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Off topic: What is the meaning of your first name?
Thread poster: Seadeta Osmani

Seadeta Osmani  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:50
English to Croatian
+ ...
Sep 11, 2005

Dear colleagues,

Probably a day does not go by without us saying or writing down our first names, without people calling out our first names. Sometimes we even identify ourselves too much with our first names. Or too little...

Do you know the meaning of your first name? The origin? Do you like it? Who gave you the name and why that of all others? Would you ever change it? How do you feel when you say your name out loud or when someone else calls you by your name? Do you like the sound of it? Ever thought about this? I would love to know...

I've been told that the name 'Seadeta' is Arabic, and means 'happiness'. Strangely enough, my mother, who had nothing to do with Arabia or Islam, heard the name and, not knowing the meaning, wished for a baby girl to give her this name. Later in her life she met my father and along came I. Would never change it, although there have been times when I felt strange surrounded with people who all had names adjusted to the culture and their mother tongue. My name is hardly usual in Croatia...

How about you?



Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:50
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Jack has many meanings Sep 11, 2005

As a name, it comes from the Middle English Iakke, a pet name for John; and is still used as such, although I was named Jack, not John. (Thanks to the reference provided by MMUlr, I now know that John comes from the Hebrew and means "God is merciful".)

Other meanings from the Oxford English Dictionary:
1. A device for lifting heavy objects, esp. the axle of a vehicle, off the ground while changing a wheel etc.
2. Playing card with a picture of a knave, page or soldier.
3. A ship's flag, esp. one flown from the bow and showing nationality.
4. A socket to receive a plug.
5. A small white ball in bowls, at which the players aim.
6. A small piece of metal used with others in tossing games.
8. The figure of a man striking the bell on a clock.
9. (slang) A detective; a police officer.
10. (US slang) Money.
11. Male of various animals (jackass).
12. (verb) To raise with or as with a jack in meaning 1.
13. (colloq.) raise, e.g. prices.

Two more from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms:
14. A frame in lace-making equipment that has horizontal bars to support vertical wires, against which bobbins containing the yarn can freely revolve.
15. An oscillating lever that raises the harness of a dobby loom.

I wonder if anyone will come up with a name with more meanings than that.

[Edited at 2005-09-11 16:07]


Alessandro Marchesello  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:50
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Alessandro Sep 11, 2005

Alessandro is greek. I guess it means "people's defender" or something like that! So, is anybody here in need of defense?icon_smile.gif


MMUlr  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:50
English to German
+ ...
My name has only one meaning - that I know of! Sep 11, 2005

I bet a lot of people in Germany would tell you that the name "Margret" (or Margarete or Grete - s. Goethe's "Faust") is as typically German as it can be ... but that's not true.

The name's origin is Persian and it means "pearl"icon_smile.gif I take this as a very positive connotation - actually, I must admit I don't even possess any real precious pearl of my own.

And the reason why it was given to me, is that one of my aunts had this name, too.

One website showing some names of Persian origin:


sabina moscatelli  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:50
Member (2004)
German to Italian
+ ...
My name is Sabina, Sep 11, 2005

a latin name, my beloved grandmother's name.
It is the name of an ancient Roman population (the famous rape of the Sabine women, known for their beauty, but also for their liberal attitudes, according to my history teachericon_smile.gif. Then came a young Roman virgin (or a widow, the sources being uncertain), carrying the same name and she became Saint Sabina martyr.


E2efour (X)
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:50
Swedish to English
I've just looked it up! Sep 11, 2005

Jack Doughty wrote:

Other meanings from the Oxford English Dictionary:

lol What do the words in a dictionary have to do with the meaning of a name? Jack seems to have only one meaning, a variant of John, which goes back a long way.

My name means fair-haired and is of Irish origin (I know this because I just looked it up, which suggests, sorry to say, that I have little curiosity about it). It just about makes it into the first 1000 names by popularity (statistics from America), although it was in the first 100 if you go back to the fifty or so years.

