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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Olympic Names

I’m enjoying the Olympic games for many reasons. I love that the organizers are staging many of the competitions around London’s landmarks. It lets you get to know the city better. (I’ve never been there, and now, more than ever, I would love to go.) I like most sports. There are a few I don’t understand at all, and I get frustrated trying to figure them out. In general, I very much enjoy watching the competitions.

One of the things I’ve been doing during these Olympic games is maybe a little bit kooky. (I’ve never professed to be “normal,” whatever that is.) I’m looking at the athlete’s names. Some hit me as being very appropriate or saying the exactly the opposite:
            Armstrong—a shot putter
            Cantwell—another shot putter, who could do well. He ended up fourth.
            Trotter—runner, got the bronze medal in women’s 400 meters
            Merritt—two of them, both runners of merit
            Bolt—runner, as in the best in the world, the lightning Bolt

There are some unique names: Cleopatra, Prince, Zara

Some fun names: Yipsi, Gong

Lots and lots of Bible names (some of them translated to English here): Adam, Andrew, Bartholomew, Christian, Daniel, David, Elizabeth, Emmanuel, Eunice, Hannah, Jehu(e), Jonathan, Mark, Mary, Matthew, Michael, Miriam, Moses, Peter, Paul, Solomon (last name), Stephen, Timothy, Thomas, etc. I’m sure I didn’t catch them all.

My personal favorites—Blessing (How beautiful is that? Can’t you imagine how valued you would feel if your parents named you Blessing!), and another girl’s name, Mercy.

My own name is a composite of my mother’s middle name and my aunt’s first name. Having a “double name” has made for some confusion all my life. It was further complicated when my little sister was born, and she was given a double name as well. People got them confused. Which name went with which? (We won’t even get into our last name, which made for adventures by itself. A real character maker!) I remember, when I was little, longing for a “normal” name. What was wrong with Susie or Kathy or Nancy? Why did I have to have a name unlike the other girls? In high school—yes, it took me that long!—I finally came to terms with Lou Ann. Really, it’s a nice name.

Then I moved to Spain. When our Spanish teacher heard my name, he shook his head. Lou Ann just doesn’t translate into Spanish. So, from about the third month we lived here, I got a new name.

The Bible talks about new names in heaven. It’s hard for me to interpret exactly what they are, so I’ll leave that for the commentators. But, there’s something I do understand: There is a Name that is above every other name. It is the name Christ Jesus. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11).       


  1. Our previous orthodontist's name was Dr. Smiley. Very appropriate, I thought!

    I hadn't noticed some of those in your first list -- very interesting! I love Blessing as a name, too.

    I don't understand why some people name their kids Christian -- especially Christian parents. It seems like it would cause some confusion when they talk to him about becoming a Christian.

    I'm so thankful for the lovely, wonderful Name of our Lord and Redeemer.

  2. The artist in you is so clear here - I never would have picked up on these names!


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