What's In A Name? | Teen Ink

What's In A Name?

January 4, 2009
By Kara Coleman SILVER, Gadsden, Alabama
Kara Coleman SILVER, Gadsden, Alabama
5 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Recently I read an article on Yahoo! which stated that Fall Out Boy heartthrob Pete Wentz and pop/rock princess Ashlee Simpson-Wentz named their son Bronx Mowgli. I'm not sure whether my initial reaction was more pity for the kid or wonder at why the couple chose to name him after the hood in New York (he's from Illinois, she's from Texas), and the boy in Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book".
Why do people name their kids the way they do? Sometimes the child is given a family name, or they are named after a person or place that is significant to the parents. Oftentimes a child's name is chosen because the parents simply like the way a name sounds.
Names don't seem to mean as much now as they did in the past. In the Bible, a person's name reflected his personality or some other characterisitc of him. Today we know less and less about the meaning and origin of names. Does this mean that names are losing their significance?
Over the years I have collected miscellaneous note cards, bookmarks, etc., with the meaning of my name printed on them, which according to varied sources is "loved one", "cherished one", or "pure one". But my parents chose to name me Kara not because of any of those things, but because my dad had said that if they ever had a daughter, he wanted her name to be Kara. So that's my name.
There are several names that I would take into consideration for the children I hope to have someday. A couple of them remind me of other people, but most of the names I just like. Should I research the meaning behind the names? Maybe, but that might be difficult and unreliable, especially since I like sort of trendy names. Even though the meaning and origin of a name might be unknown, will I think twice before naming a kid something really trendy? Most definitely. I'll just remember Bronx Mowgli Wentz. :)

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This article has 10 comments.

Studer0503 said...
on Aug. 19 2014 at 4:50 pm
Who named his or her child Satchel that you know?

........ said...
on Aug. 10 2011 at 8:56 am
in my opinion children should not be allowed to chane their names at all,thats the name your parents chose for you then thats the name you should keep for the rest of your life...no matter how much you hate it!!! 

Tobias BRONZE said...
on Mar. 4 2011 at 7:32 am
Tobias BRONZE, Tulsa, Oklahoma
3 articles 1 photo 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I decide who offends me."- Klaus Kinski

My name means ''crowned'', I'm not sure how that can fit into my personality, but oh well. I'm big on name meanings too, but even though celebs are nameing thier kids these werid names, some of them sound intresting. I mean that's proberbly one of the reasons why, cause they sound intresting and unique. But yeah, most of them are proberbly going to change thier names when thier old enough.

 I wouldn't mind having the name Apple though ;)

on Jan. 20 2011 at 11:58 pm
Musicfeedsthesoul07 PLATINUM, Naperville, Illinois
25 articles 0 photos 95 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one. " - Bill Gates

Seriously, these kids will end up changing their names.

Between Blanket, Satchel, Apple and Pilot Inspector Lee these names are getting ridiculous.

on Oct. 23 2010 at 4:26 pm
John_C_Polles, Norton, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Listen baby, Muver love you. Muver not dumb. Listen baby: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ. Thas the alphabet. Twenty-six letters in all. Them letters make up words. Them words everything." --Sapphire, PUSH.

I'm not really too much into name meanings. I like names because of the images that they bring to mind -- not the obscure meanings that no one will know regardless. My first name means "God is gracious," but I am not at all relgious. But I still think the name John suits me well.

on Jul. 27 2010 at 9:04 pm
TheMalfunctioningWallflower BRONZE, Houston, Texas
1 article 0 photos 45 comments

Favorite Quote:

"I did wood paneling."

"Do not FEAR the Crooked Zipper!! EMBRACE the Crooked Zipper!!!"

"What's better than infinity?"

"Wear your helmets, we'll be reaching speeds of three!"

"You could walk on your hands and catch up to him!"

My name was almost Caroline but my parents named me Abigail, "Joy of My Father." I like thinking trhat if I shorten it to Abi then I think it is Joy. I think the name meanings are important and when I can't think of a name for a character in a story then I look up the name meaning something and if I like it then I use it.

TheJust ELITE said...
on Jul. 5 2010 at 4:38 pm
TheJust ELITE, Ellenton, Florida
254 articles 202 photos 945 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I feel that a hero is somebody who will stand up for their values and what they believe in and that can take any form. People that have values and have thought them through rather than those who just do what they’re told."-Skandar Keynes

"When it’

My name means "Lamb"...my parents always thought that they named me wrong because I'm very loud and hyper. But then we actually owned four sheep and then they discovered they named me correctly :P

But the meanings behind the names are definatly important. And if you're naming a kid after someone, that person's characteristics are also important. A woman at my church wanted to name her daughter "Delilah", but wound up not because "Delilah" in the Bible is deceitful.

I think meanings (like Jacob, for example, means "Deceiver") and characteristics are incredibly important...so Mowgli is dumb...Bronx in kinda cool, but it reminds me to much of Bronco...

on Apr. 24 2010 at 5:27 pm
Shannon_Bananon, Loveland, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 49 comments

Favorite Quote:
About talking; why don't people ever think before they talk? It would save so much trouble; it would also save me from wanting to slap about half of the world's population.
~Fictional Character (Brilliant, but, sadly, fake.)

I liked your opinion on what a name really means, and I hope the Wentz change his name. Personally, I think the meaning of a name is very important, and will probably name my kids based on meaning and sound.

songbirdy99 said...
on Apr. 8 2010 at 11:31 am
my name means ruler which really describes me cuz im very loud and opinionated lol :-)

on Dec. 19 2009 at 10:05 pm
biggerinfinities SILVER, Superior, Colorado
7 articles 0 photos 353 comments

Favorite Quote:
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

my name means "noble ruler" but that doesnt really fit me, because i dont like to be in charge~ but maybe names inspire you to reach for something you could be