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What’s in a Name?



80 times.

That’s the number of times I had to sign my name. Granted, it was being signed at the bottom of a cover letter for work and not the inside of my first published book, but it made me think about my name.


When I looked up the meaning and origin of my name, I got a variety of answers.

Behindthename.com listed it as the feminine version of Charles, from the German name Karl: “…which was derived from a Germanic word which meant “man”. However, an alternative theory states that it is derived from the common Germanic element hari meaning “army, warrior”.

Ok…not bad.

Thinkbabynames.com and Wikipedia both agree that “Carla is the feminized version of Carl or Charles, from ceorl in Old English, which means “free man”.

I’ll take that too.

But the listing on Babycenter.com had to be my favorite.

“What does Carla mean?”

One who is strong.


Names are so important. They identify who we are and whose we are. But sadly, there was a time in my life (a long time…like my whole life kind of long!) when I didn’t like my name. I didn’t like how it looked or how it sounded. And for some reason, I especially didn’t like it when it rolled off the tongues of those related to me. I think it’s because that as I was growing up, my name was typically said with a sharp tone and was often attached to a rebuke or a form of verbal rejection. It didn’t sound pleasant to my ears and didn’t invoke feelings of love and affection in my heart.

But praise be to my God and Father in heaven, as the wounds in my soul begin to heal–as I am able to receive God’s words of love and truth over me, replacing the pain and lies that used to define me–I am now able to say that I like my name. I have even grown to love it and the declaration of identity that it is over my life.

And with His great mercy and grace, I am learning how to walk in the wholeness and the holiness of it.

Once a captive held in bondage, but now I live as a “free woman”.

Once broken and weak, but now I move as “one who is strong”.

What about you, friend? What does your name mean? And how do you feel about it?


2 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Lovely post, Carla. My given name means “Bee” or “Honey.” I just found another meaning that says it means “Follower of Jesus.” I have never liked my name. Even today, I don’t to hear people say my first name when they speak with me. I immediately get tense when I hear my name. But, I have to admit, I like the meanings behind it. Last year, I was given a new name by Yahweh and I’m still wrestling with that one. Oddly enough, now that I think about, I was prophesied over and part of the prophecy involved the meaning of my name. I don’t eve know if the man prophesying over me knew my name….hmm. God works so mysteriously.


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