Name nerds tend to obsess about names to the point that they sometimes go overkill with things. There was a question over at NameCandy last week whereby a mother asked whether she’d made up the name Miel, without realising it was the French word for honey.
Why does this matter? Well, because I’ve had a similar experience with a name. You’ve heard of Megan. Probably even Tegan and Regan. But chances are you’ve never come across Negan before.
It came to me whilst I was pondering on -egan names for girls. I like the name Tegan for a girl, but I’m closely related to one, I prefer Regan on boys and Megan is too popular for my tastes (and now the name of my goddaughter). Negan came to me pretty much out of nowhere, and it stuck fast in my mind.
But is it just a name I made up? Well, for one thing, it’s the name Finnegan, which means fair, with the first part lopped off. But, if you were to simply type Negan name into Google, it’ll alter your search term to Megan name. That says a lot.
Continue searching and you’ll eventually discover that the name has been used, not in Ireland, but over in the Middle East. As it turns out, there was Persian Negan a few hundred years ago in 639 A.D., to be precise. She was a freedom fighter leader, playing a part as one of the major resistance fighters of Persia against the Arab Invasion. She was not a military person, or one of nobility but either way picked up a sword to lead a band of resistance fighters. She died in battle a year after the invasion. That means that this name I thought of out of the blue has a fantastic forebearer to consider.
So, not only have we found a namesake for Negan, she was one with spirit. I’ve also seen a source on Iranian names list it’s meaning as good destiny. A great meaning as well? Could my day get any better? But I am wary of the source perhaps not being 100% accurate, but this seems to be the meaning consistently quoted by other mentions of the name or fighter. It’s worth noting at this point that there is a gem named the similar Negin, which is often used in jewellery.
As for pronunciation, I find myself swerving towards a long ‘e’ sound: Nee-gan, rather than Neg-an. But it may be said entirely differently over in the East.
Has anyone else had this experience of thinking they’d made up a name, only to discover it’s true identity? Personally I’m thrilled to see that Negan has been used, but how did you feel when you realised that name was not just one you’d made up?