There is a defining characteristic which every human being share. This is a unique identity that separates one person from the other. A very profound feature that makes YOU and I special.
There is a great deal of difference from one culture to another on how names are given. And this brings me to the Daily Prompt Say Your Name.
Every new born go through the initiation of a name. You will agree with me that there is power in given names. Everyone responds when their names are called.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
“A name is a word or phrase that constitutes the distinctive designation of a person or thing.”
OR “A word or symbol used in logic to designate an entity.”
A name is the grouping of several letters of an alphabet, or other symbols, which represents the identification of a person or an object.
Therefore, your name is utterly powerful and a very significant part of your existence.
I believe so much in my names and their meanings. I believe that I am a Star!
I also believe that when there is life, there is hope – the meaning of my traditional Ibo name.
The concept of names during Baptism is quite significant. A child is named after a Saint on whose feast day the child is born or any English name that is affiliated with Christendom.
It is the norm at the time of my birth to give English names to babies born into Christian families. My parents, as Roman Catholic Christians, carried out this duty. At Baptism, approximately three months after I was born, the name Stella was added to my given names. Prior to being baptised, I was given a name or rather names according to the Ibo tradition 21 days after birth. These names were not frequently used as only my Parents, grandparents, and very close family members, mostly of the older generation called me by those names. Most of these people are no longer alive today. My Mother is the only one who still call me by my traditional name.
But Stella remain her favourite.
My name is Stella. Or rather, my Baptismal name is Stella. As I became older, I added the missing “Maris” to Stella. I thought “Stella Maris” was nicer and more stylish. This was my own version of the name my parents gave me. My parents called me Stella but I liked it more when friends called me Stella Maris or Maris.
However, this has changed over time and now I answer to several names ranging from nicknames to special names, and recently to my online names.
Find below some of the nicknames taken from my beautiful name – Stella.
Stel or Stels
Stelly, Stellie, Stelli
Star, Stellar, Esty (ST)
I have been nicknamed and called – Stel, Stelly, Star, Esty or St or Stee.
Research have shown that my name originated from the Latin word – Stella, which means STAR. The name was used in England during the 16th century by Sir Philip Sidney, when he used it in his sonnet – “Astrophel to Stella.” However, it became commonly used as a given name in the 19th Century.
Stella is used in various ways. It is interesting to note also that a Latin term for the Virgin Mary is “Stella Maris” which means “Star of the Sea”. The name Stella is also used in reference to the brightness and beauty of the Star. The Spanish and French name for Stella is Estella. And all these names have one common meaning – STAR.
In Nigeria, and I suppose in other parts of the world, the names we are given act as our identity. Names have historical significances. Names can tell where a person hails from, they reveal your roots, the part of the world you come from or even the family you are born into. Some names give away your nationality. It reveals the language and dialect you speak.
I would like to mention that some very close friends and family members have their unique names for me and I answer to all of them too. My dear cousin and friend, Sandra will not cease to amaze me with the name “Egyptian Queen”. She loves calling me this name and I enjoy the sound of it every time I hear it. A set of other friends call me “Simple Dimple”. While some others simply call me Stel or ST… I answer to all of these names. I enjoy the eclectic mix my name represents.
Finally, what is in a name you’d ask?
A name is simply more than the physical you. It has extended even to the Social Medias and to the online world. Names are taken to represent an online presence and they become your identity and who you are. Take the blogosphere for instance, I am called “Simple Dimple” or “Giggles and Tales”. Now, I respond to these new online names which is fast becoming my new identities.
How do you prefer to be called? The names given to you by your parents or your new adopted names?
Say your name!
Peace and Love!