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Category: Old Testament baby names

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Job Marcellus Re-Sized

By Rebekah Anderson

Our son’s name is Job. No, not “job,” as in a vocation. It is pronounced with a long “o,” and rhymes with robe. As in, the book of Job in the Bible, the story about a man who is visited with overwhelming trials. Yeah—that Job.

My husband and I decided on the name because we loved Job’s faithfulness. We loved the sound of the name’s short, classic strength, and the cutesy but cool nickname “Joby” was quite appealing.

We started receiving pushback almost immediately. It started with friends and family. We both come from Christian homes, so the name Job is familiar to many in our circle. We were somewhat entertained by the emotional reactions; it was suggested that if we were to name our baby after someone who experienced so many trials, well, perhaps we were setting our kid up for hard times. And besides, the official meaning of Job is “persecuted” or “afflicted.” Surely we wouldn’t want to give our son a name with such a meaning!

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Biblical Baby Names: Why Noah now?

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It seems that just about every few decades since the 1940’s, one Old Testament patriarch name has entered the popularity list’s Top 5, some lingering longer than others.  From the forties through the early eighties it was David,  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 group—like the earlier Joseph, and David, Jacob and Ethan, it’s a simple, modern-sounding  two-syllable name with a strong first syllable and softer second.  And like Joseph, David, Daniel, Joshua and Jacob, Noah comes with a dramatic narrative that’s 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.

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Angelico_Wheels

Are there really any good unusual boys’ names left in the Bible?  Old Testament names for boys have been fashionable for going on half a century now, from the 1960s Adam to the present day Asher. Could there possibly be any obscure-yet-usable choices left?

Hundreds of them, in fact. The Bible is so full of unusual boys’ names that the choices seem nearly infinite, and as a new generation moves from hoary to hottie, others that once seemed to strange to consider start to feel possible.

Here, a dozen unusual Biblical names for boys you might want to consider.

Addar, “mighty one.” The name of a son of Bela (a Biblical king, not the Twilight heroine), Addar might make a good substitute for Aidan or Asher.

Ara, “lion.” Ara is a son of Jether, from a family of Asherites. This sleek simple name feels eminently modern.

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baby name Circe

We’re always coming across names on nameberry that we never thought of before, undiscovered gems that suddenly seem attractive and eminently usable for a real live person.

How come everyone flocks to Ava and Aiden, or even Avery and Atticus, when there are so many names like this hiding in plain sight?  Beats us.  If you truly want something distinctive, there are thousands of such choices to be found just by clicking Unusual Names in the left purple column on most pages of nameberry.

Here, the first in a series of names you might not have considered…..but definitely should.

ABIJAH – A Biblical name used in the Colonial times that can work for both boys and girls.  Rhymes with Elijah, stands in for that name or Abigail.

AMORET – Redolent of love, this unusual name comes from Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queen.”  The character of Amoret represents married love, an ideal sentiment.

BATHSHEBATrue, it’s a whole lotta name.  But Bathsheba, which means “seventh daughter,” has a rich Biblical and literary history.  Short form Sheba walks that intriguing line between being edgy and ready for prime time.

CIRCE – Okay, so she was a siren who turned Odysseus’s men into pigs and lured the poor hero away from the patient Penelope.  She also had a lovely name, pronounced sare-see, that would make a standout modern choice.  That’s her in the picture above.

CORIN – It may sound like a nouveau two-syllable boys’ name, but Corin has a Shakespearean pedigree.

ELEAZAR – A Biblical boys’ name with more zest and distinction than the flagging Eli variations.

KETURAH – Old Testament name – she was Abraham’s wife post-Sarah – that hasn’t been much used in the past few hundred years but has a rhythm and feel that’s appropriate for today.  And in case you’re still looking for Biblical names you never heard before, Keturah and Abraham had six sons: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. 

LORCAN – If Logan and Aidan are megapopular, can Lorcan be far behind?  Somehow, this Irish boys’ name meaning fierce has not achieved the notoriety of its compatriots.  But smart parents will look to it as a fresh entry in that trendy crowd.

NICASIOLove Nic-names but tired of Nicholas?  Then consider this Spanish choice that’s related to Nike.

PALADIN – A French name that means “of the palace,” Paladin was a title of honor given to Charlemagne’s twelve best knights.  That’s a name story any little boy would love taking to kindergarten.  There was a fifties television show by this name.

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