Friday, April 18, 2008

What's in a Name?


The boy's name Sebastian \s(e)-bas-tian, seb(a)-stian\ is pronounced se-BASS-tian and is of Greek origin, meaning "venerable ". The original form of this name referred to those from a particular city or region of Asia Minor, whose Greek name was from the Latin imperial title "Augustus". Shakespeare gave the name to the twin brother of Viola in "Twelfth Night". British use since the 1940s may have been influenced by a character in Evelyn Waugh's popular "Brideshead Revisited". My parents choose it because it wasn’t overly common, wasn’t religious, and had strong literary credentials. They are weird.

The boy's name Thomas \th(o)-mas\ is pronounced TAH-mas. It is of Aramaic origin, and its meaning is "twin". My parents choose it because it was my great grandfathers (my father’s mother’s dad) name. He only had girls and wasn’t able to pass his name on, so it came to me.

The name Hamilton \ha-mil-ton, ham(i)-lton\ is pronounced HAM-ul-tun. It is of Old English origin, originally Hambleton, and its meaning is "flat-topped hill". It is the place name and surname of one of the great noble families in Scotland.

My family tree on both sides is well documented. On both the Hamilton Thomas side and the Tirado (my mother’s maiden name) Eubanks side, are known for over ten generations. Although they both assure me that there is nothing for me to live up to -- only that I am content in what I choose to be.

What does all this mean? Well, if you take all of the definitions, lump them together, you quickly find out that I am an old hill with two bumps. Nice, eh?

4 comments:

kelahamilton said...

"Well, if you take all of the definitions, lump them together, you quickly find out that I am an old hill with two bumps."

With that meaning maybe you should have been a girl.

Ferociouskater said...

And you should have been a twin, apparently.

TheCourtJester said...

Yo there Sebastian. A little more clarification as to your humanoid chain . . .

Saying your roots are 'Old English' is sacrilege to some ears. Perhaps 'Scottish Royalty' would be more accurate.

Dating back to the mid 1200's when your family name was pronounced almost as it is now, (perhaps the d vs t was slightly different) but was spelled 'Hameldone'.

The coincidence of the following might someday be of interest to you:

David Hamilton, the first Lord of Cadzow, died before 1302, leaving four or five sons from whom descended the Hamiltons of Bath-gate, Bardowie and Udstown, to which last belong the Lords Belhaven.

Until we meet in earthy form, catch you on the other side

Again.

kelahamilton said...

(Posted on behalf of Grandma Joan)

Sebastian,

Ernest Paul Thomas, my Father, your Dad’s Grandfather and your Great Grandfather would have loved to have known you. Out there in the cosmos he is very proud that you have the name Thomas. Great Grandma Thomas is also very happy and will meet you in November. Let me tell you a little about him; His Father was Andrew Thomas who came to America from Cornwall, Great Britain. He married Nellie Geyer. They had 13 children in Kentucky. Your Great Grandfather was the oldest. He moved to California when he was he was 18. He rode in the rumble seat of a Model T and he had $10 to his name. He married Virginia Wood in Serria Madre and they had 3 girls, the youngest was me. He worked on the railroad for 20 years and then he went deaf and worked in a machine shop until he retied.

He loved a good practical joke. He told a good story. He loved to fish for rainbow trout. Every weekend he took his family out in nature and he reverenced it, maybe even worshiped it. He made us carry out ours and anyone else’s trash. He laughed at the bears in the dump in Yosemite tell he cried. He would stop the Hudson so we could watch deer. He loved dogs. Religious people bugged him. He believed that whiskey should be drunk straight up or with 7up on holidays. Coffee should be black, tea with a splash of milk and no sugar, soda pop was not allowed in the house and though he was not a violent man sugar in corn bread would bring him to the brink, (“That’s cake, not bread!”)

He believed in 3 home cooked meals a day and he did not eat between meals. If he gained a couple of pounds he stopped bread, deserts, liquor and he walked and rode his bike into his 80’s. He didn’t like wasting things. He was ahead of his time in many ways, he composted and recycled. He was very practical and would often say of some new product or decoration,” I wouldn’t give that thing house room”. He watched football with the sound off since he could not hear it. He would do much of the refereeing himself –“Off sides by a mile!” could be heard several houses down. He thought baseball and flying were boring. He would ride a train anywhere. He loved cars. They were first produced when he was young!

He liked Eisenhower but called Nixon, “Tricky Dick”. He said, “Huba Huba” at pretty women, he said, “I’ve seen better legs on a piano” at men in shorts. He was well read but only commented when he had chewed on things and had formed his own opinion. He was a humble man who often spoke of what he admired in others. After he lost his hearing he worked in a shop that hired mostly handicapped workers, “I’d take one armed Bill to a two armed man any day of the week”.

He was very handy. He had a shop in the back of the garage. Looking back I am amazed that he didn’t mind that I used his tools as a child. I pounded nails and sawed wood. He pained houses and repaired and made things. He did things well and admired good work. He criticized any job not done right or that was sloppy. He and Mom were good gardeners. Our yard had fruit trees, tomatoes and flowers. The dogs we had lived a long time and were members of the family. He loved my Mom, your Great Grandmother; he boasted about her cooking and said she made the best gravy that had ever been made.

They visited often when your Dad and Aunt Marian and Uncle Justin were growing up. We always went to interesting places when they visited. He taught them how to fish and much about nature. He came from a long line of Cornish people, peaceful at heart, content with a simple direct life, honest and hard working and deeply connected to earth, animals, sea, lakes and rivers. I believe, little Sebastian, that if he knew you he would love you as we all do. So blessings from a funny old man, your Great Grandfather Thomas.
Grandmama