Inspired by the "Meaning Constuction" post on the blog
I actually have been a lurker for a very long time, but now that the forums are available, I wanted to start a thread about this particular post.
I think that there is a real disconnect a lot of times with baby name books that don't take into account "modern" or even "literary" associations. For instance, I was thumbing through one recently that offered Vashti as a name, but didn't reference the Biblical Vashti and her story.
I can think of others as well - names where their official etymological meanings really don't have any impact next to the meanings they've acquired through being associated with specific individuals, or even with a change in culture. It almost seems disengenuous to me to have "meanings" as the only option - I would love to see a baby name book with a decent list of "possible associations" for each name.
For instance, a name like Kirk would reference not only Scottish origins and churches, but also people - real people like Kirk Cameron, and fictional people like Captain Kirk.
Or a name like Vashti! Would it kill the baby name book people to include a short sentence - "Old Testament Biblical figure: killed by her husband for not showing off for his company." How hard is that?
Or a name like Willow or River or Qynesha or Jakadence - a symbol or notation could alert people that this name is one that figures into popular stereotypes for a particular culture (Hippie and American Black, respectively) that the reader may be unaware of.
Or a name like Nimrod. I've seen this name in several naming books. I don't care how great a historic meaning that name has - in modern American culture, "nimrod" (at least for a while - it's starting to fade now) has a very specific meaning as an insult. That's important information to convey to parents or name enthusiasts, just as much as the etymological background.
Anyone else think about names like that, or am I the only weird one? :)
Sat, 04/21/2012 - 7:09pm