What Does Your Name Mean?

Asking a recent acquaintance for the meaning of his or her name is an awesome conversation starter or ice breaker. If you’ve never tried it, I recommend you do. I’ve used it over the years and it’s never failed to pique the interest of recent acquaintances or even friends. Never.

I think the reason why asking others for the meaning of their names is such an effective ice breaker ( if done correctly 😉) is that we all love talking about ourselves and our names are kind of like our most personal possession. In addition, our names are our identity and are also the primary means by which we communicate both our individuality and our uniqueness from all the billions of other humans- past, present & future.

One thing I’ve noticed though, is that many people don’t know the meaning of their name & especially their surname. In fact, it wasn’t until I had made it a habit to ask others what their name meant that it dawned on me that I TOO, DIDN’T KNOW the meaning of my surname.

I believe the meaning of our names are important for multiple reasons;

1. In the Bible we see evidence that God thinks that the meaning of our names are important. This is proven by
a. the fact that God (without being asked) changed the names of several of His followers e.g Abraham, Jacob. Sarah, Simon Peter etc and
b. the fact that the Bible records that God instructed several parents to give their children specific names which were prophetic pointers to that child’s destiny eg Gideon, John, Samson, Emmanuel etc.

2. I have known people whom have had ample reason to believe that the meaning of their names or surnames have had an effect on their lives or those of their entire family. Even the Bible gives us good examples to support this belief, think Jabez in 1Chron. 4:10 and Jacob whose name God changed to Israel (Gen. 35:10).

3. Through out scripture we see that we humans haven been created in God’s image & likeness, create and destroy things by the words that we speak (Prov. 12:6, 18:21, 15:4). Not only that, but also, God thinks that the words we speak are so important we will give an account of all of them-even idle/careless words (Matt. 12:36-37)

If then our words have so much power wouldn’t it be safe to say that each time a person calls our name, they are speaking the meaning of our names into our lives? For example let’s say that my name means ‘Idiot’ in latin (for example), it will mean that each time a person calls my name, they are both recalling the word ‘idiot’ and prophesying the word ‘idiot’ over/into my life. Not a pretty thought at all.

So now think about it. What’s the meaning of your first name?

How about the meaning and origin of your middle name and surname?

Are you proud of the meaning of your name(s) or do you now need to do some research to be sure your name doesn’t have an unpleasant meaning?

Finally, how about you share with us the origin and meaning of any one of your names? I’d really appreciate it if you did but let me go first and then you’d go after me;

I’m S.I.N.G

Sandra: Origin= Greek                 Meaning= Defender of men

Ifeoma: Origin= Igbo Meaning=Something good and or beautiful

Nkem: Origin= Igbo.                      Meaning= My own

Gbemudu: Origin=Eshan Meaning=Ancestors

Now’s your turn and thanks for sharing with us the meaning of one or more of your names 😊 in the comment box below. Peace!!


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  • zubby

    Lovely article SING. I personally believe in the power that a name has over the bearer of such name(s). Over time I believe that most Africans(Parents in particular) are beginning to recognize that power too as now you find parents no longer naming their children after a past/present family member or the situation/condition of the family at the time of the child’s birth but what they would like that child to manifest during his/her lifetime.

  • Jeremie

    JEREMIAH – Hebrew name meaning ‘May Jehovah Exalt’

    ENEBOJOJO – Igala name (Question) meaning ‘Who can challenge/fight/withstand God?’

    OMADA – Igala name meaning ‘Son of a king’

    Nice write up as always S.I.N.G.IFEOMA 🙂

  • Onazi

    Onazi – Idoma origin, Rainbow or some say Royalty ;
    Emmanuel – Hebrew Origin, God with Us ;
    Ochapa – Idoma Origin, King of Apa

  • Ikhide

    Origin: Esan
    Meaning: I will NOT fall/fail

    Origin: Esan
    Meaning: My name will be heard/known (literal meaning: People will talk about me)

    With names this awesome, you can understand why I ain’t bothered about having no ‘English’ name…lolll

  • Benjamin

    Benjamin: origin- Hebrew
    Meaning-son of the right hand

    Oghenerukevwe: origin- Urhobo
    Meaning- God does it for me

    Michael: origin-Hebrew
    Meaning- who is like God?

    welldone Ify, uve done it again…#Nicepiece

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