Saturday, September 5, 2015

What's in a Name?

Soon after they were born, we sent an email off to our immediate families to tell them more about the names we've given our daughters.  If you care for such details, here they are:

Lillian Ada - 
Lillian was my paternal grandmother's name, so our Lillian is named in memory of her.  She and I were extremely close until her death when I was in my early 20s.

Ada, other than just being a name we like, is a great song by The National. 
It is also a reference to Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer.

Matilda Eliot - 
Matilda is named in memory of Ian's cousin Mathieu who was killed in a car accident in Peru in 2008. He was a passionate teacher and activist who found his calling in the indigenous community of Inza, Colombia. 

Eliot, like Ada, is also really just a name we like. With Eliot, we think of Elliott Smith.

This is the way the world ends
George Eliot, who wrote under the name George at a time when women were not very publishable.
My Great Uncle Ellie (his name wasn't short for Eliot, but the names are similar).

We also decided to give the girls Hebrew names, as is traditional in my family. They don't have any religious connotation, but I just felt like if someday they felt like doing something Jewish-y (a bat mitzvah, a ketubah at their wedding) they would have names to use given to them by us that had meaning for us as a family.  I also wanted to make sure they weren't super religious names or names that meant, like, "my brother is awesome" or "my dad is rad" or anything else so patriarchal.  So.....

Matilda's Hebrew name is Margalit Bracha (מרגלית ברכה). Margalit is in honor of Ian's paternal Grannie, Marjorie, who is still kickin' it at age 99!  . 

Bracha was the Hebrew name of my maternal Nannie, who died of breast cancer in 1980.

Lillian's Hebrew name is Nachal Rani (נחל רני). Nachal is a word for river in Hebrew, and it's a boy's name, but we don't care. River is in honor of Ian's Grand-maman, whose maiden name was Rivierre. (Ian's Mum's last name is River, as well). In addition, my parents met on a Kibbutz in Israel named Nachal Oz - which translates to strong or mighty river. 

Rani is in memory of Roger, Ian's late stepfather who had been a lifelong family friend.

1 comment:

  1. I love that you have given your daughters names which hold great meaning for you. We did the same for our son. My parents just named me Clare because they liked it :-/ Sigh.