What’s In A Name?

Today as I chatted with someone at the office, we fikad a point and she semad, “Am sorry I didn’t quite catch your name…” I responded, “Rufus….its Rufus.” She went on to say, “what a unique name that is, I actually have never heard anyone called that…”

Yah I know my name is one in a million. This conversation made me ask my self? What’s in a name? Do you know the history behind your name? Does your name have any meaning or significance attached to it? As for my chat mate I had more than enough info to tell her about my name.

For starters my super un-popular name is in the Bible. What a surprise it was for my chat mate as it has been for the many people I enthusiastically reveal this fact to. Actually the response I usually get is, “Dream on..ati Rufus is in the Bible?”

Well, Rufus is found in Romans 16:13. Paul sends out his greetings and says, “Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord and his mother too, who has been a mother to me too.” (NIV) From this, I infer that Rufus must have been a very close pal of Paul. Maybe they used to hang out a lot given that Paul sends greetings to Rufus’ mother too. May be they used to fish together or were business associates in the fish monging business. You know this whole thing’i of Paul sending greetings in most of his Epistles makes me think he must have been a Lunje in his earthly life before he became a fisher of men. But that’s a story for another day.

Where was I? Oh yah, so Rufus has been mentioned fondly by Paul and guess what? There is a whole story behind this one sentence reference in Romans. According to the gospel according to Mark, I can’t get the exact reference now, apparently Rufus was the son to Simon of Cyrene, the guy who helped Jesus carry the cross. And he had another brother called Alexander. I am not sure if this Alexander was the guy Paul refers to in another part of the new testament, that this fellow had done great harm to him. I hope not, because I would not like to have such a mean brother who does not treat men of the cloth properly. Well there you have it folks, Rufus has a rich history in the Bible.

Besides having a mention in the Holy Book I went ahead and googgled my name. Guess what came up? The definition of my name on Wikipedia. Apparently my name means “red haired” in Latin. This is quite hilarious given that my hair is as dark, dry and hard like that of a bushman from the Kalahari Desert. I wonder if when I grow old instead of my hair turning white with mvi it would turn red. That would be cool. Well I also found out that the people who share this name are super-stars like Rufus Wainwright – a Canadian-American singer-song writer, Rufus of Ephesus – a first century Greco-Roman physician and anatomist, Rufus King – a pre-Civil War US politician. But I also found out that most Americans usually name their dogs Rufus. What a bomber!! I wont even talk about this.

A legend has it that once during Alexander the Great’s regime, his army came back after a horrible defeat. Actually only a handful of beaten-up soldiers came back who had managed to escape from the frontline battle. It is said that Alexander approached one of the soldiers and asked, “What’s your name soldier?” With a trembling voice the soldier replied, “Alexander.” It is said that Alexander was so outraged by this answer that he caught the soldier by his throat and wanted to strangle him. Apparently Alexander was so outraged by the fact that a soldier by his name would be such a coward as to flee from battle and not fight to death as Alexander would. The moral of the story is, what’s in your name? Today choose to be inquisitive about your name.

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