Name Meaning Articles

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The unique stories we find behind the research and meaning of a name.

I love my job.  Not only does this work help to support my family, but the joy of ministering to others through the meanings of their names is tremendously rewarding to me.  We are constantly meeting new people, so we’re constantly researching new names and the unique origins and backgrounds of personal names.  Every few months, I receive a letter or story that underlines the inspiration and encouragement that people have found through the meaning of their name.  Sometimes when I research, I stumble upon some additional history and I’m drawn to dig deeper to find the story and meaning behind the name.  Here are some of those fascinating stories.

With Joy and Blessing,

Last Name Meanings

Your last name provides innumerable clues about your family and ancestors. The study of last name meanings, their roots and their possible developments is truly intriguing.

It is very difficult to ascertain the origin of a surname. Most surnames are derived from a root, and the interpretations of this root might be made differently by various cultures and ethnicities.

  • The first obvious guess would be, this is an occupational name given to those who were either key makers or key keepers. Here, it might have been derived from Old English caeg, which meant key.
  • It might be derived from kaye, which is Old French for quay, basically a dock. Here, it again takes an occupational nature.
  • It might be a derivative of the word ka from Old Norse, which means a jackdaw. Thus, in this circumstance, it might be given to a person who has resemblance to the bird.
  • Another possibility is that this name might be of Celtic origin, derived from Welsh or Cornigh derivatives Cai and Key respectively.

James, Jim, Jimmy, Jaime. Jacob

a name defined by the bearer

                             
In his youth, Jacob traded with his brother for the right of the firstborn (which, in Bible days, meant both a spiritual blessing, and a double portion of the inheritance.)  Later still, his mother persuaded him to disguise himself as Esau, and he tricked his elderly father into giving him a special blessing from God.  For those reasons, many name books will say that the name Jacob means «Deceitful», or «Supplanter.» (as in, one who supplants a king’s throne, usually through trickery.)

However, with a deeper inspection into the life of Jacob, we find that his actions, though sometimes less than honest, were often aligned with a positive, underlying motivation.  It is most clearly seen later in his life when he was walking alone on the far side of the river, and met an Angel of the Lord.  The dialog indicates this may have been God himself, and not a separate messenger. 

The account isn’t clear what provoked a fight, but the two wrestled all through the night, until finally the Angel supernaturally dislocated Jacob’s hip, and still Jacob refused to let go until the Angel gave him a blessing.  And so, God blessed Jacob, and also changed his name to Israel.

The point is that throughout Jacob’s life, he always sought the blessing.  He didn’t always do it in the right way, but his actions repeatedly show that it’s exactly what he wanted.  His mother’s blessing, his father’s blessing, and ultimately, God’s blessing.  So if a historical meaning is to be drawn from this namesake, then it is: “One who Seeks the Blessing» with this verse:

By John Dehnart

Everyone has a first (also called “given”) name. The name is the first identification for everyone; we learn to respond to it or use it to address a person. Most people have common names; a few of us have more unique ones. Factors such as history or religious beliefs can influence the popularity of a name. Whatever your name is, you have probably wondered more than once; “What does my name mean?” – “Where does my name come from?” Your children will probably ask you the same questions about their own names. Many people have a degree of knowledge about their name meaning and origin, while others do not, and some believe that the name meaning helps you to discover who you are and where you come from.

If you are an expecting parent and you are searching for a baby name and its meaning or if you are simply searching for the meaning of your own name, you have come to the right place. Our website is a free resource of names and meanings with more than forty thousand names available for you to browse. All of our names come with meaning, origin, popularity, pronunciation, famous bearers (including celebrities and other historical figures), history and other useful information.

Name Meanings And History Of Names

You can discover the meaning and history behind your name or any other name that you want to search. Please note that name meanings are not the same, sometimes not even for the same name. There are many names that have different meanings in multiple countries and languages and there are many names with the same or similar meanings.


With more than forty thousand boy and girl names complete with name meanings, origins, popularity and additional information, we have the perfect name for you. We also have categories of names for a more specific search or you can just read our articles about baby names and parenting tips.

Discover the origin and meaning of your given name and contribute to our resource, leave your comment or any information that we can use to improve the database.

Select your favorite name by gender:

Boy Names   Girl Names   Unisex Names

Browse Names by Origins

Check our wide list of Baby Name Categories.


Didn’t find what you were looking for?

“What’s in a name?”

In this famous quote from Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet,” Juliet argues that a person’s name is not nearly as important as whom the person really is on the inside. While that is true, attempting to choose a name for a baby is a difficult task. There are many things to consider, such as popularity, origin, pronunciation, and family history, but one of the most important factors is its meaning. You can browse our website with more than 40000 name meanings to not only find a name for your baby but also find out the meaning of your own name, its origin, popularity, famous bearers, where it is used worldwide, countries and languages of use and other additional information.

Names and different Name Meanings

Even if parents choose a name simply because they like it, or because it is popular, at some point, their child will probably wonder, “What does my name mean?” Suppose a girl is given the name Delilah. It is not the most common name, but it sounds rather pretty. Imagine the day she tries to look up the meaning of her name. Depending on what source she uses, she will find out that it means poor, weak, languishing, or a flirt. Obviously, that could be rather discouraging to a young girl, but some other sources say that it means delicate or desirable. How can one name have such different, almost opposite meanings? This apparent contradiction occurs because names often evolve from different languages and mean different things depending on the country or region from which it originated.Name Meanings History

Helga is an excellent example of how a name can mean different things throughout history. When most people in the United States of America hear this name today, they probably think if it in terms of Chris Browne’s comic strip “Hagar the Horrible,” so the meaning of the name Helga must be domineering, nagging, and ugly, right? That may be true today, but in the past it had nobler meanings in other countries. In Germany, it meant sacred or holy, and in Scandinavian countries, it meant prosperous or successful. This is just one example of how a name’s meaning may change throughout history.

Why we search for meaning in names ?

Names with diverse meanings in different countries

Names also have various meanings in different countries today. For instance, the name Oliver has Latin roots and means “olive tree.” That could be a good strong name for a young boy, but the name also has English roots with a very different meaning. Having a name that means “elf army” could result in a lot of unwanted teasing for a boy named Oliver.