Why it was given to me I've no idea. One thing of interest is that I have two first names of which Barry is the second. This leads to an odd feeling sometimes, e.g. if I visit the dentist, the dentist will call out my first name + surname, which makes me feel as if they're talking about another person, not me.

As Shakespeare put it: What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
(altho' he wasn't talking about people's names).

However, I realise that some people are very fond of their name, especially if it is a unique one. In the UK nowadays people tend to call their children after TV celebrities, and the most popular girl's name is Emily, I think.

Possibly women think more about their name than men, altho' I'm just speculating.


m a r i n a  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
I love my name! Sep 11, 2005

Marina comes from Latin and it means "the one who loves the sea".
My mom´s grandmother was always talking about her aunt Marina. My mom really liked the name, so that´s how I got it.
I couldn´t be more happy with it. I love it!

[Edited at 2005-09-11 18:19]

[Edited at 2005-09-11 18:20]


Rahi Moosavi  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:50
Member (2004)
Farsi (Persian) to English
+ ...
Rahi Sep 11, 2005

My name is Rahi and it means free and unrestratined. By the way, about "Margaret" in Persian, what we use for pearls is "Morvarid", quite close...


Joanna Borowska  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:50
English to Polish
Joanna Sep 11, 2005

My mother says she gave me this name after Joanne of Arc because she wanted to "transfer" some of her noble qualities to me. I don't know if it worked, but in any case I'm not much of a fightericon_smile.gif

When I once looked it up in a dctionary of names, I was very disappointed because all the definition said was, "feminine form of Jan (John)." But today I searched the net and found a definition I really like: Hebrew, meaning "God is gracious." Hah!

I must say that sometimes I find my name a bit problematic. In Poland each name can have many forms, both diminutive and augmentative. And thus Joanna can be also
Aska (A¶ka).
I've always found Joanna too official and Joasia and Asia too childish (my teachers used to call me that and I hated it). I like Aska, but it is an augmentative form and thus not appropriate in some contexts. Can you imagine what I had to go through as a little girl, when I called my friends and their parents answered the phone? The formula "Hello, this is ... speaking" was a nightmare to me and usually I'd just go straight to "Hello, is Mary there?" getting a reputation of a child with terrible mannersicon_wink.gif

Anyway, nice topic, Seadeta! Hope I didn't bore you to deathicon_wink.gif


Local time: 17:50
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

Asia as a diminutive for Joanna? Sep 11, 2005

Fascinating topic!

I had no idea about this Joanna. Here you would be called Jo.



Daniela Zambrini  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:50
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Daniela Sep 11, 2005

From the Hebrew name Daniyel meaning "God is my judge".
My parents chose it for me, there is a strong tradition of biblical and christian names in Italy, but also a strong tradition of names deriving from ancient Romans.
However, in recent years I have noticed (in Italy) an increase in (hilarious) variations and mispellings of soap-opera style namesicon_biggrin.gif

[Edited at 2005-09-11 17:36]

[Edited at 2005-09-11 21:47]


sarahl (X)
Local time: 14:50
English to French
+ ...
My name is Sarah Sep 11, 2005

it means princess in Hebrewicon_smile.gif

I'll have to ask my dad why he picked it for me, beyond the obviousicon_wink.gif


Cecilia Civetta  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:50
Member (2003)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
Cecilia... Sep 11, 2005

... means "blind". Ironically enough, I had to wear glasses when I was only three!
I love my name though, indeed it's my favorite!

[Edited at 2005-09-11 18:03]


Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:50
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
My name... Sep 11, 2005

Kirill is an Old Slavonic name, it came to Russian from Russian Slavonic, and it was a borrowing from Greek, but the source of it was Persian, AFAIK, and it meant "a master, someone who rules". Cyrus has the same root, as well as English Cyril (I'm not sure, but I think it's treated rather old-fashioned in the modern English).


Saskia Steur (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:50
English to Dutch
+ ...
don't know Sep 11, 2005

My name is Saskia and to date I have not been able to trace a real meaning. I am not even sure of the origins in terms of people or language.

Any suggestions are welcomeicon_wink.gif)

Interesting topic, by the way.

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