Early Light: What your name means


Today is March 12, 2010 and I just noticed that my forsythia has begun to bloom. Hooray,  Spring is only nine days away and did you know that today  is officially your “Middle Name Day.”

(Sidebar: Don’t forget to spring forward tomorrow when the time changes.)

Since my middle name is Emily I went to a website to find the background on this name which I never liked as a child – much preferring the more popular name of the 1950s – Linda.  Emily always reminded me of an old-maid cookie maker.

You can check out the origin of your name by logging on to http://www.behindthename.com/


Gender: Feminine

Usage: English

Pronounced: EM-ə-lee  [key]

English feminine form of Aemilius (see EMIL). In the English-speaking world it was not common until after the German House of Hanover came to the British throne in the 18th century; the princess Amelia Sophia (1711-1786) was commonly known as Emily in English, even though Amelia is an unrelated name.

Famous bearers include the British author Emily Bronte (1818-1848), who wrote ‘Wuthering Heights’, and the American poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886).

Here are some others:


Gender: Feminine & Masculine

Usage: English

Pronounced: SHUR-lee  [key]

From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning “bright clearing” in Old English. This is the name of the main character in Charlotte Bronte’s semi-autobiographical novel ‘Shirley’ (1849). The child actress Shirley Temple (1928-) helped to popularize this name.


View Name: Linda


Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Dutch, German, Scandinavian, Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian

Other Scripts: Линда (Bulgarian)

Pronounced: LIN-də (English) [key]

Originally a medieval short form of Germanic names containing the element linde meaning “soft, tender”. It also coincides with the Spanish word linda meaning “beautiful”.



Gender: Feminine

Usage: English, Scandinavian, Greek, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek

Other Scripts: Μαρθα (Greek), Марѳа (Church Slavic)

Pronounced: MAHR-thə (English) [key]

From Aramaic מרתא (marta’) meaning “lady, mistress”. In the New Testament this was the name of the sister of Lazarus and Mary of Bethany. It was not used in England until after the Protestant Reformation. A notable bearer was Martha Washington (1731-1802), the wife of the first American president George Washington.

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