Saturday, 2 October 2010

What's in a Name?

I have always been intrigued by names and their meanings. How different cultures and origins affect them, but most of all, how sometimes they seem to affect personalities in a very mysterious way. The relation of names and personalities even go back thousands of years, when Romans simply believed that nomen est omen, which basically means "names are destiny". And Muslims also believe that a name is a prayer, where a person's image and personality is mirrored by the choice of their names. It is said that psychologically, our names affect the way we feel about ourselves, which somehow determine (in many cases) the course of our paths in life.




So have you ever wondered what's the meaning behind your name? Let's ponder at these...

Amanda: worthy of love.
Andrew: manly, courageous.
Anne: gracious.
Bella: beautiful.
Brian: strong one.
Cecilia: the way for the blind (also from St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music)
Heather: a flowering plant (a very pretty one too!)
Julia: youthful.
Jack: God is gracious (diminutive from John)
Jessica: rich, God beholds.
Karen: pure.
Krista: Christ bearer.
Lauren: crowned with laurel.
Nicola: victorious people
Rossichka: tiny drop of dew, diminutive from Rossitsa (she told me!).
Shirley: bright meadow.
Tammie: palm tree (taken from Tamara, symbolizing beauty and fruitfulness).
Vanessa: butterfly (Oooo...pretty!)

...and my name, Amalia, means 'hardworking'... (*????!!*). Hhm, No wonder I feel tired all the time. (^_^)

These are just some examples of the names I'm familiar with, and my source is just one from hundreds (or maybe thousands?) to choose from. Although similar, a name may have different meanings according to cultural backgrounds and origins.

And of course, many people also believe that a name is just a name. That a person's name bears no significance to their personality and destiny. It's all just a matter of choice. After all, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." (Shakespeare)

Well, if you don't like your name, you could always change it.

Have a glorious weekend, everyone!
Hardworking, oxox ♥♥♥


PS: Anyway, just out of curiosity, what name would you give the lady in my painting up there? Any ideas?


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36 comments:

  1. hello "hardworking!"

    I love the idea behind this post. Isn't it fascinating what a name can mean, or even bring to a personality.

    I am married to Mr. "manly and courageous"...and YES, he is. I must tell him this, he will LOVE it.
    This is a beautiful girl you have created here...hmm, I can't wait to see what you name her...

    love,
    "a flowering plant"...

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  2. Isadora pops into my head for some reason. She just looks old fashioned and Isadora-like to me. Karen means pure, but hmmmm, pure what I wonder? hehehe, just kidding. I am pretty much a what you see is what you get kind of person. It's funny how the meanings of the names of the people I know seem so much like their personalities, their blog personalities anyway. My blog personality is the same "me" as the real life me, so I assume the same for all of my other blog world friends. What a fun post Amalia, I can definitely imagine you being hardworking...

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  3. These are all so beautiful. Do you use paint or markers? If it's paint, how do you blend the face tones so perfectly? I'm in awe!

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  4. Oh Sister Tree! (hardworking! wow) I love this post in several ways... I didn't know that my name means "worthy of love". I don't know exactly why, but I feel very touched, and your drawing is amazing, it's so, but SO beautiful, that I want to KISS it, really! The girl on your drawing seems to be brave, wise, friend of nature. I'm curious about which name will you choose...
    Foundly, Amanda ;)

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  5. I like very much your colors.
    Congratulations Amalia, thanks for show us your work.

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  6. Chinese name often consists of 3 chinese characters which normally the one on the left represent the family name while the middle and the right characters are the first name.

    The two first name characters could symbolise two different meanings that the family wishes to give the child, for e: strong and determined or self-discipline and confidence etc.

    I was thinking the name Suzanne when I look at the the beautiful and elegant young lady of your artwork =p

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  7. This is a beautiful and interesting post Amalia. People used to really research what a name meant before naming a child (well, I know it was a Catholic thing for sure....I mean mine being Anne Maria--St. Anne, mother of Mary, Maria being the Italian of Mary, me being hatched there!).
    I loved reading what all the names meant and I think I had better brush up on mine....I have not been too gracious lately.
    At least I don't think I have been!
    heehee!!!

    XXOO~~♥
    Anne

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  8. Hello from 'youthful'!

    What a fun post! I love the way names have different meanings - In fact we thought very carefully about our youngest boys' names when they were born.

    Thanks for sharing such a great post with us.

    Do I understand you correctly that you painted this lovely creature?

    She has a slightly different feel to her than some of your more recent work. I love her!

    Looking forward to what name you decide to give her.

    So glad you are back sharing more of your lovely work with us!!! and your insights which are always dead-on.


    Smiles and hugs

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  9. Oh what a beautiful and elegant lady she is, hmm, I can't think of a fitting name for her though, I have trouble when it comes to thinking of suitable names!
    I enjoyed reading this post anyway. Your artwork is always so beautiful that I can definitely imagine that you live up to your names meaning of 'hardworking', there is definitely a lot of hard work put into your art and it always looks wonderful!

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  10. I don't know why but she looks like a Leonie to me!

