Friday, August 28, 2015

AMERICAN INDIAN NAMES AND THEIR MEANINGS by CHERYL PIERSON



Anyone who knows me knows how crazy I am about name collecting. I’ve done it ever since I was a little girl—probably because my own name has such an odd pronunciation. Bear with me if you’ve read this before—it won’t take long. My parents named me Cheryl—but not pronounced SHARE-yl like most people would say. No, my name is pronounced CHAIR-yl. But wait, there’s more! As if that wasn’t bad enough—my dad had the bright idea to use “Kathlyn” for my middle name—not Kathryn or Kathleen—but his own combo. I think he did it on purpose so he could roll the entire thing off his tongue when he got perturbed with me.


Is it any wonder that I named my daughter Jessica and my son Casey? Though that proved to me nothing is fool-proof—Jessica was on a little league softball team with 8 other Jessicas, and Casey had 2 girls in his kindergarten class named Casey. The thing that saved the day was that there was also a girl named Michael—so he didn’t have to listen to “Casey’s a girl’s name”—since it really hadn’t been until the year he was born, evidently.
(CASEY AND JESSICA AT THE LAKE--THEY GREW UP AND DID OKAY!)


I wanted to talk a bit about Indian names we are all familiar with and what the meanings are—I thought that might be fun. Though no one really knows what their children will grow up to be, many of us choose names that have “meaning” behind them. My dad’s name was Frederic—which meant “Peaceful Ruler”—we had great fun with that over the years. Mom’s name was El Wanda—which she always told us meant “The One”—and my dad would say, “Well, THAT’S the truth! You’re THE ONE for me!”
(MY MOM AND DAD NEWLY MARRIED AND READY TO TAKE ON THE WORLD)

But what about some of the famous leaders in history who were Indian?


GOYATHLAY m Native American, Apache
Means "one who yawns" in Apache. This was the real name of the Apache chief Geronimo, who fought against Mexican and American expansion into his territory.
(GERONIMO IN HIS YOUNGER DAYS)

HIAWATHA m History, Native American, Iroquois
From the Iroquoian name Haio-went-ha meaning "he who combs". This was the name of a 16th-century Mohawk leader who founded the Iroquois Confederacy. He was later the subject of a fictionalized 1855 poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.


NANOOK m Native American, Inuit
Variant of NANUQ. This was the (fictional) name of the subject of Robert Flaherty's documentary film 'Nanook of the North' (1922).


POCAHONTAS f History, Native American, Algonquin
Means "she is playful" in Algonquin. This was the name of a young Algonquin woman, daughter of a powerful chief, who married a white colonist.



QUANAH m Native American, Comanche
Means "fragrant" in the Comanche language. This was the name of a 19th-century chief of the Comanche.
(IN THIS PICTURE, GERONIMO IS ON THE LEFT SIDE AND QUANAH PARKER ON THE RIGHT)

SACAGAWEA f Native American
Probably from Hidatsa tsakáka wía meaning "bird woman". Alternatively it could originate from the Shoshone language and mean "boat puller". This name was borne by a Native American woman who guided the explorers Lewis and Clark. She was of Shoshone ancestry but had been abducted in her youth and raised by a Hidatsa tribe.


TECUMSEH m Native American, Shawnee
Means "panther passing across" in Shawnee. This was the name of a Shawnee leader who, with his brother Tenskwatawa, resisted European expansion in the early 19th century.


WINONA f English, Native American, Sioux
Means "firstborn daughter" in the Dakota language. This was the name of the daughter of the Sioux Dakota chief Wapasha III.


These are just a few of the names and meanings that I found at this site. You might find it interesting to check out the others!
http://www.behindthename.com/names/usage/native-american


I'm curious--is there something odd about YOUR name? Do you wish you had a different one, or are you perfectly satisfied with the one your parents gave you?

The hero of my latest novella, Johnny Rainbolt, is half Cherokee. He needs a wife--and Gabrielle Mason needs a husband--quick!

I'm giving away a DIGITAL COPY of THESE ROUGH DREAMS to one lucky commenter! Take a sneak peek!


When Southern socialite Gabrielle Mason discovers she’s pregnant, she takes her future into her own hands. She has her family name to consider, and a husband is what she needs. She answers an ad for a mail-order bride in Indian Territory. But the man who proposes isn’t the man she ends up marrying.

Johnny Rainbolt is not a family man by any stretch of the imagination…but Fate is about to give him no choice. His late sister’s three children will be arriving on the next stage, and he has no idea what to do with them. When cultured Gabby Mason is left waiting for her prospective groom at the stage station, Johnny sees a way to solve everyone’s problems.

Some dreams get off to a rough start. A mail-order marriage is only the beginning. When one of the children is stolen, Johnny and Gabby are forced to depend on one another in an unimaginable circumstance that could turn tragic… or show them what might become of THESE ROUGH DREAMS.