Teasing is just one of the reasons that expecting parents should consider the meaning of their child’s name. The child will be stuck with that name forever, so it will be important to know why it was chosen. While having a name with a terrible meaning behind it does not mean that a child will be doomed to a life of misery, he or she will probably wonder where it came from in the first place. There are many things parents should notice before choosing a name and the truth is that all the parents want to find the perfect name for their baby.

Unique Names Meanings

Unique Name Meanings

In the past few years, there has been a growing trend of giving children unique and original names. While it can be special for a child to have a unique name, it must be tempered with a little bit of common sense. It may be exciting to have a name that is one-of-a-kind for a while, but it will become an annoyance if most people struggle pronouncing it, much less spelling it. Another common way of naming children, not exactly a trend since it has been around for centuries, is naming them after someone special, particularly parents or grandparents. This can be a great way to connect generations and deepen the meaning of a name in a particular family context. In most cases it is always nice to honor your ancestors by passing the name to the future generations unless it’s a name you hate or it has an awful meaning.

Celebrity Names Meanings

Of course, everyone is always interested in what names celebrity couples will choose for their children. Some seem to stay fairly conservative in their choice of names. Names like Rebecca and John sound pretty common to the average person. Other celebrities are a little more adventurous and pick names that one does not hear as much anymore. Older names like Evelyn (daughter of Bruce Willis and Emma Heming-Willis) have gained some popularity because of their new usage. Then there are the ones that no one can really make sense of, like Blue Ivy (daughter of Beyonce and Jay-Z). There must be some meaning behind it, but no one seems to know for sure what it is.Blue Ivy

How does one answer Juliet’s question, “What’s in a name?” Obviously, an individual’s character is more important than his or her name, but names do have significance. So before choosing any name, consider the meaning carried with that name. Make sure you choose a name wisely and love it for the right meaning of it, or the personal meaning of the name to you.

With more than 40000 of boy and girl names, complete with name meanings, origins, popularity and additional information, you will find the perfect name and meaning. We also have categories of names for a more specific search or you can just read our other articles about baby names and parenting tips.

Discover the origin and meaning of your name or search for a name meaning and leave your comment below.

Select your favorite name by gender:

Boy Names   Girl Names   Unisex Names

Browse Names by Origins

Check our wide list of Baby Name Categories.

Related Articles about Baby Names:

name research books

There are several ways to look into a meaning of a name. When researching, we always look for the encouraging, positive aspect of it’s meaning , not just the literal meaning.  At it’s heart, our research is to help others realize the significance and purpose of their lives from God’s perspective.  Each individual has incredible value to God, and understanding one’s name from God’s perspective can be a personal encouragement and inspiration.

The study of proper names is called onomatology.  The root word is from the Greek onoma, which is the word for name.  (with the negative a- prefix, it is the source of our English word anonymous, meaning «without name» or «against name»)  Anthroponomastics, (from the Greek words for man and name) is the study of personal names.

The academic side of the anthropnomastic field can stretch into many other fields, like linguistics, history, anthropology, psychology, sociology, philology and others.  Most basic name meanings can be found through etymology, which seeks the original literal meaning of the name or root word.  Some meanings can be found easily, when names have a direct associative meaning, like «Rose» or «Grace» .  Other names, like Lyria or can have a connection to another associative background, the Lyre , a musical instrument.

Names can also have historical meanings, based on someone who’s name carries a certain amount of synonymy with their lives or reputation. Giving a son the first and middle name of «Bill Clinton» or «John Wayne» carries with it a certain amount of meaning based on past historical figures.  During and after World War II, many German people who carried the surname of Hitler or lived on a street named Hitler changed the name to an alternative.  This was because of the historical reputation of the name. 

Contemporary social and cultural figures can also hugely affect the public view and interpretation of a name.  The 2008 Census revealed an increase in babies named Barrack, explained by in no other way except that Obama won the presidency.  The name Miley moved up 152 ranks in popularity, while the popular teen singer, Miley Cyrus, took on her given name rather than her popular character name, Hanna (Montana), which fell from rank #9 to #17. 

Other people are named after a family or relative, who was known for a certain quality or characteristic. I was given the middle name of Richard because of a dear friend of my parents who was known for his compassion and generosity.  Even though the name historically means Powerful and Benevolent (after King Richard the Lionhearted), the meaning of my name to me includes the generosity and compassion that characterized my namesake.  Sometimes the reasons parents choose certain names can be part of the meaning of the name to them, and to their child.  So if you are wondering about the meaning of your name, a good place to start would be to ask your parents the reasons for choosing your name.

The usual source for a name is to look into the language that it is from, and then the culture in which the name gained popularity.  The case of the name Osceola is a good example, as it’s Creek root word meant «Black Drink Song».  But when examined in cultural context, we found that the black drink was a high-caffeine tea used in purification ceremonies by the Creek Indians. 

Finally, we chose the historical meaning of the name, because the most famous Osceola fought for freedom for the blacks of his time and rights for under-privileged women.  Anyone carrying the name Osceola today would most likely not have been given the name because of it’s etymology to black tea, but rather because of the historical traits of the freedom fighter in history.

On the other hand, historical or popular culture does not always prove to be the most encouraging source for the meaning of a name.  Such was the case last week, when someone asked for a bookmark with the name Mercedes.  One would first guess that the name Mercedes came about because of the German luxury car line that began in the early 1900s, the Mercedes-Benz.   While the vehicle popularized the name, and you could draw out its characteristics as the meaning of the name, the surprising truth is that the car was named after a little girl by the name Mercedes Jellinek (1889-1929), who was the daughter of the wealthy Austrian automobile entrepreneur, Emil Jellinek (1853-1901.)  The girl’s name is actually of Spanish origin, meaning «mercies.»

My favorite source for name meanings is when the name has Greek, Aramaic or Hebrew roots, which connect it to the Biblical context of a name.  Dozens of contemporary names come directly from Bible times, such as Jacob, Peter, Abby, Elizabeth, or my own name, John.  Other Bible names come through concepts and qualities instead of names, like Cross or Joy.  Dozens more are connected to ancient language that had meaning and inspiration in Biblical context.

