Tag Archives: etymology

Behind the Name

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In my Etymology class the kids are currently working on a project regarding the history of names.  They started by finding the meaning of their own names.  I knew already that I share my name with a country in Africa.  But I didn’t know that it is also defined as “a fine, pebble-grained leather made from goatskin tanned with sumac!”

Now I don’t know about the goatskin leather part, but I like that Morocco is described as a beautiful kingdom!

I began to do a little research of my own as I entered various names of people I know into the database.  Eliza was one of them.  Her name in Arabic means “light.”  In Greek it means  “pity.”  

The students had to select five friends and/or family names to research.  Part of the assignement was to determine if the name fitted the  person by including a paragraph containing examples supporting their claims.

Eliza 

Eliza’s name is fairly appropriate.  I find that she does have some “light” in her.  I see her “light” when she faithfully writes her children every week.  She is “light” when she smiles.  Being of help to others is another way that she displays the meaning of her name.  She helped raise her brother’s daughter when her assistance was needed.  Eliza’s “light” shines when she walks with God and tries to find her way through life. 

The other meaning fits as well.  She is a pitiful being–one evoking sympathy.  Even though I am often overwhelmingly angry at her; it is tempered with much compassion.  She has experienced a hard, tragic life.  Eliza’s innocence was stolen and she was forced to grow up too soon. I too pity her because she has yet to realize that she has the power to overcome her past. 

Does your name fit you?