A blog about a kid. I like her.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Aletheia FAQ

How do you pronounce that name?

“Uh-LAY-thei-uh.” Emphasis on the second syllable; the third syllable is like “thief” without the ‘f’. And with the ‘i’ and ‘e’ transposed.

Why does that first ‘e’ sound like a long ‘a’?

Because it indicates a Greek eta. Kind of a pain, I guess, but we didn’t get to develop the transliteration rules.

Won’t that be too hard for her teachers to learn?

1. They’ll cope. If she has a teacher without the personal interest in her students or the intellectual curiosity to learn an elegant, classical name then we’ll know right away that we should move her into another classroom.

2. Turnabout’s fair play. Won’t they be asking her to learn words she’s never seen before?

3. Not when she gets to Harvard.

Please tell me she at least gets a nickname.

In a crunch, call her “Allie.” We’ll know who you mean.

Where does the name Aletheia come from?

Greek literature, especially the New Testament. It means ‘truth.’ You shall know Aletheia, and Aletheia shall set you free. Her dad learned it in the fall of 1993 when he was studying Greek and thought it would be a great name if he ever had a daughter. Almost thirteen years later, that little girl is almost here!

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions! I was about to say something rude and intrusive about your unique choice, but now I see that it’s a beautiful sounding name with deep Biblical roots and a wonderful meaning! I can tell that you put a lot of thought into it, and it’s a very appropriate name for a little girl whose parents have five Bible degrees between them.

Thank you for your kind words. We like your kids’ names, too. But if we didn’t we’d never admit it.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the correct pronunciation; it was Greek to me ;)

Mary said...

I have always wanted to name my daughter this same name since I studied the word in my ancient greek class in college. I'm tempted to spell it Aleitheia to ensure that people will use a long "a" in the 2nd syllable. As a nickname, I was thinking Leia (like Princess Leia).

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I'm majoring in English Literature in Singapore. Currently studying Martin Heidegger's theories where he talks about Aletheia and thought the exact same thing as you! So I've been "googling" the name and came across your blog. You have a lovely daughter! I'm Christian too, and I've resolved to name my little girl Aletheia rather than the more common Alethea if and when I have one.

Aletheia Aug said...

Heyyyy! My name is Aletheia. :) And here I thought i was the only Aletheia out there. Well I didnt exactly think that but I've never known another human with that name. Its not very common.

Musings said...

Beautiful name! My daughter's name is Aletheia too. No one can pronounce it, much less spell it, however we love it!

Sung Yun said...

I'm sitting here in Aletheia Church in Cambridge/Boston, & so grateful for the thorough explanation! I should have looked this up a month ago when our churches merged! Thanks & God bless!

Anonymous said...

Great post/article.

We named our daughter Alethea, because we found it a beautiful word, and a bit of a hommage to her grandfather who studied classical Greek.

The etymology is really fascinating. It comes from A (not) and Lethe (concealment, oblivion, forgetting), so literally 'not concealing, not forgetting".

Lethe was a river in Hades, the river of forgetfulness, or oblivion.

Aletheia was the also the spirit (daimona) of truth, truthfulness and sincerity.

Beautiful meaning, and beautiful sound.

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