One of the more challenging aspects of dream interpretation is determining what (if any) meaning should be taken from the names and titles of people in a dream. While most symbols have multiple meanings, they are typically either positive or negative in their core nature. With names and titles there the interpreter must deal with both the positive or negative implications of the name/title, but also with a variety of different aspects of the name/title that can have an impact upon the meaning. For example, the name of a person in a dream may have no meaning at all or be the key to unlocking the entire purpose of the dream. Other than their name/title, the significance of a person in a dream may relate to the position the person occupies, the function they are engaged in, the relationship they have to the dreamer and more. Once you have determined that it is the name or the name of the title that is significant there are several ways to approach their meaning in addition to examining the basic characteristic, quality or nature questions. Here are some of the other things you should consider.
The Literal Meaning of the Name: Names are more significant than most people realize. Every name has an underlying meaning from which it was initially derived. These meanings are often tied to the language or cultural context from which the name originated. For example, the name Ann is a common English name for a female, but its origins can be traced back to the Hebrew name Anna, which literally meant gracious.
Colloquial Meanings/Nicknames: The given name of an individual may stand out, but it is possible that a nickname of shortened version of that name may provide the key to understanding why it is significant in the dream. For example, the given name Charles can be shortened to Chip. While both the diminutive and the full name can be traced to Old English and simply means “man”, the nickname has come to have both symbolic and colloquial meaning. In Western culture, the name Chip can related to a colloquial saying (chip off the old block) that indicates a child has the same characteristics and personality of their parent. At the same time, a “chip” can be type of food or a small cut or break off the edge of a surface. In relationship to sports it can mean to kick or strike something, as well as conveying the idea that something is going to be simple or easy.
Name of the Position/Titles: Interestingly even when the name is important, it may not be the person’s given name that carries the significance, but instead the name of their position or title. My father’s name was Bill French. While the literal meaning of the name Bill is “resolute protector”, when Bill French shows up in my dreams his presence is much more frequently related to the title or function of “Father” and he frequently represents my Heavenly Father. Other titles can also convey concepts – for example the titles President, King and Reverend all convey the idea of authority (whether it be natural or spiritual).
The Function of the Named Person: Finally keep in mind that the name may simply stand out to draw your attention to the individual so that you will notice what they are doing, or even to remind you of an individual that you actually know in relationship to the function they operate in. For example, I have a friend named Richard. The literal meaning of the name Richard comes from German and means “ruler” or “powerful”, however, my friend is a heating and air conditioning contractor and it is possible that the job he does is what is significant in the dream. Richard makes sure that the atmosphere within a home or business is properly “conditioned”. That is, if it is too hot or too cold he has the skills necessary to repair the equipment that can change the atmosphere.