Sunday, March 27, 2011

What's in a name?

Since I posted a picture the other day of the lovely necklace I got with Annika's and Emmett's names on it, I thought I'd write a little bit about how each of them got their names.

Annika's full name is Annika Beth.  Annika is a form of Ann, meaning gracious.  Beth means "house of God."  However, it wasn't the meanings of the names that led us (well me, really, and Carey agreed) to choose them.  Annika was a name that I had first heard when I was in university and fell in love with it.  It was in my "intro to philosophy" class, and the professor was reading us hypothetical "ethical dilemmas" for discussion and in one of them was a girl named Annika (I can't remember what her dilemma was though).  Beth is the name of my favorite character from the book "Little Women."  In the book, Beth is portrayed as very humble and giving and loved by everyone - very admirable traits.  When I was pregnant with Annika, we didn't know if it would be a boy or a girl, so we also had a boy's name picked out.  If Annika had been a boy, her name would've been Luke Jacob.  However, I had a feeling that it was going to be a girl, because I was so sure about our girl's name, and it took quite a while to come up with a boy's name.  And given the fact that we didn't use the name Luke when we actually had a boy 2 years later, I was obviously not as crazy about it as I was the name Annika (which I still love today). :)

Emmett's full name is Emmett Jacob.  Emmett means industrious and strong.  Jacob means supplanter or subsitute.  But again, it was not the meanings of the names that led us to choose them.  I found the name Emmett in a baby name book and really liked it, and Carey did too.  That's all there is to it - not a terribly exciting story.  Side note: when we told one of the nurses in the hospital that our baby's name was Emmett, she said "oh, like that big guy from Dancing with the Stars."  Even though I don't watch Dancing with the Stars, I had to laugh because I knew she was referring to Emmitt Smith, the football player.  I just thought it was funny that he was now known for dancing, rather than football.  But that's a little besides the point.  The name Jacob is a family name, for both Carey and me.  We both had grandfathers with the name Jacob, so we thought it would be neat to use as a middle name.  Again, we didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl, so we also picked out a girl's name.  This time it was really tough, because we had already used my "ideal" name with Annika.  We ended up going with the name that had been second on our list from last time, Tessa Faith.  However, this time I had a feeling that it was going to be a boy, because I was much more sure about the boy's name, and it took a long time to settle on a girl's name (I didn't want to give her just a second-rate name).  Although, it took us a while to finalize both names - we were still discussing it on the way to the hospital!  Granted, Emmett was 2 weeks early, so we probably thought we still had time to make a decision.

So, there you have it.  For those of you who have kids, I'd love to hear a little bit of how they got their names.  Or how you got your own name...


LaughingLady said...

I chose our girls' names LONG before I was even married ~ and was a little disgusted that the year the first one was born, her named happened to be THE MOST POPULAR girl's name in North America for that year!! It had been so original when I first picked it almost a decade earlier!

Both my girls are named after women I admire in the Bible, though I'm not sure hubby and I really discussed that aspect of it. I simply told him the names I liked and he liked them, too. My prayer for them is that they desire to grow into the beautiful, strong, godly women they are named after ~ one, a woman of prayer and faith, the other, a woman of great wisdom and action. We've talked about their names several times and I hope to continue those conversations as the grow older and understand more of the stories surrounding those women.

Their middle names just appealed to me ~ no special meanings there!

Melissa said...

Tessa would totally have been my choice for another little girls name:)

Sydney is named after my grandfather, who was such an incredible man. With a different spelling of course!

So neat to hear the background with your choices!

Andrea said...

Joelle was also a name I had picked out sometime in Jr High/High School. It worked well in my favour that Les really liked it too! :)

Malia was a name we heard on Fear Factor and just really liked it.

Sometimes I wish we had chosen names that had more meaning and significance...but at the same time, not a day goes by where I wish we had named them something else. I love both of their names and I think they suit them perfectly!