4/15/2007

What's in a Name?

Don't you love etymology? No, not the study of bugs. Etymology--the study of word origins.

My first name, Nathan, is a biblical name and comes from the Hebrew "he has given" or "gift." Kind of nice, eh? He was a prophet, too. Can't beat that.

But wait...what about Nate, my nickname? Turns out that that's a whole other story.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the term nates is a Latin plural noun meaning..."buttocks." I kid you not. So, while the singular is actually natis and not Nate, we are in America speaking English, and I simply have to face the fact that my nickname is "buttock."

Well, no wonder I feel like one on such a regular basis!

Humbling...

What does your name or nickname mean?

3 comments:

Mo said...

I am... very sorry.

People usually call Maureen's Mo for short, no clue why. It's also short for my email address and LJ name, as I got tired of typing all the time online.

I was also called Yesica for a time. That's a story in and of itself. What, you don't think Yesica is a good shortening of Maureen?

Nate C. said...

Thanks for the sympathy...

Yesica a good shortening of Maureen...makes about as much sense as Jack being a nickname for John. :)

Incidentally, if I were to run into most people from my high school, they'd probably greet me as "Ed!" True story.

Heather K. said...

I always enjoyed hearing my name sung in "Brigadoon", the "Heather on the Hill" song. Then I realized later that Heather is more like a weed than a flower. Or more technically, "an English word for the variety of small shrubs with pink or white flowers which commonly grow in rocky areas."
But a flowering weed must be far superior to an ordinary, non-flowering weed. Right?
As for the mono-syllabic version of my name, most commonly used by my brothers in days of yore, it seems "Heath" (short e sound) is one who lives on a heath. What's a heath? Why, "a wasteland overgrown with shrubs."
So it does seem I'm right back where I started. A weed. :)