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“Bob Burg opens the floodgates to Fort Knox.”

~ Dottie Walters, Author, Speak & Grow Rich

Naming for Qualities

June 3rd, 2014 by Bob Burg

A friend of mine tweeted that she was named after a police officer her Parents both admired for her courage and honor. “They wanted me to be strong like her” concluded the tweet.

How cool is that?

Naming for Qualities by Bob BurgIt brings to my mind a couple of questions:

  1. Were you named after someone with qualities your Parents admired? If so, please share in Comment section.
  2. Would you (or, did you) name your child after someone whose qualities you and your spouse or partner admire? If so, please share in Comment section.
  3. If you haven’t had the chance to do so, which people (and their qualities) come to mind? Doesn’t have to be someone famous. Could be anyone from an ancestor of yours to the police officer who displays courage, honor and strength.

Looking forward to your comments!

47 Responses to “Naming for Qualities”
  1. Alisia Gomez said at 8:17 am on

    I’m named after my beloved grandma, later on they mention me Empire state of mind ~Alicia Keys. My daughter’s name comes from Gambia’s Independence Day, 18 feb, which is Fridas nameday

  2. Ashlie McKenzie said at 8:46 am on

    My son, Rowan Robert McKenzie is named after four very brave men. In February 2007, my husband was deployed as a dog handler for the United States Marine Corps. During his service, he always looked up to corpsmen and medics, because they went into battle not to protect themselves, but to save others. Though they only met on that deployment and had not known each other long, Pfc. Rowan Walters made a lasting impact on my husband. Walters was killed in action in Ramadi, Iraq by an IED when he was entering a battle to attend to an injured soldier. My little Rowan was named in his honor as a reminder that he should strive to be brave and selfless. We chose Robert as his middle name in honor of two of his grandfathers. Robert Johnson served in the Army Air Corps during WWII and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions in the Pacific, and Robert Gidney served in the Navy also during World War II. In just three names, my son honors all four branches of the military:
    Rowan- U.S. Army
    Robert- Army Air Corps (USAF) and U.S. Navy
    McKenzie- USMC
    While he is too young to know the stories now, he will be raised hearing of the accomplishments and sacrifices of these men, and taught that service, honor and commitment are qualities each of us should strive to embody regardless of what we do.

  3. Bob Burg said at 8:53 am on

    Alisia: How Awesome. Thank you for sharing with us!

  4. Bob Burg said at 8:56 am on

    Ashlie: Thank you. What a remarkable story! So appreciate you sharing that with us. Just sent shivers through me!

  5. Jean Kuhn said at 8:57 am on

    Not sure I named my daughter “after” Jaclyn Smith, but I thought her name was beautiful, and I thought she was beautiful.

    My daughter…..well, she’s beautiful, she’s smart, and she’s motivated….I guess I should have named her Jean….hahahaha just kidding.

  6. Bob Burg said at 9:12 am on

    Jean: Indeed, Jaclyn Smith was (and, still is!) beautiful. And, so is Jaclyn Kuhn! And, so is Jean Kuhn!

  7. Christie Ellis said at 9:13 am on

    My name is actually picked from graffiti on a wall my parents saw in a park in Queens…so not sure where that leaves me. I guess I should be grateful I turned out as well as I did. With our daughters we had Elizabeth Ann’s name picked out because we wanted to honor our Mom’s and we chose their middle names as her name. When we found out we were having twins (2 girls) we needed to pick another girl name. Eddie said “I have always liked Ashley”, which I am pretty sure comes from his crush on Ashley Judd, but he denies that. Then my girlfriend Dale said I needed to “ground” the name Ashley so she isn’t some flighty, ditzie type and she suggested I give her the name Grace. So she is my Ashley Grace. They are only 9 but I can see how these names fit who they are. I do know of one gentleman who lives near me whose children are named Private Jet and Solid Gold, I swear that is not a joke. He recently bought the Batmobile at the Barrett Jackson Car show. BTW – Jean you crack me up.

  8. DiAnna said at 9:49 am on

    Yes! Calvin Riley Hudson is now grown and has his very own Hobbes! He is strong willed, kind hearted, opportunistic, driven, daring, & un-box-able.