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The name Mary, for example. (can you tell I ramble a bit when it comes to names?)  Most name meaning books cite the meaning as BITTERNESS.  This is because they looked strictly to the language for the meaning.  True, the name Mary comes from the Hebrew word for Myrrh, which was very bitter if you ate it.  Even it’s appearance is knarled and twisted, with it’s long thorns sometimes even piercing it’s own vine-like trunk.  Such was the use of the word in the book of Ruth (1:20) when Naomi had lost her husband and two sons, and spoke to her daughter-in-law, Ruth: «Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.»

However, with a closer inspection into the use of the myrrh plant, a much more beautiful meaning is revealed. You see, if the myrrh plant is hurt, or cut, it produces tears of sap, just as we have tears when we are hurt.  Those tears of sap can be collected and if properly prepared, can be transformed into a most fragrant perfume, a costly healing balm, or even an anointing oil for burial. Those three uses are why it was so significant that the wise men who sought after the  baby Jesus brought Him a gift of myrrh.  You see, Myrrh, —like the hurts and wounds in our life—, was never meant to be tasted and bitterly ingested, but to be transformed through forgiveness, into a beautiful, healing annointing to us, and a glorifying fragrance of worship to God.

A much better meaning for Mary than the literal meaning of  «bitter» is one that applies the positive qualities of the plant.  It’s true that hurts in our lives can cause deep wounds, and we can respond with anger and bitterness, but if we respond rightly to such hurts, our forgiveness can be a sweet aroma to God, and a priceless healing balm for us, and those around us. So on our name gifts, the meaning for the name Maria reads «Fragrance and Healing from Rightly Responding to Hurts.»

The verse we include on those name gifts is Ephesians 4:32, which speaks of forgiveness.

«Let all bitterness, and wrath be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.»

Meanings Of Common Last Names

Smith

Root:– Smitan, which means to strike or smite
Meaning:- People who worked with metal (blacksmiths, etc.) used this name.

These jobs were few of the earliest jobs for which humans needed skilled labor, thus making this a really old surname. Since these professions were practiced globally, we see a lot of derivations for this surname, such as Smyth, Smythe, Schmidt, etc. The origin of this surname is Anglo-Saxon, or as we call it today, Old English.

Jones

Root:- Derived from Yochanan, Hebrew for ‘Jehovah has favored’.
Meaning:– This is a patriarchal surname that means ‘Son of John’.

This surname is famous specially among European Christians. A lot of saints were named John, specially St. John the Baptist. Jones is said to be the most common surname in Wales. A few derivations are John, Johnson, etc.

Williams

Root:– Guillemin, meaning William in French
Meaning:– Son of William

Interestingly, this patriarchal surname might also be derived from Belgic welhelm, which means the ‘shield of most’. Another possibility is that it was derived from Germanic elements wil and helm, meaning desire and helmet respectively.

Brown or Browne

Root:– Broun (Old English) or brun (Old French), both meaning brown.
Meaning:- The color denotes a person’s hair and/or complexion, sometimes even clothes.

The 5th and 6th most popular surname in England and United States respectively, this is a descriptive surname. Some say it could have also passed as a nickname and eventually developed into a surname.

Clark

Root:– clerk and clerec in Old English and Chlerich and Cleireach in Gaelic.
Meaning:- Clerk and/or priest.

This occupational surname was conferred upon several literate people. In its basic form, it means a clerk – someone who can read and write. In Old English, clerk and clerec also meant ‘priest’. But why Clark and why not clerk? This is because ‘-er’ was pronounced and written as ‘-ar’ during Middle Ages.

Murphy

Root:- Irish O’Murchadha
Meaning:- Descendant of sea warrior

This same last name in Gaelic means ‘strong’ or ‘superior’. In the 2000 Census Data, this was the most common surname in Ireland (with its various forms). It was used by people who worked in the navy of various kingdoms. Also, it can be concluded that ‘sea warrior’ might also be a term used for many other professions apart from the obvious navy.

Martin

Root:- Latin Martinus
Meaning:- ‘Mars’, the Roman God of war and fertility

This was earlier just a given name. As of today, this is the only available meaning of this surname. Other variations include Marten, Martain, Martyn and Martine.

Bernard

Root:– German compound bern-hard
Meaning:- Resembling a bear

Bern is the old form of bear and the name might symbolize someone who has the strength of a bear. Variations of this surname include Barnard, Bernart, Bernhardt, etc.

Thomas

Root:- Aramaic t’om’a
Meaning:- Byname for twin

This last name was assumed by one of Christ’s disciples, with an implication that meant ‘twin-brother’. Earlier, it was just a personal name and was adopted as a surname much later. Today, it is common not only in France, but also in Britain, especially in Wales. Even in the United States, it is one of the most common surnames.

The surname ‘is widely used by the Nasrani families from South India. The British first used ‘Tomas’, the Italians used ‘Tommasi’ and ‘Toma’ and the Germans used variations such as ‘Thom’ and ‘Thoma’.

Rossi

Root:- Latin rous
Meaning:- Red

This is a descriptive surname and the most common in Italy. It is the plural form of Rosso which in Italian means ‘red’. Rosso is derived from rous, which also means ‘red’. Alternatively, it is also said that ‘The Rossi’ was a Scandinavian tribe, whose members were called Rossi.

In Italy, you will find that Rossi is used in the southern parts while in the northern areas, people use Rosso. In lot of texts, Italians have been referred to as ‘red heads’. It might thus also mean that this was essentially an ethnic name.

Ferrari

Root:- Old Italian ferro
Meaning:- Blacksmith

The root ferro is derived from Latin ferrum, which also basically refers to an iron worker. Essentially, it is an occupational surname with its origin solely in Italy.

Esposito

Root:- Latin expositus
Meaning:- Placed outside and/or exposed

Children who were abandoned, were given this surname. It is the most common surname in Naples, Italy. Another study says that this might be a topographical surname for people who ‘lived outside’, perhaps the outskirts.

García

Root:- Basque artz
Meaning:- Bear

This descriptive last name with its variants Gartzi, Gartzia, and Gastea, mean ‘the young’. However, it is also said that hunters in historic ages, were known by the animals they hunted. It is also a very common surname in Spain, Cuba and the U.S.

Martinez

Root:- Latin Martinus
Meaning:- Son of Martin

This last name is frequently spelled sans the acute accent on ‘i’. As we already know, the English equivalent of this surname is Martin; the Romanian is Martinescu; and the Italian ones are Martinelli, Martinolli and Martini.

