What’s in your name? It’s time to find out.
If you would like to know where your family’s name comes from,
we might be able to help.

E-mail us and say: "I want to know the origins of my family name. My family name is ..."

If you want to know more about yourself and your family, press here!
To get more information you’ll probably have to sit your father and/or
your mother down (maybe your grandparents also) and ask them.
You’d better take paper and pen; there may be things you’ll want to write down.

[You should also get a loose-leaf folder.
You’ll probably want to collect whatever you write by yourself and
whatever you print out.]

Here are a bunch of questions to help you get to why you’re called
what you’re called.

Name stuff:
A. How did you get your first name?
· Is your (first) name a name which people (your parents?) just ‘liked’?
· Did someone else have your (first) name before you did? In other words,
were you named after someone else?
a. If you were named after someone else (a grandparent, a family friend,
a famous celebrity), who is/was the person?

B. Many, not all, people have second names. Do you? What is it?
· Is this name after someone else? Who is/was the person?

C. When did you receive your name/s?
· Was it at your Brith (boy) or Simchat Bat (girl)?
· Was it on your birth certificate?

D. What is your family name?
· If your family name has changed, what was it?
· Did your mother change her family name when she married?
What was her original family name ?
· Where did the family names come? What did they mean? (Remember,
you can get help on this from Beth Hatefutsoth.)

More name stuff:
E. Do you have a nickname?
· What is it?
· How did you get it?
· (You may not like this one:) Has anyone ever called you “names?”
(Remember: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never harm me.”)

F. Do you want to change your name?
· To what? Why?
· How did you choose your e-mail address name?

G. Have you ever named others?
· If you have pets, what are they called? Why? Who named them?
· Do have any friends that you call by a nickname just between
the two of you?
· Do you call others “names?”

These are enough questions for now. Other questions will come to your
mind as you play around with this issue of ‘naming’.

By the way, there’s a whole scientific field that deals with names and
naming called onomastics (check your dictionary or encyclopedia).

[Again, get a loose-leaf folder and start collecting these print-outs
and your own research and answers.]


Beth Hatfusoth Site