  9. Bob Burg said at 10:05 am on

    Christie: And, you turned out GREAT. How about that! And, that is a terrific story about Elizabeth and Ashley, who happen to be two of my favorite girls. Please tell them “Uncle Bobby-boo”* sends his love. And, I’m also pretty sure that your awesome pup, Dallas (who has already established that he is a “good dog”) is named after Eddie’s favorite football team. Regarding your neighbor and his kids, Private Jet and Solid Gold; well, it’s good that he didn’t name them Batmobile. That might have been difficult for them to live up to. ;-)

    *No one is allowed to make fun of me for being Uncle Bobby-boo. :-)

  10. Bob Burg said at 10:07 am on

    DiAnna: How cool. And sounds like a great kid! Either Calvin Coolidge or Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes; both very awesome in their own way. :-)

  11. Anita Casalina said at 12:02 pm on

    Hi Bob!

    Yes I think that is very cool. We named our son Evan – we had heard it was derived from Hebrew and Welsh, meaning God is gracious and Peaceful Warrior. Sounded good to us!
    At 22 years old now, he is indeed gracious and what I would call an intense warrior with a big heart :)

    Thanks for the fun subject,
    Anita

  12. Lisa Wilber said at 12:05 pm on

    I named my daughter, Lydia Mae, after my grandmother: Lydia May. My grandmother was a strong, independent woman and I want my daughter to be strong and independent, too. I intentionally spelled her middle name one letter different (Mae vs. May) because I also want her to be her own woman, not a copy of anyone else.

  13. Bob Burg said at 12:17 pm on

    Anita: How awesome that he turned out to take so much after his name! Thank you so much for sharing that!

  14. Bob Burg said at 12:19 pm on

    Lisa: What a great story. And, having seen Lydia Mae from the time she was a baby to where she is now, she is absolutely becoming the strong, independent person you planned. And, how cool about the “one letter different” spelling! Thank you for sharing with us!

  15. Geneva said at 12:44 pm on

    Hey Bob! What a refreshing post today. I sincerely believe, now more than ever, in the power of a name. I was enlightened tremendously to the power of words after reading the book, Aspire.

    I like uncommon names. My daughter is Summer Rheanne. She was born in August & it was a toss up between actually naming her August or Summer. Summer, of course, won. Rheanne is a combination of her great-grandmother, Rheancy & my BFF’s middle name Anne. People with the name of Summer have a deep inner desire to lead, organize, supervise. I believe, as with the season, Summer is very flexible, accepts change & is resilient to weather any storm. My Summer is definitely those things.
    My son is Bryce Emmanuel. I was watching movie credits eons ago & noticed the name Bryce. I stored it in my memory bank & decided then & there when I had a son, his name would be Bryce. It means quick, swift & people with this name are competent, practical, and often obtain great power and wealth. They tend to be successful in business and commercial affairs, and are able to achieve great material dreams. Emmanuel is God with us. He is definitely practical, level headed & is my financial guru.
    My name, Geneva Marie. My dad was quite older when I was born & I think Geneva is an old name. I do, however, love the meaning! People with this name have a deep inner desire to inspire others in a higher cause, and to share their own strongly held views on spiritual matters. They tend to be passionate, compassionate, intuitive, romantic, and to have magnetic personalities. They are usually humanitarian, broadminded and generous, and tend to follow professions where they can serve humanity. Because they are so affectionate and giving, they may be imposed on. They are romantic and easily fall in love, but may be easily hurt and are sometimes quick-tempered. Thank God for emotional intelligence! :)
    Marie was a girlfriend of one of my brothers! LOL!
    My dad had two nicknames for me. Little Nurse & Little Jesus. I had a 26 yr. career as a nurse & attempt to exemplify the life of Jesus everyday.
    Names matter!
    Thanks Bob!
    g

  16. Gabriel Skelly said at 12:49 pm on

    Yes to all.

    My name is biblical in origin Gabriel and Michael both being angels.

    MY middle son is named after 2 grandfathers who were military and survived WWII (William Ervin)

    My oldest son has my and my fathers middle name Michael

    My youngest son has the name of a saint and a cousin I respect and my name as his middle name

    Patrick Gabriel.

    A lot goes into a good name.

  17. Mikhail Baynes said at 1:40 pm on

    I was named by my uncle given to my parent after Mikhail Gorbachev for his leadership and courage. I believe I too possess those qualities.

  18. Doug Wagner said at 3:26 pm on

    I was named after my famous father who oddly, choose not to use his first name, reserving it for me and negating the requirement for Jr.

