What’s in a Name?

DenaSeptember 22, 2011

evolutionyou.net | dena joan
A confession: I love names! I’ve been choosing names for my future child(ren) for as long as I can remember. I don’t know what it is really, I’m just fascinated. I love the sound of names and I especially love to know what names mean. I’ve spent hours just browsing through name-meaning websites.

I’m always interested to know how people got their names, too. As for me, I love telling this story. My mother was creative. My maternal grandmother’s name is Edna. She wanted my mother to name me Edna, too, but my mother thought that was too old-fashioned. So she switched the E and the D and Dena was born. Jody was a close second. Apparently my mom really loved that name, but my middle name is Joan, after my paternal grandmother and my great aunt. I guess Jody Joan would have been a bit too much. Thanks for that, Mom. 🙂

Although my mother didn’t know this, it turns out that Dena comes from Hebrew origins and means Valley or Vindication. Appropriate? I think so.

My last name is another story. Botbyl was always a hard one for me. It is pronounced BOT·BILE. When I was younger I got a few taunts such as “butt pile” etc. Children can be so cruel, huh? But that’s another story. I’m getting married in the spring and I am planning to take my fiance’s last name. It’s so different than Botbyl, which by the way is a Dutch name. My new last name will be DelloBuono. Isn’t it beautiful? It means “of the good” in Italian.

It’s funny, in recent years I’ve finally begun to embrace my last name because even though it’s not necessarily beautiful, it is a part of me. And now here I am getting ready to change it. I’m not very traditional, but for some reason this particular tradition is important to me. I understand why some women choose not to change their names, but for me, it feels very special and symbolic.

So that’s the story of my name, in case you were wondering. 😉 Alright, now it’s your turn. Tell me about your name! Do you love it? Hate it? How’d you get it? What does it mean? I’m dying to know!

In love & light,

Comments (9)

  • Manuel Loigeret

    September 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Manuel derivates from Emmanuel. It’s the spanish way. It means ‘God is with us’, and it was the real first name of the Christ. Well… that’s what I have been told.
    I have no Spanish, Portuguese or any Central/South American origins by the way. But people always assumed (in France) that I was Portuguese. Perhaps it’s because I have dark hair and dark eyes? I worked in hardware store at some point and I was assigned to the ‘Portuguese crew’. So the guys were speaking in Portuguese and I did not get what they were saying. Conclusion: the store HR department sucked, big time!
    My last name is Loigeret. We are only two men in age of reproducing who have this name: me and one of my cousin. Apparently my cousin is going to have girls (he already has 3 girls). So I have a lot of responsibilities. We think Loigeret comes from Loigerot. It’s the name of Burgonde’s tribes chiefs. Burgondes invaded Europe after the Roman Empire collapsed. They were considered as barbarians but were pretty nice compared the Huns or Wisigoths. So, yes, I think I am a nice barbarian.

    1. Dena

      September 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing this, Manuel! This is precisely the type of comment that I was so hoping to receive. What a beautiful story. Indeed, I think you a gorgeous name both Manuel and Loigeret. I did not know that Emmanuel means, “God is with us.” (Though I should have considering that I was a Spanish teacher for two years! Yikes.)

      I’m so interested to read about your experience working in the hardware store and especially that you were put on the team with the Portuguese workers! What a mix up. I bet it made things interesting sometimes. 🙂

      Perhaps you are the nicest barbarian I’ve ever met. Thank you again for sharing!

    2. Dena

      September 22, 2011 at 1:06 pm

      Oh, and one more thing… Good luck with the “having a boy” scenario! That must be a lot of weight on your shoulders and especially on your wife’s shoulders, too. After we get married in the spring, we intend to start a family and I keep thinking about what we will have–boy or girl. In my family we always said that the important thing is health, but in your case I can see why your family would hope for a boy. I do hope that your wish comes true!

  • Anonymous

    September 25, 2011 at 10:50 am

    ‘Ruya’ means dream or vision in Arabic, however I’ve been told (by people who understand Persion and Turkish) that it is more commonly used in Persion and Turkish rather than Arabic (I’m neither of these nationalities and do not understand these languages,so I rely on the people who do :)).I was given the name because my parents thought it had very positive connotations (which I agree with!) and it’s an uncommon name in my culture (I’m Australian with a South Asian background). I really like my name, it’s unique in both my cultural contexts and the pronunciation is a little bit hard to get the very first time you say my name, but all the different pronunciations make me giggle! I also like the different pronunciations because I think it gives my name character.

    It’s Spring on my side of the world, so I’m sending you lots of sunshine,blue skies and ice tea!!! Thanks for this fun post on names!

    1. Dena

      September 25, 2011 at 11:14 am

      Thank you so much for sharing, Ruya. Your name really is incredibly beautiful & unique. How wonderful of your parents really. It must me so lovely & magic to have a name that means ‘Dream’ … I’ll bet all of the different pronunciations make you giggle! Now I am curious to know what is the proper pronunciation? 🙂

      1. Ruya

        September 25, 2011 at 10:22 pm

        Thank you for your kind words on my name, Dena! The proper pronuncition is “Rooh Yah” (sort of rhymes with “Booyah”)
        p.s. I re-read my previous comment and realised that I typed ‘Persian’ wrong. oh well, we all make typos!

  • Clare Bear

    September 26, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Your married name sounds like a soap opera heroine. I like it.

    1. Anonymous

      September 26, 2011 at 8:12 pm

      hehe… i never thought of that.  but yes, it does!

  • Allyssa Marie Milan

    March 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    I used to hate my name for some odd reason. (Maybe because I knew a handful of other girls named Alyssa/Alissa/Alysa!)

    But now I love my name! And I have yet to meet someone with the same spelling as I have! 

    I especially love the fact that an anagram for my first name – Allyssa – is ‘says all.’ Sooo appropriate :]

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