Tuesday, October 25, 2011


In the quest to decide on a name for our little Margaret before she was born, our family went to drastic measures.  We very much like old names, family names, historically important names, and tend to steer completely away from anything trendy or overly popular.  I liked Helen.  Porter liked Lucy.  And Bill had his heart set on Margaret.  We knew that the middle name would for sure be Deloris, after Bill's late mom. A bracket was drawn up one night (think college basketball March Madness here), with our top ten or so names.  Bill, Porter and I each filled out our own brackets, pinning name against name to see who would move on to the next bracket.  In any event, I don't really remember the outcome, just that it didn't really help much.

As time pressed on, I eventually softened to the name Margaret Deloris.  In fact, I grew very attached.  And when Margaret was born (on Deloris' 75th birthday) I wondered how I could have considered calling her anything else.

Just this past Sunday, Bill and Porter were having fun on a website where you can type in your full name and see how many people in the U.S. have the same name as you.  They typed in Margaret's name and it also suggested other forms of her name to try, like Maggie, Meg, Marjorie, and............Mette. 


Before Bill's dad Brian passed away, he was an English professor.  He was also a playwright.  One of the plays that Brian wrote was entitled Mette (pronounced Metta).  Brian wrote this play about his Danish great grandfather Anders Nelson's first wife Mette, a stalwart, brave, faithful woman who Brian greatly admired (enough to write an entire play about her!)

Astonished, Bill went to wikipedia and typed in the name Mette.

This is what he found:

Mette: a female name of Scandinavian origin, descended from the name Margaret.

I must say, it sent chills up our arms to find this.

People have often asked us if Margaret was a family name.  We would tell them that mostly we just loved the name.  We both had Margarets in our family trees, but they were way, way back in the family lines that we didn't have any histories on them.

But now the name Margaret, the name we love, means ever so much more.  And one day, our Margaret will be able to sit down and read the incredible play that her grandfather wrote about a strong, steadfast  woman from our family history, who shares her name.


Linds said...

Well, if that doesn't just warm my heart... Thank you for sharing, and what a joyous discovery.

'T' said...

oh, what a sweet tender mercy.

Mrs. Olsen said...

Me and my husband love to get the newspaper highlighting babies of the previous year. It's several pages and we sit there for hours moaning: Ugh! They named their kid...X,Y,Z trendy stupid names that no one can spell.

I love your story and Mette is a very cool nickname too.

Anonymous said...

Mette is pronounced MEH-deh.