Meaning?

[name]How[/name] much does the meaning of a name matter to you? When I have kids, I only want to give them family names for first and middles. I recently looked at my list of favorite family names and realized I would never consider most of them if they weren’t family names. Does meaning outweigh personal preference? Thoughts?

In my personal opinion, if you don’t like the names on your family tree, you shouldn’t use them. I understand that some people like to honor family members and I think that’s wonderful and very lovely, but if you really don’t like any of the names and you don’t think they’d be suitable for a modern child, then don’t use them. Or maybe just use them in the middle spot? [name]How[/name] about double middle names ? That way you get to honor two family members but your child still has his or her OWN name to identify with and one that YOU love too.

Meaning is VERY important to me, but I have to legitimately love the name on its own merit.

My husband thinks that kids should have their OWN name and the family names can go in the middle. I wanted to name our second son [name]James[/name] [name]Myron[/name] after our grandfathers, but since there were already other [name]James[/name] relatives on my side, DH absolutely objected saying our kid needed his own name (even though our surname is different). I read the whole stupid name book and the only thing I liked was Zephan, so he became Zephan [name]James[/name] [name]Myron[/name]. I sometimes wonder what our naming landscape would look like now if hubby had let me go with my first choice, but on the other hand I am glad that he insisted and that our son has his own special name. He usually ends up having a good point, but don’t tell him I said that, haha!

Now this time my husband has his heart completely set on using his dad’s name, [name]Donald[/name], which I abhor. I’m having a really hard time with it because I just don’t like the name on its own. I think it’s fine to use a variant, or even a totally different name that embodies an element of the original name ([name]Donovan[/name], for example), but it just won’t do for DH. So it’s going, as is, as a second middle with other names that don’t make me cringe when I see them alongside [name]Donald[/name].

Honestly, meaning has very little importance to me. Maybe that will change when I get older, I don’t know. But my name is my father’s inverted ([name]Scott[/name] [name]Bryan[/name] -> [name]Bryan[/name] [name]Scott[/name]) and I always felt like I didn’t have my own name, that I had to share his name. I want my future children to feel as if they’re unique and not tied down by having someone else’s name. I want them to have a name that my future wife and I both love…and honestly, there are no names in my family tree that I’d use over the names I like. So, probably the only “naming tradition” I’d use is an SBW or BSW initial for my first son, only because that’s been in my family for lots of generations, but also because my favorite boy’s combo conveniently has the initials SBW. :slight_smile:

(P.S. Sorry if this post doesn’t make sense! lol)

I try to balance personal preference with meaning/family significance. I include at least one family name and at least one name with a great (although perhaps non-literal) meaning. I would not use a combo that was purely because I liked the names, but I would not use names I actively disliked either. A good solution for me is to be flexible about how a name can be meaningful, for example I think even using a name with a same initial/meaning as a family name could count as honouring that name.
:slight_smile:

Unless a name has a very negative meaning I am fine with it, as for significance Im trying to decide if I even want to use family names for the sake of using family names and I dont think I do because it’s impossible to please everyone and I dont want to deal with ruffled feathers when it comes to my children’s names. If I like it (and I do like some of them) then I will use them for that reason first and honoring family second.

Meaning means a fair amount. I’m avoiding negative meanings, like [name]Kennedy[/name], [name]Marie[/name], [name]Cecelia[/name] etc.
However, if the name is a name in it’s own right but has a negative medical term? Like [name]Alexia[/name]? Screw it. It’s good enough of royalty, it’s good enough for me.

I adamantly do not like using family names, especially for first names. Children are already given their names by their parents, they get no say in what they’ll be called for (likely) the rest of their lives. And then to give them someone else’s name on top of that? It’s like stripping every bit of individual identity from the name. Family names as middles is fine, but even then I’d like to stay away from it.
I wouldn’t mind doing it for a second middle name though.
That’s just how I see things, plenty don’t agree and that’s fine.

Meaning and personal preference are fairly even for me. Meaning is important to me, so it ties into my preference.

I don’t want to say meaning is everything but it is of the HUGEST importance to me. There are only two family names I want to honor and I am OK with both their meanings. There are a few “guilty pleasures” on my list that are names that have a maybe not so good meaning but I love the sound of them. But those names will simply stay on the list and never make it onto anybody I name.

I’d only ever use a name that has a special meaning to me. I’d like to use family names, but I’d consider any meaningful name- maybe after a place that holds special importance to me, the literal meaning of the name, or some other important symbolism (for example, my grandmother loves [name]Calla[/name] [name]Lilies[/name] and used them at her wedding, so I’d consider [name]Calla[/name] or [name]Lily[/name] for her.) There are so many names that I love, and they’re always changing. I’d never regret picking a name with a great meaning, but I may regret a name picked for style alone. And I think it’s nicer for the child to have a nice story behind their name besides “my parents liked it.”

I’m pretty flexible with how names honor people, though. I think [name]Bill[/name] could be honored with [name]Belle[/name] or even [name]Bellamy[/name], [name]Maggie[/name] honored with [name]Magdalena[/name] or [name]Margarita[/name], and [name]Ann[/name] (or [name]Jack[/name]) honored with [name]Johanna[/name]. And I wouldn’t knock a name because it has a negative meaning- if, for example, I grew up in a town called [name]Claudia[/name], I wouldn’t count it out despite its “lame” meaning.

I’d only ever use a name that has a special meaning to me. I’d like to use family names, but I’d consider any meaningful name- maybe after a place that holds special importance to me, the literal meaning of the name, or some other important symbolism (for example, my grandmother loves [name]Calla[/name] [name]Lilies[/name] and used them at her wedding, so I’d consider [name]Calla[/name] or [name]Lily[/name] for her.) There are so many names that I love, and they’re always changing. I’d never regret picking a name with a great meaning, but I may regret a name picked for style alone. And I think it’s nicer for the child to have a nice story behind their name besides “my parents liked it.”

I’m pretty flexible with how names honor people, though. I think [name]Bill[/name] could be honored with [name]Belle[/name] or even [name]Bellamy[/name], [name]Maggie[/name] honored with [name]Magdalena[/name] or [name]Margarita[/name], and [name]Ann[/name] (or [name]Jack[/name]) honored with [name]Johanna[/name]. And I wouldn’t knock a name because it has a negative meaning- if, for example, I grew up in a town called [name]Claudia[/name], I wouldn’t count it out despite its “lame” meaning.

Meaning is important to me - not necessarily the etymology of the name but what it means to me personally. Does it embody certain qualities/spirit? Does it honour a favourite story, song, place, person (whether family member or historical/mythological figure)?

These are the connections that count for me not what the literal translations/roots/affixes are supposed to mean.

I don’t believe in using family names for the sake of it - particulary if I wouldn’t use them otherwise. I would rather honour family in other ways (such as same initials, related names, names inspired by them) whilst still using names that I love.