My experience as a blogger has been incredibly organic. Things just occur in their own way and time. Today I found myself at the Daily Prompt and noticed today’s assignment – Daily Prompt: Say Your Name Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?
I read this and thought ” Oh yeah I’m doing this!” So my first name is Linda and I had read years ago it was Germanic in origin and meant pretty or beautiful. I later learned it was also Spanish , which made more sense to me considering how it is spelled. Then I researched a bit more from Wikipedia:
Linda is a female given name.
- The name might be derived from the same root as the linden tree, from Germanic lind meaning “soft, tender” ultimately from a Celtic root. The image of the tree is used to indicate a gentle personality.
- It may also come from the neo Latin language (Italian, Spanish or Portuguese) word linda, which is the feminine form of lindo, meaning “beautiful, pretty, cute” or “cleaned” (Spanish).
- Alternatively it may be derived from the mythical creature/concept known as ouroboros, in the variations “Celt Lindworm” (a wingless bipedal dragon) and “Scandinavian Lindworm” (a seaserpent).
- Muchalinda, Mucalinda or Mucilinda is also the name of the naga (snake-like being), who protected the Buddha from the elements after his enlightenment.
In some languages, such as German, the name is frequently used in combination with another name, using the suffix “-linde”, for example in Sieglinde or Heidelinde.
It can also be a related name for Lindsay.
The name days for Linda are on September 1 (Czech Rep.), June 20 (Sweden), April 15 (Finland/Germany), February 13 (Hungary, Poland), September 2 (Slovakia), September 4 (Poland) and August 21 (Latvia).
I like the linden tree definition as I would describe myself as someone with a soft and tender heart. Then there are the ouroboros and naga interpretations involving wingless dragons and snakes. The serpent is represented in the glyph of the Scorpio zodiac sign. Well, I am a Scorpio and since these creatures conjure up of the lower leanings of those with scorpionic tendencies, perhaps my parents knew what they were doing!
I was named after my paternal grandfather Louis who died tragically as a result of a car accident when my dad was still a child. By tradition I was named by choosing the first letter of a deceased relative’s name. I have several older cousins who were given other female L names before I was born, but I am glad they weren’t named Linda. I would have been named Louis if I was a boy , but then again only if my older cousins were all female.
But why Linda? Louise, Louisa, Lenore, Laura, Laurie, Lana, or Lorraine were all available. My dad said he really loved this song called Linda and would sing it to us from time to time. I just learned, sigh! the power of the internet, that it was written for Linda Eastman aka Linda McCartney. Didn’t realize that we had so much in common…….
I would not change my first name. It means beautiful and I need to be reminded that we are all beautiful on occasion. I also believe that my grandfather’s passing defined my father’s identity, and some of that grief and pain was transferred to my DNA. I wish I could have met him. I know much more about his impact on my family then about who he really was as a person.
In addition, although there are no known Latin roots in my father’s lineage, he looked Spanish and people would often speak Spanish to him when we visited Florida. Strangers thought he was Cuban. Ironically my Latin ancestry is on my Mother’s side and she does not have any indicative Latin features. I, on the other hand, resemble both my father and grandfather in appearance. See how this all ties together.
This multicultural theme brings me to the my final point. While growing up I thought Linda was such an ordinary name. So many of my peers were also named Linda. Yet when Billy Joel came on the scene, I discovered that he also had a multiethnic background similar to mine. Then I heard his song Rosalinda which was written about his mother. The song details his longing for Cuba and seeing his past in his mother’s eyes. I immediately became enchanted with it. On some visceral level, I thought he had written it for me. I could clearly see that my name is an integral part of my own unique story.