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Denise Punger MD FAAFP IBCLC
Beyond Billy, Scotty, and Davey
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Your Dad says that his parents, Irma and Guillermo Coquelet, had an obsession with naming all their boys “Guillermo.”  Tata’s name is “Guillermo Gregorio.” They named their sons “Juan Guillermo (your Dad),” “Guillermo Herman (your Tio Willie),” and “Eduardo Guillermo (Tio Eddie).” Dad wanted to jokingly name all his boys “Guillermo,” too. He bothered me with this throughout all of my pregnancies. He also insisted that if I had a girl, we’d use the feminine form “Guillerimita.” “No way,” I said!  

 

William, Scott, and David, this is how your names were chosen. First and most important Dad and I had to like how your names sounded. We’d be the ones calling out your name and talking about you hundreds and hundreds of times. It seems like so many parents want the endorsement of family and friends on a given name. I didn’t care if they thought you had a “nice” name. Your name needed to please us.

 

William John, your name was straightforward to come up with. “Guillermo” is the Latin from of “William.” Your Pop-pop’s name is “William.” In addition, I liked your name. It’s a solid name. It’s simple. We’d call you “William.” It was decided on early in my pregnancy after we found out your sex. Both Grandpas could be equally happy. Your middle name is “John” for your Dad’s American nickname. We could also call you “Guillermo Juan” to give you connection to your Latin heritage. In fun you’re known around our house as “William the Conqueror” or “Willliam of Monarch” (where we use to live).

 

Scott Alexander, we tossed around a few more name ideas for you. We didn’t name you until after your birth. Dad finally gave in, “You labored and birthed him, you can have the final say.” We both liked the name “Alexander.” Playing around, we came up with a nickname to call you: “Alexander the Great.” You and your brother had names associated with well-liked kings in their time. Dad was hesitant about calling you “Scott” because he wrongly assumed that I was trying to name you after my previous boyfriend. This was all in his head. I never dated anyone but your Dad. Your Latin name became Scot Alejandro.

 

David Stuart, we didn’t know your sex until your birth. If you were a girl, you would be “Rebecca Denise,” a boy “David.” We had an English, Greek, and could possibly have a Hebrew king (or matriarch if you had been a girl) in our family. We couldn’t initially think of a middle name for a boy. Old wives tales (and a few of my friends) said you’d be a girl since we chose and agreed on a girl’s full name. Obviously they were wrong. Grandma Maxine doesn’t have a middle name. She always wished she did. We had to find you a middle name. The morning after your birth, my three friends. Lori, Regena, and Dawn, who attended your birth, were sitting with us and the conversation turned to your name. William wanted you to be called “David John” like him. Then he moved on to think of other “J” names. Still disapproving, Dad suggested a toponym: “David Rome ” After Rome, Georgia!   No way! Why would I name you after a place I don’t want to live? But then it dawned on me, “David Stuart:” after a place we were from, where you were conceived, wanted to go back to, and where our three friends were from. I said it out loud to all. Everyone repeated it, “David Stuart!” Your name, like your brothers, belongs to an accomplished person and was agreed upon in an instant. Nostalgicly you have an Uncle named Stuart.   

 

 

David, your name doesn’t have a Latin equivalent. When we want to address you in Spanish we’ll pronounce your name with an accent “Dahvēd Stoort.” However the mohel informed me of the direct Hebrew translation: “David Tzvi.” I liked the idea of a Hebrew name so much that we gave your brothers Hebrew names at your Brit Milah also. This is what my friend Laurie living in Israel and studying Judaic history told me about the origin of your name:

 

David is a direct biblical name without an explanation in the Hebrew Scriptures, so it isn't 100% clear what the meaning is. The first time David comes up in the Bible is when Samuel goes to Yishai to find out which of his sons will be the king and David is already a little boy by that point.

 

As the same letters in the name form another word, “dod,” meaning beloved, that is where the tradition that it means beloved comes from. My husband (whose middle name is David) also mentioned to me now the reason the Magen David (shield of David, Jewish star) is so called...because in ancient Hebrew the dalet letter, “דhad a triangular shape (like the Greek Delta, “Δ) and two of those form the star.


The commonly accepted way to spell your son's middle name in the U.S. is Zvi. Tsvi or Tzvi is more accurate and also used.

 

William, you were given the Hebrew name “Z’ev Yonatan.” The mohel told you that “Z’ev” meant wolf. It reminded me and dad of a song, “Hungry Like the Wolf.”  How fitting for you! You liked that. And this is what Laurie told me about the history of your name:

 

The commonly accepted way to spell Zeev is this way and the most accurate way is Z'ev. It's not Zev because the Z letter (zayin) “ז”is punctuated with the shva vowel which gives it a sound kind of like a glottal stop.


Jonathan is Yehonatan in the Bible and in the Bible the same person is also called Yonatan, which is the name that is used in Modern Hebrew. The name means G-d gave. As is well known, the biblical Yonatan was the biblical David's best friend and brother-in-law
.

 

Scott, you were given the name Simcha Alexander. Laurie told me about your name also:

 

Alexander was Macedonian (in Greek it means helper of men). When he conquered the Middle East, Mesopotamia and much of Egypt, Alexander declared himself chief god and was obsessed with immortality. When he came to Jerusalem, he made an agreement with the religious leaders there that they wouldn't have to change anything in the Jewish religion but they would, among other things, start calling their children Alexander. That was about 330 BCE. So it's been a common Jewish name ever since.

 

The mohel further explained that the reign of Alexander was associated with good times for Judea. Since “Scott” has no Jewish translation I was given a list of similar sounding names beginning with an “s.” We chose “Simcha.” It means “happiness.” It also reminded you of Simba, the Lion King.

 

 

Giving you three boys American, Latin, and Hebrew names has been fun and informative. I never gave much thought about the meaning of your names, initially, but I am now glad that I have looked into it. What a wonderful way to make you aware of your rich cultural background and strong gene pool, while building your self-confidence and serving as an impetus for searching further into who you are.

 


William John

Guillermo Juan

Z’ev Yonaton

יןתן זאב

 

 

Scott Alexander

Scot Alejandro

Simcha Alexander

אלקסנדר שמחה

 

David Stuart

“Dahvēd Stoort”

David Tzvi

 צבי דוד


 

12/22/03

 

 

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 
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Denise Punger MD FAAFP IBCLC
4640 S. 25th Street
Ft. Pierce, Florida, 34981
772-466-8884
Copyright 2005