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Kimberly Powell

The Hidden Meaning in Your Name

By October 29, 2006

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Could someone named Biff ever be president? Could a Gertrude ever become a prima ballerina? Does your name really play an integral part in who you are and what you will become? Can changing one's name -- common practice with many immigrant families -- actually change one's destiny? The hidden meaning of names

is a popular query on Internet search engines as people hope to learn what their name says about them and who they will become.

Different than traditional name meanings found in baby name lists and last name meaning dictionaries, the hidden meaning of a name is more akin to astrology or fortune telling than true etymological science. With some exceptions, most sources which reference the hidden meanings of names appear to use a variation on research known as sound symbolism, which attributes meanings to individual sounds based on their emotional response.

So what exactly is sound symbolism? The traditional view of most linguists is that word meanings are related to morphemes (roots, suffixes, prefixes, etc.). There are a few, however, who place great faith in the theory of "sound symbolism," suggesting that the letters of the alphabet -- individual sounds such as 'p' or 'st' -- actually mean something based on how they are pronounced. Sound symbolism, in its basic form, suggests that letter meanings influence how we feel about words and how we react to names, whether personal names or brand names.

As one such individual, Joseph Gilbert, explains it, "look at the words that start with 'st'. Whether steadfast or just plain stubborn, they're almost all really stuck in one place (stop, stick, stand, stall, stoic, store, stack, still...), unless of course there's a raring, rearing, roaring 'r' in there who can get your 'st' 'started'."

Curious, of course, I checked out the hidden meaning in my name. Entering my full name (you can also get results for both given names and surnames), I was told

You are much admired by others because of your unique personality and fair dealings with people. Having a shrewd and creative mind you are extremely clever and can apply your abilities to achieving success in the business world. You possess confidence, determination and intuitively understand people so leadership or management roles would suit you best. Your tenacity, talent and ability to handle change ensures that all your ambitions will be achieved.

Of course, trying many possible combinations, I also was unable to find a meaning that was unpositive and also was given meanings for names which are, essentially, concocted gibberish. Either way, it was a fun exercise in linguistics.

If you're curious about the meanings behind the individual letter sounds, check out the hidden meaning in your name.

Numerologist Joy Light also claims to be able to find the hidden meaning in your name by using the numbers which correspond with the letters in your name. By adding all of the numbers in your name together, you arrive at a number that represents your destiny, or what it is in this lifetime you want to accomplish. A hidden meaning behind your name.

Hmm..... I wonder how much I have in common with the other Kimberly Powell's of the world?

May 24, 2006 at 8:11 pm
(1) excellent says:

really kool remarks

January 14, 2007 at 11:59 pm
(2) jacinda says:

this is really great

February 16, 2007 at 9:28 pm
(3) Cynthia says:

I GREATLY appreciate this site. Someone I care about very much found her name on the site you critiqued (“hidden meaning”). Her name wasn’t on any of the geneology sites we querried; I guess because it’s a very unusual name. On that “hidden meaning” site she thought what she found was the “meaning” of her name. Recognizing it as more of an astrology type rendition I asked her to find the site again. In the process we found your site and I got my answers. Now I can possibly help her find what she’s really wanting, rather than the smoke and clouds she got. Unfortunately we still haven’t found her name on any actual geneology or name meaning sites.

Thank you sooo much, and keep doing what you’re doing: giving the facts instead of the pretty tasting fluff.


July 9, 2008 at 4:01 pm
(4) EmOrY!♥♥ says:

omg this is sooooooooooooooooooooooo amazing!!!!!!!!! hehehe

September 16, 2008 at 5:13 pm
(5) Kelly says:

I tink it is pretty cool 2 know wat ur name really means.COOL WEBSITE KEEP IT UP!!!!!!!!

September 30, 2008 at 2:36 am
(6) Sam Sam Samy... says:

Its just Amazing ….

November 18, 2008 at 9:09 pm
(7) alex says:

Sound symbolism is true and interesting. What’s not interesting is the destiny and fortunetelling stuff. Your name has little to do with who you are.

When someone tells you you are much admired, shrewd, and determined, this could apply to anyone, even if its not true. When someone tells me I’m determined, I’m actually pretty lazy, but automatically I’ll think of all the times I was determined. Its how this flattering works.
On the other hand, if someone asked me if I was determined, I would definately not say yes. I am determined in certain areas but on a whole lazy

January 1, 2009 at 4:42 pm
(8) alex says:

Well of course names have hidden meanings. I belive a name can shape your external characteristics and personality. It has do to with the sound that each name resonates on a human being’s brain neurons while growing and shaping his/her brain. A name is like music and each name has its secret sound combination. It doesn’t have to do with numbers or name meaning or stars. Actually name meaning came out of observing those characteristics that a sound of a name creates. There are names that attract other names and matching 2 attracted names might lead to long lasting, happy and successful relationships. There is no such thing as a perfect name, each name has its pros and cons as everything in life. Knowing what a name really means and what characteristics (internal and external) can each name create, we can use it as an extra tool in order to find the true purpose for our journey in life which is love, happiness, truth and progress. There’s more to come… :) there are some more years of research left… 

January 12, 2009 at 9:22 am
(9) Jethel says:

Ok, if you could really give meanings to names, try giving mine some.. What the hell does “Jethel” mean? And where do you get this stuff about meanings and all??

March 3, 2009 at 1:15 pm
(10) Stephaine says:

I think that in this world everything connects. It makes no sense that they are ‘accidents’, or ‘coincidences’. I would rather believe that my name has played a part in who I am rather than that it means nothing. Besides that, everything I have read sounds like me…why should I not believe it? Because I have some control issue? That makes no sense. We’re only humans. We can’t control everything, and people who try usually end up unhappy. Take some advice and let go a little.

June 22, 2009 at 12:47 pm
(11) tyra says:

i want to know what my name means cuz i’m sure it is means something good (see you all on america’s next top model!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

May 22, 2013 at 4:14 am
(12) shorten website links says:

Very good post. I’m dealing with some of these issues as well..

July 31, 2013 at 12:24 pm
(13) watchspartacus.net says:

WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for internet search

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