Saturday, August 25, 2012

Anders

Baby Anders, courtesy of clickbysuzanne.com
I was doing some channel surfing today when I came across a re-run of 'MacGyver'. Remember MacGyver, that oh-so-cool guy who could make a fission rocket out of duct tape, some paperclips and a piece of rope? It was one of the best shows of the 80's and the star of the show was Richard Dean Anderson. All three of his names are good, strong options for boys. But let's look at his name slightly differently - what do you think of Anders?

Anders (pronounced AAN-ders) is most commonly used in Scandinavian countries. It is Greek in origin, with versions of this name in other languages being Andrew, Andre, Andreas and Andrei. The name means 'strong and manly', which is a good meaning to bestow on a young boy. Be aware though that the word anders actually translates to 'different' or 'else' in Dutch or German, which can be a cause of teasing in those countries.

Just as there is a rich history of the use of Andrew (He was one of Jesus' first disciples, and is the patron saint of Russia, Scotland and Greece), Anders has seen a lot of use. Just some examples are:
  • Anders Celsius, the Swedish astronomer that the Celsius scale is named after
  • Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Prime Minister of Denmark and 12th Secretary General of NATO
  • Anders Jarryd, Swedish tennis player
  • Anders Zorn, Swedish painter
  • Anders And, the Swedish name for Donald Duck
  • Anders Holm, actor who plays Anders Holmvik on American comedy 'Workaholics'
  • Anders Peina, character in Stephen King's 'The Eyes of the Dragon'
  • Anders, a mage in the video game series 'Dragon Age'

However, as with any popular name, not all Anders have done positive things. In 2011, Anders Breivik bombed a government building in Oslo, then went on a shooting spree killing 69 people. But don't let one bad example put you off this name. Otherwise there would never be another child named Jack, Charles, Robert or Ted. And it would be sad never to meet another Anders, as it is a cool name with an inspiring meaning - a great alternative to Andrew in the Western World.


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