Shakespeare: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet
Rick Riordan: Names have power
Morris Mandel: Integrity: A name is the blueprint of the thing we call character. You ask, What’s in a name? I answer, Just about everything you do.
Rachel Ingber: A name represent integrity, a deep feeling and holds tremendous significance to its owner
Growing up in the church, I learned the significance of words, numbers, and names. My mom volunteered in the church bookstore, so I spent quite a bit of time there before and after church. I mostly looked through the tapes, yes, cassette tapes (this was the 80s) and eventually, the CDs to see what latest project my preferred music artists had released. I wonder if this where my love of bookstores began… Anyhow, I would also peruse the books, and most notably, the office supplies – notebook, pens, highlighters, etc. I was also introduced to pocket-sized name meaning cards.
I think I was maybe eight or nine when I received my card. I learned my name has a French origin that means strength. There was also a bible verse that I used to know. I haven’t seen my card in years, but it was probably one of the best gifts I received. When there were times I laid in bed in tears over something or nothing at all, I was reminded of my name.
I grew up not liking my name. Even though my last name is Jones, I always felt that my name beginning with a letter located towards the end of the alphabet was so odd. Why would anyone want to choose a name for their child beginning with a U, V, W, X, Y, or Z? In 1st grade, I met Venedra and was so impressed with her name because it sounded so unique, and it started with a V! When I was introduced to Vanessa Huxtable, I wondered how old I did I have to be to change my name. I decided that 18, I could become Vanessa and that my hair would be as curly as hers. I do not recall at what age I settled into my name but learning the meaning helped.
Somewhere in my teenage years, I found out my name means determined in another language. I have concluded that my name means Strongly determined. This information has helped me learn me. The name defines the function. The name determines the response and the level of respect. I often wonder if Adam enjoyed his job of naming every creature, insect, and plant in the Garden of Eden. The amount of wisdom bestowed upon him.
If you’re wondering, yes, today, I love my name. As a preschool teacher, it is challenging for those developing little mouths (I’m Ms. Dal or Ms. Bal and I’m okay with that!). I appreciate whatever lead my parents to settle on Valerie – I’ve asked several times for some loving anecdote, and all I get is, “I think I saw it somewhere, and liked it.” Either way, I do not think I could have pulled off Vanessa.
Give Love. Get Love.