Naming Your Easter Baby

Easter Baby Names

It’s time again for our annual Easter basketful of names—those that relate directly to the holiday and relevant biblical personages, Easter nature names and names that suggest rebirth.

NAMES OF THE HOLIDAY

EASTER – Less common than Christmas but definitely a holiday name that works in its plain English version.

PARASHA – A Russian girls’ name that means “born on Good Friday.”

PASCAL etc. – There are many attractive versions of this name. The French Pascal, for boys, and Pascale for girls is especially appealing. The Spanish versions are Pascual and Pascuala; Italian is Pasquale.

PASCOE – English twist (Cornish, technically) on the Easter name popular in medieval times. PASCO is another spelling.

SUNDAY – This day name somehow seems best related to the Easter holiday and season.

NAMES OF EASTER PERSONAGES

JAMES, JOHN and PETER – Prayed in the garden with Jesus (but fell asleep)

JOANNA – Lesser known Biblical personage who was one of the women at Jesus’ tomb.

JOSEPH of Arimathea – According to the Bible, wrapped the body of Jesus in a clean shroud and placed it in his own tomb.

Mary MAGDALENE – The prime female figure in the Easter story, she witnessed the crucifixion, accompanied the body to the tomb, and later with the other women discovered the Resurrection. A saint, she is a symbol of penitence. Her name means “from Magdala.”

MARY – Mother of James the Younger and Joseph, accompanied Mary Magdalene in her vigil at the crucifixion and with Jesus’ body.

NICODEMUSSecret follower of Jesus who placed myrrh and aloes in Jesus’ shroud so he could be buried according to Jewish custom.

SALOME – One of the women at the tomb.

SIMON of Cyrene – Helped Jesus carry the cross.

Of course, the Easter story has its villains, too, whose names have not been used over the ages: PONTIUS PILATE, King HEROD, BARRABAS, and Christ’s betrayer JUDAS ISCARIOT.

EASTER-RELATED BOTANICAL NAMES

ACACIA – Greek nature name for a flowering shrub that symbolizes immortality, one of the main Easter themes.

BIRCH – In Scandinavia, people attach brightly-colored feathers to birch branches in vases.

LILY – We’ve said a lot about the popular Lily and her sisters recently, but this is the flower name most closely associated with Easter. Its many lovely variations include LILIANA and LILIA. DAFFODIL, TULIP and HYACINTH are also in bloom during the Easter season.

PALMA , PALMER , and PALMIRA – All relate to the palm branches symbolic of Easter carried on Palm Sunday.

TAMAR , TAMARA , and TAMIR – Relate to the date palm tree.

WILLOW – Scandinavian children go from door-to-door at Easter dressed as witches, exchanging willow branches for candy.

EASTER ANIMAL NAMES

BUNNY NAMES – ARLEY and ARLEDGE are English surname names that relate to rabbits. BUNNY is a cute but overly fluffy name for a girl, and RABBIT was the hero of John Updike novels.

BUTTERFLY NAMES – The butterfly is a symbol of rebirth and Easter, and gives flight to many attractive names. KIMANA is a Native American name meaning butterfly, and MARIPOSA is a Romantic Spanish butterfly name. VANESSA was invented by author Jonathan Swift but is also a species of butterfly. And of course BUTTERFLY itself is also a name, perhaps more appealing in its internations versions: PAPILLON in French, BABOCHKA in Russian, or FARASHA in Arabic.

CHICKEN and EGG NAMES – CHICK is of course a nickname dating from the “Grease” era, but not one we recommend. BEZAI is a Hebrew name meaning “eggs” that has more possibilities.

LAMB NAMES – For boys, names that mean lamb are HAMAL in Arabic, and OAN, Breton. For girls, UNA means lamb as well as “one” and RACHEL means “ewe.”

NAMES THAT MEAN REBIRTH

ANASTASIA and ANASTASIOS – Appealing and underused names that mean “resurrection.”

LISSA – Name of the supreme mother goddess in African mythology and an Arabic symbol of rebirth.

OSIRIS – Egyptian god-king who died and was reborn every year.

RENATA and RENATO – Attractive Italian versions of a name that means “reborn.”

RENE and RENEELong the most popular names meaning rebirth among English-speakers, but dated now, plus the male Rene never sounded very masculine outside France.

Happy Easter!

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12 Responses to “Naming Your Easter Baby”

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Dearest Says:

April 2nd, 2010 at 6:43 am

Easter, Magdalena, Salome, Tamar, Birch, Una, Anastasia and Renata would be the ones I’d use… 🙂

And Lamb is an awesome connection! it makes me think of Ovid which means ‘sheep’ and the obscure feminine form Ovidia which is one of my all time favourite names! I think of it as an alternative to both Olivia and Lydia ^^

Great blog as usual!

Elisabeth@YCCII Says:

April 2nd, 2010 at 8:03 am

I have such a crush on Salome. The Easter one’s the good one– to bad the other one had to spoil a great name.

nixact Says:

April 2nd, 2010 at 10:44 am

I love so many of these! Some of the Lily varieties are especially beautiful to me; I *love* Liliana. Excellent blog! Thank you!

Elena Says:

April 2nd, 2010 at 11:20 am

I love this blog, I think my favourites that I would consider using (if I ever had an easter baby or not) are:
Pascal/ Pascale
Pascoe
Joseph
Tamara
Willow
Mariposa
Anastasia
James
John
Peter

-Elena 🙂

amy(: Says:

April 2nd, 2010 at 11:20 am

I love Kimana, I’ve never heard it before!!

Macy Says:

April 2nd, 2010 at 11:48 am

Actually the male name René is still charting for boys, so I guess you could be wrong.
Plus the show Heroes brought in a male character named René.

SarahinJune Says:

April 2nd, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Mariposa is so beautiful. I love it.

Charlotte Vera Says:

April 3rd, 2010 at 2:02 am

Our daughter Roseanna was born around Easter last year. When I dropped her off in a nursery recently the people said, “Oh, she has an Easter name!” I can’t say that I ever thought of Roseanna as a particularly Easter-y name, but if it is then I guess it’s appropriate!

I’m quite in love with both Pascale and Una, but I doubt we’d ever use either.

lyndsayjenness Says:

April 4th, 2010 at 4:29 am

I love that picture so much, what an adorable little girl! I’m not a huge fan of Easter name… if I had a girl on Easter maybe I’d use Sunday or Easter as her middle name… or something like Lavender or Peach or something pastel colored.

Dina B. Says:

April 4th, 2010 at 7:14 am

Some of my faves:
PARASHA
PASCO
KIMANA
MARIPOSA
LISSA

Very interesting !! Thanks for sharing.

Salome Says:

September 22nd, 2010 at 10:59 am

I know this is way delayed, but it’s so gratifying to see the GOOD Salome given some recognition!!

The Easter Baby | Stylish Little Me Says:

March 27th, 2012 at 4:02 pm

[…] or Willow {Scandavian girls dress as witches and go from door to door swapping willow branches}.  Click here to see Nameberry’s full Easter name list and […]

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