My name & pavilion


What my Name Means and Pavilion

This column is about my name and the word pavilion.  Exciting stuff huh?  I don’t make the assignments, I just do them.

Patricia  fem. proper name, from Latin, fem. of patricius “patrician, noble”

Patricia is Latin in origin and a feminine, proper name.  Patricius means patrician or noble.  I must say it is cool to have a powerful sounding name.  A very Spartan name.  Am I a noble person?  It would be improper for me to answer my own question of nobleness.   When I think about nobility, I think wealthy.  Perhaps a queen draped in silk cloth and adorned with brilliant gemstones.  At my feet, my guard dog, hairless and fierce wearing a collar that matches my crown.

Whew, I am dreaming.  In reality my name is about as close to wealth as I get.

On to the word pavilion:

pavilion (n.)

c.1200, “large, stately tent,” from Old French paveillon “large tent; butterfly” (12c.), from Latin papilionem (nom. papilio) “butterfly, moth,” in Medieval Latin “tent” (seepapillon); the type of tent so called on resemblance to wings. Meaning “open building in a park, etc., used for shelter or entertainment” is attested from 1680s.

You may be wondering why I chose the word pavilion.  I chose it because until recently, I’ve been spelling it wrong and more shocking; I had a misunderstanding of what the word meant.  A pavilion, spelled with one “l” is from the 12th century French word paveillon.  This translates to large tent and butterfly.  In Latin is translates roughly to butterfly looking tent.  This type of tent is set up in a park for special occasions or gatherings. This meaning is attested from the late 1600’s as a tent that provides shelter and entertainment area.  When the circus comes to town, the first thing they do is set up the pavilion so people see where the big top show will perform.

How did I confuse the word pavilion since childhood?  Other than spelling it with an extra “l” I never knew a pavilion was a tent-like structure, a temporary shelter.  For the first eighteen years of my life I lived above a property my church owned.  On the there was a candy stand, band stand, and pavilion.  The pavilion was a block building with huge windows that could be raised and hooked to the ceiling.  Once they were all up, it felt very open as you could look out to the candy stand and softball field with ease.  When the church named it a pavilion, they were very loose with the word’s interpretation.

I have fond memories of playing there with my siblings and the neighbor kids.  Everyone with a bicycle knew where you meant when you yelled “see ya at the pavilion” while exiting the bus.  Endless hours of my youth were spent on that land and in the pavilion; I may have even had my first kiss there, but that’s another column.

That was my name, you may wear it out.


Go ahead...take a swing. I'll duck and listen.

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