Rodriguez

Root:- Germanic hrod and ric
Meaning:- Son of Rodrigo

Just like Martinez, this surname is also patronymic, which literally means ‘son of Rodrigo’. The ‘ez’ or ‘es’ means ‘descendant of’. Rodrigo in turn means ‘famous power’. However, an interesting point here is that the key elements are Germanic. These elements are hrod, which means ‘fame’ and ric means ‘power’.

Lee

Root:- 7th Century element ‘leah’
Meaning:- An open place in a forest

This surname has Olde English origins. Apart from the obvious – people living in a clearing in a forest, this last name might also be used by those who lived in places that were called Lee, Leah, Leas or Lea.

Linden

deep roots, broad branches

This name, Linden, has its roots in the name of a tree. The linden tree (also known as the teil or lime-tree) is a tall evergreen tree commonly growing in Palestine and central Europe. It is a handsom tree, with cymes of light yellow flowers and large cordate leaves, which are used in herbal teas and cures. In Bible times, linden trees were also used as landmarks and in designating places. In winter when the linden and the oak trees shed their leaves, they appear withered and dead, but their life-giving substance is still within them, and faithfully returns with buds and blooms that continue to reveal beauty, direction, and healing.

Based on this and other research, we chose this meaning for the name Linden:

From: Old English

From the Hillside Linden Tree: Healer, One who Reveals the Path

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.  Isaiah 42:6-16

Caleb, Kaleb, Kehleb

A Leader’s Courage found in Courageous Faith.

The name Caleb likely originated from the Hebrew word word for «dog», which is Kehleb, but the word was also used to mean «forceful», much like we would say «He’s strong as an ox!» or «Cunning as a fox» to compliment someone’s strength or sharp mind. Dogs have such a distinct set of characteristics, and it is most likely that people originally chose the name to reflect the fearlessness or loyalty associated with the word Kehleb. (Numbers 13:6)

But rather than look into language for the meaning of Caleb, we can also look into the historical and Biblical meaning of the name. Caleb has no doubt remained a popular name because of the integrity and character of the Bible’s Caleb. He was indeed strong and fearless, and also a loyal friend and encourager to Joshua, the man God would later choose to lead the nation of Israel.

There is a host of meaning to be drawn from both the Hebrew language, and the brave, loyal qualities of Caleb in the Bible. Our plaques try to sum that up with this meaning and verse, that I think Caleb in the Bible would boldly represent:

Caleb
From: Hebrew
Fearless, Bold, Loyal: Courage Grounded in Diligent Faith

Name Meaning Articles

Dear CrossTimber,  Having a baby in two months. His name is going to be Cross. Can you please tell me the meaning of his name?

Name Meaning Articles

Because Cross is an English word, there are several sources for meaning.  Some of them are negative, like «crossing» or «doublecrossing» someone, meant to be contrary to them or betray them. It was also used as an adjective, to be cross at someone meant you are angry with them. In the Roman empire, a cross was a very negative symbol, which stood for a torturous execution. But the word Cross also means a turning point and a place of decision, like being at a crossroads or to crossover to a new belief. It is also a word used to connect one place to another, as in, to Cross a river, or to Cross over a mountain range.

But all these meanings are but a shadow compared to the symbolic meaning of the name given by Jesus.  The name Cross is completely redeemed.  Even though it used to be a word that reflected betrayal, anger, and execution, the Cross has come to be a place of decision, a turning point, and a symbol of the only connection between us and God: Jesus’ love for us.

Now how I would fit all that on a bookmark or nameplaque, I’m not quite sure. But I would definitely include this verse, from Galatians 6:14

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Congratulations on your new baby boy!

John Dehnart & Family.

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver
and gold. The rich and poor meet together: Yahweh is the maker of them all. By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.

Proverbs 22:1

Demaris

strength submitted to God

The name Demaris is mentioned once in the Bible, and is a Greek name.  It means Gentle, and Tamed, though I hesitate to use the word Tamed, because American English implies weakness.  Rather, the root of the name Demaris reflects an inner strength that has been surrendered in obedience.  Think of a strong horse, that has let go of its wild instincts, and instead chooses to obey it’s master.

Demaris, from Greek.  Submitted, Mighty Strength: One who is Gentle

Angel, Angela, Angelina

A name with a Message.

Angela is a derivative of Angel, and means: messenger of God. My parents gave me this name with the intent of using Angel as my nickname. As it turned out, I was more of a holy terror than anything remotely angelic as a child. I never got to wear the shortened version I was deamed undeserving of.

Fortunately for my family, and the public at-large, I had a revelation of conscience at the age of twelve when I realized that eternity was a far worthier goal to be focusing on rather than whatever unfulfilling kicks I could get out of my exceptionally limited lifespan.

So I suppose that was about the time I started trying to live up to my name. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve clearly understood the saying: ‘Don’t shoot the messenger.’

An angel is not a delicate thing. The impressions of the world have lost a handle on their true nature. Angels are poorly represented by porceline figurines, plump cherub paintings, or as images of lovely women. From what we see of them in scripture, an Angel is a servant, a messenger, and a warrior. A creature of great strength, poise, and purpose. No shortage of inspiration there.

It has taken me some years and a lot of struggle before I accepted that trying on my own abilities wasn’t nearly as effective as surrendering to the One I was promoting and simply allowing Him to work with and through me. This has become an on-going process in my life. It never fails to surprise me the ways that God has used me to get through to people. I’m not the most charismatic, tactful, or qualified of candidates, which I suppose makes it all the more obvious that it’s about Him and not about me.

Send us YOUR name story!

Where does my name come from?

We recommend that you identify the origin of the name you choose as it shows where this name first came from. Browsing for baby names and meanings by origin is a great place to start searching for your newborn baby’s name, as the origin of the name is usually the first priority when searching for a name, along with its meaning and significance. Parents often consider their cultural and ethnic backgrounds when it comes to deciding on the name, so the origin of the name is an important factor.

Browse our wide resource of unique and different baby names origins from countries across the world that will help you choose your new baby’s name. Click on an origin below to see all the names that have their root in your selected origin.


David

meaning from the heart

What does the name David mean, and who was David?  Faithful shepherd, courageous warrior, a great harp-player, and God’s chosen to be king over Israel. Hundreds of insights have been drawn from the life of history’s best-known David, and the meaning of his life, and the meaning of the name today.

