Friday, 22 January 2010

What's in a Name...

Well, it seems my current rambling style seems to take up quite a bit of cyberspace, and cutting it down to one word really hasn't helped. At the suggestion of my peers, then, I've decided to start doing a little name-trawling, digging up what I can about the roots of the things I shout across rooms to those I know. Without delay, I present you with the only logical choice for my beginning...


It's a wonderful name, is it not? Most delightfully concise when shortened to "Becky", but never "Becca". Perhaps there are reasons for this set deep in the aesthetic structure of the two words, or perhaps I've been conditioned over quite some time to NEVER use the latter over the former. EVER. Bias aside, mind, once I started digging, the name got interesting.

The name, y'see, is Hebrew in origin, which is a great place to get your name from. After all, the noble "Matthew"'s of history have all trodden the same path. It is well worn. It is sturdy. It is mine. Bias really, really aside, it does make it an old name. So old, in fact, that there are Rebeccas (or Rebekkas) in the Bible itself. If you're the sort who cares for these things, she's the wife of Issac, who's the son of Abraham (but, good Christian schoolkids as we were, we knew that anyway...).

The fact we can pinpoint one language of origin so neatly means we can, and will, find the meaning very quickly. On the face of it, Rebecca might have an unusual meaning, but we can soon get to the bottom of that, right? Before we can do that, we need to know what it is: to tie firmly. Now, some very clever people who've studied more Ancient Hebrew than I have reckon this equates to "Rope with a noose". Grim? Think again.

Naturally, your first thought's going to be of hangings, but that's not the case at all. In fact, the current reasoning is quite new. Until recently, lots of people thought that the rope referred to snagging men in a lasso, a rope of love, that sort of thing. Convenient as that would have been for me, it makes it a very unlikely contender for the name of one of the Bible's Good Girls. "What then", you cry, "is the current theory, oh mighty man of words?"

Because of all this biblical malarkey, some of these clever and well-practiced language chappies now reckon the rope and noose refer to leading cows about, and herding. "What?" You (especially if you're Becky) shout, "That's a weird thing for such a popular and awesome name to have come from!" Well, it is, if we take it literally, but that's never fun to do in these situations. What seems to be the interpretation of this image is one of guidance, of herding, and control. We're given the image of confused little animals being shown where to go, looked after, and comforted by something greater than they are (this isn't just my interpretation, seriously!). We get a person who knows what they're doing, and sees the bigger picture. Not some whore using a rope to catch men. Ew.

To finish this post, Rebecca means, if we're being direct, Tied Up. Nobody, though, looks at their name literally. What Rebecca really means is Security, Comfort, and Kindness. Now, dear reader(s), go and snuggle up by the fire.

If your name's not Becky or any variant therein, please feel free to request an audience with the Wordy Wookie, and I'll do all I can to turn your name into an exciting (!) blog post. That'll be something to tell the grandchildren about.


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