Monday, January 7, 2013

What's In a Name?

Someone asked how we came to the name Evangeline Mary.

Well, the Mary is for John's mom.  All of the other grandparents had a child named after him or her, so it was her turn.  And, of course, we pray that Evie grows up to be a godly woman like her Grandma Shaw.

As for Evangeline, I'm not sure how we got there.  I think we were just reading through a website list of baby names and as we read aloud the funny or unusual ones, we also read out Evangeline and liked it.

I knew about the eponymous poem for which Wordsworth invented the name.  Apparently, the name is still used among the Acadian population in Louisiana; not surprising, but not a compelling reason to use the name.

The compelling reason comes from the meaning of the name.

Any Bible scholar can tell you that "evangel" comes from the Greek and means "good news."

Evangeline's name means "bearer of good news" and what better news is there than that we are adopted as sons and heirs by God because of His great mercy?

We never want Evie to feel like she has to be some kind of walking sermon illustration, but we do want her to know that her name was chosen for a reason, just like she was chosen for a reason, and we are chosen for reasons only He knows.

So, we liked the meaning of the name, the sound of it, and the fact that it is uncommon but not (in our opinions) weird.

Johanna is not a big fan of the name, but has consented to "Evie" and will, in time, we hope, forgive us.

A few weeks ago, after we had already decided on the name, we learned that some friends of ours, also a pastor and his wife, had adopted a little girl and named her Evangeline.  I e-mailed and asked if they would mind sharing the name with us!  Of course, they said they would share happily.  I said maybe we would start a trend; "Evangeline" will be the new "Emma."

Well, maybe not.  But that's okay.  We are quite happy with our choice and like its unique-ness.

And now, my little "bearer of good news" is the bearer of something pretty stinky so I'd better get her changed!


  1. So sweet! We know a little girl named Evangeline (it's popular with Chinese Christians here, believe it or not! :)) and they call her 'Vangie (like Angie) for short. I think it's a darling name. :) People will always try to tell you that "Mary" means bitter, but they're wrong. :)It actually means "star of the sea" and "wished-for child." So happy for you guys!

  2. Thank you! I love hearing how names are chosen, and am always shocked when people say, "We just liked it." I think Evangeline Mary sounds very Catholic, and I mean that in the best sense of the word. So beatiful aesthetically, but also both forward and backward looking along the narrative of the gospel.
    P.S. Any news on the your travel papers?

  3. :) "Evangeline" was on my list of approved names, but never made DH's. Good taste!