Whenever possible, we look into the Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek roots of a name for its meaning. When we looked into the meaning of David’s name, we found that the root Hebrew word meant «loved» or «beloved». But sometimes, when a name is known because of a positive historical reputation of a person, we choose the historical meaning.

In 1 Samuel 13:14, the prophet Samuel says to Saul (David’s predecessor), «But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.»

For the meaning of the name David, we included «Man after God’s own heart», because that was the positive reputation of the historical character. Several times in Scripture, God refers to David as a man after his own heart. See Acts 13:22 and 1 Kings 15:3 and 1 Kings 14:8

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Name Meaning Articles


Elijah

a name bearing the Name above all names

Elijah is a great name.  Not only was the historical Elijah a champion
for the Lord, but the name also comes from two of my favorite Hebrew words. 
The last portion, as you can see, is the first part of Yahweh’s name, «Jah«.  The first part of the name comes from El, the Hebrew word that means «God».  The name means «Yahweh is my God: Spiritual Champion«

«And Elijah took twelve stones, for each of the twelve tribes of Jacob,
unto whom the word of Yahweh came, saying, «Israel shall be thy name»:
And with the stones, Elijah built an altar in the name of Yahweh.» 
1 Kings 18:31

Melanie’s Bright Meaning

Howdy, all the Melanies of the world!

I’ve been delighted to discuss name meanings with two Melanies who thought their name had a negative meaning.  We have researched thousands and thousands of names, and have never found one that did not have a positive meaning.  Yours is no exception.  It has a wonderful meaning! 

Several of our name meaning books included what your friend said, that the first part of your name, «Mel-» is from the Greek «Melos», which is the word for darkness or darker, as in a darker shade of color, or «dark-skinned.»  We also found «Child of God», and «Hidden», and I recently noted that it could come from the Greek root «Meli-«, meaning Sweet, or Honey, like the name Meli-ssa, which means Honeybee.

We always look for the most encouraging interpretation of someone’s name meaning through the linguistic, cultural or historical significance of a name.  Some names can have negative meanings, like the popular «Mary» or «Marie».  (There is a fascinating story behind the name Marie in the article above.)

The one that really stands out in my mind is the name Oceola, which meant «Black Tea Drinking Shout» in its original (Creek Indian) language.  At the time, there was a black tea made out of a tremendously caffinated plant, which created a sugar high and plenty of shouts and whoops during a young brave’s coming-of-age ceremony.  Hence the term «Black Tea Drinking Shout.»    

But with further research, we found that it was also the name of a city that still stands today, and a famous Indian who fought for women’s rights, and the rights of African American slaves.  A parent who chose the name Oceola today would have known it from the historical significance of a Freedom Fighter, rather than the original Creek translation of a tea that was so caffinated it made Indians shout.  There are even several U.S. Navy ships named USS Osceola.

Melanie also has a legitimate historical meaning, because parents chose it for their children after two saints with the name Melanie in the 5th century.  She was a Roman who gave all her wealth to the poor.

For the name Melanie, we avoided linguistic meanings that could imply negative qualities, or meanings that would only appeal to certain groups of people.  Not all Melanie’s are dark-skinned, dark-haired or have dark personalities, so we looked for the positive, functional qualities. 

Melanie, from Greek, «Hidden and Protected, Generous: One who is a Child of God»
He that abides in the secret place of the Most High, El Elyon, will abide under the shadow of the El Shadday, the Almighty, the Faithful Provider.  I will say to Yahweh, «You are my refuge and my fortress, my Elohim, in whom I trust.»  Psalm 91:1-2

Name Meaning Articles


Names that mean Trusting

Abbi, Coen, Faith, Grant, Hope, Keely, Winston


Name Meaning Articles

Camella asked, «Is there a name that means I put my Trust in the Lord

Name Meaning Articles

Thank you for your question! There are several ways to look into a meaning of a name. Some names can have an associative meaning, like «Rose» or «Grace», or someone named after a family or relative, who was known for a certain quality or characteristic. Names can also have historical meanings, based on someone who’s name carries a certain amount of synonymy with their lives or reputation. Giving a son the name of «Bill» and the middle name of «Clinton» carries with it a certain amount of meaning based on past historical figures.

For names originating in Greek or Hebrew, my favorite source is to look into it’s languages and words in scripture. To my knowledge, the Bible doesn’t contain a name that was specifically given to mean «I put my Trust in the Lord». However, there are dozens of name meaings with the concept of both being trustworthy, and trusting in God. What may help first, is a study into the word for trust.

Psalm 71:1 begins, «In thee, O LORD (Yahweh), do I put my trust.»

There are many names that contain God’s name in them. The suffix of «-iah» or «-jah» is the poetic form of the name Yahweh. Josiah means «The Fire of Yahweh». Tobiah means «Yahweh is Good», Zechariah means «Yahweh has Remembered.»

In the New Testament, the concept of Trusting in God was usually translated Faith, while the word for expectation or confidence was usually translated Trust. That word is Elpizo, usually based on plans or arrangement, (e.g. I trust that I’ll see you on Monday.) Or an expectation based on reasoning and observation of evidence, (e.g. The sky looks clear now, we can trust that the weather will be good tomorrow.)

Pisteuo is the other Greek word, which is usually translated believe or faith, as in Matthew 21:22, «And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.» or Mark 9:29, which says «Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.» Or 1 John 3.23, which says, «And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.» Hebrew 11:6 gives us some keen insight into the use and meaning of the word, when it says, «But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.»

More names with similiar meanings are:

  • Keely, Gaelic, means Beautiful: One of Trust

  • Faith, English, «Firm Believer: Secure Trust in God»

  • Hope, Anglo Saxon, «Trust in God’s Future: Faithful, Understanding Heart»

  • Abbi, Hebrew, «Joy from Trust in the Father: One who is Directed of God»

  • Winston, Old English, «From the Friendly Town: One who is Trusting»

  • Coen or Koen, German, «Brave: One with Confident Trust in God»

  • Grant, French, «Tall; Assurance: One of Solid Trust»




Blake

deep beneath the research

With just a few minutes of effort, a wealth of research can be found for the name Blake.

