May 16, 2013 - By

Yesterday my son was born. We named him Etcher. We’ve had a lot of questions about the name, so I thought I’d share a bit about how we came to an atypical name like this.

It was our two year old daughter Quinn who first suggested the name. At first I thought it was a joke or a character from some kids show. It wasn’t, and it grew on us quickly. We read through two giant books of names, and kept coming back to this one. What really made me feel in love with the name is the meaning of the word “etcher“. The meaning for us goes way beyond the literal definition though.

The literal meaning the word is pretty cool. My background is in graphic design, so I’ve spent some time studying art history. I also spend a lot of time with designers online and offline. I’ve heard it quoted in many different ways: great design comes to removing the unneeded. There is beauty in simplicity. The elements and principles of design can all be used to bring focus and attention to the dominent object. This is true in art, and graphic design. It’s equally relevant in work hanging on a museum wall, or a client’s website. Etching; regardless of the medium, is a literal removing of the unnecessary (usually in a solid substance like stone).

Michelangelo was a literal etcher. He has made some incredible artwork, including the most famous statue of all time; David. He has many quotes about his craft. Here’s my favourite:

In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.

My favourite meaning of the word though isn’t about physical things, but spiritual. Our greatest hope for our son is that he would know and love his God and Saviour, and that he will remove every unneeded scrap that would distract or detract from God’s love. It’s our prayer that Etcher would make the dominant element of his life his walk with Jesus, and that his life will be a light pointing simply to Him.

Deuteronomy 6 : 5 – 7

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

It was within the hour of our daughter suggesting this powerful name that we had associated all of this meaning, and had begun to fall in love with this unique name (as far as I know it’s never been given as a person’s name). Six weeks later we found out how she came up with it when I once again asked her if she had any name ideas: “I told you Daddy, Edgar“. Oh.

After a deep and meaningful explanation of the etymology of my son’s name some ask what the origin of “Quinn” is. It means ‘five’. Yeah. 5.

Arley + Kristi

Categorized in:

This post was written by ArleyM