On Saturday, I enjoyed a day of hiking with some new friends. The members of the group were from all over the world – China, Thailand, Kenya, Korea, and many other countries. Most of them are students at the University of Arkansas.
We hiked trails in the Buffalo River Wilderness, a beautiful area in northern Arkansas, not far from my home in Fayetteville. This photo was taken at Hawksbill Craig, a famous landmark. (For some really beautiful photos, take a look at Tim Ernst’s book, Buffalo River Dreams.)
This rock is called Hawksbill because it looks a little like the head of a hawk (a type of bird). The mouth part of a bird is sometimes called a bill. (But, in my opinion, it is better to call the mouth of a hawk a beak.)
Craig is a Gaelic word meaning a rocky cliff. It’s not a word that we use in everyday American English. Instead, we use the words cliff, bluff, or outcropping.
However, you will often hear Craig used as a name. It’s one of several American names for boys that mean “rock”. Some others are: Alan (Celtic), Cliff (Old English), Dustin (Old Norse), and Peter (Greek).
While hiking, I chatted with a man from China who is interested in names. He told me that his name means “service”; I thought that was a very fine name. He wondered what my name means, and I told him that it doesn’t mean anything at all. That seemed to make him very sad! He was so heartbroken over my lack of a meaningful name that I began to feel a little self-conscious about it.
Today I did an internet search for the meaning of Rae and discovered that it is from Hebrew, and it means “ewe”, a female sheep. I like that! It makes me think of the famous Bible passage that compares God to a shepherd who lovingly guides, protects, and cares for his sheep.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters;
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. - Psalm 23:1-3
What does your name mean?