What’s in a name?

Names are a peculiar thing.  We are born and for the most part are given one upon arrival.  Some names are given with much thought and consideration, while others…well, not so much.
Names are creative at times and at other times follow a family lineage and history.
Beyond your name you may have nicknames or pet names or in the crowd I hang around a trail name.
So what’s in a name?
Where does yours come from?  How’d you get it?
My name is Gerald, I go by Jerry as does my Father.  You see I am a “Junior”.  The second in line with that name.  It’s not that confusing to me, after all, I have had it all my life.
When I was a kid, relatives called me “Little Jerry”.  But then I got to the point where I was not so little any more and it just became Jerry.
My middle name is John.  My Granddad on my Dad’s side is John also and my Granddad on Mom’s side is John too.  There are a lot of John’s in our family.  My oldest son’s name is John, keeping it in the family.  In fact when we decided on our kids names, my wife and I wanted to maintain the tradition of family names.  Our daughter is Katelyn, a family name and her middle name is Ann.  Ann is perhaps the strongest tread of family names for both of our families.  It can be found on both sides and strung all the way up the family tree.  Our youngest son’s name is Joshua Adam.  Again, found throughout the family tree.  My Brother’s middle name is Adam and so it goes staying in the family line.
Most families pay attention to names when comes to maintaining family history, so there is that in a name.
Nicknames and pet names are something that can be fun or a curse.  As luck would have it, I have never really had either and so have never felt blessed or cursed by a nickname.  We called our daughter “stinky” for the longest time.  Thank goodness she grew out of that.  My sister we call “Muggy”.  It all started because of a cousin when she was very young.  It has stuck and to this day, she is Muggy or Mugs.  So, there’s that in a name.
Trail names are fun and give a little snap shot as to who a person is on the trail.  I know a guy named Fast Hiker, Yard sale, and Headlamp.  Pretty obvious names there.  Then I know some hikers that go by Yoda, Rip, and Blistoid.  They all come with a story, much like a family name.  Most of the time however a trail name needs to be given or earned and not made up by the owner.  However, I suppose you can make up your own also.  Either way, it’s who you are and how people see you.  That’s what is in that name.
In the Vigil Honor of the Order of the Arrow you are given a name that represents your personality.  This is a tradition that connects the Vigil Honor with the legend of the Lenni Lenape or Delaware Indians.  That too is a name that can not be made up, rather it must be given as part of the honor.  When my oldest son was nominated we submitted a couple of names.  His given name became Gintschlinitti Nummahauwan, interpreted it means Currently Aware.  This has a long story behind it and it is fair to say, it fits John to the letter.  It is what is in that name.
So what is this all about?  Well, it’s about who you are and how you are known.  You are a name, you are a personality and what is in your name is who and what and why you are.  It is where you come from and the people who brought you here.  It is your culture, your food, your heritage.  It is a story and laugh.  It is journey and your destination.  Your name is you.  So, that’s what’s in a name.
Your name is your power and names have power.  We do not give that much thought typically, but when you really sit down and think about it.  It’s you.
I am writing this as part of a writing challenge.  One of my personal goals with this blog is to sharpen my writing skills and WordPress.com  is helping with that.  Bloggers that use WordPress.com are encouraged to take part in their writing challenges through their Daily Press blog.  I did their new years challenge 30 days to a better blog earlier this year and this challenge really got me thinking about What’s in a name.
What’s in your name?
Share by leaving a comment.  Do you have a trail name or a nickname?  What is it?  Let us know.
Oh and if you are curious as to my trail name… I don’t have one… yet.  And I am very curious to see what my Vigil name will be.  I’ll know that on May 10th and I’ll let you know.  I am sure there will be a back story with it also.
Have a Great Scouting Day!