Saturday, July 4, 2015

Name Profile: Echo

Everyone knows what an echo is. You have probably been to a cave and shouted dirty words so you could laugh when you heard them repeated, or listened to an orchestra and heard to the last note linger throughout the concert hall. There is something very pleasant about them. Echo (pronounced "EH-koh") is a Greek name meaning "sound" and you might also recognize it as belonging to a nymph from Greek and Roman mythology.

Echo is known for having terrible luck with men. She, along with a lot of other nymphs, liked to consort with Zeus/Jupiter. His wife Hera/Juno became suspicious and decided to go to earth to investigate. But whenever she was about to catch Zeus/Jupiter being unfaithful, Echo would distract her with a lengthy conversation. Eventually, Hera/Juno caught on to what she was doing and cursed Echo with the ability to only speak the last few words that were spoken to her.

Then, Echo met Narcissus. She immediately became infatuated with him but, alas, Narcissus spurned her affections because she was a weirdo who couldn't speak properly. Instead he saw his own reflection and fell in love with himself. Echo could only watch as he wasted away. Her body eventually wasted away too, leaving only her voice.

So given a story like that, why should anyone be attracted to this name? Why would anyone use it if it has a negative mythical story attached to it? Well, there is what I said in the beginning, echoes are a pleasant natural phenomenon that everyone has a memory of. But lets look at it from a Wiccan spiritual level.

Wiccans believe in something called the Rule of Three (a.k.a. the Three-fold Law or the Law of Return). Basically, if you do something good, good things come to you three times or three times as strong. It works with negative things as well. You put negativity into the world, you get negativity back. In other words, what you do in this life echoes back to you. So, if I named a daughter Echo that's what I would be referencing. The hope that all the good things she does comes back to her.

Echo had a brief stint on the American top 1000 during the early 1980s, but it has never been a popular name. It is a favorite to many name enthusiasts, myself included. Could Echo also be used as a boy's name? Sure, but it wouldn't have the same historical weight. Whether it's worn by a boy or a girl, Echo gives off a cool bohemian vibe.

Some Name Combos:

Echo Vivienne

Echo North

Echo Harper

Echo Isabella

Echo Rowan

Related Names:

Ekko