When we picked out the name Miles for our firstborn, we learned one origin it came from was the Old Slavonic root “milu” which means merciful. We didn’t chose it because of the meaning, but it’s a wonderful meaning! We just agreed upon “Miles” almost right away if it was a boy, and it was a name I had liked since high-school, and it was pretty rare that I heard it being used. If we had a girl then, Miles would have been “Ava”. Now in the top 5, I’m glad he’s a Miles. I still love the name Ava, but it’s becoming way too popular for our taste. Call me a name snob if you must.
As we added names to our list for baby number two, we focused purely on names we liked (not on meanings) and narrowed it down once we found out baby was a girl. I hadn’t dug into meanings quite yet, as I was just thankful we had agreed on a first and middle name for a girl long before I was even pregnant. However, we had another girl name we were tossing around just in case we got chicken and let go of our first choice name. Jason said I could have the final call. The pressure was on. Great. I must have said the two different names out loud with our last name a million different ways, wrote them down, etc.
Then I realized I needed to see the meanings of those names, maybe that would help me. One name meant “freeman”. That’s nice. But to my surprise the name we felt was in the lead anyway is derived from the Latin “clemens” meaning mild, gentle, merciful. Merciful. Like Miles’ name meaning! Ding ding ding! We have a winner. The winner was Clementine. Out of all the girl names I ever loved, dreamed about for a daughter someday, the one we had kind of singled out early on this time around ended up being the perfect match for a little sister to Miles.
I hope that both Miles and Clementine embrace their names and embody what they mean. More than simply having sympathy for others, our prayer is that they would be willing to walk in someone else’s shoes who is suffering and show them true love and compassion that can only come to them from Christ. No matter what we decided to name our children, I knew that Jason and I would try to teach them about being merciful, as we also strive to show others mercy. I just love that they will be connected in a unique way, as siblings, as brother and sister, and sharing a name that holds such virtue and love within its meaning. I’m also well aware that my children have names that are also nouns.