    She also reminds me of the character in the Philip Pulman books - His Dark Materials/Golden Compass with her 'familiar'. I can't remember her name...(had to google) - Lyra!

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  11. dear Amalia,
    You are so romantic, my heart knows these words above her.... She is gorgeous.

    It was so fun to read the meanings of your blog friends names and to find mine on there made me smile.

    hardworking romantic beauty, that feels more rounded for you.

    with warmth, fruitful beauty

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  12. Well, I did not know that about my name, and I must say I'm tickled!

    I have to remind my son, Asher, that his name means "happy" and I did not know that Grayson means "son of the gray-haired one" (which actually should have been sort of obvious, no?) and is entirely appropriate in my husband's case.

    I will name your elegant lady Cassandra Ruth, a perfectly lovely name we never got to use! ;)

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  13. My dear Amalia, what an intriguing theme! And as a result - such an interesting post and lovely comments! Obviously everyone has to say something on the subject... I think that the name definitely has its significance and influences more or less one's life. The numerology explains these matters. I suppose you know that every letter has its relevant number. So… the whole name has its number which means something, of course. The numerologists say that the letter with which the name begins has its significance, too and even the letters, missing in the name, calculated as a number. I have the impression that a few people decide how to call their child when they see it for the first time. Usually they have made their choice long before the birth. I know people who calculated their child’s name according to the date and hour of his birth and the arrangement of the planets in that very moment. Nevertheless, I think there’s nothing wrong if someone doesn’t like his name, because the reasons for this can be different. Still, it’s better if you like it and wear it with dignity, isn’t it?
    What about the girl in your drawing – I think Valeria suits her. And… maybe Nora.
    By the way we have wonderful Bulgarian names, male and female, beautiful like sounding and meaning. My name is one of them.:-))) I can't believe your name means that! But... you prove it every day, every hour, don't you?xx
    And maybe this is the right time to ask you what is the pronouncing of Amalia - [a'malia] or [a'meilia]?

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  14. My dear Amalia, what an intriguing theme! And as a result - such an interesting post and lovely comments! Obviously everyone has to say something on the subject... I think that the name definitely has its significance and influences more or less one's life. The numerology explains these matters. I suppose you know that every letter has its relevant number. So… the whole name has its number which means something, of course. The numerologists say that the letter with which the name begins has its significance, too and even the letters, missing in the name, calculated as a number. I have the impression that a few people decide how to call their child when they see it for the first time. Usually they have made their choice long before the birth. I know people who calculated their child’s name according to the date and hour of his birth and the arrangement of the planets in that very moment. Nevertheless, I think there’s nothing wrong if someone doesn’t like his name, because the reasons for this can be different. Still, it’s better if you like it and wear it with dignity, isn’t it?
    What about the girl in your drawing – I think Valeria suits her. And… maybe Nora.
    By the way we have wonderful Bulgarian names, male and female, beautiful like sounding and meaning. My name is one of them.:-))) I can't believe your name means that! But... your everyday life proves it!
    And maybe this is the right time to ask you what is the pronouncing of Amalia - [a'malia] or [a'meilia]?

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  15. Oh, I'm sorry I clicked something wrong and sent my comment twice, but I forgot to tell you how much your Unknown Lady imressed me. There's some secret in her, some kind of eccentricity. I like her eyes. She looks like an adventurer...

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  16. Aaah, it is now an official lovely morning for me, after reading all of these wonderful comments! Yes, name is such an intriguing subject, isn't it? We don't think too much of it sometimes...as if it's just a personal label that is stuck onto us. :)

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  17. Heather, so your man is "manly and courageous"? Well, congrats on that! Be sure to tell him that and he'll love you even more! Hahaha!!

    Karen, so you're pretty much "what you see is what you get"? Well, just the kind of thing I love in a person... Believe me, that just helps skip the hassles of guessing!

    Katherine, thank you! I actually did the lady in watercolor, and I like using the layering technique (as with oils).

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  18. Hmmm.. hardworking... that's definitely not me .. my name means 'shining light'.
    Your lady looks so soft, genteel and beautiful... to me she looks like..Emily..

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  19. It's a deep night here, long after midnight and it's time to have a good sleep!...But sometimes the name doesn't suit its "owner". The theme is deep and vast...

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  20. Amba, deary, you are definitely worthy of love! Your parents really named you well... Hhm, I think I should look up the names of your sisters and brother too! (^_^)

    El Jo$e Inc. and Desiree, thank you for that! :)

    Hi Yeevon! Yes, I actually have a few friends who still use their traditional Chinese names. I do love how the surnames are actually used at front with such great importance!

    Anne! Hahahaaa... you are definitely a different kind of 'gracious', but I like you that way. :D :D

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  21. Hello 'youthful' Julia! Actually, I'm in my painting mode these days... Have I ever told you I get bored easily? It's not a good thing sometimes, but thankfully I'm supposedly 'hardworking', so it helps to balance it out... Hehehe!

    Vanilla, thanks so much! You are just too kind... :)

    Lisa, thanks for the lovely suggestions!

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  22. Well, it's true, you know. You ARE hardworking. 180 page books with additional illustrations on the side, just for fun..... pffffft.

