Tuesday, July 07, 2009

What's in a Name?

When someone says Writefreak, i answer, even if it's not on blogville because it's something associated with me. It's a name I have chosen to give myself and everytime I hear it, it reminds me of something I am committed to. When I hear Writefreak, my head goes...you write and you can't but write, infact you're a writing freak. If someone calls we Writefreak atimes and I haven't put pen to paper in a while, I kinda start to feel guilty. That's me, case in point.

When I hear Joy, I tend to expect that the person bearing the name exudes joy, or at least brings you some form of happiness...don't blame me, blame the person who named them Joy. lol....There are often times you see someone acting contrary to their name and we tend to think, how can her name even be this? I'm not automatically saying your name determines who you are or are not but a name is an identity.

For a few years, I've heard people name their kids and the thought in my head is 'what were they thinking'? When a child is named, it's like a prophecy, it's more than just something to call the child. Why do we avoid cursing ourselves or using negative words on ourselves especially as Christians? Because we know the power of life and death is in the tongue and the bible lets us know that those who love it will eat the fruit thereof. I don't want to be calling my child any name that makes no sense.

In the days of the bible, whenever God wanted to change a man's life, He changed His name. He changed Abram to Abraham, he became a father of many nations. Sarai his wife became Sarah, God changed her name and changed her story. He changed Jacob's name to Israel because Jacob met with God. Jabez's name was not recorded as literally changed but I remember the bible saying his name meant sorrow. What kind of a mother names her child sorrow? His life was hopeless, going nowhere cos the sorrow followed him about until he called out to God and then he became more honourable than his brothers (1 chroniceles 4:8 -11). What's in a name you ask?

Saul became Paul when his days of persecuting Christians became over. His name changed and his life and lifestly change. He became the most popular Apostle....there are a lot of examples in the bible, these are only a few.

I'm not totally for changing surnames because I believe some people have carried it to an extreme and I believe when you become a child of God, your history changes and your past becomes hidden under the blood of the lamb. I understand that for some people though, there is a need to change their names. They need something symbolic to know they have escaped their past and hey it happened a lot in the bible. It's a matter of personal conviction i guess...

What I don't understand is people who have a choice giving their children names that will affect their self esteem. Aside the spiritual implications of the name, there's also the psychological implications. We all know how people get taunted by their names in school. Classmates can be mean, who wants their child to be the object of some mean children's bullying?

I got thinking last week in church when there was baby dedication and the pastor asked parents for the names of their children, why they gave them the names and in some cases, the meaning of the names. It got to some guy's turn, they had twins, most of us were busy wowing and awwwing,then it came time to say their names and he said 'their names are gotten from the word salvation'. Pastor asked again what the names were. He said the first one was Salvo..hubby and I were like what on earth! Then hubby said 'ok, ok, it's the Italian word for salvation'. We were cracking up..see..we were already having fun at the child's expense unknowingly. Then the second one, he said the name is 'Salv' or will it be spelled as 'Salve' now. The whole church gasped and some laughed. I was like what in God's name was this man thinking? Was he not thinking about this children? Well I have a single advise for the little ones, once they get to school age, they should quickly start using their middle names as their first names, that's hoping those make some sense. I might be hoping for too much.

I've heard all sorts of names, someone called his kid Senator, is that even a name? I said well he could have called him Accountant since it's by position now..Aloted told me how twins in her church were named Barrack and Oba,a. Dear Lord, do some parents even think? A friend told me how a couple had not decided the name for their child on the day of the naming ceremony. They kept the pastor waiting over 30 minutes. Dear Lord, they had at least 9 months to do that.

I think a name should be well thought out and even prayed about. You don't want people speaking negatives into your kids lives everytime they are called. You don't want them taunted all the time either. My kids won't be having names that mean nothing or names that will make them the object of being taunted..

I ask you, what's in a name?


Olufunke said...

Write freak abeg....you are cracking me up!
I am LOL@ salvo and salve, and then Barrack and Obama

I agree with you, names have an effect God showed us examples by consciously re-naming or even pre-naming before things happen.

I feel changing one's names are issue of personal choice and convictions.

