What Is a Namesake? – Meaning & Examples

Photo of author

Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Why are namesakes such a big deal? The word itself holds a deeper meaning than just having the same name as someone else. It dates back to biblical times and keeps traditions alive. But let’s take a deeper delve into this term and see what it’s all about. I’ll also show you how to incorporate it into your everyday vocabulary and writing.

Namesake Meaning

What Is a Namesake Meaning Examples

Put in simple terms, a namesake is a person or something with the same name as another person or thing. But that’s more of the U.K. definition for it. In America, it’s a word we use to say someone is purposely named after another. Like, if you were named after your great-grandmother, she would be your namesake because you’re named for the sake of her.

It’s like a tribute or a homage to the original name-bearer. It’s a way of keeping their memory alive, or maybe just a way of honoring someone you admire.

For example, my middle name is Corine (don’t laugh), which is my mother’s first name. So, that makes her my namesake.

The Etymology of Namesake

It goes all the way back to the bible, believe it or not, taken from the phrase “for one’s name’s sake,” which was translated from the Hebrew idea of protecting one’s reputation. Sons were almost always named after their fathers, whether with first or second names.

When to Use Namesake

It’s a fairly specific term and is reserved for certain contexts. Here are a few instances where you’d use the term.

  • When introducing two people that might share the same name.
  • When you’re talking about a person, place, or thing that’s named after someone or something else.
  • When explaining the history or origin of a particular name.

Synonyms for Namesake

Don’t worry about overusing the word over and over in your writing. There are plenty of synonyms you can use instead.

  • Homage
  • Tribute
  • Dedication
  • Memorial
  • Legacy
  • Heir
  • Successor

Using Namesake in a Sentence

What Is a Namesake Meaning Examples 1

If you’re still not sure how to use “namesake” in a sentence, here are a few examples to give you deeper context.

  • My daughter’s middle name, Clementine, came from her great-grandfather, Clement, so she is his namesake.
  • Do you have a namesake, someone that you’re named after?
  • I decided to keep the family tradition alive by naming my son after his father, his namesake.
  • When I met my namesake at the party, we immediately hit it off because our name isn’t a very common one.
  • My dog’s namesake is Allie McBeal from the T.V. show I used to watch.
  • Really? Do you want our child’s namesake to be your grandfather, Bernie?

A Wrap on Namesake

Are you a namesake for someone? Remember, you can always name your kids or pets after yourself; you don’t have to wait for someone else to do it! And keep in mind that the term namesake can be used to show two people or things with the same name, but it’s mostly used to describe someone being named after someone else.