What's in a Name?

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Michael
Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Czech, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Pronunciation:  MIE-kəl (English), MI-khah-el (German)

Meaning & History
Derived from the Hebrew name Mikha'el, meaning "who is like God?" - a rhetorical question, because no one is like God.  Michael is the archangel of the Bible, a warrior and leader of heaven's armies, considered by many as the patron saint of soldiers.  He is a great prince and guardian of Israel (Daniel 10:13, 21; 12:1).  He has disputed with the Devil (Jude 9) and in the End Times, he and his angels will fight the dragon (Rev. 12:7)

Bearers of this name include nine Byzantine emperors, among them Michael VIII Palaeologus, who restored the empire in the 13th century.  Michael has been commonly used in Western Europe since the Middle Ages, and in England since the 12th century.  It has been borne, in numerous spellings, by rulers of Russia, Romania, Poland, and Portugal.  More modern bearers of this name are British chemist/physicist Michael Faraday (1791-1867) and basketball star Michael Jordan (1963-)


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Eowyn
Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Literature
Pronunciation:  AY-ə-win (English)

Meaning & History
Means "horse joy" in Old English.  This name was invented by J.R.R. Tolkien and given to the swordmaiden of Rohan, niece of King Theoden in the novel "Lord of the Rings" (1954).  Tolkien used Old English to represent the Rohirric language in the world of the Middle Earth.  Eowyn, in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, slays the Lord of the Nazgul ("I am no man!").




Matthias
Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Greek, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, French, Dutch, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Pronunciation:  mah-TEE-ahs (German), -THIE-əs (Egnlish)

Meaning & History
A variant of Matthaios, derived from Matthew, meaning "gift of YAHWEH." In the New Testament, Matthaios is the name of the apostle chosen to replace Judas Iscariot.  This was also borne by kings of Hungary, including Matthias I, who made important reforms to the kingdom in the 15th century.



Echo
Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Greek Mythology
Pronunciation:  E-ko (English)

Meaning & History
Means "echo" (umm... yes?), the word for repeating reflected sound, which is taken from the Greek word eche "sound."  In Greek mythology, Echo was a nymph given a speech impediment by Hera, so that she could only repeat what others said.  She fell in love with Narcissus, but her love was not returned, and she wasted away until nothing remained save her voice.

In the western fiction novel entitled "Ride the River" by Louis L'Amour, Echo is the given name for the main character, Echo Sackett, a girl who inherited a small fortune and set off to retrieve it.  She encounters many dangers along the way, meets new friends and enemies alike, and proves herself worthy to "ride the river with."  Written in first person, I must say it is one of my personal favorites of the Sackett series.


3 comments

Morgan said...

I love when you have the whats in a name posts.

and I told you I would give you the link to the blog where the girl helped sew the costumes for Beyond the Mask so here it is: http://thelastroseofsummer-michaela.blogspot.com/

Had a good time meeting you and your family the other night

Sam said...

Oh, I love Ride the River! One of Louis L'Amour's best if you ask me...of course I've only read three, hehe...

Sarah Dake said...

Lady Morgan, my family greatly enjoyed meeting you and yours, can't wait for next time! I'm glad you enjoy the Names posts!! More to come! Any requests?

Lady Sam, yes! Ride the River ranks up there next to the Walking Drum in my opinion! Love L'Amours books!

Thanks for commenting, ladies!