What's in a name?

When I told my dad we found out we're having a boy, and that he would be our son's namessake, his voice swelled with pride. Not only was he finally getting a grandchild, a grandson no less, but the boy would carry his name. I'd done real good, and he told me so. He also told me the meaning of Franklin, "free man," and said it explained why so many emancipated slaves took the name. I flashed forward to a moment in the future when I would relay this fact to young Frankie, and silently congratulated Anna and myself for our choice. I was happy we'd decided on a name that was heavy with familial significance, but hadn't considered the broad spectrum of potential meanings beyond that (as demonstrated by the fact that I didn't see the "Dookie" controversy coming). "Free man"? That's cool for so many reasons. Not only would the boy share a name with this father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, but a name that carries an interesting and noble meaning beyond its obvious genealogical significance. I'm sure the kid will have his share of complaints, but getting saddled with a lame name shouldn't be one of them. This morning, Anna sent an email that further confirms the sheer brilliance of our choice:

I just looked up
Franklin to find the meaning. It's "free man" in Latin. Duke is "leader" in Latin. So apparently, Franklin Duke will be the leader of free men or something...




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