What's in a Name?

King David of Israel
Gender:  Masculine
Origin:  English, Hebrew, French, Scottish, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Scandinavian, Dutch, Czech, Slovene, Russian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Biblical, Biblical Latin
Pronunciation:  DAY-vid (English), dah-VEED (Jewish), da-VEED (French), DAH-vit (Dutch, German), dah-VEET (Russian)

Meaning & History
From the Hebrew name Dawid, which was most likely derived from a Hebrew word meaning "beloved."  Of the kings of Israel, David was the second and the greatest reigning over God's chosen people in the 10th century BC.  Various accounts are told of him in the Old Testament.  He fought and defeated the giant Goliath and succeeded Saul as king.  In the New Testament, the genealogy is given tracing the family of David to our King Jesus Christ.

In Britain, this name has been used since the Middle Ages.  It's been especially popular in Wales, where it was borne by a 5th century patron saint, and Scotland, where it was the given name of two kings.  Famous bearers of this name include empiricist philosopher David Hume (1711-1776) and explorer David Livingstone (1813-1873).  This was also the name of Charles Dickens' hero in the semi-autobiographical novel "David Copperfield".

Gender:  Feminine
Origin:  Ancient Greek, English (rare)
Pronunciation:  KAR-is (English)

Meaning & History
Derived from Greek charis meaning "grace, kindness."  It came into use as a English name in the 17th century.

King Edmund the Just
Gender:  Masculine
Origin:  English, German, Polish
Pronunciation:  ED-mǝnd (English), ED-muwnt (German, Polish)

Meaning & History
Means "rich protector" from Old English ead "rich, blessed" and mund "protector."  This name was borne by two Anglo-Saxon kings of England and two saints, as well as a 9th century king of East Anglia.  This Old English name remained in use after the Norman conquest, even being used by King Henry III for one of his sons.

Famous bearers of this name were the English poet Edmund Spenser (1552-1599), the German-Czech philosopher Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), and the New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008), the first to climb Mount Everest.

Gender:  Feminine
Origin:  English, French, German, Hebrew, Arabic, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Pronunciation:  SER-ǝ (English), SAR-ǝ (English), ZAH-rah (German)

Meaning & History
Means "lady" or "princess" in Hebrew.  This was the given name of Abraham's wife in the Old Testament, who became the mother of Isaac at the age of 90.  Originally, her name was Sarai, which means "my princess" in Hebrew, but God changed it in Genesis 17:15.

What?  I had to post my name here sometime!

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To each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass, and a book of rules,
And each must make, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block or a stepping stone.