On The Brighter Side
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What’s in a Name
Do you know anyone today whose name is Ichabod? The name appears in the Bible referring to a bad prophet who died because he was wicked. The name means “without glory” and he was true to his name.
We all recall Ichabod Crane from the story from “Tales of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. This Ichabod was chased by the “Headless Horseman” and fled into the mists of legends.
What about Herkimer or Barnabus? Probably not although it is the name of a missionary who traveled with St. Paul as told in the New Testament. Lemuel, Penelope, Greta, Keziah, Zorada… all are nice names, but have been replaced in popularity by more trendy modern names. Various sources report the top 10 boys’ names include Liam, Noah, Elijah, and Lucas, but John, James and Joseph are still popular. Girls names that are currently most popular include Emma, Olivia, Abagail, Emily, Taylor and some original ones coined by parents today, or in some cases, traditional names with weird spellings. Those children will be spelling their names for everyone for sure.
Isn’t it strange that once we had so many girls named Mary, or Mary in combination with Margaret, Louise, Ann, Elizabeth, Agnes, Grace and so many more. Now we have entire classrooms or schools without even one Mary. I think it will reappear again and become “trendy”again. After all, it is a grand old name!
Nicknames have always been used and sometimes fit better than the actual given names. Red heads still answer to “Red.” Most are complimentary, but occasionally some are rather rude… “Piggy,” “Fatty,” and others of that type are not welcomed. We met Almanzo in the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, but her nickname for him was “Manley” which was okay with him.
Some names have lasted in popularity for centuries and were borrowed from the ancient Greeks, Romans and Hebrews. Most have a meaning such as John, a gift from God, or Mary, a wished for child, or in some sources means “bitter herbs”.
Enjoy your name, and we hope it fits you perfectly. If not, there is always a nickname ready for you.
Remember, Shakespeare wrote in “Romeo and Juliet” “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.
Who knows. Maybe the name “Ichabod” will someday re-emerge from the mists of time and become trendy again. If so,the nickname is sure to be “Icky” and wouldn’t that be cool!
Contributed by Marilyn Goodwin