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Holding It All Together-What’s In A Name

By Amy McCollom
What’s in a name? Our names are picked for us, like our DNA. We have no choice in the matter. Our genealogy, and all the history that is attached to us comes from before we were ever born. What we pass on to our future generations will be determined by what we do in our lives. Our names link us to history and to a future. Like a mighty flowing river that never runs dry, our legacy, our name, means a whole lot actually.

I don’t think people take naming their children, or pets, as seriously as they did in the past. According to genealogy records, in England in 1700 to around 1870, there was a proper and precise pattern used for naming babies. 

* The first son was named after the father’s father

* The second son was named after the mother’s father

* The third son was named after the father

* The fourth son was named after the father’s eldest brother

* The first daughter after the mother’s mother

* The second daughter after the father’s mother

* The third daughter after the mother

* The fourth daughter after the mother’s eldest sister

Whew, I don’t know about you, but I’m happy that tradition ended. I don’t know if I would be the same me if I was named Ruby. Who knows, maybe I would have become a better version of me and rocked that name. Old names are coming back in style now. I saw in the paper the other day where someone named their baby Hazel. When I saw bell-bottom pants come back in style I knew we were going back in time. 

I love my dog’s name; Paisley. I had that name picked out for her before I knew I was getting a puppy. I thought it was unique, I love the pattern of paisley, and I didn’t know of anyone else, man or beast, with that name so I had already settled on naming my next dog Paisley. A year after we got our doggy, I started hearing of babies being named Paisley, and moms were not too happy when I blurted out that my dog is named that too. But hey, my Paisley had the name before their Paisley, so it’s just a coincidence.

My sister in Texas has an assortment of farm animals now, mainly goats and cows. Every time she brings home another new animal to the herd, she gives it a cutesy name like Lacey or Chloe or Bella. I am a little worried for her because she has a son who hasn’t gotten married or had children yet, and she is using up all of the good grandchild names on goats and cows! She might end up with a granddaughter named Princess or Lamby at this point. 

Should we name our pets human names? Or can we name humans using “pet” names. Maybe it would be ok to do both, what do I know? If my exotic cat can be named Reginald Lewis, then that man getting out of his truck at the gas station with the wild hair and beard can be named Scruffy Doodlepants. I can think of a lot of good “pet” names that would fit humans. Fluffy, Stinky, Wrinkles, Puddles, Curly, Yappy, Happy, Snappy, Bandit, Bear, Pokey, Flash. It would certainly take a lot of guesswork out of life if our names fit our personality like they do our pets sometimes. I would certainly know better than to sit next to someone named Killer, Humpy, or Tooter.

For the record, I think it’s still ok and preferred to name your pet Buddy, or Snowbell, or Buttermilk. But more thought should probably go into naming your offspring, being that your ancestors in 100 years will probably be researching names like a crime sleuth. But do what you want, Sunshine. It’s still a free country, at least at the time of this writing. No matter what your name is, as long as God knows you on a first name basis, that is all that matters anyway.

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