Names are not Just Names.

I have a friend who is synonymous with baptizing people names. You will literally meet today and after tomorrow you will have your fair share of his name ordinances. Often the name you will receive will in most cases describe you in one way or the other and certainly “fit” you. It then means that names are not just names but a caricature of those aspects that are best seen through the eyes of others.

I became a little bit curious and decided to know what my name Geoffrey means. It is injustice for me to have hoarded all the benefits of my name without having the slightest knowledge of its origin or its meaning. In as much as my parents have never told me why they didn’t name me Noah, James or any other name and cast winning lots with Geoffrey, I feel it is up to me to join the rest of the dots.

So when I went looking at the origins of my name, I was more than glad that I am called Geoffrey. It did surprise me that there is a close relationship between all my three names and there is nothing sweeter than that. Geoffrey has its origins in German and was derived from one of the three old German names meaning district, traveler or peaceful pledge. Talking of traveler and you can’t miss to connect that with my other names especially Ndege.

It thus makes sense that the meaning of the name Geoffrey is same throughout other regions. For instance it’s Teutonic (Ancient Germany) meaning is simply God’s peace as is its American meaning. In England it means peaceful while in French it means Divine peace. And finally in Anglo-Saxon my name means peaceful gift. Perhaps the Anglo-Saxon meaning explains in totality why my parents may have decided to call me this name. I must have been a peaceful gift to them.

Now that I understand the meaning of my name, I clearly see why I may readily recommend the name Geoffrey to any baby boy. Who doesn’t want a peaceful gift especially one that is divine at such perilous times at this?

What does your name mean? It is upon you to know and share with us; the community. Photo Courtesy of greetingsforever.

Why write about names anyway? Last week I stumbled on a piece of verse (Poem) as my friend Austin Bukenya calls them written by Billy Collins titled The Names. I could keenly grasp a pattern to names that is not abrupt. I mean almost all of these names we are called are keenly considered from the season we were born, the people who lived in such times, what was considered fashion then to the circumstances that surrounded our birth.

In ancient historical times, people named their children depending on the perfect description of the situation at the birth of a child. If for instance someone had been barren for long, the birth of a child brought a lot of joy. The birth actually matched the answering of her cries from the Deity and as thus the child was given a corresponding name that described the sigh of relief for her mother. This has been in play in virtually all tribes among Kenyan communities since old times. Back then children were named depending on seasons they were born, where they were born, which activity was taking place or even the time of the day.

In the piece of verse I was reading, Bill Collins gazes out into the woods and coins names. In the night he prints names in the ceiling, he sees names under photographs taped to mailboxes, names of workers, names all around that they can’t barely fit the heart. They are names describing the environment around him, the entirety of the earth, the people in it and all about the universal aspects of life.

There is power in names. While writing this piece, I again remembered a friend of mine called Nancy who told me a long time ago of their goat named Beatrice and a cat called Mok-mok. Honestly speaking I have never asked her the details of the naming but I can bet it has to do with behavior.

Beatrice is a female given name that means “she who makes happy” in Latin. I suspect the goat, Beatrice, makes them happy. That is why knowingly or unknowingly they called her so. Mok-mok doesn’t have a really clear cut origins and meaning but I think the good looks, disloyalty and perhaps the habits of the cat to love to drink milk must have become the baptizing aspect of its name. Names are not just names and if you doubt start by knowing the origins of your name.

Those mock names you are called by people can clearly describe you and make you see yourself through other people’s eyes. I hear names like Magufuli, Pastor,, Hitler, Hustler and many more others describing the habits of people. Then there are names of professions people call themselves like Engineer, Doctor, Architect, Teacher and many more others that can give you a hint to what people do. At least beginning from there, and if we are keen, we can be able to profile a new person by the names they are called.

 And if you want to know your roots and gain a deeper understanding of yourself, then get to know the meaning of your name. After all the point in living this life to the fullest lies in us understanding ourselves first before we can get to understand and appreciate others.


Copyright @ 2018.

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at
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