The first interesting milestone is that it can be from aparent contrasting roots, ‘Blæc’ (black, dark) or ‘blac’ (bright, shining). Originally a surname this is now also used as a given name. Blake’s 7 was a British science fiction TV series, shown in the late 1970s. The main character was named Roj Blake. The name Blake enjoys it’s American popularity in the central states of the US, being noticeably absent from the top 100 of the majority of the Northeastern states (eg Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut), and southwestern states (eg California, Arizona, New Mexico).

From our research, we found that the name is Anglo-Saxon, meaning «Attractive, Forgiven: Redeemed: Forgiving through Grace»
With that name, we chose Ephesians 4:32, which my mom used to sing to me with a happy tune when my brothers and I needed to be reminded not to fight.

«Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
  
even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.»

Other research also adds «Harmonizer» «Son of Lake», «Pale Blond, «Dark» or in contrast «Light». When we research a name, we often find many language or cultural backgrounds to a name, but for our Name Gifts, we look further for an Encouraging application of those historical qualities.

For example, almost every Sarah I’ve met already knows their name means «Princess», but on our plaques, we look for the application of Princess. We are Princes and Princesses because we are the children of the Sovereign God, the King of Kings.

You may have had a hard time finding a «Christian Meaning» of the name Blake, simply because researchers won’t find it mentioned in the Bible, and it’s not a name based on religious elements like the names «Faith» or «Hope» or even «Christian». What you’re looking for is a Christian understanding of the name; how the name’s background and inherent meaning are viewed by God in light of Christ’s Love and Salvation. Blake inherantly means Forgiven, with some thought and research into Biblical principles, forgiving others first requires God’s redemption of our lives, and His grace. Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14 And with what measure we forgive, we will be forgiven.

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A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver
and gold. The rich and poor meet together: Yahweh is the maker of them all.

By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.
Proverbs 22:1

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Origins of baby names all over the world

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Anna, Anne and Hannah

historical and etymological meanings

In the case of the name Ann, our research has revealed two meanings for the name, because there are two sources or «directions» in which to look for the meaning.

Historically, its meaning comes from the bravery of Queen Anne, whose name roots back to the Greek use of the name. Her wise decisions as queen of England gave the name a reputation for courage and integrity. Alternately, in the Hebrew language, the name Ann or Anna would be a shortened form of Hannah, which was rooted in the Hebrew word for Grace. Because grace is God’s favor towards us that both motivates and equips us to do His will, we included that working definition in the meaning.

Ann from Anna or Hannah, (rooted in Hebrew Language) would mean
Grace: One who pursues and achieves what is right.

Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth & love. 2 John 1:3

Ann from Anne, (English history with roots in Greek), would mean
Courageous: One who endures.

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

Interestingly, the historical meaning was based on a character quality that is strengthened only through the empowering grace found in the original meaning. I love this! Thank you!
I knew the Hebrew root of grace or graceful one, but I had not ever seen the English/Greek meaning. That one is especially meaningful because of the way God has been growing my courage through reliance in Him despite my tendency toward timidity.

Thank you so much for sharing!
Ann Hibbard
Senior Editor, HEDUA

Ann, from English, from Hebrew
Enduring Grace: One who Bravely Pursues and Achieves of what is Right

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you will prosper wherever you go.

Joshua 1:7

Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside there from to the right hand or to the left.
Joshua 23:6

What’s my name’s origin?

Search for your new baby’s name by origin. So, you are searching for a baby boy name or girl name to give to your new born baby, you are very close to finding the perfect name to give as the very first gift to your precious one, but do you really know where that name comes from? Do you know the origin or origins of the name?


Jonah, Jonas

meaning in a bird symbol

Jonah is from the Hebrew word for a bird: the dove. Not many names have connections with birds, but those that do usually reference the dove, more than any other bird. Janice, Caolionn, Paloma and Coleman, to name a few. So in our journey towards a name meaning, why not start with the obvious and examine the bird itself. Ornithology (the study of birds) reveals some unique characteristics of the dove, not the least of which is it’s lifetime loyalty to its mate, and it’s cooperative efforts to incubate, feed and care for their young as a couple.

But admittedly, it’s rare that bird studies mix with name research (Anthroponomastics), so let’s turn to the language and culture from whence the name Jonah came. While American culture now looks on the dove as an icon of peace and tranquility, the Bible reflects a different symbolism for the dove. Symbolism and iconography are important to consider in the culture in which the name was given, because it can sometimes reveal the reason why a name was chosen, and therefore be a clue as to the meaning that the parents intended.

For the Jonah of the Bible, his father, Amittai, would have been Hebrew, and well acquainted with the Torah, the first 5 books of the Bible. The Torah’s first mention of a dove has become the world’s most famous dove story; the first creature to exit Noah’s Ark after 150 days of flood waters covering the earth. God had instructed Noah to bring seven pairs of all clean animals, two pairs of animals that were unclean, and seven pairs of all birds, «to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth». Seven is one of God’s favorite numbers, and sometimes signifies eternity or perfection. In the floating zoo for 5 months, the simple presence of the seven pairs of doves would have been a reminder to Noah and his family that God’s perfect plan extended beyond the destruction of the flood and included the birds’ natural roles for repollination (ornithophily) of the earth’s vegetation.

Of all the many birds or creatures Noah could have chosen for the task, he picked a raven and a dove to fly out of the ark to seek land. On its second trip, the dove brought back an olive leaf, becoming the first dove to land with a message of hope, evidence of coming salvation from a desolate and impossible situation.  (Sorry Raven, better luck next time.)

In the book of Leviticus, we read that God chose the dove as a suitable sacrifice for sin offerings for the Israelites. As a sacrifice for sin, the dove became a symbol of atonement and reconciliation between man and God. This would be a second message brought by the dove, one of restoration and reconciliation to God.

Finally, the dove is mentioned in all four gospels, once again conveying the message of salvation and reconciliation to God.

And when he was baptized, Jesus immediately went up out of the water, and the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him, and a voice from heaven said,

«This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.»

With the dove’s connection to sacrifice, this indicated the pure

sacrifice of Jesus that was to come: a sin offering, to reconcile us to God.

Although the life of the historical Jonah takes place before Christ, Amittai and his wife may have chosen a name that meant Dove because of the strong connections to being a messenger of reconciliation and salvation to the bird. Interestingly, that “Life Meaning” represented what Jonah was called to do by God as a prophet, and in that way, Jonah really lived up to his name!

