In Bereshit 2:19 Adam gets the honorable task to name the animals. The Midrash Genesis/Bereshit Raba 17:4 tells us that the first man, Adam, looked into the essence and nature of every creature and named it accordingly; meaning He analysed the essence and nature of each one and thereby deduce its name. In Hebrew a name of anything is an expression its essence and nature. The donkey, for example, is characterized by carrying heavy, physical burdens. So in Hebrew, the donkey is named chamor – from the same root as chomer, which means materialism (from the Aish website).
Now I was taught that in Hebrew, a noun is called a shem etzem (“name of essence”), while an adjective is called a shem toar (“name of description”). What I would like to know is what a human name, a proper noun, describes, what does a name do: does a name desribe our essence, does a name give a description of who we are, or could a name be given in the hope a child develops itself into the essence of his name?
In summary: Does a name (in Jewish teachings) add anything to our development into who we are/become?