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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    NON-biblical/religious names

    Is anyone avoiding names they like the sound of (e.g. Isabelle or Matthew) because they have religious meanings? Personally I have a problem with giving names that have to do with the bible and/or 'god' because we are atheist and I don't want my child or anyone else getting the wrong idea.

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Re: NON-biblical/religious names

    I've definitely thought about that too, but I don't think it's much of a problem. I think most normal people have no idea what names mean, and definitely won't make assumptions based on a name. I would probably have trouble just knowing the meaning myself, but it wouldn't be a dealbreaker if I really loved the name.

    Or you could do this: the name Isabel means 'my god is an oath', but you could pay less attention that meaning, and just understand it as meaning 'oath' instead.
    cordelia ~ jessamine ~ alice ~ louisa ~ maeve ~ julia ~ eloise ~ fiona ~ genevieve
    matthias ~ william ~ henry ~ finn ~ benjamin ~ frederick ~ leander

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Re: NON-biblical/religious names

    Quote Originally Posted by candis
    Is anyone avoiding names they like the sound of (e.g. Isabelle or Matthew) because they have religious meanings? Personally I have a problem with giving names that have to do with the bible and/or 'god' because we are atheist and I don't want my child or anyone else getting the wrong idea.
    My husband and I have had many discussions about this. He was raised Catholic in Catholic/religious schools his whole life so he sees some names very differently than I do. I was raised non-religious (that is what my sister calls it), my family never went to church. So I don't usually see the religious connection to names.

    My husband does not want to use any Hebrew/Jewish names, or names from the Old Testament because we are not Jewish and so he says we shouldn't use them for our children. I had never thought about it much before, but it cut out a big chunk of names that I liked the sound of. But now it makes sense to me and I also don't want to use traditionally religious names (Sarah, Matthew, Jacob, etc.) because of the religious connections that they have.

    I think that it is a good idea to avoid biblical names if you don't want some people to assume that you are religious. Although many people won't see it that way. In the past when friends of my have had babies, I tell my husband the name and he automatically knows what religion they are. He is right almost all the time, it is a little creepy. I don't think you need to exclude every name that is in the bible, there are lots of obscure names that are not as strongly associated with a specific religion. Good Luck finding the perfect name for your family!

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Re: NON-biblical/religious names

    Personally I wouldn't avoid a name I liked the sound of just because I didn't like the meaning. Of course I think it would be fantastic to find a name with an awesome meaning and a lovely sound. I have yet to find the perfect combination. For me the sound of a name is more important than it's meaning but I'm sure if you asked some one else they would give you a different answer. Actually I think this would make a great poll.

    All though both my husband and I grew up in the church neither of us are religious now. Both of our names have a religious meaning and we're not bothered by it nor do I feel it defines me as a person. Would it be awful to name your child something that meant "red hair" if they where born with blond or brown?
    My daughters name is Kira and I have found it to mean "light" as well as "dark" depending on the language. Two very opposite meanings.

    Oh yes, my husband and I even like the very biblical name Ezekiel and don't care if people assume we like it for it religious reference or not. For a middle name we've thought of using Jinn/Djinn which may have an unfavorable meaning. Personally I like the name Bodhi (DH does not) and it has a Buddhist association, again we're not Buddhist.

    I'm sure you'll be able to find a name that you love. :)

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Re: NON-biblical/religious names


    I think there is a huge difference between Biblical names (Ezekiel, Zachariah, Bathsheba, etc.), traditional Hebrew names (Sarah, Jacob, Caleb, Eli, etc.), and names with "religious" meanings (Isabelle, etc.). If you aren't religious - especially not in the Catholic, Christian, or Jewish traditions - I'd stay away from heavily Biblical names. Now, traditional Hebrew names are used in the Bible, but many, like Sarah and Jacob, aren't necessarily associated with that anymore because of their popularity. Finally, names with "god" in the meaning, like Isabelle, generally aren't regarded as religious. So, I don't think you need to worry about it, but it is all up to personal preference.

    Just a question - does this also mean that you will eliminate all saint names, too, because of the religious connection? For example, Genevieve is a saint name, but it means "woman of the people," and is not regarded as a religious name. Would she be off your list?

    I think it is really a question of where to stop, because your restrictions could be endless...

    Good luck!

    Lemon :-)
    "Names, once they are in common use, quickly become mere sounds, their etymology being buried, like so many of the earth's marvels, beneath the dust of habit." - Salman Rushdie

    Boy Combinations: Archer Solomon James, Ronan Charles Bennett, Everett Hawthorn Thomas
    Girl Combinations: Phoebe Marietta Pearl, Clara Daphne Eloise
    Other Favorites: Eliza (Eliza Wren), Juliet, Rosanna, Thea, Johanna, Jude

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