On March 5, or Learn What Your Name Means Day, do some research to find out the out the origin and history of your name - first and last. Maybe you'll find a great tale behind your name!
The holiday is part of Celebrate Your Name Week created by American Jerry Hill in 1997. The purpose of the week is to encourage people to celebrate and appreciate their unique names.
Types of Names
A name is a word used to identify people, places, and things. A person is identified by their name or full name, and this usually consists of at least two words - the given name, which is also known as the first name, and the surname, which is also known as the family name or last name.
The purpose of the surname or family name is to indicate that the person belongs to a specific family or clan. In many cultures, people are identified by a single name.
Because of different naming conventions around the world, a person's name, while not unique, can tell a lot of the person's heritage and family history. For example, many societies in the world use patronymic names - at least one part of a person's name comes from the father's family.
By following the chain of shared names back, one can find, if records exist, a lot about one's ancestors. Similarly, some cultures follow a matronymic tradition where part of a person's name comes from the mother's side of the family.
How to Celebrate?
Talk to your parents or family members about your name. Ask them why they gave you your name and what it means. With a little bit of research you may be able to find out about the lives of your ancestors.