11 Feb 2018

#339 The origin of my name

The origin of my name
Image result for star

Nomenclature is an important aspect of one’s identity. In fact, it’s something that we carry with ourselves apart from transient materialistic possessions. Primarily, we are identified from the crowd by the names which we have been given and then follow our actions or deeds. It is like the labels of our existence. In Indian culture which has emerged from a joint family system, it becomes an act of showering blessings from different relatives who come up with so many suggestions to display their love and affection for the newborns. Everyone has a story behind their names and I too have a story which I’m going to describe below.

As already mentioned in my earlier posts that I’ve been blessed to have come to this world with my twin sister. It is apparent that we must be having similar sounding names, to some extent it is correct. Initially it was decided by my family members to bestow with us the names of 3 lettered name(as per Hindi or Odiya) as Ankita and Arpita but later my paternal uncle ( whom I address as Kaka) chose Swati and Sweta to go well with the surname whose initial too begins with the letter ‘S’. Similarly, our nicknames were made to settle with ‘Miki’ and ‘Niki’. Interestingly, I being the elder one among the two, carry both the names (Swati and Miki) in higher order of alphabetical arrangement as per English dictionary than my sister. This is the trick that I mostly provide to others when they get confused with our names. Apart of these two names that primarily reflect our identities, there have been several derivatives of our nick names according to different family members as tokens of love and affection. This is the best thing about being in a joint family. The mere recollection of these names being addressed always brings a smile in my face and drives away all negativities.

It’s the most common practice to ask for the meaning of someone’s name during introduction and I have faced such questions. It was the first time in class 5th when I was enquired about the meaning of my name and all I know was that it was the name of a star in Indian Astrology. Swati, Nakshatra, star, forms one of the important member of the Nakshatra system in Indian Astrology which comprises of 27 stars representing sectors along ecliptic. Some of the general characteristics of someone having Swati Nakshatra are: sweet, soft spoken, virtuous, compassionate, mild, quiet natured, controller of passion and desires, skill in trade, merciful and charitable.

I was never convinced with the answer I had in my mind regarding the meaning of my name as I always thought it to be a reflection of some other name. Thanks to Google for the guidance in searching for the meaning of my name(Thanks to one of my contacts in Quora who inspired me to write something on it , this is how it came out to be); that’s what I found in one of the pages of Wikipedia; this name can be broken into ‘Su’+ ‘ati’ meaning ‘Great Goer’ or very beneficent. I wonder if the meaning of my name what puts the thought of be a philanthropist in my life! It was also name of one of the wives of lord Sun in Hindu epics. This name has one of its parts from the Goddess of knowledge and art, Saraswati.

Swati, seems to be the most common name, during my school and college days. I could find a bunch a girls sharing same name. When the name is same, the next thing that sets apart a person form the other having the same name is the surname.  My surname always seemed to be unique from the rest of my friends for having stayed away from my home state for several years.

Names give us identities that set us apart from others. Ever wondered when you share similar names and surname with someone else, what will be the criteria to decide the difference? The answer is our Karma; deeds.

Concluding this article with the following lines;
Am I the name that I carry
Or the deeds that I must worry?
Is this the appearance what defines me
Or I am a part of someone’s memory?
A question that baffles me always
Regarding my identity
Before retiring for the day
I keep questioning to myself
Who actually am I?

Swati Sarangi


  1. What an interesting post! Do we become our names? Do our names define us? So many questions. I often wonder about being Alice because of Alice in Wonderland and various other stories, which included Alice as a character. I think that, because of Alice in Wonderland, I am more of a free spirit than I would have been otherwise.

  2. Yes, I believe that somehow our names influence our characteristics. Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful day! :)

  3. Interesting post. Thank you. My name, Shirley, means a bright forest . . . I have no idea how that could ever apply to me in real life. :-) A tip for climbing Mt Kiliminjaro relates to life.

    1. Thanks a lot for visiting my blog and sharing your valuable view points.. :)

  4. My name comes from family surnames (Holly is the nickname). So those "what does your name mean" things are never really correct, for me. :) But if you pronounce it just a little wrong, it could mean sacred or (in Farsi) the halo around the moon. I like that (although whenever someone calls me "Holy" I do feel compelled to point out that I'm good, but not quite THAT good!)

    1. Great to know about it. Thanks for sharing the logic behind your name. :)

  5. Suggestion: Your pop-up notification/chat thingy is pushy - asking if I like your content before I've had a chance to read it, and making me click X to get rid of the pop-up makes me want to click X on the browser tab and skip it altogether. (Yes, I like your content fine.) When I tried to provide this feedback, privately, in the chat, I had to say "Yes" or "No" to "Did you like the content of this blog" and then it asks for my email address! I typed this, instead, and it informed me my email address wasn't valid. I don't want to give that thing my email address. It's pushy. :D

  6. Oh - now it doesn't want to let me leave without providing an email address!!! Ugh.

    1. Okay, we will consider the chat again. You can simply close the chat window if you don't want to provide your email id. No, issue with that.

      Thank you for reading our blog.
      Happy reading!!

  7. That's a really good post and I am very tempted to take you to this one that I wrote about name and what's in it? - https://happinessandfood.com/whatsinaname/
    I have 2 friends who are Swati so you are right that it's a name we hear in India. Did you know, the names of most Indian women either end with a 'i' or 'a'?

    1. Your observation is correct.Thanks for reading my post and sharing your views. :)