Names have meanings because they were used to describe a person's characteristics or profession. Like, someone who worked as a tailor would take the last name Taylor
. They would find a word that described themselves and use it as their name.
Other names, especially surnames, were created from the names of parents. For instance, Henderson
means "son of Henry
". So, the name Henderson
would have originally been given to someone whose father's name was Henry
, to identify that person as Henry
In many countries, words are still given as names, although it's not as common in English-speaking countries. For instance, Esperanza
is a common Spanish name, but it is also the Spanish word for hope. An
example in English would be Chastity
, which a name but is also a word meaning purity. So those names have meanings simply because they were just words to begin with.
I know this is a little confusing, and I might not be answering the question very clearly. If you have another question about this I'll try to answer it.
If anyone else wants to clarify this more that would be great.