36 Unique (and Adorable!) Baby Names with Religious Undertones


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Fun fact: around the world, 353,000 babies are born each day. That's a lot of babies — all of whom need names. The possibilities are literally endless (just ask Barnaby Marmaduke Aloysius Benjy Cobweb Dartagnan Egbert Felix Gaspar Humbert Ignatius Jayden Kasper Leroy Maximilian Neddy Obiajulu Pepin Quilliam Rosencrantz Sexton Teddy Upwood Vivatma Wayland Xylon Yardley Zachary Usansky — yeah, that's ONE GUY'S full name), so naming your little one can feel overwhelming, to say the least. But don't worry; we've got your back. Here's a list of 36 baby names (18 girls', 18 boys') that are not only adorable, but meaningful: each of these names has a religious undertone. Some are from the scriptures (or, like "Eva," are derivatives of scripture names) while some simply have a religious meaning. Either way, get ready to find the cutest name ever for your baby... And to want to rename the kids you already have. (Just kidding. Mostly.) Baby Girl Names Amaris — "Given by God" Stats: Each of these stats (all from Nameberry) will list the popularity...

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Amaris: Sounds like it means "bitter". Nope. Never. Huh-uh.

Ariel: My favorite mermaid, but not my daughter.

Christabel: Nopers. I mean, there's nothing wrong it it per se, but...nope.

Eden: We have a winner.

Eleanor: Kind of old-fashioned, hard to separate from Austen's Sense and Sensibility. But a nice name.

Elisha: Girl's name? Really? Um...I don't think so.

Eliza: Solid name, just not really on my list. I prefer "Elizabeth" or other derivatives. I mean, it's a fine name, just probably not one of my top choices.

Eva: Good one.

Gwyneth: I love these old English names. A definite winner.

Hope: Yep.

Lainie: As a nickname for Elaine, this is fine. As a name on its own, doesn't quite cut the mustard for me.

Liora: No. Ask me in ten years and maybe I'll have changed my mind. Lots of vowels, lots of liquids, but it doesn't do it for me.

Naomi: I could be talked into it.

Odelia: Shakespeareanish, sounding like something between Ophelia and Odette. Pretty, but nah.

Selah: ...yeah, okay. I'm on board.

Theodora: Nope. I like the "theo-", and the "-dora" is just fine, but something about the combination doesn't do it for me.

Vera: Sure.

Abel: Yes. Better yet, Cain (but you better have a tolerance for dissent).

Abner: Li'l Abner? Sorry, nope.

Adriel: Hmmm. No, I don't think so. Nothing wrong with it, just outside my experience.

Amos: I have nothing against this name, only good associations. But I would not name my son Amos. Maybe I'm afraid he'd become famous. Or I'd have to name his brother Andy. (Not that there's anything wrong with Andrew, which is a great name. But I cherish my freedom.)

Asher: ...maybe. Not an easy sell, but if my wife loved it, I might be talked into it.

Benedict: Great Latin-derived name, suitable for any man—except my son. Maybe it's the Benedict Arnold thing, I don't know.

Cyril: No. Nothing wrong with it, just not my kind of name.

Declan: No.

Ewan: Not sure why this doesn't appeal to me, but it doesn't.

Ezra: Maybe. I don't know. Possible.

Goodwin: Nope nope nope. No offense, Goodwin, but no.

Ivan: I'm not really into Slavic names. I'd go with Evan before Ivan.

Jens: Nah.

Jonah: No. Another great, solid Biblical name that just doesn't do it for me.

Jude: Well...probably not. Association with the Beatles makes it unlikely. But it's a nice enough name.

Matthias: Absolutely.

Thaddeus: I think probably not, but maybe I could be talked into it. Something about it seems to fall a bit flat on my ear.

Tobias: Outside my comfort zone. If my wife loved it, then maybe.

Edited by Vort
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I confess I don't really like any of them.I mean some of them could be alright for some one else's kid, but I wouldn't want to hear most of these names, let alone have to say them often. In fairness, though, some like Eden or Eva aren't hideous names, and could be kind of pleasant, but I have negative associations with individuals with these names. Andy isn't bad, and I have no negative associations with the name. Declan seems to represent everything wrong with naming boys for the last decade, I don't really know why, but it just fits into and epitomizes a category of names that I truly loathe.

