Category: biblical baby names
It seems that just about every few decades since the 1940âs, one Old Testament patriarch name has entered the popularity listâs Top 5, some lingering longer than others.Â From the forties through the early eighties it was David, Â joined by Joshua in 1983, Daniel for the single year 1985, Jacob ten years later– and holding first place for the past thirteen years– and Ethan (a more minor biblical figure) in 2002.
And now we have Noah, which entered the golden circle last year at Number 5.
Noah fits right into this groupâlike the earlier Joseph, and David, Jacob and Ethan, itâs a simple, modern-sounding Â two-syllable name with a strong first syllable and softer second.Â And like Joseph, David, Daniel, Joshua and Jacob, Noah comes with a dramatic narrative thatâs well known to most children.
As every Sunday school alumnus knows, Noah was deemed the only righteous man of his time, singled out by God to survive the great flood sent to punish an evil world, and instructed to build an ark to save his family and all species of animals from the flood.
Maybe it has something to do with Harry Potter attuning our ears to long Latinate names like Bartemius and Xenophiliusâafter that, suddenly the four syllables of Tiberius and CorneliusÂ or PersephoneÂ no longer seem too weighty for a modern little babe.
After all, Isabella is the Number 2 girlâs name– and other four-syllable names like Penelope, Amelia, Cecilia, Seraphina and Valentina are standing right in line to join her. So clearly, many parents today are looking for just such substantial names, just as others are seeking them out to balance a short, brisk surname.
Here are our Nameberry Picks of the 20 + freshest four-syllable choices on the table. (But do note that variations in pronunciation and/or speedy speech can sometimes elide four syllables into three.)
Dorothea and Theodora are reverse mirror images of each other, both meaning âgift of Godâ and both newly stylish, both more feminine versions of Â rising three-syllable namesâDorothy and Theodore.
I recently moved to the Hartford, Connecticut area for the summer, and one of my favorite things about this state is its long history, because it yields so many fantastic antique baby names! Â The area is not only beautiful, with green rolling hills and lush forests, but chock-ful of historical, peaceful cemeteries, as well. Â As many a name nerd knows, cemeteries are ripe with fresh possibilities, and the older they are, the more likely one is to find truly rare names.
With this in mind, I set out to comb the best cemeteries in my neighborhood for the most unique and undiscovered gems. In my quest, I noticed some strong preferences for virtue, occupational, and Biblical names, as well as names referencing ancient historians or philosophers. For girls, anything long and feminine was game, and the âlâ sound was particularly popular. For boys, parents seemed fond of either distinguished sounding appellations ending in the fusty âus,â or jaunty, oh-so-cute names with prominent âoâ sounds.
Most of us are familiar with the names of at least a few angelsâafter all, archangels Michael and Gabriel and to a lesser extent Raphael, have had widespread and long-lasting popularity over the years.
But thereÂ is a profusion of otherÂ angelic creaturesÂ whose names are not as well known. Â Thought of as messengers of light,Â angels are seen as reflecting Godâs radiance.Â There are Biblical angels, seraphim and cherubs, and guardian angels who oversee various days, months, Zodiac signs, natural elements and virtues.Â There are angels in Persian and other Eastern religions and mythologies, and angels in works of fiction.
Then of course there is the whole family of straightforward Angel names–Angela, Angelica, Angelo, et al, that mean ‘angel’ or ‘messenger’; Evangeline, whose meaning, Â ’good messenger’ relates to angel, and Seraphina, which is derived from the word seraphim.
Here, from various sources are 25 angel names worth considering:
- Abraxos â ancient name attributed to an angel
- Arael â angel of birds
- Cael âan angel ruling over the Zodiac sign of Cancer
- Calliel — a throne angel invoked to bring prompt help over adversity
- Charoum â angel of silence
- Dabria â one of five angels who transcribed the books that the Hebrew prophet Ezra dictated
- Dara â angel of rains and rivers in Persian mythology
- Dina â guardian angel of learning and wisdom
- Ezrielâan angelâs name discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls.
- Hariel –Â the archangel who rules over December, the dawn and Capricorn; also the angel of tame animals and ruler of science and the arts
- Irin â the name of twin angels who constitute the supreme judgment of the heavenly court
- Janiel â angel ruling Tuesday and the east wind
- Javan â the guardian angel of Greece
- Â Kemuel â chief of the seraphim who stands at the window of heaven
- Laila, Lailah, Layla âthe angel of conception who oversees and protects childbirth
- Nabu â a recording angel in heaven
- Nitika â Native American name meaning angel of precious stones
- Rabia â one of the ten angels accompanying the sun on its daily course
- Rachiel â angel who rules Venus and governs sexuality
- Raziel â an archangel who guards the secrets of the universe, the angel of mysteries
- Sarea â another of the five angels who transcribed the books the prophet Ezra dictated
- Tarielâthe angel of summer
- Uriel â angel of the month of September, of those born under the signs of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn; an angel of creativity
- Yael/Jael â a cherub who attends the throne of God
- Zaniel â angel who rules Mondays and the sign of Libra
Do you have a favorite angel name of your own?
The Christmas blog written for us last year by Elisabeth Wilborn, creator of the wonderful name blog youcantcallitit.com, was so comprehensive and such a hit that we’ve Â decided to make running it an annual nameberry tradition.
Christmas seems to arrive sooner every year. Once again, I am running frantically to cross things off the list, get the baking done, trim the tree (first we have to get that treeâŚ), and find the ever elusive Christmas stockings before itâs too late. Some may have bigger âor smallerâ things on their minds this season. An impending birth, perhaps? If your new child shares a birthday with the most famous baby in the world, you may be tempted to incorporate the season somehow into their name. Thereâs a lot more to holiday baby naming than Nicholas and Noel. Here are a few ideas that might help broaden the list:
Names related to the Holy Family and the birth of Jesus:
Eve- For the night before
Names connoting light: