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Names and their meanings


Language Arts  



Subject: Names and their meanings.

Purpose: to consider semantic communications of names from the historical and modern point of view.


1 to acquaint with semantic value of a name;

2 to develop interest to studying of the historical past;

3 to promote love for the country formation.

Equipment: a board, video from L.Carroll’s work “Alice in Wonderland”, the dictionary of personal names, presentation with photos of heroes of work of Joanne Rowling “Harry Potter”, the Latin-Russian electronic dictionary, the translator of online PROMT.

Methods: problem method, visual teaching method, dialogue method,

1. Organizational moment.

Greeting of pupils.

 2. Introduction in a problem through creation of an educational task: on a fragment example from L.Carroll’s fairy tale “Alice in Wonderland” semantic value of a name is considered. (video)

“-My name is Alice.

 What silly name, – it Shaltay-Boltay impatiently interrupted. – What does it mean?

 Unless the name should mean something? – Alice with doubt spoke.

 Certainly, should, – Shaltay-Boltay answered and sniffed. – Let’s take, for example, my name. It expresses my essence! Remarkable and wonderful essence! And with such name you can appear everything …”

The message of the pupil «From history of names»

Pupil No. 1

Name … It became the loyal friend of the person. In an infinite series of live beings of People it is allocated with the right: he, only it, has the right to choose names – the children, all to that surrounds it, to the cities, villages, animals, plants, planets, atom particles. As the Old testament, even an Almighty God testifies, in one day molded from clay of animals and birds, but didn’t dare to give them names, and brought them to the person to see, how he calls them. So to name not such already and the lung put. Therefore and it is not surprising that the history of a human name passed very difficult way.

Our far ancestors all names of people, animals, plants, mountains, the rivers, heavenly bodies, obviously, considered as the proper names similar to our present names. (Not without reason in some languages, for example, in German, except old, and now all nouns names are written from capital letter). Our ancestors could choose easily from the world surrounding them various names which replaced with it a name, a surname and a patronymic: Stone, Oak, Eagle, Bear, Elk, Deer, Summer, Winter etc. A strange choice you will tell. Certainly, today it seems strange. But during those old times it was quite normal.

However parents pagans chose names for the children not simply so. They are people that trusted in spells, in talismans, always tried to choose from one thousand names and the names one, the most suitable for the child. What will help, their children to become happy, would preserve against evil ghosts, and would be an example in their life.

Pupil No. 2

Names – the whole phraseological units, offers wishes, offers spells were one of the first such names, obviously. Such names already much, say, old shumer (Enmu-dugga – my master (be) kind), Semitic nationalities (Nebu-bulit – about the sky, give me life) thousands years ago had Tajiks (Kizlyarbas – will suffice, (more) girls aren’t necessary) have such names also. Many such names were and at ancient Slavs. The echo of such names is felt and now (Bogdan – god this (son), Dzedumila – the grandfather the darling, Stanislav – the order: «Become nice!» etc.).

Before Christianity introduction in Russia one names were similar to nicknames: Lame, the Bast shoe, Voropay (robber), others reflected the relation to the been born child: Zhdan, Nezhdan, or order of their birth: Pervusha, Tretiak, Odinets (unique). Was considered that some names could take away from children of trouble and an illness, for example names: A grief, Fall ill. Echoes of names nicknames remained in Russian surnames: Hares, Goryaev, Nezhdanov, etc.


The author of the known work “Harry Potter” Joanne Rowling too allocated the heroes with names and surnames which have a certain sense. Let’s look.

Before us dictionaries, you can use them to translate names, and also the dictionary of personal names of English.


Peter Pettigrew

1) Pet + gray

2) On old French petit + cru designates small (low, small) person. [10]]

Remember, Peter Petigrаy when hid from all turned into what animal?


It is an Old English form of name Henri, arisen because simple Englishmen didn’t know language, so to speak, ruling elite, and slightly distorted names of the misters. The name is translated as mister, host,

Professor Sprout.

from English sprout – the sprout, a shoot, escape, a stalk is the teacher at school of Hogwarts of a subject of a herbalogy, a science about plants as they grow, get strong roots and trunks, becoming strong and beautiful plants.

 On what the surname of this professor specifies?

Severus Severus Snape

 Severus  from English  word severe – cruel, malicious [5]. Besides there was the dynasty  of Sever governing in Rome from 193-235 y. The ingenious surname of Snape occurred from many words: snipe (to shoot from shelter), snip (the insignificant person), snappish (malicious, captious), snake (Slytherin’s snake symbol), to snap – to talk abruptly, with irritation; to snatch (on someone)

What was character of this hero? Its character is similar to the cold North?


means woman – soldier

Whether there corresponds behavior of this heroine of her name?


means death flight. It can be translated from French vol de la mort

Thus, we see that character of the hero and his name are indissoluble. If we want to understand character completely, we should learn value of his name.

Creating the name of Tom Marvolo Riddle  the author uses anagram.  From  letters of this name she makes phrase:  “ I am Voldemort” showing that  these names  designate one person. And the word “Tom” means “Twin”. We see, that Tom and Voldemort are  two parts of one. More than that, Marvolo is conformable to English word marvel and we know the word riddle. We get very interesting name.


And you know, what the meaning of your name?

Answers of children.

Work with the dictionary of names

Statement of an educational task: to find in the dictionary the name. To read about an origin and value of a name.

Lesson result.

To bring children to a conclusion that each name is meaningful, many names have an ancient origin

7. Homework: to find value of other names in the work “Harry Potter”

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