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50 minutes ago, SpiritDragon said:

...Declan seems to represent everything wrong with naming boys for the last decade, I don't really know why, but it just fits into and epitomizes a category of names that I truly loathe.

Of all the names on that list, Declan is my favorite. It's of Irish origin. A very important person, associated with this forum named one her sons Declan.

M.

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2 hours ago, Maureen said:

Of all the names on that list, Declan is my favorite. It's of Irish origin. A very important person, associated with this forum named one her sons Declan.

M.

And that's great. The fact is that if everyone liked the same names it would be hard to enjoy much variety. I find when names are too common I tend to like them less. So I actually appreciate that people like names that I don't because it increases the odds that the names I do like will be available when I have each of my children. I don't much care for having cousins and close acquaintances with the same names, so if they all pick names that I don't care for that's so much the better so I am free to have my choice of the good names (and fortunately my wife has been quite agreeable to good names as well)

I figure everyone can go on being happier if they feel like they have good names for themselves and their children, even if it means there is little agreement on what constitutes a good name.

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  •  

Amaris: Not my style at all.

Ariel: I see too much maleness in it.

Christabel: No.

Eden: Not my style.

Eleanor: I always preferred the spelling Elinor. Now I'm unlikely to use either because it's been taken in my family.

Elisha: Knowing who Elisha is in the Bible, I could never name a daughter this. Knowing Bible-illiterate people will assume it's an alternate spelling of Alicia, I could never name a son this, either.

Eliza: Used to be a favorite, but the luster's worn off.

Eva: Probably not, but could possibly be convinced.

Gwyneth: Not my style.

Hope: See Eva, though this one's slightly less likely due to personal connections.

Lainie: Too nicknamey.

Liora: I know it has history, but it feels made-up to me.

Naomi: Maybe.

Odelia: See Liora.

Selah: Not my style.

Theodora: No. No. No. I do like Dorothea for somebody else's kid.

Vera: Not my style, and has an unfortunate personal connotation or two.

Abel: Too strong of a murder victim vibe.

Abner: Not my style.

Adriel: I actually grew up with an Adriel, though he didn't normally go by that. I don't think the name is well-known enough for me to feel comfortable giving it to my child.

Amos: I like it in theory. Not sure I would in practice.

Asher: It's been growing on me.

Benedict: I like it. Unlikely to use it.

Cyril: Love it for a fictional character. Not so much for my child.

Declan: This was one of my favorites when I was 18ish, but I've gone off it a bit since. Could maybe be talked into it still.

Ewan: Not my style at all.

Ezra: Too well-used in my close circles, especially for a name without many obvious nicknames.

Goodwin: Doesn't really feel usable to me.

Ivan: I doubt I could be convinced to use this without a spouse of the proper ethnic background, and it's unlikely even then.

Jens: See Ivan.

Jonah: I usually prefer Jonas, but this is nice, too. Am put off a bit by the fact that we normally focus on Jonah's weaknesses in Sunday School.

Jude: Already on my short list for possible son names.

Matthias: Nice enough. Could maybe be talked into it.

Thaddeus: I don't think so.

Tobias: I want to like it, but early experience colors it in a slightly negative light.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I rather think we should let our children choose their own names, maybe at baptism, or Bar Mitzvah, or (if they're old enough) christening, or some such ceremony. Meanwhile, we could just call them daughter 1, 2, 3 etc, or son A, B, C, etc. If they did, I think there would be fewer Ophelias, or Hermiones, or Clytemnestras, or Reginalds, Rodneys, and Cyrils. And that might not be an altogether bad thing.

Best wishes, 2RM.

Edited by 2ndRateMind
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On 4/9/2019 at 7:19 PM, SpiritDragon said:

Declan seems to represent everything wrong with naming boys for the last decade, I don't really know why, but it just fits into and epitomizes a category of names that I truly loathe.

I just concluded some in-depth research regarding "Declan"; I Googled it and looked at the first result. Apparently, Declan is an anglicized form of the Irish Gaelic name Declán, also spelled Deaglán or Déaglán.

