Unusual Boys’ Names: 12 Fresh Biblical Choices

Unusual Boys’ Names: 12 Fresh Biblical Choices

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.

Asaiah, “the Lord hath made” There are several Bibilcal personages with this name, including a prince. Another name you might want to consider if you love Asher but fear it’s becoming overused, or if you like Asa but want to start with something longer.

Boaz, “swiftness.” Boaz is associated with the Jewish holiday Shavuot–as that is when the Bible story of Ruth is read in the synagogue, and Boaz was Ruth’s wealthy and generous second husband–and so is sometimes given to boys born on that holiday.

Ephai, “gloomy.” Ephai is mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah.

Hanan, “graciousness.” Several important yet minor figures are named Hanan, a simple yet strong name.

Jorah, “early rain.” Jorah was an ancestor of a large family who accompanied Ezra out of Babylon. The ah ending, which might have felt feminine at one point, has firmed up thanks to the popularity of Noah and Joshua.

Machi, “decrease.” Machi, whose sound is kind of a spin on Micah, was the father of Geuel, itself a much more difficult choice.

Mahlon , “sickly.” Mahlon was a son of Naomi and the husband of Ruth, who arranged to have a child who would bear his name after his death. That child became the grandfather of King David. Mahlon’s downside: sad meaning.

Rosh, “chief.” Rosh is a son of Benjamin mentioned in Genesis. He had brothers named the much-less-attractive Muppim andHuppim.

Tiras, meaning uncertain. A grandson of Noah and one of the sons of Japheth, itself an unusual name. Tiras is reminiscent of Silas, which is rising in popularity.

Zerah, “to arise; dawn.” Several personages in the Old Testament are named Zerah, including one mentioned as having a scarlet thread on his wrist. Interesting alternative to Ezra.

About the Author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry and Baby Name DNA. The coauthor of ten groundbreaking books on names, Redmond is an internationally-recognized baby name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show, CNN, and the BBC. She has written about baby names for The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and People.

Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its sequel, Older. She has three new books in the works.