What’s In A Name?


Names seem to carry with them some significance as to the personality traits associated with the name.  The bible talks of names, and even at times of God instructing a father to give a certain name to a particular child.   I know that when I look up meanings of names, my children do seem to have the characteristics associated with their names.

I also find it interesting how we are named by our parents.  My name, Martha, is from my mother’s side.  It is common to name the oldest daughter after the mother, and son after the father, at least in the Roman Catholic faith.  I carry my mom’s first name, as I am the oldest.  She is the oldest of her siblings and named Martha like her mother.  My brother is named after my dad, and so on.  I broke that tradition with my children. Oops.

Nicknames are a funny thing too.  While mom is named Martha, her siblings all call her “Marty”, though outside of family, everyone calls her “Martha”.  When I was born I too was called “Marti”.  I changed the ‘y’ to an ‘i’ going into high school for several reasons, one being that too many assumed “Marty” was short for “Martin”.  I wanted it very evident that it was a female name.  In 50 years no one has ever called me Martha other than in school those first few days until teachers got used to the nickname.  More than once I’ve sat through hearing my name called at the doctor’s office or other places where they have your legal name, because from the day I was born no one uses my given name.  Well, one person did, and that was my grandfather.  I was born on his birthday, was his first grandchild, and he always called me “Martha Marie”.  He loved that name.  Even grandma called me Marti.  No greater man has graced my life than my grandpa, and therefore, honestly, I do not deem anyone worthy to call me Martha Marie.   I love the name Martha, as I first encountered it outside the family when I was very little, in the character of “Marvelous Martha” on Sesame Street.  I always loved that little snippet.  It is where I got the idea for my blog name, as I do find life to be very marvelous.

My mom’s family, after my birth, called her ‘big Marty’, or ‘big Mart’ and me ‘little Marti’ or ‘little Mart’.  That still is the case today, which is funny to hear one of my uncles or aunts say “hey, little Mart, how are ya?”  When I was pregnant with my daughter, my one uncle asked if we were going to name my daughter Martha, so then we could have Big Mart, Little Mart and Mini Mart.  While we found this rather comical, the ex-hubster said NO.  And that is okay too because I love the name he chose for my daughter, Liesl.

So, what is in my name? In Hebrew it seems it meant ‘lady’.  I like that.  But I wanted more, so I went looking.  The Kabalarian Philosophy website has an interesting take on names and their power in our lives, and I have to say that the characteristics associated with both the name Martha, and Marti, are pretty on target with me.   Too much to publish here, but you can check it out and check out your own name there.

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