240+ Unusual Biblical Baby Names
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Description:Uncommon biblical name. It's the name of an angel in the New Testament.
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.
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.
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.
Description:This unusual name might be a possibility for musical families: Jubal was credited in Genesis with the invention of the lyre, flute, harp, and organ. It also has a jubilant feel through its sound and meaning, and has had some southern popularity via Confederate general Jubal Anderson Early. George Eliot wrote a poem called The Legend of Jubal.
Origin:Irish variation of Edmund
Description:This friendlier Celtic version of Edmund has an upbeat feel and a good chance of competing with Aidan and Damon sometime soon.
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.
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.
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.
Description:A biblical place name with trumpeting verve and strength.
Description:Old Testament name of a king of Israel, related to the harvest.
Meaning:"friend of God"
Description:This is a multi-syllabic New Testament relic that could be yet another fresh way to get to Theo. In the beginning of Luke's gospel, he dedicates his words to Theophilus.
Origin:Latin, Feminine variation of Junius
Meaning:"born in June"
Description:Juno is hot, June is showing signs of a comeback along with other month and day names, whereas Junia, the name of the the first century Christian referred to by the apostle Paul as an apostle (and who may have been male), is yet to be discovered.
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.