This research provides us with both a literal and historical meaning of the name, and with some thought and consideration, we settled on this life meaning:

Jonah, from Hebrew
Dove: Declarer of Truth, Symbol of Hope, Messenger of Salvation.

Other Common Last Names and their Meanings

Barnes

The surname is basically English. It is either an occupational name given to people who worked in barns or some say it is derived from beorn which is Old Norse for warrior. It could also be given to people who lived near a barn.

Capel

The basic derivation of this surname is from Latin capella which first stood for a hood or cloak but was later referred to a chapel. Also, people from Capel in Suffolk, Kent and Hertfordshire took this as their locational name.

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Carter

This is an occupational name which was given to people who transferred goods by carts.

Decker

This again is an occupational name given to people who covered roofs with tile or slate. It is said to be of German origin. Later it was also used for people who built decks of vessels.

Dillon

This is an Irish name, but it originates from Welsh Dylan. It is said that this last name is derived from de Leon which means ‘of the lion’.

Eaton

This is a habitual name containing two separate words, ea meaning water, and ton meaning settlement. Hence, it could refer to people staying in a town close to a water body.

Evans

A last name of Welsh origin, Evan means the ‘son of Evan’. It is derived from Welsh Ifan who was a cognate of John. In Welsh ‘f’ is pronounced as ‘v’.

Fabian

This is both, a personal and family name. It is derived from Latin Fabius which means bean. It may have also been a family name for people who cultivated beans.

Farrar

This is an occupational name for people who worked with iron, like smiths.

Garnet

Both a given name and surname, it was an occupational name for people who sold hinges.

Gillian

A more popular female given name than surname, Gillian has a Latin root lulus which means youth.

Hanna

This last name was used by people who were descendants of Clan Hannay. The origin of this surname is Scottish and a common derivative is Hannah.

Ives

This name has been derived from a given Norman name Ivo. Ivo was in turn used for any name that started with the Germanic compound Iv. Then again, this ‘Iv’ was a derivative of old Norse yr. ‘Yr’ stood for a bow made of wooden tree. This name gained popularity in England during the Conquest and might have been common among warriors or similar tribes.

Jewett

This is an example of a first name becoming more famous as a surname. The first name (Middle English origin) that acts as its derivative is Juwet and/or Jowet (meaning Julian). To these, you add ‘et(te)’ – an Anglo-Norman French suffix. Later, these were adopted as surnames.

Kennedy

This last name has various etymologies, each having strong derivatives. It might be the anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Ceannéidigh (grandson of Ceannéidigh). Ceannéidigh is derived from the Gaelic words Ceann and éidigh which mean ‘head’ and ‘ugly’ respectively. Another etymology suggests that it might also be anglicized from Cinnédidh or Cinnéidigh, both of which mean ‘helmet headed’. It might also be adapted from Cennétig which was the surname of an old Irish King.

Lent

NOT after the festival, but a habitational name from a place called Lent in Gelderland, Netherlands. It might also be derived from a lost place called Leent, but there isn’t much information available about the same. Another etymology suggests that Lent might be a Americanized version of the German name Lenth.

Larkins

This surname is derived from the diminutive of the Old French name Lawrence or Laurence, meaning victory. Kin might be added to indicate a relative. It might also be adapted from Irish O’Lorcain, the son of Lorcan, where Lorcan roughly stands for cruel.

Myers

Derived from Mayer, which is an occupational name for mayor, this is an English name. However, because of the addition of ‘s’, this would mean ‘son of Mayer’. It might have been also derived from Old French mire, which means ‘physician’. In German, it would refer to the town magistrate. Other versions are Meyers, Myars, Myeres, Miares, etc.

Nott

This name is derived from not(te) which meant ‘bald’. It was used as a nickname for a man who was either bald, or who kept his hair extremely short. It is also said to have certain German influences like not(e) which means ‘nut’, but this seems a little unlikely.

Norris

This last name might have been derived from the word norreis, which is Norman-French for ‘northerners’. It might also be used by people who had their houses in the north of a village. In this case, it is derived from 7th century words ‘nor’ and ‘hus’, meaning north and house respectively. It might also be French, derived from norrice, a word describing a nurse.

Oliver

Essentially, this was an occupational surname meaning ‘seller or processor of olive oil’. People with this surname belonged to the powerful Fraser Clan. The root of this surname is Olivarius, Latin for the olive tree. It might even have a relation to Óleifr, Old Norse for ‘ancestral relic’.

Orvis

Not very sure, but it is said that this name is derived from ‘Horatius’, which is Roman in origin. In Latin, hora means hour. Though this is known of the surname, how it further changed to Orvis, remains a mystery.

Pratt

This surname has its origin in the 7th century word praett, which means a ‘trick’. We can thus conclude that this name was given to magicians or people of similar professions. The origin of the surname is Anglo-Saxon.

Page

In Middle English and Old French, page stood for a friend or related knighthood. However, it also stood for ‘a servant’. It was definitely a job-descriptive surname. How it became a hereditary surname is unknown.

Ryder

Derived from the Olde English term ridere, which in turn is a derived from ridan, this surname was conferred upon mounted warriors. The terms ridere and ridan meant ‘to ride’. After a few centuries, it was said to be replaced by knight. The second possibility, is that this surname was derived from ried or ryd, both words meaning ‘clearing in a wood’. When we add the suffix ‘-er’ to these words, the resulting meaning might mean someone who lives in the clearing in a wood.

Raleigh

This surname is habitational in nature. It refers to people who lived in Raleigh in Devon, a county is South West England. Its roots are Old English, possibly read, leah that somewhere stand for wood clearing. These details however, aren’t clear.

Saxton

There are three etymologies of this last name. The first obvious one is that this name was adopted by residents of villages called ‘Saxton’. Such villages exist in Surrey, Cambridge and Yorkshire. Second, it might so be that the ancestor of a person with this surname was a sexton or church warden. Third, it might be anglicized from O’Seastnain (Gaelic Irish). Here, O’Seastnain stands for ‘descendant of Seastnan (bodyguard)’. This in turn is derived from seasuighim which means to defend.

