Saturday, April 28, 2007

"America" means "rich in love"

A friend of mine once sent me a postcard suggesting the real meaning of my name (actually spelled "Americo"). Having grown up as a Portuguese immigrant in Southern California, I had insecurity about my name. How could I live up to the country that my father named me after? My friend explained it this way:

Americo = Amo, ame (for "love") + rico (for "rich" as in Porto Rico, "rich port"). "Americo" means "rich in love". (In Italian it looks like "Amare ricco" and in Portuguese it's "Amor rico". Change the "o" to an "a" to go to the female form which "America" looks like.)

Perhaps, the real meaning of "America" is: the United State of "Rich in Love". These days, it doesn't look that way, unless making war instead of love is our way. My faith is that when this country gets past living in fear, it will rediscover its roots in love. There is much in a name.
Image from Riding Holidays.


Anonymous said...

I was taught that "Ame rica" means Love Riches (Ame being the vocative form of the verb amare meaning "to love") or Love of riches. Interestingly a me rica in Spanish means "riches to me". Rather ironic when we consider Calvin Coolidge's oft echoed declaration that "the business of America is business".

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate your post. I was just thinking how I don't have a lot of money and how I am happy to be rich in love. You have a beautiful name. I hope that America itself can come to know what true wealth is.