“A name represents identity, a deep feeling and holds tremendous significance to its owner” – Rachel Ingber
Ever heard a child’s name that made you think “Oh dear! they are going to have a hard time at school”?
Now I try (really really hard, Lord knows) not to judge (cos’ I’ve got enough problems of my own) BUT I must say, there are some pretty… fancy names out there.
I once met a grown woman whose name was Santa (she confirmed this was the name she received at birth upon further inquiry) and it took my Meryl Streep/Taraji P Hensen alter ego duo actress persona to keep me from looking as bewildered as I felt. Don’t even get me started on the weirdness of some Hollywood celebrity baby names (I mean just because your name is Forest doesn’t mean you should name your son Ocean right?)
Bud and I have been considering baby names for a while now and you would think we were planning a project for a second Taj Mahal.
As Christians, we want to give our baby a name that is very significant, thoughtful and with strong implications for their life going forward. However, being Africans, we have to be mindful to reign ourselves in because Africans can get extremely emotional and larger than life when it comes to baby naming. That’s because African names have the propensity to sound and have meanings that are akin to a short narrative (nothing wrong with that)
For instance, chances are you may come across someone whose name is congruent to ‘Oliseburuwa chimemepelamuzo Theophilus akachukwukaakammuo’. If you then ask for the meaning (and have a couple of hours to kill), then grab a snack and get ready for a book reading (or in this case, pamphlet reading).
I am genuinely fascinated by African names.
That said, I believe there’s so much to a name than sounding fancy, taking up half a page or being ‘unique’ (thank you celebrities!)
Names hold expectations, love, hope, stories, reminders, encouragement, identity and maybe warning to the child that says ‘child, don’t play with me’.
So while I’m sitting here wondering what the wee one would be called, what are some… fancy names you have ever heard?