What’s in a name?

6 Jul

… that which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet. Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2).

Adeline, pronounced ADD-a-line, is of Old German origin, meaning “noble” and is a name I came across merely by accident. After my Great Aunt Jennie died several years ago, we were cleaning out the family farmhouse in Lone Star, South Carolina, when I came across a bright yellow legal pad listing out our family tree (well my Mom’s side—the McKinney’s). So I asked my Nana about it and she said that one night after they finished playing their nightly card game of Setback (also known as High-Low-Jack-joker), Jennie and her decided they would write down the family lineage as far back as they could both remember, for fun. This document had to be at least a decade old- since it was found tucked away in a back bedroom in the house and well Jennie moved to an assisted living facility years before her death and the great grandchildren weren’t even mentioned. Unfortunately I can’t seem to put my hands on the document now- since it was packed up during our big move from North Carolina to New York a year and half ago. But I believe Adeline Stoudenmire was a great cousin of my grandmother. I jokingly asked Nana if there was anything I should know about Cousin Adeline that would deter us from naming our child after her and she couldn’t recall anything out of the ordinary.  So the name stuck-

After announcing the name to family and friends, I would often get- “…oh like the song, Sweet Adeline, right?” “Well, not exactly,” I would reply. So I finally got around to looking up the song everyone seemed to know about but me! Upon Googling it I found out that Sweet Adeline turned 100 in December of 2003 and is a song loved and sung by generations of Americans, especially when in a mellow mood. Although, best known as a barbershop ballad standard, the song has been covered by jam band, Phish; John F. Fitzgerald, grandfather of John F. Kennedy, used it as his theme song for two successful campaigns; and it’s the name of the first song on the album XO by Elliott Smith.

The more I learn about the origins of Adeline, the more I have grown to love the name.  We are creating new memories everyday and I can’t wait to meet our little Adeline in the coming months—only 103 days left to go!


3 Responses to “What’s in a name?”

  1. carl July 6, 2010 at 11:55 pm #

    sweet adeline. love hearing the origins of your sweet sweet name. we love you already and will sing you all sorts of songs when you get here, including your namesake. glad tito could help your momma make a list of things to get. sounds like fun, even if it is hard to sift through all the “must haves.” looking forward to learning more about you. call us if your mom and dad need anything. see you before you know it… uncle carl

  2. Julie July 7, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Love the blog! It’s amazing all the treasures found in Aunt Jennie’s house. Would love to see that paper whenever you find it. I also love Adeline’s name– you guys are great parents already! 🙂

  3. Sara Redmond August 11, 2010 at 6:17 am #

    Love your blog Ashley! And I’m absolutely smittin with the name y’all chose – beautiful! How special that Adeline will be connected with her family history through her name.

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