Monday, December 18, 2006

Meanings of given names

Have you ever wondered what your given name means? The "Behind the Name" web site at provides information about these names.

My given name is Randall - derived from Randolf meaning

From the Germanic elements rand meaning "rim (of a shield)" and wulf meaning "wolf".
My second name is Jeffrey - a medieval variant of Geoffrey, meaning

From an Old French form of a Germanic name. The second element is Germanic frid "peace", but the first element may be either gawia "territory", walah "stranger", gisil "hostage" or god "god" (see GODFREY). It is possible that two or more names merged into a single form. The name was introduced to England by the Normans, where it became common among the nobility. Famous literary bearers include the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth and the 14th-century poet Geoffrey Chaucer, writer of 'The Canterbury Tales'.
My mother always said that the choice of my name was Randy or Ranny. I believe, but I'm not 100% sure, that Ranny was the diminutive form of Ranslow, which was my 3rd great-grandfather's name, Ranslow Smith. I can understand why they would name me Ranslow (or Ranny), but why Randall (Randy)? It's not a family name, nor is Jeffrey. I guess it was just a parent's choice. My brother Stanley was named after my father's older brother who died as a young boy.

An interesting site - what does your name mean? Why was it given to you?

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