Staines

This might be a locational name derived from a marked town in Middlesex, which was earlier recorded as Stane or it might be a derivative of Old Scandinavian steinn which means stone. According to the latter, it might roughly translate to ‘one who stays near the stone’.

Tyson

Tiffany

The name is derived from Tiffin, which is in turn derived from Tiffania, which again is derived from Theophania, which in Greek stands for ‘to appear like God’. Theophania is a compound of theos and phainein, which mean ‘God’ and ‘to appear’ respectively.

Usher

Derived from ussier, an Old French word, this surname exists from the 7th century. An occupational surname, this was given to people who decided whom to allow and whom to not allow in presence of the nobility, in a royal kingdom. It is said that their status was even above that of the Marshall.

Ulmer

This is a habitational name for someone who has resided in the city of Ulm. Some people also say that people who lived at the confluence of the Danube and Blan, were conferred with this surname.

Van Dam

In this surname, van stands for ‘of’ or ‘from’. Thus, this is a habitational name for someone who belongs to an area located near the dam.

Weld

This name might have actually been a nickname for an unruly person as wilde means ‘undisciplined’ in Old English. Then again, it might have another root weald which means an uncultivated land. In this context, it might be a habitational surname.

Wakeman

It is an occupational surname for men who kept a watch, wake and mann meaning ‘vigil’ and ‘man’, respectively. Both ‘wake’ and ‘mann’ have their roots in Olde English.

Yarrow

It’s a locational surname which points to two rivers, one in Scotland and the other in North West England.

Every surname is developed from a root. If you want to know the meaning of your last name, it is very important you reach the root(s). Every last name has a meaning, and knowing what yours signifies, will only get you closer to your roots.

Melanie and Oceola

Every name has a positive meaning!

Isaiah, Joshua & Jesus

three names of salvation

Name Meaning Articles

In Bible Hebrew, the name Isaiah is written YeshaYah.  Is surprisingly similar to the name Yeshua or Yehowshua, the Hebrew name for Jesus or Joshua.  These three names Isaiah, Jesus and Joshua are each made up of the same two Hebrew root words: Yah, which is the first syllable of the name of Yahweh, and Yasha, which means to deliver and save.  The names both reflect God’s (Yahweh’s) work of Salvation to deliver us from sin and bondage.

When the Angel of God appeared to Joseph in a dream, he came with a very specific message about the meaning of Jesus’ name.  «And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.»  Matthew 1.21

As you can see, it was no mistake that Yahweh named His son with the word SALVATION, combined with the name of God, Yahweh.  The name Isaiah was made from the same two words.

At the dawn of Jesus’ earthly ministry, He was asked to read in the synagogue from the book of Isaiah, (or, Esaias, as it is translated in the Greek New Testament.)  Luke 4:17 recounts this description of the mission of Jesus’ life on earth:

And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.  And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.  And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?

In Isaiah 12:2, Isaiah wrote, «Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD YAHWEH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.  Praise Yahweh, call upon his name!» 

To reflect the message of Salvation embedded into the meaning of Isaiah, our research for the name reads,  «Yahweh Is My Salvation: One who is Steadfast«, and includes the verse above.

Mary, Mariam, Maria, Marie

from bitterness to forgiveness


Name Meaning Articles

Mary’s name is a story of Healing
Name Meaning Articles

The story behind the names Maria, Marie, Mariam and Mary, has been one of my favorites for a long time.  In many name-meaning books, you will find the name to mean BITTERNESS. Such was the use of the word when Naomi had lost her husband and two sons, and spoke to her daughter-in-law, Ruth: «Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.»  (Ruth 1:20)

See, Maria comes from the Hebrew word for «Myrrh», and the myrrh plant, if you taste it, is very bitter. Even it’s appearance is knarled and twisted, with it’s long thorns sometimes even piercing it’s own vine-like trunk. This has lead many name-researchers to say that the name Mary means Bitter.

A note from customer, Nichole Marie:

I have had so many things happen in my life that could cause anyone to die of bitterness, but why choose that path. Transforming that bitterness into forgiveness has healed so many hurts. Responding with anger and bitterness only stops us in our tracks and provides no real progress in our lives. Forgiveness is a sweet aroma of God, letting him shine through us, getting over the hurt and accepting it as a lesson in life to make us stronger.

However, with a closer inspection into the word for the myrrh plant, a much more beautiful meaning is revealed. You see, if the myrrh plant is hurt, or cut, it produces tears of sap, just as we do when we are hurt. Those tears, while bitter to the taste, can be collected. And if properly prepared, can be transformed into a most fragrant perfume, or a costly healing balm, or in Bible times, even an anointing for burial. Those three uses are why it was so significant that the wise men who sought after the Baby Jesus brought Him a gift of myrrh.  You see, Myrrh, —like the hurts and wounds in our life—, was never meant to be tasted and bitterly ingested, but to be transformed through forgiveness, into a beautiful, healing fragrance.

A much better meaning that «bitter» for the name Mary is one about the positive qualities of the plant, which are very costly, useful and comforting.

It’s true that hurts in our lives can cause deep wounds, and we can respond with anger and bitterness, but if we respond rightly to such hurts, our forgiveness can be a sweet aroma to God, and a priceless healing balm for us, and those around us. So on our name gifts, the meaning for the name Maria reads «Fragrance and Healing from Rightly Responding to Hurts.»

The verse we include on those name gifts is Ephesians 4:32, which speaks of forgiveness.

«Let all bitterness, and wrath be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.»

Name Meaning Articles

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver
and gold. The rich and poor meet together: Yahweh is the maker of them all. 
By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.
Proverbs 22:1




By John Dehnart

Noel, Noelle, Noelany, Noella

a look at the first noel and the meaning of the name

The two Hebrew words that form the name Noelle mean «Birth of God», signifying the arrival of Jesus to Mary and Joseph. In the middle ages, it became a popular name for those whose family was especially involved with the Christmas season, or someone born near the holy night. It also have a connection with the Gaulish root words, «noio» and «helle», meaning «New Light», which is also an appropriate link to Christmas.

It is reminiscent of the Psalms which were taught in Jesus time, and still are today. «O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.» Psalms 43:3

And in Matthew 5:14, Jesus said, Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Finally that Light of God revealed Jesus’ mission on earth, which can be seen in Matthew 1:21 and John 3:16

«And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.»

«For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.»

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