I hope you are not going to cause katakata o...as you are advising children to get to school and start answering their middle names, ( after the parent had painstakingly, prayed or gone to get a revelation/permission from Latin America, Italy, Rome, or even president Obama :-) to get the names out)

A name has as much importance as we attach to it.

Kémi Penélopê said...

My dear, I have been alright, just a tiny bit busy with work and projects that have deadlines.
But definitely I will be around pretty soon to show more love...now let me go and settle down to read your post...

Thank you for your love & concern...

Kémi Penélopê said...

My name is Oluwakemi…when it comes to names, I am very picky and I love them to be unique. I love my actual name (in the real world) because whenever people call me (even though they sometimes murder the way it should be pronounced) I get blessed. They call me here...and then there and I am like ‘Amen’ every time because God called me by that name even before I was born...

***I would advice future parents, please bless your kids with the name you call them...

LG said...

lolll@salvo, maybe dats d short form of 'salvador....4rm dat AIT soap opera (i don 4get d name :-)

aloted said...

i agree with this post...one has to prayerfully select their children's name.

i think i commented a while back on someone's blog that my aunt interviewed a maid and when she asked for the girl's name, she said her name was failure. Omo, that was the end of the interview...My aunt was like I don't want failure in my house. how can a parent name their child failure???

May God help us all ooo


We took naming our children very seriously. And, particularly for many of the reasons you stated.

How you dey?

aloted said...

like Kemi..my names both first and second have had a great impact in my life....as in i cannot explain it...

parents be careful ooo

~Sirius~ said...

I lOOOOOVE my names

In fact, both my names are more than half the reason I am extra special.

My name means "God's Jewel- I like to tell people it means- God's precious Jewel"

The 2nd one is:
"God's Goodness has come"

And because I'm blessed enough to know A LOT goes into the names we give out children, I've made it a point of duty to be extra careful what names I eventually decide to give my " unborn children."

Anonymous said...

lol...i dont even have an english name cs my parents didnt want to name me something that they dont know the meaning of.my name is something that i think affects God's attitude over me...sometimes i feel he passes across millions of people to get to me.

Tigeress said...

Names are very important. When i was younger i disliked my name- it does sound razz. hehehehe. But as an adult and knowing/understanding the meaning of my name- it is one of the most beautiful names ever. And i pray my name shall continue to fight for me- and have the faith that God will never forget nor forsake me.

Adaeze said...

True talk! Lol@ Barrack and Obama. My God...there are statistics on what people name their babies. The first years britney spears was really popular, "Britney" really topped the list. Can you believe that.

Anonymous said...

salvo n salve..lol!wetin
the worst are hollywood celebs...geez they give their kids all sorts of names!The one i dont like is when Nigerians have english names...it like where are you from?why do you have an english name!!to each his own sa

Arewa said...

Is it me or Salvo sounds like a warri name!
We live in a world where blanket, paris, apple, etc are given to innocent kids. Its the bullying that gets to me man. How can u put ur child through that? I'll be going with the oluwaseyis and oluwabukolas.

LusciousRon said...

Oh dear! Names do matter. I have encountered the following names personally;

Thank God
Open the door
Stand well well
Mary Corper 1

Imagine my shock and laughter when I hear them being called! It's just outrageous. Why do parents do these to their kids?

Salvo ko salvi ni. What nonsense.

Sassy Trends said...

LMao.. at least our own beta for naija pass dem jand wey dey use such names as STONE, GREEN, BUSH,...bushi ke? Omo she nje igbo?... and the likes..
Names means alot to us here most especially ethical names...
Salvo ke? abi the man don shark kaikai...or na you dey share small humor...LMAO!

MilesPerHour said...

Names are one thing but I find it quite sad when a child grows up with a name that is mistakenly mispelled due to a parent who cannot get it right. The person then has to live with it for the rest of their life.

downtheaisle said...

kilode...salve and salvo!!! na wa o!!! I knew Nigerians wouldn't waste time before giving their children obama's names..no be naija we dey.

In my parent's church, they had a child christened, "Jesu n'mbo(Jesus is coming) the girl shd be abt 10yrs old now. I wonder the girl's nickname in school?????

QMoney said...