If you just can't wait to see if you're my winner, here's the Amazon link--it's also available at Barnes & Noble!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B011VHEQ8M



15 comments:

  1. The internet is a miracle for writers when it comes to research. I recently had to come up with a Native American name for one of my characters and discovered the wealth of information online.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, Gerald! I surely is a huge help, isn't it? It's sometimes really hard to remember life before computers/internet, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by today!
      Cheryl

      Delete
  2. Oh, I love meanings of names as much as I love old black and white photos. My name--Celia Ann--means Heavenly Grace--which always made my little sister mad. I like my name, especially when I learned "Celia" is the patron saint of music in Mexico. In a ms I have stored in my files...surely it must have decayed by now--the hero is Cordero, a young Comanche warrior--I forgot what it means, but I researched a site of Comanche names. Must look that up again. His young nephew is named Tennowikah which means "Soon To Be A Man." But his uncle...young Cordero tells him he talks so much his name should be "Chirps Like Bird." The heroine is a Spanish young woman named Adalita--meaning Female Warrior. Don't you love it? It's fun to find good names for characters, and the meaning.
    Your post is A+ as usual, with great dialogue and photos and personal information. Just the kind most people like to read. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks, Celia. I love names so much--always have. I remember telling my mom I was going to name my daughter...something...can't remember what now (when I was 10 and my sister was going to have a baby) and she said, she wasn't crazy about that name...Oh, I was soooo hurt! How could she not like it? I think it was Gretna or something odd like that. I love the names you picked for your characters! See, I learned something else about you today!

      Hugs,
      Cheryl

      Delete
  3. I always hated my name. I used to tell other kids my "real" name was Mary Jane. Since my kids learned that, my youngest calls me Mary Jane when we're in a store. Calling "mother" gets too many responses. LOL Loved your post. Is this a new release? I thought I recognized it as one I've read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary Jane--I love that! Yes, "MOM" makes everyone's head turn. LOL You may have read it--it was included in our PRP anthology, LASSOING A MAIL-ORDER BRIDE. Now it's out as a single sell story. I think I have a thing for mail-order bride stories. I'm working on another one for our Christmas anthology for this year. LOL
      Cheryl

      Delete
  4. I like my name as I was named for my grandmothers. One I never met because she died when my dad was little and the other I stayed with a lot when I was small. I'm not sure what my middle name means but my first name means constant, trustworthy, reliable and a few more things. There aren't that many of me. When I was growing up there was only 1 other girl with my name and she was a grade ahead of me. I'm hearing my name more and more. My mother said that I would be called Connie so she didn't name me Constance. My legal name is Connie. I liked your post and the different way your name is pronounced. I never thought to say it that way. I will remember though. Thanks for the opportunity to get your book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Connie is an unusual name, for sure. I think I've probably only known maybe 4 or 5 in my entire life. I think, too, some names are more popular in certain areas than others. I know when we lived in West Virginia, there were a LOT of "Toms". Here in OK, Tom is used but not like out there. Thanks so much for coming by, Connie!
      Cheryl

      Delete
  5. Weird how the meanings of these Indian names just don't seem to sum up the real character of the people who bore those names. I find Indian names fascinating though. I've had to name a few of my Lakota characters with Indian names and I've never found it very easy to get the name that suits the character.
    If I ever meet you in person, I can pretty much guarantee you I will mispronounce it. If I lived next door to you I would be used to it and get it right, but seeing it in cyber world, spelled the way most people spell it, but pronouncing it so differently would through me off the right path.
    My name seems very common, Sarah Jane, but I was the only Sarah in my entire school with that name. My name comes from my great grandmother.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah, no worries! LOL I've gotten to where I answer to pretty much anything. Even my doctor calls me SHARE-yl. And I've been going to him for over 20 years. It's just so odd, and not like you'd think a person would say it, even though phonetically, it's right. I never knew any Sarahs when I was growing up. Not one. I really love that name, though. Thank you for coming by today!
      Cheryl

      Delete
  6. Nothing special about my name. Pretty much just came out of thin air. No family connection.

    A fabulous post thank you.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary is such a pretty name, and there's no way it could be mispronounced or misspelled--well I shouldn't say that, because there's ALWAYS a way! LOL Thanks for the kind words, Mary. Good to see you here.
      Cheryl

      Delete
  7. My mom named me Patricia Marie but I go by my own spelling of Paty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a beautiful name. I have a cousin and a niece named Patricia.

      Delete
  8. And the winner is.......CONNIE BROWN! Thank you to everyone who stopped by and commented. Connie, if you will e-mail me at fabkat_edit@yahoo.com I will see that you get your prize! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting Sweethearts of the West!