What’s in a name? Words are symbols, very much like the ancient pictology that was etched in red rock many years ago. Newborn babies are named after their ancestors, parents or even rock stars before they ever get to speak their own name.
Long before I ever became a grandparent, I thought it would be unique to be called something other than the usual “grandma.” Being a person who has always enjoyed playing with words, I decided years ago when the time came I would like to be called “Grandmary.” It seemed to have a nice ring to it, and it would include my name and that of both my maternal and paternal grandmother.
But somehow, whenever my grandson would greet me, he would refer to me as “Maya.” It’s a pretty name with a rich history as I soon learned. We have all heard of children calling family members pet names that have stayed with them for life.
I did a little research and this is what I found:
It is common knowledge that Maya is the name of Central American culture. But every culture has a take on this name.
Most intriguing is that in Nepali language Maya means love. I like that.
In Arabian and Indian-Pakistani it means princess or “honorable matriarch.”
It is a short form of Ma’ahan in Hebrew, meaning spring or brook.
Maya means “generous” in Old Persian.
Latin interpretation implies “great.”
Roman mythology dictates Maia is the daughter of Atlas whose name was given to the month of May. Romans Maia/Maya is the incarnation of the earth mother and goddess of spring–for which the month of May is named.
Maya was the legendary Greek mother of Hermes by Zeus. It can also mean mother.
The Bengali and Bengali Muslim interpretation is love, kindness, sweetness and kisses.
In Japan “Mayu” means reason and truth.
In Hindu it means illusion.
How did this little boy know I am all that! Just kidding.
This week my grandson is celebrating his second birthday. I never knew my maternal or paternal grandmother, but I know somewhere in the universe they smile down on this beautiful little boy. He symbolizes “spring, a brook, kindness, sweetness and love” to all the “honorable matriarchs” in our family.
He can call me Maya anytime. I like that.