Holy names

As part of my effort to hold off baby fever for just awhile longer, I have become slightly obsessed very interested in baby names.

Even before I actively wanted to have kids, I would keep an eye on names I came across reading or meeting people and contemplate how they might sound as one of my children’s names. I love names. They fascinate me. I still remember starting work at the engineering firm and being enthralled by all the new and cool names around me…like the guy who sat next to me named “Ellis.” Awesome!


I am not Christian. Most definitely not. Used to be, haven’t been for several years, found peace leaving it, yadda yadda, so thank you, but I don’t need to be saved. It is just a fact I am stating because it is relevant.

A very large percentage of “normal-sounding” names (to us Americans) are Christian.

And just like a Christian wouldn’t name their child Muhammad or give them a name that means, “Allah saves,” I do not particularly want to give my child a name that means “Jehovah is good.” And being atheist, I don’t even want to give a name like Arianna (which I think is quite pretty and just went to check on) which means “God is holy.” I don’t particularly care what god it is referencing, not a giant fan.

This leaves me in quite the tough position name-wise, though, ruling out a very large number of possibilities.

And that’s not all making it tough.

I like unique names. Names you don’t hear all the time. I grew up with a very unique name. My first name isn’t the most common, you’d be surprised how many people haven’t heard of it and pronounced it wrong. Add that to my very foreign last (maiden) name, and I got a lot of mispronounciations and questions. And I loved it. I loved having a unique name. I love learning about other people’s names! And having a boring name I have always viewed as such a waste and such a pity. I was quite sad when the man I fell in love with had such a common last name it is often used as a generic because everyone has it. I decided then that there was no way I would give a child of mine a “boring” first name, one that is common, especially since their last name is so very common itself.

My hubby has a very boring name. He once played soccer on a team that had four kids with his same name. UGH. This sounds like a nightmare to me! Just ick! But it doesn’t bother him. He has a sister with a weird name (because she goes by her first and middle name, which confuses a lot of people..neither is unique but going by both is) and evidently she hated it. So he has a thing against names that are too unique. He’s all about the common. He has no problem with a name that is the #1 most common name in America right now if we like how it sounds. But something people would ask to clarify pronounciation on? Or have no clue how to spell? Uh-uh.

This leaves us with a very narrow band of possible names which are not common but are European-based names people have heard of that roll off the tongue.

Then cut that narrow band in half to get rid of all the Christian meanings/variants.

And then take off a few more for all the names that have strong Biblical associations. Like Isaac. I really do like the name Isaac. But I’m a wee bit hesitant, just because it is so associated with that little ol’ Biblical character.

So I keep an eye out for names like Eliana or Anastasia…but without the meanings like “God has answered” or “resurrection.”

It just gets frustrating constantly hearing something I like…only to learn it means “CHRISTIAN!”

Anyone make a book of non-Christian baby names?

Oh well, at least I’ll only have to pick a few! I can afford to be picky when I can literally pick one from a million!


Filed under Life

3 responses to “Holy names

  1. All four of ours have names with family ties. Nobody is a junior or anything awful like that, but named in honor of loved ones.

    However I ran into a middle name block and used a book I highly recommend for ideas. The Bible.

    HA! TOTALLY KIDDING. Not my thing.

    Do check out The Baby Name Wizard book. I think that’s it. Definitely had the word wizard.
    Great categories and origin groups. And popularity graphs to keep you out of common but not too far into weird.

    And because im done, Ill share a couple I’ll not be using. Just ideas, mind you.

    Ayla. I loved that character and all she represents.

    Theadora. I thought it was old school but not old lady. Love nickname of Thea.

    Magnolia Mae. I am a southern gal. I can’t resist a Maggie.

    • HAHAHAHAHA!!! OK, that made me giggle :-D

      I love those names! Gorgeous! *files them away on my list which I totally don’t have* Which character is Ayla? From what?

  2. The Clan of the Cave Bear series. SO GOOD!

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