Opinion: Theo

POSTED: 01/8/13 11:48 AM

Ai ai ai: the leader of the United People’s party will now go down in history as the politician who founded Theonomics, a rather brilliant term Finance Minister Roland Tuitt dreamt up during the Christmas holidays.

Theonomics now stands for budget deficits, tax increases and building bridges to nowhere. It is a moniker that will stick, for sure and the UP will have a hard time coming up with the right response. If there is a response possible at all, of course, but that is a different story.

A name like Theodore is almost an invitation for pun. The name comes from the Greek Theodoros. Theo – as the Greek scholars among our readership doubtlessly know – means God. Doro is the Greek word for present, or gift. So Theodoros literally means: a gift from God. That could give some bearers of such a name ideas that are out of touch with reality. Indeed, they might start building bridges to nowhere.

We won’t make an attempt to best Minister Tuitt with a play on the names of other ministers – we gladly give credit to him.

Still, we could not resist the temptation to look for a possible links between first names and character. Take Roland for instance. We have two of them, and we already feel that it is not possible to judge both covers as if they contain the same book.

Tuitt is pretty much on the ball as far as his job is concerns: you just know that this guy is the master of his financial universe. Duncan is a different case: apart from his un-ministerial treatment of the English language, he is also prone to saying things that soon turn out to have been stretching the truth beyond breaking point. The legislation he has in store for new arrivals in the lawyer-business is a case in point.

So we have two totally different Rolands. The name is found in English, French, German and Polish. The literal meaning of Roland is famous land. The Germanic element hrod means fame. In history Roland was a semi-legendary French hero whose story is told in the medieval epic La Chanson de Roland. In this story, he is a nephew of Charlemagne and he was killed in a battle with the Saracens. As a name, Roland’s popularity in the United States is on the decline. It ranks 749 according to behindthename.com, a site dedicated to the etymology and history of first names. Small solace: in Hungary the name ranks much higher at 35. But yeah, Hungary, and even there the name is losing popularity. Maybe using a diminutive like Rowley will help the name find its way back up the ladder, who knows.

Since we’re at it, we also had a look at Silveria. Now we’re talking: the name is obviously a variation of Sylvia and it appears in Italian, Spanish, Portugese, Romanian, Slovak, English, German, late Roman and in Roman mythology.

Rhea Sylvia was the mother of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. It was also the name of a sixth century saint, the mother of pope Gregory the Great. Shakespeare introduced the name in England where he used it for a character in his 1594-play The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Its popularity in the United States hovers around the zero percent, so our minister of education is the proud carrier of a reasonably unique first name with a rich history to boot.

We could not resist taking a look at Romeo. Here we find some strong links with Sylvia and Silveria: the name means pilgrim to Rome. Romeo is of course best known as Juliet’s lover in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. While the name is listed as only occurring in Italian, it is number 359 in the American popularity ranking. In France it stands even higher, at 191.

We won’t bother going down the list of all of our ministers. With Theonomics on the books for history, there really is not much more to add. Unless the UP-leader strikes back with a vengeance.

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