“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
This dream became a reality for many on Tuesday, January 20, 2009, just one day after the commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day. Barack Obama is now the first African-American president. He is a man who dared to dream beyond all likelihood of what was possible. He is a man who had the audacity to hope. Regardless of your political leanings, most of us are pleased to sea a tide changing in one of America’s darkest alleys of history.
The very act of having a child represents hope for a better future. We can all come together in the hopes and dreams for our children. Perhaps having the meaning of that sentiment as part of their name will serve as a gentle reminder of what their parents knew was possible, and how much they are loved.
Aisling- Irish Gaelic for “dream” or “vision.” Pronounced ASH-ling.
Alice- From Adelaide, “noble and kind.” Inspired by the famous young dreamer in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
Amala- Arabic, “hope and aspiration”
Asha- Sanskrit for “desire, will, hope”
Aurora- Latin, “dawn”- Disney’s name for Sleeping Beauty
Esperanza- Spanish, “hope”
Hope- English, “hope.” ;-)
Maya- Sanskrit, “dream, illusion”
Mizuki- Japanese, “beautiful moon” or “congratulations and hope”
Nadezhda, Nadia- Russian, “hope”
Pandora- Greek, “All gifts”- In mythology when Pandora opened the box, all her worldly gifts flew away but one remained: hope.
Raja- Arabic, “hope”
Rêve, Reverie- French for “dream”, though not used as names there
Shpresa- Albanian, “hope”
Swapna- Sanskrit, “sleep, dream”
Tikva- Hebrew, “hope”
Amal- Arabic, “hope and aspiration”
Amets- Basque, “dream”
Anthony- Etruscan origin, “of inestimable worth.” St. Anthony was reknowned for his vivid dreams. Cognates get more interesting: Antoine, Anton, Antonin, Antonio, Antony
Arman- Persian, “dream”
Ayumu- Japanese, “dream/vision” + “walk”
Caedmon- Old English, unknown meaning. 7th century poet who known to receive inspiration through his dreams.
Elpis, Elpidios- Ancient Greek, “hope”
Endymion- Greek, “to dive into, to enter.” In Greek mythology, Endymion wanted eternal life so that he could spend it with the goddess Selene. Instead, Zeus granted him eternal sleep.
Imeda- Georgian, “hope”
Itxaro- Basque, “hope”
Kazuki-Japanese, “one hope” or “radiant hope”
Morpheus- Greek god of dreams
Omid- Persian, “hope”
Samai- Khmer, “daydreamer”
Sigmund- German, “victory + protector.” Sigmund Freud wrote The Interpretation of Dreams in a plight to better understand the unconscious.
Svajone- Lithuanian, “dream”
Swapan- Sanskrit, “dreaming, sleeping”; Swapnil is “dreamlike”
Toivo- Finnish, “hope”
Umut- Turkey, “hope”
Image above by René Magritte