Remember in The Lord of the Rings when we learn about the backstory of Sméagol (pronounced SMEH-uh-gohl, not SMEE-gull; sometimes you just gotta ignore the movies) and his first murder victim, Déagol? I bet Déagol's name today would be Declan. Tolkien was a scholar of Old English and had a love for Gaelic, Old Norse, and other ancient languages descended from or touched by early German, so it's likely that his character naming was heavily influenced by such factors.

(Interesting factoid: The Gaelic languages, though heavily influenced by German, are actually more closely related to Latin and Greek than to German. Who knew?)

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On 4/20/2019 at 10:52 AM, Vort said:

I just concluded some in-depth research regarding "Declan"; I Googled it and looked at the first result. Apparently, Declan is an anglicized form of the Irish Gaelic name Declán, also spelled Deaglán or Déaglán.

Remember in The Lord of the Rings when we learn about the backstory of Sméagol (pronounced SMEH-uh-gohl, not SMEE-gull; sometimes you just gotta ignore the movies) and his first murder victim, Déagol? I bet Déagol's name today would be Declan. Tolkien was a scholar of Old English and had a love for Gaelic, Old Norse, and other ancient languages descended from or touched by early German, so it's likely that his character naming was heavily influenced by such factors.

(Interesting factoid: The Gaelic languages, though heavily influenced by German, are actually more closely related to Latin and Greek than to German. Who knew?)

I love the history lesson, thanks!

As for Smeagol, I always thought it was Smee-A-gohl, but when the movies came out everyone started saying smeegle or, as you put is SMEE-gull, and I had just decided I was mistaken and never found it something worht looking into - I wasn't nearly as used to checking everything against google in those days. It appears I wasn't too far off after all, but still wrong in my assumed pronunciation as well. I imagine you became versed in the world of Tolkien long before the internet was the main way of checking on things like this, did you have a a guide to pronouncing names? (Note I'm not calling you old, but I know you have a son who has returned from a mission and that I didn't use the internet for the first time until I was 13 or 14 years old, so I would assume you are a bit older than I am since I only have toddlers and even if health challenges hadn't delayed my family would still only have a ten year old at most which has me thinking you are 10-20 or more years my senior)

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19 hours ago, SpiritDragon said:

I imagine you became versed in the world of Tolkien long before the internet was the main way of checking on things like this, did you have a a guide to pronouncing names?

Sure, in the indices of the third book.

19 hours ago, SpiritDragon said:

Note I'm not calling you old, but I know you have a son who has returned from a mission and that I didn't use the internet for the first time until I was 13 or 14 years old, so I would assume you are a bit older than I am since I only have toddlers and even if health challenges hadn't delayed my family would still only have a ten year old at most which has me thinking you are 10-20 or more years my senior

I'm 56. If you think that's old enough to call me "old", be my guest. I don't take it as any sort of insult.

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4 hours ago, Vort said:

Sure, in the indices of the third book.

Excellent. I don't remember my copy having that, but it probably does. Mine is all three in one large book in paperback that I picked up second hand as a teenager. It's falling apart now and I recently found a boxed set trilogy with the Peter Jackson movie rendition characters on the cover for $5.00 to make sure that I can continue reading them to my children past the time my old copy will hold out.

4 hours ago, Vort said:

I'm 56. If you think that's old enough to call me "old", be my guest. I don't take it as any sort of insult.

I think old and young is largely relative. I don't personally think of 55 as particularly old, but certainly more experienced. I would say that my universal cut off is around 70 anyone can be officially called old and less than 20 is young. Everything in between is simply an adult with more or less experience - hopefully not a protracted adolescence extending into the late thirties or a premature geriatric due to poor stewardship or health concerns out of one's control. I imagine that if I live long enough to see my own children turn 50 I may very well start to think of 50 as young :) 

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15 hours ago, mordorbund said:

Is that when a person is old, or just when they begin to be old?

It would appear that the context shows that beginning to be old is followed by knowing they will die soon, so perhaps it has less to do with age and more to do with health and function. In any event, I'm not ready to begin to be old if it means making preparations for my imminent grave :) 

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