What’s In A Name?

Shakespeare said “a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.”  They may be true, but there’s a lot to be said for names.  Hadena is Old English and means “from a meadow of flowers.”  However, the origin is fuzzy and it could be of Celt, Irish, Gaelic, or even Norse… it depends on what baby name book you are looking it.  It does always mean “from a meadow of flowers.”  It is also considered very unpopular, not even ranking in the top 10,000 girls names in English speaking countries (mothers to be – if you are looking for something exotic, here you go and it’s a lot easier to spell than some names I’ve seen).

There is an entire blah, blah (family? genus? species? subspecies?) of moth called hadena.  Hundreds of moths have the Latin name hadena.  It seems fitting that a group of moths would have a name that means “from a meadow of flowers.”

When the name was kicked around by my parents before I was born, they didn’t know it meant “from a meadow of flowers.”  They were just feminizing the name “Haden.”  Noble Haden was my sort-of-grandfather’s name (my family tree is a little screwy).  I don’t know why my great grandparents (and they really were my great grandparents) decided that Noble was a good first name, but they did.  Needless to say, he went by his middle name and not his first.  Thankfully, my parents decided that “Noble” was not a good name for a girl, even for a middle name.  So Hadena it was.

And to prove how unpopular the name was, my mother had a baby book and searched it.  The name “Hadena” was not listed, she thought for years that she had made it up.  I pronounce it as “Ha-dean-ah.”  This is slightly different from how a modern database will tell you to pronounce it – hey-Day-nah.

Now, if you look at “Hadena,” you find a meaning, a language lesson, and a family history lesson.  So, Shakespeare was right that a rose would still smell like a rose, but the name is pretty important as well.  Just something to think about (especially if you are a writer).

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1 Comment

  1. Maria D.

     /  July 3, 2014

    This is very cool about your name:)



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