badger field

14 Apr

Tonight I was talking to a friend about names. Specifically, the meanings behind names and whether it impacts a person’s disposition. Not in the manner of like, a girl named ‘Tiffany’ will be dumb. More in regards to a person with the last name of ‘miller’ being more or less inclined to grind wheat.

So I was looking at my name.

I am Jessica Sayre Bagley.

The name ‘Jessica’ was created by Shakespeare for The Merchant of Venice, and means ‘God Beholds’ in Hebrew. It’s quite similar to Jezebel, but not quite, which is a good thing. God Beholds could be interpreted as ‘God Examines’ or ‘God Gives Regard To’.

‘Sayre’ comes from ‘assayer’. An ‘assayer’ is sort of…an evaluator. They assess the quality and value of items, like the folks on Antiques Roadshow. It’s an unusual middle name, I know, but I’m really quite proud of it. It was either gonna be ‘Sayre’ or ‘Athol’, and I’m rather satisfied with my parents’ decision.

My last name, Bagley, literally means ‘badger field’. Bag is an Olde English term for ‘badger’, and a ley is a field. Badger Field. Field of Badgers. Near as I can figure, my distant ancestors…lived in a meadow with lots of badgers in it, and that was their claim to fame.

So. Jessica Sayre Bagley.

God Beholds The Evaluators Of Badger Fields.

How indicative.

At least now I have found a way to identify with the noble and underappreciated badger.

How about all of you? What do your names mean?


Posted by on April 14, 2009 in Life


23 responses to “badger field

  1. Sal

    April 14, 2009 at 9:33 am

    First off, badger is my totem (, so I love you even more now.

    Sarah Elizabeth McGraw … Sarah means princess (hence the crown, Elizabeth is apparently something like “God’s promise” and McGraw … um, “Son of prosperity”?

    The Princess Makes God’s Promise to the Son of Prosperity.

    My maiden name is Weinbach, which means “River of Wine,” which would also yield fun goofyness.

    • saturdayjane

      April 14, 2009 at 10:43 am

      Haha, The Princess Makes God’s Promise to the River Of Wine is pretty adorable. Sounds like said Princess had a pretty raucous youth.

      Also, yaaay badger friends! 😉

  2. James

    April 14, 2009 at 11:04 am

    My name’s a bit long without interpreting it, so this could get wordy. James Alexander Adams Jensen. James is just a Greek derivation of Jacob, which means “one who supplants” (see Jacob and Esau). Alexander is also Greek, meaning “the protector of mankind”, of all lofty things. Next, we have the meanings within meanings, because Adams just means “son of Adam”, and Jensen likewise means “son of Jens”. Adam means “red earth”, and Jens or John means “gracious gift of Jehovah”. So at the end of it all, my name means, “The Supplanting Protector of Mankind, Son of Red Earth, Son of Gracious Gift of Jehovah”.

    • saturdayjane

      April 14, 2009 at 2:56 pm

      Ha, that’s a mouthful! And pretty flattering. Apparently your folks thought highly of you before you were born. 🙂

  3. lisa

    April 14, 2009 at 11:12 am

    My English name is Lisa Wong. “Lisa” is a variation of Elizabeth and means “consecrated to God.” In Chinese, Wong is the character for “yellow”; supposedly Chinese people with this name originally settled near the Huang He, which means my ancestors lived near the “Yellow River.”

    My Chinese name (as it’s pronounced in Mandarin) is Huang Minchang. “Huang” is my surname; “Min” can mean “intelligent,” “quick” or “sensitive” depending on the context; and “Chang” is a famous beauty in a Chinese folktale.

    Haha this was a fun topic!

    • saturdayjane

      April 14, 2009 at 2:58 pm

      It’s interesting to me that you have two names! Do you find it difficult to explain to people at all?

      I love your Chinese name. Huang Minchang. So pretty! And it’s meaning is so lovely as well. Very different from most of the Olde English names, like, “Tom Baker. He bakes. WHAT.”

  4. amanda

    April 14, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Funny, the Boy and I were talking about baby names last night!

    My name (Amanda Eve Benipayo Landis): Amanda comes from the Latin, meaning “worthy of being loved/worthy of great love”; Eve is Hebrew in origin, meaning “life”. Apparently, my last name, Landis, can mean “landowner” or “grassy plain”. Sooo … a landowner that gives life and is worthy of love? I’ll take it. 😀
    I can’t find a meaning for Benipayo at all, but when I googled it, I found my uncle’s wikipedia entry! I learned so much about him and his family (like my cousins’ real names — we’re big on nicknames, so I had no idea what their given names were). I also learned that my grandmother was from a town called “Bacon”. Awesome.

