How To Determine the Origin and Meaning of Your Name | PCH.com

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How To Determine the Origin and Meaning of Your Name

July 16th, 2012 Inspirational

Throughout all the years of answering a teacher during attendance or filling out forms, the sound and spelling of your name may be something that you've taken for granted. Have you ever wondered though where it came from and what it means? Here are a few helpful tips to finding out the origin and meaning of that singular word that has become so familiar to you.

Root it out

Many popular names were derived from older languages that spelled it or pronounced it similarly. Other names may have begun as a Latin, Greek or Hebrew word and evolved throughout the centuries as they were transferred from culture to culture. Each new geographic location has a different dialect, which could influence its pronunciation as well as its spelling. You can decipher your own name by first finding out the language it originated from and then determining the root word.

Consider your religion

While religious texts such as the Bible did not invent names, they definitely played a role in popularizing them. Many common anglo-influenced names such as Matthew, Peter and Paul are widely used due to the fact that they were included in the Bible. Other influential religious sources include the the Koran. Websites like MuslimBabyNames.net will lists various names as well as what they mean in Arabic. An example of this is Al-Aleem, which according to the source, means "all-knowing" or "omniscient."

Dig through the databases

While you can scour through various linguistic texts that will give you insight as to where your name came from and what it means, there are online databases you can use to expedite the process. BehindtheName.com has a comprehensive list, and Meaning-of-Names.com will also give you valuable information.