Category: biblical names
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Have you noticed that even ancient names from the Bible go in and out of style?
This was not true in the recent past, when names like Sarah, Rachel, Rebecca, Leah and Hannah were high on the list; now Hannah is the sole survivor in the Top 50. There are, however, others showing definite signs of revival, such as Naomi at Number 77, Delilah at 116, Esther at 203, Ruth 293, and Miriam 294, with Deborah and Judith further down, still hindered by their midcentury nicknames of Debby and Judy.
But there are viable girl names in the Old Testament beyond this constricted circle and here are some of the best.
Looking into Biblical names? You don’t need to limit yourself to those that have always belonged to people. Check out the place names!
Place names often have a wide range of associations, because places exist for hundreds of years. An example is the way Shiloh is referred to in three books of the Bible: it’s a backdrop for a prophesied king in Genesis, a disturbing event in Judges and holy gatherings in 1 Samuel.
Bible places are a source of fresh names (and some bizarre ones). While the flavors of the original languages are almost lost in the familiarity of the personal names Timothy and Hannah, the place names Athens and Kadesh still strongly savor of Greek and Hebrew. Only a handful of Biblical places are familiar as personal names (Jordan, Sharon). If you do pick a less familiar name, research the pronunciation.
What better time than Thanksgiving to look back at the first names to arrive on our shores?
As you may remember from your third-grade history book, the first English-speaking settlement, called the Raleigh Colony, was established on the Atlantic coast in 1587, and although it didn’t survive for very long, some of its name records did. Not surprisingly, of the 99 men who settled there, 23 were named John, fifteen were Thomas, and ten were William, with a small sprinkling of Old Testament names in the mix as well.
Do you want to name your baby from the Bible but are put off by the popularity of Jacob or Abigail? Are you looking for a great name that no one else is using? Consider these 22 obscure yet usable choices. I eliminated a few favorites, such as the jubilant Jubal, in favor of names more likely to be new to many Berries.
Some things I learned: brothers Huz & Buz and Muppim & Huppim (not kidding!) testify that matchy sibsets are nothing new. Many Hebrew names, especially ones ending in -iah (signifying Jehovah), were unisex. It’s difficult to ascertain the meaning of many names, partly due to homophony (see the recent post.)
I hope you enjoy the list as much as I enjoyed compiling it!
Ashbel – this name, which comes with cool nickname Ash, belonged to a son of Benjamin. Ashbel Smith was an American medical student befriended by James Fenimore Cooper when they were in Paris in the 1830’s.
Classic baby names can encompass several different categories. There are Biblical names, from Anne to Zachary. There are names rooted in ancient cultures, including Atticus and Juno, which have survived or are being revived today.
And then there are the classic names that have been well-used in English-speaking cultures over the decades and centuries. While classic names by any definition do move in and out of style just like other names, some manage to endure better than others and become, well, the most classic classic names.
Here, our picks for ten of the best classic baby names today.
Catherine — The Duchess formerly known as Kate has done much to swing fashion toward the C-beginning version of this most classic of girls’ names. Catherine, classic in any spelling, has been borne by saints and queens along with some of the most inspiring literary heroines, including Heathcliff‘s Cathy of Wuthering Heights. Greek for “pure,” Catherine comes in countless international variations and with a wide range of nicknames. Most stylish today are Cate or Kate or the vintage-feeling Kay or Kitty.