Monday, April 14, 2008

Etymology and character

Both my daughter and I have been named versions of "Mary". In researching something totally unrelated, I found an article on the psychology and etymology of the name Mary. Here are some key excerpts:

Anyone with the name "Mary" (or "Marie," etc. derivatives) is a person whose life is associated with circumstances that cause bitterness or sorrow. The name originates from the Greek word, "myrrh." Myrrh is an herb that is very bitter until it is crushed...then it releases a sweet fragrance. Myrrh was one of the three gifts presented by the wise men to Jesus Christ and his parents after his birth.

You take the meaning of your name, in this case, "Mary" or "Marie" and you write down "bitter" since that is the main characteristic of the herb myrrh. Think about all other girls or women who have that name as their first or middle name. Are their lives associated with many discouragements or hardships? Have they suffered much emotional or physical pain? I have observed this fact consistently with every girl or woman with this name, even if they did not understand the meaning. How can they move past the bitterness of what family members, friends and/or unfortunate circumstances have done to them throughout their life?

When you think about why God allowed you to have that name, consider it the highest privilege that you were chosen to hold up under the blows...God knew your family, neighbors, teachers, future bosses, strangers and geographic location in the world before you ever reached it. He knew what lay ahead for you. He provided everything within your soul (mind, will and emotions) and within your education and experiences in life so you could figure it out. He named you according to your destiny. He cushioned your suffering in various ways so you would not collapse under the load. He chose you because He could trust you to overcome the sins of others and rise to a higher platform in life. He knew you would understand how to help other people.

From: Behind the name: Mary

Interesting and more detailed than some of the other etymology research I have read. I'm sure I'm not the only Mary-named blogger/reader. Even if your name is not a derivative from Mary, do a bit of research and see if your name etymology says anything regarding your temperament of character. It is fascinating.

UPDATE: After talking to my mother(middle name, Marie), I asked how far back the Mary derivatives go in our family. It stopped at her grandmother. She was apparently crabby and named Nellie. No form of Mary there. Here is the etymology on Nellie: Meaning "weak-spirited person", used as a disparaging term for an effeminate homosexual man, Australian Slang-inferior or cheap wine.
My grandmother, who died from TB when my mother was a small child, took care of those stricken with TB until the disease took her own life. Her mother, Nellie(the crabby one) would not come near her as she died. This was difficult for the family as she was buried near her daughter who she abandoned. Four generations of Mary/Marie/etc. in our family. My grandmother, my mother, myself and my daughter. My mother has two half-sisters who have a "Mary name" and her adoptive mother and my father's mother were Mary's. History and family stories are always a good read and full of odd details. I have often believed that my grandmother, never met, is in heaven looking over the three generations of women who were inspired by her beauty and steadfast and unselfish faith. My name is not my own. Neither is my daughter's name.
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you." (Jer. 1:5)

1 comment:

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

My little Mariela and my Katrina MARIAH are both sassy but their sister who is not named for Mary is the one who lives the most drama in this family. Interesting post!