What's In A Name

Unable to sleep last night, I took down my *character naming book and did a little exploring. Since both of my names are unusual, I thought it would be interesting to look them up and see if I could find their meanings.

I was shocked to find "Linnette" spelled correctly. Name books usually have every possible spelling except mine. But, there it was. I was also pleased with its meaning. While other books have defined "Linnette" as "graceful" or "gracious," this particular book claims it to be of French origin meaning "grace." While it would be normal for any woman to want to be considered graceful or gracious, I find that I like this simple definition best. You see, while graceful and gracious point to me, grace points to Christ...and true grace is all of God.

My mom told me years ago that "Rochelle" means "pretty" or "beautiful one," but I wanted to see what this book had to say. Unable to find it, I did find "Rachelle." Now, while the names seem close enough, only the ending of the name is truly the same. "Rach" is different from "Roch."

I did find "Roch," however, and it means "rock." And I know that "elle" in a name often means "God" or "Jehovah." For example, "Michelle" means "who is like God" and "Gabrielle" means "God-given strength" or "strengthened by God." Now, I don't claim to be an expert in names, origins, etc, but I thought I'd wing it and come up with my own meaning for "Rochelle." Putting together "Roch" and "elle" I decided my name must mean "God is my rock." If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me, but I have to say that I like this meaning.

I'm fascinated by names, their origins and meanings. John and I took great pains to name our boys very specifically (ask our hospital nurses and they'll heartily agree) and from time to time I remind them who they are and what their names stand for. What about you? What's in your name? Wouldn't it be fun to find out?

~Linnette R Mullin

*Character Naming Sourcebook by Sherrilyn Kenyon - a Writer's Digest Book 2nd Edition

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Linnette R Mullin