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Unusual Biblical Baby Names

Unusual Biblical Baby Names
The Bible is full of names, and many that were once considered unusual—Moses, for example, and Delilah—are now familiar on playgrounds throughout the land. So if you're looking for unique bible baby names, you have to look a lot harder, but they're still there. Instead of Delilah or Moses, you might try Zillah or Moab.

Along with Zillah and Moab, other unusual biblical baby names worth considering include Boaz, Gaius, Jericho, Joah, Keturah, Omri, Tirzah, or Zipporah. Biblical names that are unique in the US but common elsewhere in the world include Boaz, Linus, and Adah.

Here are hundreds of unique biblical baby names for boys and girls from both the Old and New Testaments. For more, check out our lists of Biblical Baby Names and BIblical Place Names

AzrielHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God is my help"
  • Description:

    Azriel is more masculine than Ariel, more unusual than Israel. Also spelled Asriel and Azrael, Azriel is the name of the Angel of Death in Jewish and Muslim traditions.

MordecaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "follower of Marduk"
  • Description:

    Mordecai, although it has a noble heritage, has never caught on in this country, because of its rather weighty image.

LazarusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latinized Greek variation of Hebrew Eleazar
  • Meaning:

    "God is my helper"
  • Description:

    Lazarus is a name that looks as if it could possibly be raised from the dead, just like its biblical bearer. Look for it in the next wave of Old Testament revivals that transcend their long-bearded images, the way Noah, Moses, and Abraham have for this generation.

AbelHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "breath"
  • Description:

    Abel, the name of Adam and Eve's unfortunate younger son, compensates with positive connotations: capable, competent, ready and willing.

LinusHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "flax"
  • Description:

    Can Linus lose its metaphorical security blanket and move from the Peanuts page onto the birth certificate? We think it has enough charm and other positive elements going for it for the answer to be yes.

OziasHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "salvation"
  • Description:

    Everyone says they want an unusual name — well, if you truly do, this is one with Biblical cred that fits the bill, with the added attraction of the user-friendly nickname of Oz or Ozzie. Ozias is the name of several minor figures in the Bible. Osias is another spelling.

AdrielHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God is my master"
  • Description:

    A biblical name getting wider notice.

ArielHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "lion of God"
  • Description:

    Ariel is a male Biblical name, seen there as the messenger of Ezra, and also used as a symbolic name for the city of Jerusalem, while Shakespeare used it for a (male) sprite in The Tempest.

EnochHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "dedicated"
  • Description:

    A major figure in the Old Testament, Enoch was the son of Jared, the father of Methuselah, and the great-grandfather of Noah whose Book of Enoch provides a focal point for ancient Jewish mysticism. Another Enoch was the son of Cain. "Enoch Arden" is a famous poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. On the negative side, British politician Enoch Powell gave the infamously racist Rivers of Blood anti-immigration speech, taking the name out of consideration for many parents in the UK.

EphraimHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "fruitful, fertile, productive"
  • Description:

    Ephraim is an Old Testament name we would place high on the list of neglected Biblical possibilities, solid but not solemn.

BoazHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "swiftness"
  • Description:

    Now that such Old Testament patriarchs as Elijah and Moses fill the playground, Boaz seems downright baby-friendly, having more pizzazz than many of the others, perhaps as a successor to Noah.

JerichoHeart

  • Origin:

    Biblical place-name
  • Description:

    A biblical place name with trumpeting verve and strength.

NehemiahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "comforted by God"
  • Description:

    Nehemiah is an Old Testament name used by the Puritans, whose white-bearded image kept it out of favor for centuries, until it suddenly reappeared in 1998, along with the more user-friendly Josiah and Isaiah.

NehemiahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "comforted by God"
  • Description:

    Nehemiah is an Old Testament name used by the Puritans, whose white-bearded image kept it out of favor for centuries, until it suddenly reappeared in 1998, along with the more user-friendly Josiah and Isaiah.

ZebulonHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "exaltation or little dwelling"
  • Description:

    An Old Testament name with a Puritan feel and post-Zachary possibilities--one of several routes to the cool nickname Zeb.

ZebedeeHeart

  • Origin:

    English variation of Hebrew Zebediah
  • Meaning:

    "gift of God"
  • Description:

    Zebedee is an adorable and unusual New Testament name--which may sound like but is not a contradiction in terms. Unlike some of the longer biblical Z-names, Zebedee has a more lighthearted usability, with its gleeful ee-ending. And Zeb makes a fabulous nickname.

AdahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "ornament"
  • Description:

    Adah is a biblical name twice over—one was the mother of Jabal and Jubal, the other was a wife of Esau. The latter Adah and Esau’s descendants settled in Edom and became the Edomites. Adah is unrelated to the visually similar name Ada, which is Germanic in origin.

UrielHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God is my light"
  • Description:

    It's the name of an Old Testament archangel that's symbolically given to boys born during Chanukah, but the possibility of unsavory nicknames (urinal?) make the short form Uri a better bet.

EbenezerHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "stone of help"
  • Description:

    Ebenezer is the name of a biblical place --the stone set up by Samuel to mark his victory over the Philistines--rather than a person. It was adopted by the British Puritans as a first name and then exported to America, where it had some early popularity, even entering the Top 1000 in the 1880s.

GaiusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "to rejoice"
  • Description:

    Stately Gaius (pronounced GUY-us) was in the name of many ancient Romans, including Julius Caesar. Little-used before the year 2000, it now feels like a fresh possibility in the revival of Latin boys' names like Atticus and Cassius. Caius and derivatives like Caio come from the same root. You could also see Gaius as a male version of the earth-goddess name Gaia.

ElonHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "oak tree"
  • Description:

    The boys' name Elon is best known today as the name of Elon Musk, eccentric billionaire founder of Tesla and SpaceX. With Canadian singer Grimes, Elon Musk has a son with an even more unusual name, X Æ A-12.

ZimriHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "my music, my praise"
  • Description:

    This unusual and spunky biblical name was one of the Kings of Israel as well as one of Judah's grandsons and has a wonderful meaning. We'd like to see Zimri being used more.

SapphiraHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek variation of Sapphire, Hebrew jewel name
  • Meaning:

    "sapphire"
  • Description:

    Sapphira is a lovely name which unfortunately has an unsavory Biblical history. The New Testament Sapphira was killed by God for lying about a tax payment.

JabezHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "borne in pain"
  • Description:

    Jabez has a rare combo of three appealing elements: a Biblical heritage, a captivating Southern accent, and a jazzy feel. It was popular with the Pilgrims and on into the nineteenth century (there have been four U.S. Congressmen named Jabez), but it hasn't been in the Top 1000 since 1880.

AeneasHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "the praised one"
  • Description:

    He was the legendary son of Venus, hero of Troy and Rome, and broke the heart of Queen Dido of Carthage. Sure, its more challenging than Charlie - but if you're looking this name up, that's probably part of its appeal.

BenaiahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "built by God"
  • Description:

    Benaiah is an unusual Biblical choice that can get you to Ben.

BarnabasHeart

  • Origin:

    Aramaic
  • Meaning:

    "son of consolation"
  • Description:

    Barnabas, whose birth name was Joseph, was one of the earliest Christian disciples in Jerusalem, who undertook missionary journeys with Paul the Apostle, His name is a bit Old World compared to the update Barnaby, but could gain some attention as boys' names ending in 's' are enjoying a comeback.

HiramHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "brother of the exalted one"
  • Description:

    Hiram is the kind of forgotten biblical name that adventurous parents who wish to move beyond David and Daniel are beginning to reconsider--even though it has bits of its old stiff-collared image clinging to it, along with a little hillbilly feel as well. The name belonged to an Old Testament king of Tyre who helped David and Solomon plan and build the temple in Jerusalem, and was a favorite in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, though a couple of well-known bearers dropped it--Ulysses S. Grant was orignially Hiram Ulysses Grant, but he didn't like having the initials H.U.G., and country singer Hank Williams was also born Hiram. With its definite funk factor, and its friendly nickname Hi, Hiram would make a distinctive choice.

IchabodHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "the glory is gone"
  • Description:

    Ichabod, an eccentric Old Testament name, is forever tied to the character of Ichabod Crane -- and worse, the teasing possibilities of "icky bod." Even its original meaning is a negative. Skip Ichabod, as if you were ever tempted.

AdlaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God is just"
  • Description:

    Adlai is an Old Testament name long associated with 1950's liberal presidential candidate Stevenson, who was named after his grandfather, who was Grover Cleveland's vice president in the nineteenth century. Now it's an unusual Biblical choice ripe for rediscovery.

DrusillaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "fruitful"
  • Description:

    Drusilla is an ancient Roman name, (probably) borne by descendants of Antony and Cleopatra, and is one of the 'illa' names that are ready for a comeback, especially with its cute short form Dru.

DionysiusHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek mythology name
  • Meaning:

    "god of Nysa"
  • Description:

    Dionysius derives from Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, revelry and fertility. This Romanized spelling has been used for poets, soldiers, and saints throughout the centuries, but is hardly ever seen today.

OmriHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "my sheaf"
  • Description:

    Old Testament name of a king of Israel, related to the harvest.

AmonHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish variation of Edmund
  • Meaning:

    "wealthy protector"
  • Description:

    This friendlier Celtic version of Edmund has an upbeat feel and a good chance of competing with Aidan and Damon sometime soon.

AzraelHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, variation of Azriel
  • Meaning:

    "help of God"
  • Description:

    This is the name of Angel of Death in Jewish and Muslim tradition, not a great start for an innocent child -- or a great role model for a teenager.

FestusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "joyous, festive"
  • Description:

    A name from the ancient world that may get a mixed reception today. On the one hand, festive! On the other hand, fester. In the Bible, Porcius Festus was a Roman official who rubbed up against St Paul. In modern times, this name has had more love in African countries than anywhere else.

IshmaelHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God will hear"
  • Description:

    Ishmael is most familiar through "Call me Ishmael," the opening line spoken by the youthful narrator of Moby-Dick. Few American parents have followed that advice, though the Spanish and Arabic spelling, Ismael, ranks at Number 362. With its warm and pleasant sound, though, we could see Ishmael tagging along behind Isaiah and Isaac.

LemuelHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "devoted to God"
  • Description:

    Lemuel is a neglected Old Testament name, with the friendly nickname Lem, that we're surprised hasn't been picked up on by parents who have known too many Samuels.

JobHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "persecuted"
  • Description:

    If you focus on the patience of the biblical Job, rather than his trials, the name becomes more usable. He was, after all, the Old Testament hero of the Book of Job, whose faith was severely tested by God but remained faithful. The name was was used by Puritans and Christian fundamentalists and can be found in the novels of Dickens, George Eliot and Robert Louis Stevenson..

AraHeart

  • Origin:

    Armenian
  • Meaning:

    "king"
  • Description:

    Ara is a unique boys' name that one of the most melodious in the Armenian name pool, familiarized by Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian. In Armenian mythology, Ara was a king so handsome that a rival queen went to war in order to make him her own. The name Ara is also known in the Arabic and Hebrew cultures.

JoahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "brother of God"
  • Description:

    Joah is a simple but obscure Biblical name, the name of four men in the Old Testament. Joah could be the perfect way to honor Grandpa Joe, or might be seen as a streamlined alternative to Josiah. Joah has so much basic appeal, in fact, that it just might be the next Noah.

ElishevaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Elisheva was the original name of Aaron's wife in the Book of Exodus; Elisheva gains strength and distinction via the v sound.

KenanHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "possession"
  • Description:

    The biblical character Kenan was a great-grandson of Adam and a direct ancestor of Noah. As in Christianity, Kenan is honored in Islam.

HezekiahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God gives strength"
  • Description:

    This name of an influential Old Testament king of Judah is one that would challenge even the most adventurous biblical name-seeker, but it does have the modernizing short forms Zeke or Kiah.

AnaniasHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God has given"
  • Description:

    Ananias is a New Testament name of three different figures. The two good ones were a high priest and a disciple of Paul. The not good Ananias was the husband of Sapphira who conspired to deceive the apostles and was struck dead.

AramHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "high elevated"
  • Description:

    Aram is a popular Armenian name with a pleasing sound that became known in this country through the works of William Saroyan, namely the 1940 book of short stories, My Name in Aram, centering on Aram Garoghlanian, a boy of Armenian descent growing up in Fresno, California. Saroyan also named his son Aram.

TalithaHeart

  • Origin:

    Aramaic
  • Meaning:

    "little girl"
  • Description:

    Talitha appears in the Bible as words Jesus says to awaken a young girl whose parents feared she was dead. It has been used in the US since colonial times. Talitha is also the name of two stars in Ursa Major, where it's related to the Arabic word for "third." Talitha definitely makes a fresh spin on Tabitha or Talisa.

ZaccaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "pure"
  • Description:

    Cool biblical name that could get you to the nicknames Zac or Cai.

HadassahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "myrtle tree"
  • Description:

    This Hebrew name of Queen Esther is well used in Israel (especially for girls born around the holiday of Purim), and in the US is the name of a Zionist women's philanthropic organization. Formerly shunned as hyper-religious, this name entered the Top 1000 in 2007. The nickname Haddie could make it more usable.

ZurielHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God is my rock"
  • Description:

    Biblical name from the Old Testament.
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