Unique Personal Names
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Unique Personal Names
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Christian Names

Name TagNames are very important to us. I have two unique personal Christian names, "Ronald Henry," which were given to me by my parents after I was born and later legitimized in the church at my baptism. I was given the middle name "Henry" after a king as was the custom in my family as it was for many families in England at the time. All the male children were given the middle name of a king of England like Arthur, Edward and George. My surname, "Meacock," means "son of little Michael" and tells you about my family and in my case the particular place called Broughton outside Chester in England where these "sons of little Michael" originated. William Shakespeare interestingly described "meacock" in one of his plays as a "hen pecked husband!"). By using the shortened name "mea" rather than "michael" may indicate originally a man of small stature. Interestingly, all the Meacocks seem to originate in one small area of Chester where the church yard is filled with gravestones marked "Meacock." Meacocks in Canada, the USA or Australia all originally come from this one same place!

Church Titles

God's Name YahwehChurches also have unique names like my home church "St. Catherine's," in my ship building home town of "Birkenhead." Saint Catherine (287-305 AD) who was a princess and noted scholar was martyred in Alexandria, Egypt on a wheel and later sainted. Hence the firework called the "Catherine Wheel" which spins around when lit as a wheel would. Denominations also have unique names like "The Church of England" which tells you something of the church history and my family allegiance in the past.

Place Names

I was born in a place called "Birkenhead" in Cheshire, England which had the first street tramway in Britain and the world's first tunnel beneath a tidal estuary, the Mersey Railway Tunnel in 1886 AD. The name "Birkenhead" probably meant "headland overgrown with birch." Countries in the World have special names too like "England" which took its name from the "Angles," a Germanic tribe. The name "Canada" originated from a Saint-Lawrence Iroquoian word "Kanata" for "settlement", "village", or "land." Even the time I live in has the designation the "Twenty First Century." Each label tells you a little more about me from the context of my existence. Our names also describe our relationships to other people, to God, even to places and things. A name honors our accepted place in society, family and a community of faith.

God's Name Yahweh

Amen JesusWhy unique names? Does God possess a unique name too? Strangely, he does! He is called in Hebrew "Yahweh" though the vowel sounds are uncertain as Jews from 300 BC onward regarded the name for God as too sacred to be spoken. "Yahweh" which could be rendered as "Jehovah" with different vowels means something like "I am, I was, I will be." What is the significance then of the personal name "Jesus" or is it simply from the Hebrew "Yashua" or "Joshua" meaning "to deliver; to rescue?" Does God know our name? One young child in New Haven, Connecticut, thought she knew where God lived. She had her own version of the Lord's Prayer beginning, "Our Father, who art in New Haven. How do you know my name?"

Personal Nomenclatures

Sitting BabyEvery young couple goes to great lengths to choose special and appropriate personal names for their new born children. There are books of personal names to choose from. Some people want a totally unique name for their child and will even go to the lengths of misspelling a standard name like "Eric" to "Erikk" to make it different! The meaning of the first name can suggest the desired character or role of a person. "Ronald" meant "leader" or "strong ruler." John was "a child of God" whereas "Matthew" says you are "a gift of the Lord." Unique personal names are important to God, to me, to my family and to my friends and I hope to you too.

"Unique Personal Names"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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