    I read an article by a man who gave his children crazy names. His kids are adolescents now, and they enjoy being unique. I don't remember all the names, but I know his daughter is named E. Just E.

    Beautiful lady with her soft furry friend upon her shoulder! I think her name should be Chandra, because her eyes look luminescent and full of mystery, like the moon. :)

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  23. By the way, my full name is Bellabottom Pants Sinclair.

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  24. Aww, thanks, Tammie. I can be too romantic sometimes, down to the level of being mushy! Heheh. So, 'hardworking romantic beauty'? That would be like living on the ground and above the sky in the same time! :D :D

    Hey there, Krista! Well, your parents must have had a mission in giving you that name... (^_^). And your son's name means 'happy'? Wow, is he all happy and cheerful all the time? Agh! Imagine what Grumpy must feel everyday... :D

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  25. Rossichka, you're right about numerology. I actually read about it, but sometimes I like to keep things as a mystery. I was never one of those people who get carried away with zodiacs, horoscopes and fortune telling. Although, I am impressed with how great men and women have invented these systems for us to find more meanings about ourselves.

    I agree that we should wear our names with dignity, because I think the course of our life is shaped by our own doings, not our name. :)

    By the way, my name is pronounced ah-ma-li-a.

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  26. Helen, thank you! Oh, and your name meaning is beautiful!!!

    Ah, hello there Bellabottom Pants Sinclair!! I do hope you don't look like a belly bottom. That would make it hard for me to talk to you without laughing... Hahahahaa!!! Well, I sure did those 180 images for fun and for the hollow echoes I keep hearing from the depth of my purse every time I open it up! Bwaahahahahahaa!!! (hugs, my lovely friend!)

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  27. Anyway, thanks all for the inputs on my lady's name. So far, I have:

    Isadora
    Suzanne
    Leonie
    Lyra
    Cassandra Ruth

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  28. Amalia! What a lovely, lovely post..and I'm so honored you added my name to the list..it is a treat to see the "meanings" of names. So, you hardworking wonder...you continue to amaze me with all of the beautiful images you create. I am loving this new illustration as well as your recent post of all of the book images...my you are so busy and truly hardworking! Oh my..what to name your lovely lady? Hmmm..I shall have to think of this longer..it has to be the right name! : ) I can't wait to see what you've named her though!

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  29. Hardworking Amalia! (I think your name is lovely. Has such a pretty sound.) What an interesting post. I do think about names sometimes. Thought about them when I named my children and currently think about them when naming characters I make up. However I don't usually think about the idea that your name can affect who you become. Hmmm...is there a name for "successful illustrator?" :)

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  30. What an interesting post! I love hearing about the different meanings of names, it is fascinating! Interesting that my name is "crowned with laurel"--I was almost named Laurel! I love that it has a Latin origin too :) Your painting is gorgeous! She looks like an old soul. I can't think of a name at the moment, I will have to think it over :) ~Lauren

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  31. Heh gee I am only number 31, I have been fighting demons all day, you know, they are after my socks! One sock says Merry Christmas, the other says "Andrew" - in case I get lost.

    To tell you the truth, the main reason I have flyaway frizzies is because of all the wind that blows past when I am hanging from the chandeliers (chandel-ears?), swinging from rope thingies - or genereally just performing swashbucking feats of derring (pronounce the 'r's as double yous) doodles.

    hey the gilrs name - well Isadora gets my vote. I was going to vote for Ailama at first - because sometimes what we see in our metpahorical mirror is what comes out in our metaphysical works...

    Hardworking? Well by name and nature. It is ood (sorry keyboard sans the letter 'g'.

    Who would want to softworking? I ask you :)

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  32. Well you can tell I am abore i real life I just talk about myself ...

    I forgot to say what a beautiful work Amalia, she is pert, confident, obviously lovable (courtesy of the affectionate furry animal) It's not just the stare but the definite feathers that reiterate the confidence.

    Did you know that about animals? Stvene King the horror writer often shows a bad chracter being horrible to a poor defencless animal to underline his badness - so I guess the opposite is the case. It's like if you are a man with a beautiful woman you are immediateky much more attractive to other women - so we read things into a character's charracter by their accoutrements - and we do it subconsciously.

    .... so I love your work.

    cheers from Noz.

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  33. Oh oh! By accoutrements I meant associates - not belongings!

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  34. Hello my dear Amalia! So how do you have time to let us into your amazing world. You are so busy.... I'm so glad that you share your work with us. You are a blessing. I love the name meanings. So cool. How did you find out that Jack is a diminutive of John. Most people don't know that my real name is John. Sometimes I forget myself. Your illo is so lovely. She looks like a Catherine to me. (I'm not sure what Catherine means, but it starts with cat and she is apparently an animal lover) My wife loves your work Amalia, She's going to look you up on facebook(if she hasn't already) God bless and keep up the (hard) good work!

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  35. your work is beautiful and your posts so fascinating! I love finding out what names mean mine means quite a few though I can't remember them.

    The meaning of your name is perfect you certainly live up to it! I hope you find time for yourself though!

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