Last week we started something.
Here’s another dose of “Just because it’s in the Bible doesn’t mean you should go with it”
This week we’ll stick with girl names. Don’t worry, the boy names are coming.
Quartus: When I said that boy names were coming, I meant next week. This name is firmly listed in the “female” category on the baby-naming website I’ve got open. Quartus. The name makes it’s appearance in the Bible one time, in Romans 16:23. And it’s a dude. A Roman dude, from the sounds of it. His name, though I never took Latin, means “fourth.” So, to give this name to your child, you are essentially saying the equivalent of a YouTube commenter that says “First!” — with the notable distinction that you dont think your child is the best or first. Unless you, like my father, have a father who is a “Junior” and are yourself a “Third,” there’s really no need to name your child “Fourth.” And naming your little girl Quartus seems to me to be immoral.
Palestina: In addition to the political undertones of such a name, this one is a real doozy. According to The Exhaustive Dictionary of Bible Names, it means “The land of wanderers; land of strangers. Rolled in dust. Wallowing.” And that’s precisely what I want to name my sweet little girl. The website where I found this name gives the definition “Which is covered, watered, or brings ruin.” I heartily endorse “covered” as a descriptive word for my daughter, and if we are talking about the plans of a 13 year old boy in her class, “that which brings ruin” is something he desperately needs. I’d be willing to give “Palestina” a pass, if it weren’t for the fact that “Philistia” is how all the other translations (with the exception of the KJV) renders it, and Isaiah 14:29-31 then becomes basically a calling down of judgment on the name of my daughter. And I think that has implications later in life.
Patmos: Sticking with the P’s, lets head down the page a bit to “Patmos.” This name rolls off your tongue, doesn’t it? Easy to say gets a check mark in the “Pro” column. What will generally put you in the “Con” column is the meaning “Mortal,” or “my killing.” Though I am sure that more than once during my daughter’s life I will think (and/or say aloud) “You’re killing me!” in a metaphorical sense, I’m pretty sure that naming a child “the death of me” is not a good sign for their future. Plus, the fact that John was exiled to the “Isle of Patmos” according to his account in Revelation 1:9 makes for more interesting trivia for your daughter. What I wonder is if John gave the island that name, or if it was already called “death island.” Either way, I don’t think it was intended as a girl’s name.
Dabareh: Here’s a tricky one. Not only is this the name of a town, in Joshua 21:28, but you’d most likely just be accused of being the worst speller in the world, and having aimed for the (perfectly acceptable) name “Deborah” (with alternate southern spelling “Debra.” I love you, mom). The meaning of the name “Deborah” is quite honorable. It basically means “eloquent.” Just change a few letters, and “Dabareh” means “a run for sheep, or pasture.” You gotta watch out. “Good at talking” and “good at collecting sheep poo” are worlds apart in my opinion, but only three vowels apart in your daughter’s name.
That’s all for this week. Next week we’ll see what this website thinks we should name a boy.
In the meantime, how’s about you tell us what names we should avoid in our quest to name #2. Comment below.