    I am eternally grateful I didn’t have parents who named their son Harold (Harry) Ball (real name). What seems cute at 6 months is just mean later.

    In any event, I don’t think we live up to our names. We live up to who we are and who we become.

  19. Bob Burg said at 3:33 pm on

    Geneva: Very powerful, and I love all the stories…and how close everyone came to their namesakes! Thank you for sharing!

  20. Bob Burg said at 3:34 pm on

    Gabriel: Indeed, how terrific, all of them! I so appreciate you sharing with us!

  21. Bob Burg said at 3:36 pm on

    Mikhail: Interesting, when I first saw your name on Twitter I wondered how you got the name, Mikhail, and that came to mind. Hopefully, you’ve never been told to “Tear down that wall!” :-) (You may be too young to remember that) ;-)

  22. Bob Burg said at 3:38 pm on

    Doug: That’s a very interesting story about your Father and that he chose not to use his first name so you wouldn’t have to be a Jr. but could still be named after him. Did he legally remove his first name?

  23. Christie Ellis said at 5:59 pm on

    LOL….they say hello Uncle Bobby-boo :)…they want you to know they are doing camp at the AZ Animal Welfare League this week and are learning how to train dogs. :)

  24. bobburg said at 6:24 pm on

    Awwwww, please tell them I’m SO PROUD of them!

  25. Doug Wagner said at 6:36 pm on

    Bob, no he somehow ended up using his middle name through life, freeing up Douglas for me.

    I think I used the Law of Attraction to make that happen but have no proof since it was a preconceived intent.

  26. Bill Ellis said at 7:26 pm on

    Great post Bob. I’m named after two significant men in my father’s life – William from his stepfather and Conrad from his older brother Earl Conrad who my father said was the smartest man he had ever known. Thanks for being the catalyst for me to be actively thinking of this again. Quite a meaningful name.

  27. Bob Burg said at 7:58 pm on

    Doug: :-) :-) Sounds like a great man!

  28. Bob Burg said at 8:00 pm on

    Bill: How cool that your Dad named you after both his Stepfather and his Brother. I’m sure you’ve more than lived up to it. I KNOW you’re one of the smartest men *I’ve* ever known! :-)

  29. Heath Suddleson said at 8:16 pm on

    My parents had the tradition of using the first initial of a passed relative. My first names starts with an “H” in honor of my grandfather Harry who passed before I was born. My middle name starts with an “I” in honor of my Uncle Isador who lived with my mother’s family for a time and he passed before I was born.

    Because my parents loved the show Big Valley, they chose the name Heath. I have no idea how they chose my middle name, but I’m thankful it is not Isador. Ironically, when I was younger I developed pictures of my Uncle Isador from an old negative my parents found. He was in his Coast Guard uniform. At first my mother thought it was a picture of me in my cadet uniform (Navy). I am his carbon copy.

    When I was very young my fear was that I was adopted. As I got older my fear was that I wasn’t adopted. That photo confirmed my fears ; o)

  30. Kathryn Zader said at 9:01 pm on

    What a fun post, Bob! Love hearing the origins of everyone’s names. So, tell us about your name? My parents named me after the actress Kathryn Grayson. My maiden name is Kamp and they wanted my initials to be KK. Don’t worry, my middle name is Marie. :-)

  31. Dixie said at 9:03 pm on

    I’m sure you’ve heard the story of how I got to be Dixie.

    (My 16 year old romantically-minded sister wanted something flowery like “Francesca” and my practical father said he’d go for four letters max and wanted Beth or Mary. They argued for months – I”m told – then my sister saw a newspaper article about someone named “Dixie Diane.” She loved it. Dad had known a Dixie sometime in his life and liked her. So I was Dixie.)

    I wish I knew the Dixie’s I was named for, but I don’t. The most famous of course was Dixie Lee. I don’t THINK I was named for her and she wasn’t named Dixie at birth anyway. I have had a hand in inspiring a writer to go BACK to her birth name of Dixie. She’d been using her middle name, and after meeting me on Facebook she decided she was ready to OWN her real name!

    What is more interesting to me is that my mother – who seemed to have no say in girl names – had decided on “David” should I be a boy. Because David means “beloved” and that’s what she wanted.

    I was a girl. But it worked anyway.