    • saturdayjane

      April 14, 2009 at 2:59 pm

      Your uncle has a wikipedia entry? Super cool! I may have to look up Benipayo and see what it says about him. I’m way curious why he’s been canonized on the internet. 🙂

      Your grandmother was from BACON?



  5. Brittney

    April 14, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Brittney Noelle Cox

    “From the Isle of Britain” “Christmas” “Chief/ term of endearment”.

    There are days when I hate my parents for naming me so.

    • saturdayjane

      April 14, 2009 at 5:47 pm

      Maybe your name means like, ‘Chief of Britain’s Christmas Festivities’.

      And I think that’s pretty cool. 🙂

  6. Brittney

    April 14, 2009 at 3:27 pm


    • saturdayjane

      April 14, 2009 at 5:46 pm

      Which uncle? Arthur?

      • Brittney

        April 15, 2009 at 11:54 am

        Naw, dad’s older brother, the one who’s a lobbyist/ consultant on urban planning. Dude is a CRAZY politician.

  7. Vanessa

    April 14, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Oh God that’s an amazing name. Mine has nothing to do with badgers. Vanessa was a name made up by Jonathan Swift for Gulliver’s Travels (I probably would have actually read it for Brit Lit if I had remembered that… what, I had a lot of reading to do that week?), and supposedly means “butterfly.” My middle name is Nicole, which means “victory of the people,” and my last name, Formato, is “mature” or “fully grown.” So I suppose that’s “Butterfly victory of the people fully grown,” which makes no sense, but could be rearranged into “Victory of the fully grown butterfly people.” Much better 😛

    • saturdayjane

      April 14, 2009 at 9:58 pm

      Hee hee! I definitely picture like, giant butterfly people storm a town with their flag held high.


  8. mcnarnia

    April 15, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Lauren! “the bay, or laurel plant”. The earliest feminine form of the name was Laurentia, dating from the time of the early Romans. The name was first made popular by Lauren Bacall in the 1940s.

    Anne! “meaning of Anne is “favored grace”

    McNerney! McNerney is actually a variant of the name McInerney, which means “son of the Lord of church lands”.

    So “The bay of favored grace of the daughter of the Lord of church lands” or “the laurel of favored grace of the daughter of the Lord of church lands”.

    I have gained no insight into myself by this =(

    • saturdayjane

      April 16, 2009 at 9:30 am

      Haha, well, maybe it’s more of a NUANCED insight. You know that you’re FAVORED now. That’s a plus. 🙂

  9. Tess

    April 15, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    I could tell you this in person but I’m ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY. I miss you guys by the way. I’ve been so busy I’ve only seen my hotel and the Kennedy Center so far but it’s fun.

    Anyway…my first name, Stephanie, is Greek in origin and connotes royalty. I think it specifically means “crown or garland”. My middle name, Marie, is derived from Mary and means “bitter. Malone means follower of Saint John (I was born on St. John’s feast day, too, creepy!)

    The crown follows St. John?

    My favorite though is if you use the phrase on our crest “faithful to the tomb”.
    The royal bitch would rather chill with dead people.

    Tess is basically just from Tess of the D’Ubervilles so…yeah.

    • saturdayjane

      April 16, 2009 at 9:37 am

      Haha, we miss you too. Things are too quite and the living room is too empty. 🙂

      You forgot ‘bitter’ in your interpretation! The crown BITTERLY follows St. John! 🙂

  10. WendyB

    April 15, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    My name means nothing. I have badger envy.

    • saturdayjane

      April 16, 2009 at 9:38 am

      Aw. At least it’s pretty! 🙂

  11. Sarah-Rose

    April 16, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Oh Lord. This is hilarious. I must look mine up!

    Oh, oh no.
    Sarah-Rose (Princess-Flower) Burke (Derived from the Middle English burk, meaning “fort.” *)
    My maiden name, and now middle name is Mulligan (from the Irish O Maolagain literally meaning “bald”)

    So I’m a Bald Princess, who lives in a Fort full of Flowers. Why did I have to be bald?
    This is like bizarre etymological MASH.

    *Burke has also come to mean “To suppress or extinguish quietly; stifle” after Burke and Hare, the serial killers. Burke lay on the victim until death occurred.

    • saturdayjane

      April 16, 2009 at 11:42 pm

      Oh, dear, that’s unfortunate. But think of it this way! Mulligan USED to be your last name, but now Burke is!

      Your BALDNESS was STIFLED! So you are left only with your flowerfort, and that’s a pleasant thought! 🙂


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