What’s in a Name?

There’s more to a name than just the Urban Dictionary definition

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You’re born with it, you’re stuck with it, and it could even shape your future. Your name.

Parenting.com says a child’s name could affect his/her self-esteem, grades in school, and even professional success. Urban Dictionary provides suppposed meanings and traits specific to a certain name.

But what does a name really mean?

To other people, a name means money, a good reputation, or vice versa.

But all these things are on the surface. To senior Ellysovannlylin Long, otherwise known as Ellie, her name signifies much more.

“My name is half Cambodian and half Chinese. Sovann means “land of gold” in Chinese and Lylin means “wise.” Sovann comes from my mom’s mom and Lylin comes from my mom’s dad,” Ellie said.

“As for Ellie, my mom named me that becuase of a movie she watched where the main character was named Ellie,” Ellie added.

Besides the meaning, a name can signify multiple other things to a person as well.

“I like my name because it’s different from other people. For me, it’s unique and special because not a lot of people would use each half of their parent’s names to combine their child’s name, especially if they’re half American, Cambodian, and Chinese. It makes me happy that my name is very different from other people,” Ellie said.

To Tatanka Eagle Track, a sophomore at Scottsbluff High School, his name signifies his heritage.

“My name means white buffalo in Lakota,” Tatanka said.

“I love my name and I would never change it. To me, my name signifies pride, culture, and heritage because not many people have a Native American name,” Tatanka added.

To Mrs. Henderson, a German teacher at Scottsbluff High School,  names hold great importance.

“I have four children. My husband and I feel that names are very significant and that they are one of the first gifts you give your children,” she said.

“We are Christians and we wanted our children’s names to reflect that faith and to encourage our children through their names. We noted that in the Old Testament when a name was given to a child, it often described something about the child or an event or circumstance surrounding the child’s birth,” she said.

Mrs. Henderson’s children: Isaiah, Alethia, Zephaniah, and Tirzah all have Biblical names that refer back to different stories in the Bible.

Her first child, Isaiah, means “God is salvation.”

“It was our utmost wish that our son would follow Jesus through his entire life,” she said.

Her first daughter, Alethia, means “truth” and her fourth child Tirza, means “delight.”

When she was pregnant with her third child, Zephaniah, there were some complications with the placenta lying too low. On a visit to Denver, a stranger approahed Henderson and her husband and asked to pray for protection over the baby.

“Once when we were visiting my husband’s family’s church in Denver, a stranger came up to me. He did not know any of us, but knew he was supposed to pray for our baby; he prayed for protection and abundant life. It was amazing that a stranger would have the boldness to pray for us and the very things we needed,” she said.

The next ultrasound revealed that the placenta was out of the “danger zone” by one millimeter and as a result, Mrs. Henderson named her son Zephaniah, which means “God protects.”

To Mrs. Henderson, Tatanka Eagle Track, and Ellysovannlylin Long, names are more than just a definiton. They define who they are.

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