Thursday, March 08, 2007

What's in a name?

Andie, over at and the mama, gave the background behind her kids' names and asked her invisible friends to do the same, so here we go:

Primo - means "first" in Italian
Secondo - means "second" in Italian
Terzo - means "third" in Italian
Quarto - means "fourth" in Italian

And while I'm at it:
Tutor - means "a person charged with the instruction and guidance of another; a private teacher" in both English and Latin (cool, huh?)
Frodo - means that my dear husband has many of the physical characteristics of the main character/ ring-bearer in C.S. Lewis' Lord of the Rings trilogy... namely, hairy feet. (Also, my dear friend, Angel at Aduladi' & Co., and I have dh's with the same first name, and we were frequently getting confused as to who we were talking about when using first names, so we decided the menfolk needed nicknames. My dh became 'Frodo' and hers became 'Mr. Clean'. )

Okay, joking aside (mostly), since I don't use our Christian names online for a reason, I won't share them here, but I will give some background as to where our kids' Christian names come from:

Primo - named after a murder mystery movie... just like I was. Her middle name is a cool-sounding name that was uncommon, sounded good with the first name, and was picked by Frodo. (Btw, this started our "baby naming protocol". Since I have known what I wanted to name my first daughter ever since I can remember, when Primo turned out to be a girl, it was a given that I got to pick the first name and Frodo would pick her middle name. With Secondo we swapped and Frodo picked her first name and I picked her middle name. With Terzo, we swapped again, and so on.)

Secondo - Was named after the main character in a popular piece of English literature. Her middle name comes from a combination of an attribute of God and the name of my Great Aunt's best friend. Sadly, we thought we were picking a very unique name at the time, and have since met many little girls with the same combo of first and middle name. Sigh. At least our little pixie is a trend-setter.

Terzo - Was originally named after a main character in a popular piece of American literature, but we were undecided whether to use the full version or the shortened version. We ended up using the full version after I had emergency surgery while 5 months pregnant with him and decided we wanted to maintain the full meaning of his name to celebrate his coming through the surgery unharmed... and glorifying the One who brought him through. Of course, we had to use the transliterated spelling... i.e. the unusual one. His middle name comes from the Christian name of a man integral to the Reformation.

Quarto - Frodo was undecided between three different first names for Quarto, so he let the other kids choose from the three. They ended up choosing a name that Frodo liked because it was the name of a student he taught who he thought was a neat kid. Quarto's middle name comes from a New Testament figure who is mentioned because of a special place he holds in the ancestral development of the Church. It is a rather unusual name, but people don't think it is that unusual after they find out that my first choice for his middle name was "Chingachgook"... aka "the last of the Mohicans".

Well, that's who our kids are and why. What about yours? Or share why you chose the virtual names that you did. Inquiring mind want to know.


andie @ and the mama said...

I thought Madeline was unique, too. *sigh*

Although, around here, there are still very few, they're all much younger (6, 7 years younger than her) and so many of them are 'Madilyn' and 'Madylyn' and 'Maddalyn' and such that I really think it's more of a Madison replacement. I wanted to spell it Madeleine, but dh has no use for slacker extra letters. ;)

Occidental Girl said...

My daughter is called Occidental Child online.

Her real first name is after a famous movie star who started as a child actor, but it also has special meaning for those born around Christmastime. Her middle name is my great-grandmother's middle name, the same as mine.

As for other children, we don't have any yet, but if we do, we thought we'd name a girl Madeleine. Not anymore. I still like the name, but every other girl is named Madeleine! Such a nice name.

Occidental Girl said...

Uh, it's early in the morning, and so I forgot to say that OC was born on December 23rd.

Occidental Girl said...

It's 5:54 am here on the west coast, not 8:54 am like the comments say. I know you're thinking, 'lazy!'

I'll stop commenting now. :)

TheTutor said...

Occidental Girl-

Hee hee! I know what you mean... about feeling like people think you're lazy based on the time stamps. Most seem to be automatically set to PST, so at night, it looks like my brain goes to sleep really early!

PariSarah said...

Isaac Wesley [my maiden name] was named for the biblical character, even though he doesn't do much except get born, get saved by an angel, get a wife chosen for him, and get deceived by his upstart younger son. So he mostly doesn't do anything at all-it all just happens to him.

But I mostly liked that his name meant laughter. Because he makes us laugh. And because God's words to Abraham in Gen 22 ("Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love,") are the first time love is mentioned in the Bible.

Wesley is from the founders of Methodism, and from my grandfather, whose name was, actually, John Wesley [My maiden name]. Isaac, however, was named after Charles, not John. Charles was, by all accounts, a better husband and a loving father.

PariSarah said...

Oh, and we're still completely undecided on Baby 2.0's name.

It's kind of a good thing he's a boy, because there was looking to be a royal tizzy over naming a girl.