NBA superstar changes name to “Metta World Peace.” What does it mean?

The Los Angeles Lakers‘ Ron Artest has spent the majority of his basketball career stirring up controversy with his own brand of joie de vivre. The eccentric,  at times rowdy, small forward and shooting guard now graces this column for a linguistic reason. Artest plans on officially changing his name to Metta World Peace. If, as our recent post conjectures, our given names play a part in predetermining our destinies – what does the future hold for Mr. World Peace (and what does Metta World Peace mean?)

Metta is derived from the Pali language, an ancient tongue in which Buddhist scriptures were composed.  The following attributes can be attributed to “metta:”loving-kindness, friendliness, goodwill, benevolence, fellowship, amity, concord, inoffensiveness and non-violence. In Buddhist teachings, the practice of metta focuses on kindness and love towards all beings.

“World” is derived from the Old English weorold meaning “human existence, the affairs of life.” The Germanic translation we-ald literally means, “age of man.” The Modern English translation refers to “the earth or globe, considered as a planet.”

“Peace” is derived from the mid-12th century Anglo-Norman pes meaning, “freedom from civil disorder,” and the Latin ‘pacem’ or ‘pax’ meaning, “treaty of peace, tranquility, absence of war.” The Modern English use of the word as a personal greeting began around the early 13th century as a translation of the biblical term ‘pax’ – as in “peace be with you.”

It could be construed that Mr. Metta World Peace is on a path to global and spiritual enlightenment. Before he travels too far he may want to take a little time to shoot some hoops with the 6’9” power forward from Erie Community College who goes by the name, “God’s Gift Achiuwa” – that’s a match we’d like to see.

We’d like to know – what does your name say about you?