Monday, February 21, 2011

What my name means

A friend of mine recently did this on her blog & I thought it would be fun to take a look at what my name means literally & what it means to me personally.

Caitlin Wylie Wilhelm

I was born in the mid-80's, which naturally means that my parents got my name from an 80's TV show. Up until today I didn't know what show it was, just that the character named Caitlin was a female helicopter pilot. But, Google is a wonderful thing, as I was able to simply type in "Caitlin from 80's television show about a female helicopter pilot" and up popped the information for which I was looking. It turns out that the show was Airwolf and the character was Caitlin O'Shannessy played by Jean Bruce Scott. Fabulous!

Having the name Caitlin growing up meant that I was unique, since I never met another Caitlin until college. I also have the claim of having the original Caitlin, not a variation of the original as all those other spellings are. As it is a variation of Katherine, the meaning has remained the same & is generally believed to mean "pure."

Now, I can honestly say that I am definitely not a perfectly pure person. I make an effort to live righteously & try each day to be a little better. Hopefully someday I can truly represent the meaning of my name.

When my parents named me, they carried on the tradition in my mom's family of not giving the girls middle names. That way, when I got married, I could take my maiden name as my middle name, which I did. Hence the middle name of Wylie. All of my married sisters also have the middle name Wylie, which I think will make it a little easier for our posterity to do their family history. My mom has also taken her maiden name as her middle name. Not having a middle name growing up made those get to know you games where you had to find someone with the same color eyes, same number of siblings & the same middle name a little hard. It wasn't until high school that I found another girl without a middle name. My husband & I decided to carry on the tradition as well, & gave our daughter only a first & last name.

The name Wylie carries all kinds of meanings for me, including the rich heritage from which it came, the fact that my Dad chose it as his last name & how much it means to him, & that I always had to stand up for it when people would mispronounce & misspell it (pronounced Why-lee, as in the coyote).

Now, on to my last name. I've only had the name Wilhelm for about 5 1/2 years now, but it is firmly a part of me & I definitely feel a part of it. Or rather, them. I have been welcomed into the Wilhelm clan with open arms & consider them to be my family, too. I love to learn about the history of my husband's family & I'm grateful to be a part of that history.

I've come to love & accept the family motto of "Where there's a Wilhelm, there's a way" because that definitely describes & defines the way that my husband & I view life & how we can shape & influence it for good.

I always promised myself that I would marry someone with a last name at the beginning of the alphabet, so that my kids wouldn't have to suffer being last in the lunch line, the last one on the role, being stuck in the back of class pictures, etc, but obviously that didn't happen. My kids will still be at or near the end, & I'm sure they'll turn out all right. I'm sure my daughter will think that she'll definitely marry someone up near the A's & B's, & maybe she will, but eventually she'll discover that it doesn't matter at all where you land in the alphabetical order.

So, there you go. I am Caitlin Wylie Wilhelm & proud of it.

What does your name mean? But more importantly, what does your name mean to you?

1 comment:

KacieFlake said...

Love it! I'm so glad you did this too! Aren't names so insightful! I love how the absence of a middle name for girls(at first) really brings just as much meaning as having one in your case!