Bringer of Light

As a girl’s name, LOO-see. As a boy, Lucius, which is not nearly as common. Both are of Latin origin. The straight forward meaning of Lucy in old English is “light” or “bringer of light.” In French, the name is spelled Lucie, and it means “strong and unreliable.”

The name Lucy became much more commonly used and honored after the third century because of St. Lucy. Saint Lucy is a Roman and Anglican saint. Her attributes–the symbols that distinguish her from other saints in paintings–are a lamp, eyes, a sword, or a wound in her throat. Her feast, the Festival of Light, is Dec. 13, most celebrated in Sweden. In Italy, she is also known as Santa Lucia. She is the patron mainly of the blind, but also of artists and the sick. The reason she was martyred was because, as a deeply religious woman, she refused to marry a pagan man who had proposed to her. Her denouncement and refusal, however, led to her death.

I did an interview with my mom to see what her inspiration for my name was.

“Lucy had always been a favorite name of mine, even as a child. I decided that if I were ever to have a daughter, I wanted her to be named Lucy,” she told me.

My mom had come across the name while watching the Peanuts cartoons. Her siblings then started to call her that, mainly because she acted bossy like the character, but also because she looked a bit like her.

“The name always sounded beautiful to me–simple, not too long and complicated. It also reminds me of an attractive, strong woman, though I’m not sure why,” Mom said.

My very close friend, Alex, also commented on my name: “I like it, but for some reason, I associate your name with flowery, ribbon-like ideas, not you.”

I asked her what other names she would than associated with me, and her response surprised me a bit.

“Hmmmm. Either Katrina or Kate,” she replied, “because both are strong names.”

I knew a little about the name Lucy before I started this project, but not in great detail. All I knew was that it meant light. Now I know much more.

I noticed a striking similarity between some of my information. In my first interview, my mom said that the name Lucy reminded her of a strong woman. In my friends comments she said that the other names reminded her of me because they are strong names. The French form of Lucy, Lucie, means strong and unreliable. I don’t know about the unreliable part, but the strong keeps cropping up. I seem to come off as a strong person, both in name and personality.

The farthest back the name Lucy reaches is to c. 283, when St. Lucy, also know as St. Lucia was born. This is when the name was first made famous. Centuries later, in 1950, Lucy the peanut character was created, giving the name a notorious representation. In about 1965, my mom decided that Lucy was the most beautiful name in the world, and that if she ever were to have a daughter, she wanted her to have that name. In 1968, the Beatles album Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts club band was released, and the song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” highlighted the name Lucy yet again, but this time with reference to hallucinogens. And finally, in 1997, I was born.

283: The Name Lucy was made famous by St. Lucy
1950: Lucy the Peanut character was created
1965: My mon was a kid and liked the name Lucy
1968: “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was released
1997: I was born with name Lucy

My name means light, and I, as a person with that name, represent strength. Sure, I am very strong physically, but I think I have certain strength of will. The idea of light and strength, somehow within a singular being. Everyone who bears the name is an individual, but we have a common name, and history.

Lucy Martin
Age 14, Grade 8
Packer Collegiate Institute
Silver Key

Leave a Reply