(Not) Helping us Pick a Baby Name. Part 1.

A while back, we looked at a disturbing facebook trend in parenting.

Recently Jacqueline did a google search for “Biblical Baby Names” and we spent so long laughing at the sites that I’ve decided to make it a regular practice here on the blog to look at a list of biblical-but-not-practical names.

Here’s this week’s edition of what promises to be the weekly “Just because it’s in the Bible, doesn’t mean you go with it.”

I went with a Ladies-Only theme this week.  In the future, I’ll nail down some boy names.  But maybe it’s because I am hoping for a girl on round 2.

Succoth-benoth — This jewel is taken directly from 2 Kings 17:30, making it thoroughly biblical.  Problem being, according to my bible dictionary, it either means “booth for girls, booth for prostitutes, or a localized pagan deity.”  See, there’s a principle of basic reading in play here.  Like the word “Placenta,” if you don’t know what it means, it might sound pretty. But even if you don’t know what it means, it still means something. Don’t name your child the biblical equivalent of “demon-whorehouse.”

Baal-berith — Those familiar with the Bible will immediately note the prefix “Baal” which is a word that means “god” and can be used as a common noun or a proper noun, but in both cases refers to demonic Caananite “gods” who are at all times opposed to the true and living God and his work on the earth.  This begins to underline why we shouldn’t name our next bundle of joy this.  Baal-berith is a specific god referenced in Judges 8:33 with whom the Israelites directly disobeyed the command of Exodus 34:12.  Nothing like having to say that every time we explain why we call our sweet little girl “Beri.”

Babel — While we’re on the topic of naming children after events in history where the human race in general and God’s people in particular totally blew it, let’s visit another “girl’s name.”  While I suppose my logic here could make for a strong indictment of folks named Adam, Eve, and Saul, it still stands to reason that those names have more upside than Babel.  Plus, if the name Babel becomes prophetic, you’ll end up with a very talkative but hard to understand teenager.  Like, OMG, I’m ROFL and I’ll totally CUL8TR. I’m begging you.  Name your girl “Enunciate” or “Stop-Giggling.”

Raphah — Aside from having to have reoccurring pronunciation clinics at every turn, the only real problem I see from this name, taken from 1 Chronicles 8:37, is that it is a boy’s name in the Bible, but is listed in the female section of some baby-naming websites.  That’s a fun bit of trivia for your sweet daughter to find out in middle school, via the awkward kid that home-schooled last year and had to memorize 1 Chronicles.  Name kids according to gender.  (and if you are a dude named Stacy, calm down.  this entire post is a joke. we’re just having a good time.)

Cappadocia — I’m going out on a limb here, but I am personally against geography names.  See, Cappadocia is “an isolated interior region of eastern Asia Minor lying north of the Taurus Mountains, east of Lake Tatta, south of Pontus, and west of the Euphrates River.” according to my Bible dictionary.  Which is good trivia to know, but bad when your daughter goes on a date and the guy says “That’s a pretty name, what’s it mean?”  I guess naming a child after a region is cool, if something or someone big originated or was made famous there.  For example, Cleveland from The Family Guy  is clearly named indirectly after LeBron James or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as the only interesting things to happen in Cleveland since they took the extra “a” out.  But Cappadocia is known for having a letter written to it–(1 Peter 1:1)–and that’s it.  The “visit Cappadocia” brochure would say “We’ve got dirt.  And half of a lake.  And 17-23 people.” All told, I’d opt out of this as the name of your next girl.

That’s enough for this week.  But rest assured, this one website has enough material for many weeks to come.  Who knows, maybe I’ll actually find the name we want to go with by skewering names every week on the blog.

What about you?  What do you say we should (or shouldn’t) name the next Meredith?

4 Replies to “(Not) Helping us Pick a Baby Name. Part 1.”

  1. When you get to the boy names, you need to think seriously about the benefits of naming your possible son Obadiah…. middle name Juan. Then you can call him Obi-Juan! Think about it… it sounds cool. Obadiah Juan Meredith You can tell all your friends, Obi-Juan fights the darkside!

    1. As much as that would delight my inner geek, my outer wife tells me that would not be a good idea. Thanks for the comment, though.

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