Friday, September 14, 2012

Names of Biblical Proportions

When contemplating what to name a newborn child, parents have many options. They can search through family records to find either a close or distant relative's name that "jumps out" at them. (Boo Radley comes to mind.) They can scour websites and books dedicated to listing possible names...maybe basing their choice on the name's meaning. (Take "Dewey," for instance, which means "all wet.")

Perhaps the most widespread help for finding names is also one of the oldest: the Bible.


It's a great source for finding some very popular names, such as: Adam, Benjamin, Daniel, David, Jacob, Joel, John, Joseph, Martha, Mary, Nathan, Ruth, Timothy, and of course, for my Hispanic readers, Jesus.

There are even some second-tier possibilities for the truly faithful: Abraham, Isaac, Jeremiah, and of course, for my Amish readers, Zedekiah.

But there are some Biblical names that I honestly believe have passed their expiration dates and we will probably not see in contemporary birth announcements: Amminadab, Elizaphan (isn't that the stuff in turkey that makes you sleepy?), Nogah, and Uzziel.

My favorite unusable Biblical name...the shortest man who ever lived...Bildad the Shuhite. (Now, that's pretty darn short! Even though it would work well for when someone asks a bride, "Who's paying for this?" The answer: "Bildad.")

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