  32. Linda Ryan said at 9:31 pm on

    Since I was little, I thought “If I ever have a boy, I’m gonna name him Brian…” cuz I always loved that name. Well then I married a guy named Ryan, so Brian was out.
    We named our son Jonathan, after my Dad (John) who had recently passed away. I thought Jonathan Ryan had a nice ring to it… but shortly after his birth, his sisters started calling him “Jackie” (I have NO idea why) but it stuck like glue and he has been Jack Ryan ever since. Most of his friends, teachers, etc call him Jackryan, like it’s one word.

  33. Bob Burg said at 9:58 pm on

    Heath: Thank you for sharing the origins of your name. And, too funny what you wrote at the end!

  34. Bob Burg said at 10:04 pm on

    Kathy: It turned into a great discussion, didn’t? Thank you for helping me with it and, as always, your great editing. That is too funny about your initials! LOL!

    You asked about the origin of my name? Jewish tradition is that one is named only after deceased relatives (one reason why there are no Jr’s in Jewish families). My Grandmother’s (Dad’s Mom) first and middle names were Rachael Leah. Mine are Robert Lee based on the initials of her first and middle name. :-)

  35. Bob Burg said at 10:06 pm on

    Dixie: Actually, somehow I never did hear that story. Fascinating, indeed! And, we’ll just figure that Dixie can also mean beloved, since you are beloved by so many of us!

  36. Bob Burg said at 10:08 pm on

    Linda: Indeed, Brian Ryan could be an issue! :-) Very sweet that you named Jack after your Dad. People probably say “Jackryan” because it’s a very cool name!

  37. Dixie said at 10:13 pm on

    “Dixie” is technically the “feminine diminutive” for Richard. But some say it’s also the “feminine diminutive” for Benedict. So either brave or a blessing – depending on the day. :)

  38. Bob Burg said at 6:24 am on

    Dixie: I’ll go with “always a blessing – brave when necessary!” That would definitely be you.

  39. Kim Kelly said at 4:34 pm on

    I am so proud to be named after my dad! They called him ‘Mike’ for short. my parents took the ‘E’ off of Mike turned the letters around,& there you have,’Kim’. My grandparents & family members came over from Italy. My dad & his twin bro. lost their mom when they were 2 wks. old & their dad when they were 6 yrs. old. My dad is my SUPER HERO! My son Vincent has my dad’s name for his middle name.

  40. Bob Burg said at 4:48 pm on

    Kim: Thank you for sharing that. Fascinating story of how you got your name! Your Dad sure sounds like a superhero and I’m sure he feels greatly honored that you feel that way, and named your son after him! :-) Thank you again!

  41. Amy Wells said at 8:57 pm on

    Mom named me after Amy in Little Women. My middle name is inspired by Queen Elizabeth. So I decide that i am Amy Queen Elizabeth, Princess of Wells.

    Funny name story: My niece Jillian, thought that her middle name was something you say when someone is naughty. For example, When her little brother did something wrong, she put her little hands on her little hips and said, “Gary Elysse, you are in trouble.” We all laughed but didnt explain to her that Elysse is her middle name. Time went on and we giggled when we heard her scold her doggy, “Buster Elysse.” LOL SOOOO on her first day of school when the teacher called role “JIllian Elysse?” Jillian burst into tears and explained that she didnt do anything wrong. LOL

  42. Bob Burg said at 9:00 pm on

    Amy: I knew you had to have some royalty in you. See?! I was right! And, that’s adorable about Jillian (dare I say) Elysse. ;-)

  43. Stacy buck said at 10:13 am on

    My name was origanlly going to be Sarah but when my mom was in recovery from delivery my dad (who is kind and a lover of peace) changed my name to Stacy at the last minute. I discovered recently that Stacy means “resurrection”. The word Resurrection has described my life perfectly as I have become who I wanted to be despite troubled circumstances getting there. So greatful my dad renamed meā€¦the word Resurection whispers deep in my heart about what I am capable of. Thanks for asking.

  44. Bob Burg said at 10:28 am on

    Stacy: Thank you for sharing that story with us. Another example of how a name really did fit the person…and was appreciated by that person with that name! And, congratulations for knowing how terrific and capable you are!

  45. My first name is Jacqueline. My mother loved Jacqueline Kennedy and Michelle comes from a lady that worked with her at the Navy exchange many years ago.

  46. Bob Burg said at 7:36 pm on

    Michelle: And, you have the beauty and grace of Jacqueline Kennedy. I’m sure that your Mom’s friend at the Navy exchange would is very proud of her namesake!

  47. Thank you, BB!

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