LOL at those names...seriously that made me smile in this my trying period!!
Funny enuf,i dont likemy surname as well and dont like beau's own cos i dont think its better....my mum was talking to me about it that i should be careful with names oh.....she was even thinking names like bolaji....olasubomi...owolabi...imagine dat.i personally like iremide....i am not even married talkless of expecting...

Writefreak said...

Olufunke: let the children go change their names abeg

Kemi: You're welcome and it so makes sense that our name should be blessings to us!

LG: Ah you don come again! You too dey watch TV! lol

aloted: dear Lord, iru oruko wo ni failure. Na wetin the child do the parents wey dem give am that kain name...God abeg o!

Sirius: awww i like your names and i've been trying to find out what they can be..lol..in my head

leggy: i'm not sure i'm going to give my children english names either

Tigeress: i lurrrve your name...if you're good, maybe i'll give my girl child...hehehehe

Adaeze: Say what! Britney ko, Britney ni!

pink satin: i also don't like nigerians who have english names, but hey this thing is a personal choice.

Arewa: lol at sounding Warri, i didn't even think of that...yes i shall being following suit

Luscious Ron: No, you must be kidding with such names..

Sassy Trends: i'm not cracking a joke o. i'm very serious all those Bush and Sand names, na wa!

MilesPerHour: I don't get what you mean about parents mispelling names...

downtheaisle: oh dear Lord, how can they do that to the poor child?

QMoney: my dear...sending you huge hugs..i'm glad i brought a smile to your face. Will try call you later

Artsville said...

Lmho. maybe obama will one day meet salvo, and they will marry. Imagine the card; Obama weds Salvo.

Deedo said...

Names mean a lot, trust me. I quite agree it's important not to name a child something that will be later embarrassing to him among his peers. it can be quite traumatizing.

Lolia said...

LOL @ Salvo!

I thought it was only me that takes names very seriously...Like sometimes I hear some names and I'm like "Why??? Were your parents trying to get you beat up in the playground?"

But I loveeeeee my names...Like everyone that knows me knows just how much...My English teacher in secondary school once said that he liked reading my papers, not just because they were good but because I put my full name on top of all of them...

And whenever I meet people I ask them what their names mean just because I want to hear the story behind it or see if they act the way their names sound...Because I've met some stingy "Charity"s and some un-loving "Ife"s it's just sad...

Anyway before I write an epistle in the name of a comment let me go, hope you've been well...Miss you on bbm :(


Enkay said...

Salvo? For real?
Some parents just like to be experimental about their kids' names. No fair!

I knew someone in school whose name was something like 'consensus' - I don't remember exactly but it was weird!

I love my name and its prophetic implications.

All three of our kids names are already listed even though they are yet to be born.

jhazmyn said...

I once had a neighbor who was named Shunamite, a pastor, who named his son Bethlehem and i have an uncle whose name when translated means " have i wronged anyone?", and I'm totally shocked whenever i think og them, and this is to name but a few.
I wonder what goes through the minds of the parents in question and its sad how sometimes, we don't think it through thoroughly before we name our kids.

I love my parents to bits for naming me first "The one God gave" and "A female is now King", those names have given me a sense of destiny through the years, and like u said dearie, its been prophetic

NoLimit said...

Seriously it can be ridiculous atimes...
A cousin of mine named his child "redeemed"!!! I cringed when I heard it...imagine people shortening the name to "ridi" lol
another friend name his child "Anointed" I almost collapsed with laughter 'cos I was at the naming ceremony and I remembered discussing names with some friends (prior to the naming ceremony) and we imagined someone naming their child Anointed...we decided the short form will be "Anoin"...pronounced "annoying" lol

JideSalu's Diary said...


Names.So well said. Names are so important and can define who you are and where you may end up if one is not in the know-how!!

Very good post, I quite enjoyed it.

taKia and God bless.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of making sure each name you choose for your child is a blessing to them. I honestly feel like each of my names are a blessing and a symbol of how much I am loved and like aloted said, I can't explain how I feel when I think about my name.

For the parents of Salvo and Salv, I think the intention was good but boy oh boy this wasn't thought through entirely. I know awon oyinbo here try to make sure that their children's names are not going to cause their pikin trouble in the future, and they try to make sure the first and middle names work with their surnames too.

OE said...


r u serious?
they named the baby salve?