Essay about names and their meanings

What s your Name?

So the name gateley means 'a clearing where goats are reared' and Ridley refers to 'a space where reeds grow'. There are a great number of surnames derived from the word 'hill'. As well as Hill and Hills, there are hull, Athill, holt, wold, noll, Knollys, Knolles, ness, Thill, and Knill. Similarly there are many names that refer to streams or rivers, such as those that include 'beck' or 'brook and other names that refer to bridges (living by one, living on land near one, or the keeper of one). Row or Rowe refers to someone who lived in a row of cottages or houses by a hedgerow. Paternal names - except in the celtic fringes of the British Isles, the patronymic surname did not really become established until after the norman Conquest of 1066.

Sometimes children find that they prefer the second write name to the first name and ask people to use that one instead. In the case of my own son, i only gave him one first name, believing that was sufficient. Link: meaning of English first names click here family names Turning now to English surnames, these did not exist until medieval times. It was the norman conquest of 1066 that introduced the practice to England. By 1400, most English families and those from Lowland Scotland had adopted the use of hereditary surnames. However, the welsh only began to adopt the English system of surnames following the union of the two countries in 1536. Early English surnames fell into six main categories: Topographical names - many people adopted names that referred to a geographical feature of where they lived or where they owned land. Sometimes the description was quite precise or detailed, such as Aschcombe meaning 'a dweller in or near an ash tree valley' or Denleigh meaning 'a dweller by a clearing in a valley'. Other examples are 'john at the ford' which became over time Attford or 'Thomas of the ash-tree hill' which became Ashdown or 'peter dweller by water' which became walter. There are a lot of surnames which use variants on the term 'ley' which refers to an open tract of land, such as a pasture or meadow, natural or man-made.

essay about names and their meanings

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A boy called Jasper, rufus or Rupert or a girl called Camilla, make davina, jemima, lucinda or Petunia is probably from an upper class family. Another powerful influence on names is immigration. The uk has had successive waves of immigration - from the caribbean, India, pakistan, parts of Africa and so on - and this has added to the stock of names in this country. Someone called Winston is probably from a family of West Indian origin, while someone called lakshmi will be from a family from India. A final point about first names: the British - and other Anglo-saxon and European nations - often give their children more than one 'first' name. Upper class families frequently give their children three first names. There is no rule, but it is a powerful convention that such second or third names are family names, such as that of a grandparent or other close relative.

essay about names and their meanings

every name tells a story

Some names come into fashion, typically because of the popularity of a mom pop, movie or sports star. The australian soap opera "Neighbours" - in which a young Kylie minogue played a character called Charlene - led to the temporary popularity of both Kylie and Charlene in both Britain and Australia. Some names come in and out of fashion. A good illustration is Emily: a third of all Emilys are aged over 60, but more than 40 are under. As a general rule, in recent decades British parents have become more selective in chosing names for their children. In 18th century England, roughly a quarter of babies were called either John or Mary but, from the 1960s onwards, parents have been more inclined to chose names that enable their children to stand out rather than fit. Importantly, in Britain the choice of names is very influenced by class. A boy called Jason or wayne or Darren or a girl called Sharon or Tracy or Michelle is almost certainly from a working class family. A boy called Charles, Edward or Nigel or a girl called Felicity or Harriet is almost certainly from a middle-class family.

Similarly, if one combines the occurrence of Isabella, isabelle, isabel and Isobel, one would find the name top of the girls' list and, if one took lily and Lilly together, the name would come third, while darcie, darcey and Darcy would boost that name's ranking. Link: top boys and girls names in 2016 click here for some girls (but, for some reason, not boys one first name is not enough and they are called names like ann-Marie or Sally-Ann or Sarah-Jane. An occasional complication is that, since English pronunciation is so irregular, it is possible to have names that are pronounced identically but spelt differently - such as Brian/Bryan, rachel/Rachael, Ann/Anne, carol/Carole or or (even worse, because of the different genders) Francis (male Frances (female). Lesley (usually female, but can be male!). Indeed there are a small number of names that can be used for a boy or a girl - such as the aformentioned Leslie plus Hilary, dale and Carol. Names are very influenced by fashion. Some names fall out of fashion - a man called Alfred, Arthur, basil, percy or Horace or a woman called Bessie, dorothy, mavis, nellie, ruby or Vera is probably in his/her 60s, 70s or 80s (although Ruby has just jumped back into popularity).

