old English word “Leah” which means “clearing”. The name LEE was/is popular in the American South as the surname belonged to Robert E. Lee. In Chinese my name derives from “Li” which means black and dawn. The Vietnamese translation is “to celebrate” or a “holiday”. My mom named me that because she KNEW I was going to be the life of the party, I’m kidding. Even though I am a quarter Chinese, I was not named because of the meaning of black or dawn. Oddly enough my college essay is all about my name and its significance in my life. Growing up I always wanted to have a common name since my name was subject to many play on words (goaLE, ugLE). I hated my name for the longest time until I realized I should celebrate who I am and the growth that I have shown. I’m the type of person to try and liberate other people (or I hope I do) and I find that important in my identity. I enjoy celebrating other people’s successes, granting I like you. With being able to celebrate, I find it important to see the good in people. I try to celebrate their goodness, I don’t consciously connect that celebration to my name however. Also, I don’t have a nickname because it would just be L and I am not catching L’s on the daily,

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  2. Timothy is derived from the Greek name Timotheos meaning “to honor God” which is funny because I’m not religious. That is all that my name means. I don’t have any preferred nicknames but some that I have heard are, “Timmy Turner”, “Timmy”, and “Tim Vo The Science Bro”(I thought of this but it’s a username) I don’t go by any of those. My name is not really that exciting, but it sounds cool I guess.

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  3. Cathy is the diminutive, or short, for Catherine. Catherine is also the french form of “Katherine”. Actually, the name Katherine came from the Greek name, Aikaterine. This Greek name went through many eras that led to different meanings of the name. Anyways, the name Aikaterine has so much history behind it that I can’t really simplify. It could mean “torture” or “pure” depending on the different Greek terms. The name Cathy was popular around 1955-1960, then the usage of that name started dying down up until the 1990s.
    For the connection between the meaning of my name and my identity, I wouldn’t consider myself that represents “torture” or “pure”. Both definitions contrast each other in a way that I can’t put myself in one or the other. I honestly don’t know what type of identity I present myself towards everyone, but if there is a word that describes me differently, I think the meaning of my name wouldn’t reflect who I am as a person.
    Overall, everyone calls me by my full name but my nickname is usually Cat amongst my close peers.

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  4. The name Natalie means “Christmas Day” from the Late Latin name Natalia, which came from the Latin word natale domini. In the U.S., my name is rank #27 which obviously shows that it is very common. Although I was born in 1999, my mom has always had my name picked out for me. My grandmother was named Natividad which also comes from the word Christmas. You would think that my mom named me after her, but she named me after an actor on her favorite novela, Natalia. She always mentions how she knew that one day she was going to have a daughter and that was going to be her name.

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