Easter Names: From Acacia to Pascal

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.


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.


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.


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 and Lilia. Daffodil, Tulip and Hyacinth are also in bloom during the Easter season include Liliana.

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.


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 and beyond, 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.”


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


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6 Responses to “Easter Names: From Acacia to Pascal”

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Amanda Says:

April 21st, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I think that Agnes also means “lamb” or “lamb of God.” It’s a lovely, old-fashioned name that is not too trendy.

babynamesrule Says:

April 21st, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I loved this post. Easter’s my favourite holiday…just for the chocolate. Best chocolate is Easter chocolate. Love the butterfly names! I also think Arley is so cute.

Mary Says:

April 21st, 2011 at 7:02 pm

What about Veronica?? She was the disciple that wiped Jesus’s face when he was carrying the cross!

spotlightstarlit Says:

April 21st, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Mariposa nn Posy is growing on me.

KO Says:

April 22nd, 2011 at 1:35 am

Oh my gosh! How could you forget Agnes/Annes/Inez as a lamb names!!!

Malaria Says:

November 24th, 2011 at 2:14 am

Pascua is the actual word for Easter in Spanish, and I think I like it better as a name than the names Pascual and Pascuala.

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