Ever since I was young, I have been intrigued by names. I like different sounding names, unique names, but more than anything, I like the meanings of names. My interest in names didn’t start out all wonderful-like. It was more out of survival.
My parents split when I was 6, and even though I know now it had nothing to do with me, back then, I took it pretty hard. I went from being a fairly well adjusted kid to being someone with a low self image (actually, that was an understatement). I played it off in a lot of ways, probably cuz I was, and still am, competitive, but internally, I dealt with it every day. One of the things I would do to find balance was to get our family bible and look at the geneaology in the back (it was the only action that bible was getting back then 🙂 ). I would read the names and the relationships and remember how things used to be. I loved the names, but it wasn’t until I stumbled across something that had the definition of my name that my life changed. It was one of those cards you find at roadside trinket shops that have the names and their meaninngs. “Kenneth – meaning: Handsome”. Now, before you start thinking I was getting totally self absorbed, I was only 7 or 8, and until this time, because of the self esteem issues i was dealing with, I had been feeling pretty ugly and unloved. Then to find that my parents named me “handsome”, really rocked my world. This made me curious, so I had to find out what my middle name meant. “David” means beloved. So, here is this kid, no more than 8 years old, feeling ugly and unloved, finding out that his parents named him handsome and loved…
I asked my mom why she named me Kenneth, and whether I was named after anyone. She said no, she just liked the name. For me, that made it even more special. My name was my own, and every time I, or anyone else said it, I heard what I was meant to feel about myself. Even now, I am amazed by how much that affects me, in a good way.
Since then, I have looked deeper into not only my name, but others’ names. It’s been fun seeing people realize just how close they are to the meanings of their names. I’ve even spoken to parents who couldn’t figure out what was “wrong” with their kids. I asked them if they knew the meaning of their kids names, and none of them did. When I told them to look into it, they all came back to me, life changed, because “it all made sense” – all because they knew something new about their kids.
I dug more into my name. Kenneth not only means handsome, but insight, vision, perception. Most people know I am a visionary, a dreamer. Deeper… Kenneth means “born of fire”… yeah, that’s what’s in me…
Earlier today, Estrella asked me what name I preferred, Ken or Kenneth. That’s a good question. Not just for me, but for most people. There are a lot of people that don’t like their names, or identify with the meanings of their names (how is someone who grew up in the city gonna identify with a name that means “from the forest”?). The thing I realized over the years is for some, the name defines them. For others, they define the name. When I hear the name “Judy”, I hear “vibrant”. “Keith”, pastor’s heart. I love to call people by their names, because when I hear their names, I hear what they mean to me.
So what’s a Tall Pajama Man anyway? Ha, yes, there is a meaning even behind this one, but I’ll let you come up with your own meaning for a while, based on what you know about me 🙂 (if you’re nice, I’ll let you in on the secret, hee hee)
What does your name mean?