The Top Baby Names of 2014: There’s Poetry in the Meanings

May 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

5317791293_7fc9b47ff6_zIn some languages, most names carry an understood meaning. For instance, the name of the president of Taiwan is Ma Ying-jeou, which literally means Horse Brave-nine.

While some given names in English have recognizable meanings (e.g., Hope, Pearl, Colt), for most, the definitions come from non-English origins and are long forgotten.

So when we look at the list of top-ten baby names for 2014, announced yesterday by the Social Security Administration, we don’t think much about the meanings behind them. We’re more inclined to think about their sounds or the feelings they evoke or maybe people we know of with the same names.

But the meanings are meaningful, so here’s the list from the SSA . . . with a twist. Instead of showing the names themselves, I’ve lined up those meanings.

The Boys’ names are first, then the girls’.

It’s rather poetic.

(If this reverese-look-up-style list leaves you in the dark, I’ve got the actual names and their languages of origin, too. Just use your cursor to highlight the list, and they’ll magically appear.)

Rest     Hebrew: Noah
Will and protection    Irish, Germanic: Liam
Stoneworker     French: Mason
Deceiver     Hebrew: Jacob
Desire and helmet     Germanic: William
Enduring     Hebrew: Ethan
Who is like God?     Hebrew: Michael
Defender of man     Greek: Alexander
Supplanter    Hebrew:  James
God’s judgment     Hebrew: Daniel

Universal     Germanic: Emma
Olive     Latin: Olivia
Wisdom     Greek: Sophia
God is her oath     Hebrew: Isabella
Giver of life     Hebrew: Ava
Rebellious     Hebrew: Mia
Rival     Latin: Emily
Father’s joy     Hebrew:Abigail
Child of God’s gift     English: Madison
Man     Germanic: Charlotte

(Doug Walker, “Two New Arrivals: Our New Blog and Top Ten Baby Names for 2014,” Social Security Matters, May 8, 2015)

[photo: “Baby N – 5 Days New,” by RebeccaVC1, used under a Creative Commons license]

Advertisements

Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Join the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading The Top Baby Names of 2014: There’s Poetry in the Meanings at Clearing Customs.

meta

%d bloggers like this: