The Presidential elections loom. I urge all of you to be sure and vote, provided that your political views align with my own. You know who you are.
If you are one of those benighted souls who plan to vote for the other side—and I know who you are—permit me to remind you what a glorious day November 6 would be for a long ride in a remote part of the country, far from jangling phones and crowded polling places. Go early, to enjoy the sunrise, and stay till midnight.
Those of you who are still considering the two nominees will want to know something about their names—other than what they are, I mean. Earlier this year I provided you with the underlying meaning of the surnames of all the candidates at that time: seven Republican contenders and the sitting Democratic President. See “Name That President!,” January 9, 2012 at: http://wordsgoingwild.blogspot.com/search?q=Romney%2C+Obama
Now, we have the opportunity of looking at the first names of the last two candidates standing: Mitt and Barack.
As for Romney, it’s probably well known by now that his first name isn’t really Mitt. It’s Willard, a name he was given in honor of his parents’ good friend J. Willard Marriott, the hotel mogul. Usually pronounced with the accent on the first syllable, Willard is of Old English origin and means “strong desire.”
Mitt is a shortened form of Milton, after Romney’s cousin Milton “Mitt” Romney, onetime quarterback for the Chicago Bears. Milton is also Old English and can mean either a “town by a mill” or a “middle town.”
The President's first name, Barack, is Swahili and has its origins in Arabic. The original root of the name (B-R-K) means "blessed." The root word is used in many other phrases to denote blessings and to describe people who are blessed:
- Mabruk! = "Congratulations!"
- Barakallah feek = "May God bless you"
- Barakah = blessings from God (feminine version of the name)
In its Hebrew form, barak, it is found throughout the Bible. It first occurs in Genesis 1:22: “And God blessed (ḇāreḵə) them, saying, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.”
Obama's middle name is Hussein, which was his grandfather's first name. The name, of Arabic origin, means "good" or "handsome one."
Armed with this information, you cannot fail to make the right choice when marking your ballot. And may blessings rain upon you, handsome one.
The Bard of Buffalo Bayou has already voted (early and often), but he’s keeping mum about his choice. Warren G. Harding would be my guess. Elections notwithstanding, the Bard emerged from his lair down in the doldrums just long enough to leave this little calling card:
Mitt’s town’s in the middle
Or perhaps it’s just by a mill.
He has strong desire,
No doubt, to acquire
A job as the king of the hill.
But wait, I have heard
From a talkative bird,
Who just flew in through the transom,
That Barack is blessed,
And the bird, when pressed,
Added the fact that he’s handsome.