I was "born-and-bred" in the city of Sheffield in Yorkshire, England. I don't know why my mom and dad gave me "Clive" as a first name – I'll have to ask my mom the next time we chat. The point is that "Clive" is a not-uncommon name over there, but it's relatively unknown over here in the "Deep South" of the USA where I currently hang my hat.
When folks ask my name and I say "Clive", they very often hear it as "Clyde", which is what they call me thereafter. Alternatively, when registering online for a conference, on several occasions some well-meaning assistant has assumed that the 'C' should be an 'O', with the result that I've ended up strolling around with a badge proclaiming me to be "Olive". As you may imagine, this has gained me some rather strange looks.
But we digress . . . A few days ago I was pondering the origins of my name, so I did a search on the web and ran across a rather interesting site that's intended to help you choose the name of your baby: www.thinkbabynames.com.
Here I discovered that "Clive" (pronounced "K-live" where "live" rhymes with "hive" and not with "leave") is of old English origin meaning "cliff" or "slope". (I know what you're thinking, how ironic that only a few days ago I blogged on those What do you call a man... jokes, the answer to one of them being "Cliff", but – once again – we digress).
This site also informed me that the full name of C.S. Lewis – who is best known for his Chronicles of Narnia series (in the right circles he is also famous for his work on medieval literature, Christian apologetics, and literary criticism) – was "Clive Staples Lewis".
How interesting, I never knew that. As an aside, the Wikipedia entry on C.S. Lewis indicates that he was known as "Jack" to his friends. As soon as I saw this I bounced back to the Think Baby Names site to discover that the name "Jack" is based on "John" (Hebrew), meaning "the Lord is gracious" or "Jacques", which is the French form of "Jacob" (Hebrew), meaning "he who supplants".
But – you guessed it – we digress. My middle name is "Richard", which I now discover is of Old German origin with a meaning of "powerful leader". Hmmm, I rather like the sound of that.
I tell you, you could spend hours on this site. For example, if you haven't already done so, I bet it won't be long before you're checking out the origin of your name and those of your family and friends so you can surprise them when next you see them...
Questions? Comments? Feel free to email me – Clive "Max" Maxfield – at firstname.lastname@example.org). And, of course, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to Sign Up for our weekly Programmable Logic DesignLine Newsletter.