Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Names

Have you ever noticed how names that you didn't particularly care for can become pretty once you associate them with a sweet natured person and otherwise pretty names can lose their charm when attached to a chronically grumpy person?

I was introduced to the name Matilda when I was in forth or fifth grade and asked to memorize a poem about a little girl named Matilda. I can't remember all of it any longer but the first two lines have always stuck. Matilda told such dreadful lies,       It made one gasp and stretch ones eyes,  Because of her habit of telling lies something very horrible happened to her. The name Matilda became less than desirable to me then.

Several years later we had a van load of visitors drop by to see us. Among the guests was an older single girl. Her name happened to be Matilda. She was a sour person and always had something negative to add to the conversation that was flowing around her. The name was secured a little more firmly on the list of ones I didn't really care for.

Several weeks after we got married I was looking through one of my new cookbooks trying to find a recipe to bake a cake. Most of them were unfamiliar but when I came to one called Matilda cake I had to give it a try. I only ever made it once and it lived up to the name. It was a tough bland cake. Eating it was like chewing on a vanilla flavored shoe sole.

Lumping all of those experiences together when ever I heard the name Matilda it always made me think of unpleasant things.

Enter a very sweet elderly lady with snow white hair. Her hands and face lined with deep wrinkles but her eyes still held a happy sparkle, her smile lit up the room, and she had the sweetest voice. Her name I learned happened to be Matilda. With time I can now envision her when I hear that name and it makes me smile. And I think I have learned that it isn't the name, it is the person that bears it that makes it sweet or not.

13 comments:

Prairie Rose said...

I totally agree!
My husband and I have had "baby name" discussions, and it was the talk was littered with "Oh, NO, not that name, I know someone with that name and they are so mean(or arrogant or snotty,etc)
But,as you said, all of a sudden you meet a lovely person and the name becomes as beautiful as music!
I guess, that means we should make our own names, a name that others think is beautiful and not yucky,eh?

Elizabethd said...

I know just what you mean! But I love the name Matilda, it's chamingly old fashioned.

Knitwit said...

That is so true about names. My daughter is named after a dear friend I had all through grammar school and high school - but I didn't like the way my friend turned out, so I changed the spelling of the end of her name!

dynnamae said...

I can totally relate to your blog today. My sister thought she might name her daughter, Debbie. I begged her not to do that because of an unpleasant girl in school by that name. Today, I have more than one friend by that name and it is a sweet name to me now. Also, I am so happy for you having a wonderful visit with your mom. God bless you all.

Mikailah said...

That is strange how that happens... Well, maybe this elderly lady gave you a new perceptive of the name Matilda. :) That is so true.. it isn't the name that matters, but what the 'wearer' does.

Blessings in Christ,
Mikailah

Suanna said...

This is so true.

TanasiGirl said...

Oh yes, there are many names that I used to love. You couldn't pay me to use them, now. Lol.

Martha said...

My great grandma's name was Matilda, they called her Tillie, so it is a lovely name to me. :)

Mrs. J. and Miss J. said...

In reading the Old Testament of the Bible, many names of children had nothing to do with the personality but what was happening at the time; what the mother was suffering or rejoicing about; or some event of the day. Many believe Jacob was a deceiver but the name can also mean, wounded head, a type of Christ. Names can get attached with meanings that get preached about for years, but then a minister will come along and help to understand there was a far better meaning and point to a deeper reason for the name. Jacob did not deceive his father, the instruction of his mother was to preserve the will of God and his father was not doing it, so the mother had to. However, Jacob for thousands of years has been preached as a deceiver and it is not true.

The written words of a poet or author can cause create a connotation that will last longer than the truth. It is why God has dealt with me about many false beliefs over many words that have been preached by man and his doctrine, what is in a name, more than we realize at times, praise God when He shows us the truth.
Mrs. J.

George Spelvin said...

I have always loved the song "Waltzing Matilda," so the name always seemed beautiful to me!

Jessica-sweetpea'smommy said...

So true! There are many names I like/dislike names based on a certain person who carried that name. Overall, the name is a part of us, but we form the name.

Thank you for the tip about the poem. I looked it up, and am going to have my 7 yo memorize it to help combat her lying. Sometimes, we need those drastic reminders in our minds when we think of something negative.

Toriz said...

I completely agree. :)

Savories of Life said...

I completely agree!
One thing that can be done for lying is something that was done at my house and it wokred on me. Take tobaco sauce or hot sauce and when one does soem lying put some on the end of their tongue. It hurts. Don't let them get water unless younger if over 5 have them wait almsot a minute. A drop will do he trick.