March 1 is Namesake Day, marking the beginning of a grander scope of celebration. The week of March 1-7 is International Celebrate Your Name Week, an occasion dedicated to honoring your name. Namesake Day is the start of this name-appreciation week, the day for you to learn more about your given name’s origin.
History of Namesake Day
International Celebrate Your Name Week is the creation of onomatology hobbyist, Jerry Hill. As a child, he learned of another person with the name ‘Jerry Hill’ and instantly became fixated on the idea of names. With no internet at the time, Hill took to the local library where he thumbed through phone books to explore the array of names at display. Onotmatolgy, or onomastics, is the study of the origin, history, and use of proper names. In 1997, Hill created Celebrate Your Name Week. The week is about paying respect to and connecting with your name. A name is an identity. It’s a part of how the world comes to know you foremost. Jerry Hill hopes for CYNW to be a gateway to a deeper understanding of one’s self.
Merriam-Webster defines namesake (noun) as
1. One that has the same name as another
2. One who is named after another or for whom another is named
How to Celebrate Namesake Day
To start, check in with your folks. Find out why they named you as they did. Are you named after one of them? After a close or distant relative? A famous or historical figure perhaps? Or maybe they just liked the sound of it? Unlike Hill, you have the benefit of the internet! Take to the world wide web and see if your name has any significant or special meaning. Look up your surname (family name) while you’re at it. See what’s to be said there. Also, maybe you have a name twin, someone with the same name as you. Take a look, see what you see! If there, you can get in touch and share the fact that you’re sort of the same person! Set up a coffee date to mull it over. Or arrange a dual, winner keeps the name. There can only be one! Whichever way you slice it, the point is to make a connection, either with someone else or yourself.