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essay about names and their meanings

Argumentative essay on The Importance of One s Name

Second, it is review striking how traditional most of summary the names are for both boys and girls, although for the boys it is interesting that the familiar form of names rather than the original version is often preferred - harry instead of Harold, jack instead. Third, in the case of boys, four of the top 20 names begin with the letter 'j' while, in the case of girls, 10 of the top 20 names end with the letter 'a five of the top 20 names end with the sound 'ee. On the other hand, the name john (my father's name which is the most common male name in Britain, is nowhere in the top 100 names in the 2016 listings, while david - which is the second most common name in Britain - slipped out. Similarly margaret - the most common female name in the population as a whole - does not even appear in the top 100 names chosen for girls these days, while susan - the second most common name in Britain - is not even in the. These observations underline how much fashion shapes the popularity of different names.

Fashion is a stronger influence with girls' names than those of boys. So, for example, in the last decade or so Elsie has soared to 31, ivy has jumped to number 54, violet has risen to 65, bella to 66, lexi. It should be noted that the Office of National Statistics (ONS) produces its ranking of the popularity of names using the exact spelling of the name given at birth registration. If one combines the numbers for names with very similar spellings, a very different picture is revealed. For boys, combining the occurrence of Mohammed, muhammad, mohammad muhammed plus eight other spellings of the names would put it in first place - a reflection of the changing ethnicity of the British population and the powerful trend for Muslim families to name their son.

For example, my first name roger was brought to England by the normans - it comes from two germanic words meaning 'fame' and 'spear'. For my son's name, i used the same source: the name richard was brought to England by the normans and comes from two germanic words meaning 'power' and 'strong'. Incidentally such Germanic names are known as 'dithematic' - that is, they consist of two vocabulary elements. English female names with this Germanic origin are much fewer in number, but include Alice and Emma. Some first names have been adopted from family names. Take, for instance, the name digby.


This is sometimes used (mainly by middle-class families) as a first name but started as a surname. It refers to digby in Lincolnshire and comes from Old Norse words 'diki' (meaning 'ditch and 'byr' (meaning 'settlement. It is true, as my friend Zhihao says, that although we have a wide variety of first names, the same ones reoccur very frequently. The 10 most common first names of Britons alive today are the following: Name, population John 1,442,000 david 1,183,000 Margaret 734,000 Michael 718,000 Peter 655,000 Robert 620,000 paul 604,000 Susan 568,000 James 565,000 William 535,000 Of course, names change in popularity. According to the data compiled annually by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and published each September, the most popular names for children born in England wales during 2016 were as follows: Position boys Girls 1 Oliver Olivia 2 Harry Amelia 3 george Emily. First of all, astonishingly the most popular boys' name and the most popular girls' name are essentially the same (Oliver and Olivia) - what is technically known as cognates - and these names have been in the top two for their gender for the last. Is this the case in any other nation?

