The name Sarkis means Protector; Shepherd.
It is Armenian in origin.
I recently booked a flight to Moscow to visit an old college friend of mine from the hazy Chico days. He requested the flight information so he could pick me up at the airport in Sheremetyevo.
The official itinerary had my name listed as I had used it to book the flight. I always use my legal first name whenever I travel to avoid confusion. He wrote back asking what the deal was with the name "Michael"
So here's what I told him: Michael is my first name. It was my father's first name and his father's before him. I have always gone by Sarkis, my middle name, except for the three years I lived in Narragansett, Rhode Island. I went by Michael there because nobody in Rhode Island can pronounces their 'r's. So when I told people my name was Sarkis, they would say, "SAAHKUS?"
"No" I would say, "My name is SAR-kis."
And they would say "Yeah, OK..... SAAHKUS."
It was so annoying that I finally just said "Fine, my name's Michael." And so for three years while I lived in Rhode Island, my name was Michael.