Names have power: five essays on Names and Identity discover

Many English first names (like those of many other European countries) are derived from the names of saints - paper such as Anthony, christopher, Francis, george, gregory, stephen for men and Catherine, ann, bernadette, mary, jane, teresa for women. Another source of 'English' first names is the celtic tradition. Barry, brian, Bridget, donald, duncan, ian, kenneth, kevin, neil evernote and Sheila come from Irish and Scottish gaelic, while gareth, Gladys, Gwendolen and Trevor come from Welsh - all these being Anglicisations of the original Celtic names. Other 'English' names were brought to the country through invasion. Scandinavian exports include Eric, Arnold and Ronald. The normans of north-west France brought many names to England as a result of the invasion of 1066. This invasion was the route for many pre-Christian Germanic (usually male) names to reach England - such as Charles, henry, robert and William.

essay about names and their meanings

This is not the case engineering for English names (or for those in most Western European languages). English names are mostly opaque, that is the 'meaning' is not obvious and is to be found in languages other than modern English, often ancient languages no longer spoken (such as Latin or Ancient Greek). Therefore parents choosing an English name for their child rarely do so because of the 'meaning' of the name, but for reasons of polyphony (they like the sound of the the name) or personality (the name reminds them of a relative, close friend or person. In spite of this opacity, virtually all English first names do have definite meanings which reflect their origins. The first source for names used in Britain and throughout the English-speaking world is the bible - male names like adam, benjamin, david, jacob, joseph and female names like deborah, eve, rebecca, ruth, sarah. In fact, sarah has given rise to other names - sadie and Sally both started as pet forms of Sarah and then became names in their own right. The new Testament gave us the names of the four evangelists, matthew, mark, luke and John, and the apostles, principally peter, james, Andrew, Thomas, Philip, bartholomew, john and Simon.

newson, north, paris, pearson, pick. If you carefully read each of these surnames, they mean something to us foreigners. But, certainly, they mean nothing to these people who own them as a surname, nothing much but a surname.". Zhihao is absolutely right. The naming of people is a fascinating subject that varies so much around the world and tells us so much about a country or society. Everywhere names mean something, but often the meaning has been lost or obscured by time. The study of personal names is known as onomastics. Behind this forbidding word lies an utterly absorbing subject that tells us so much about history, geography, tradition and culture. British names, first names, in some cultures, the relationship between first names and vocabulary words is transparent, that is the names are just special uses of ordinary words.

He pointed out to me : "In western countries, if we say tony or george, people will never know whom i am talking about. But, if I say blair or Bush, they all know i am talking about the top leaders of two developed countries. But in China, if you say li, wang, Zhang, Zhao, sun (very popular surnames with millions of the population sharing each one people get lost about who evernote you are referring. Similarly, in a smaller context, like in a small work unit, we use surnames a lot, but English people by contrast use first names instead. So, we may notice in England that every shop, every company has a sarah, jenny, tom, Elizabeth, or even maybe two. Usually, for the hundreds of millions of Chinese people, we say there are one hundred common surnames for them to share. So, i believe, in the wider context, they distinguish each other by first names and then English is vice versa. In the last two years, i have been collecting interesting British surnames to prove that westerners have millions of surnames and plenty of them are quite humorous.

All in a name essays

The use of personal namesBack to home page click here, what's iame? The varying use of first and family names in different countries and cultures, contents. Introduction, i have a very close Chinese friend called Zhihao who lives in Britain with his wife hua and son Joshua. We first met hua on the return flight of our trip to China click here and, since they came to Britain, Zhihao and hua have become as close as family. Each time we meet, we find ourselves comparing and contrasting British and Chinese cultures. Zhihao became particularly fascinated by the use of personal names in our two societies. He noticed that there book are huge differences in how people use names in the two cultures.


essay about names and their meanings
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3 Comment

  1. Most Chinese first names have no meaning on their. This essay is intended to. A person s name signified their person. The father s name, meaning that he has made.

  2. On all types of symbols and their meanings. Derivatives of the sanskrit name devdar, meaning timber. Zhihao became particularly fascinated by the use of personal names in our.

  3. Where writers engage in defining their terms or interpreting and. I use names with meanings. I heartily disagree with the other explanation that over time words and phrases lose their. Tree symbolism and tree meanings are prominent.

  4. I would like to thank you very much for the wonderful list of idioms with their meaning. Characteristics of different types. Some essays ask for a more expository than.

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