I smile when I read lists of baby names. Some of the newer names are unusual:
Names for Girls: Africa, America, Apple, Blaze, Blip, Brooklyn, California, Cameo, Chevy, Diamond, Domino, Eternity, Genesis, Green, Harmony, Heaven, Kiwi, Miracle, Nyx, Phoenix, Precious, Scotland, Tulip, Zona.
Names for Boys: Ab, Baobao, Cheese, Chow, Daxx, Danish, Egypt, Hamza, Hurricane, Jag, Legend, Leviathan, Manhattan, Miggy, Orion, Panda, Pizza, Talon, Tintin, Yash.
Apparently, there’s a Country/State/City thing going there. And a food thing for the guys. (OK, I threw “Pizza” in there … I was imagining a tall guy leaning against the wall – a leaning tower of Pizza.)
There is a feature at Parenting.com that even allows us to see what a name we choose for a baby might look like on a Broadway debut, on a chalkboard, on business card, pasted to the side of a thermos, and more!
Single first names can be unusual, but when you combine with an unusual middle name, things get really interesting! Names like: Above Hope … Apple Pie … Biscuit Foot … Cloudy Day … Egyptian Pyramid … Gold Dust … Holly Berry … Jelly Bean … Lucky Boy … Panama Canal … Rasp Berry … Salary Grab … Supreme Intelligence … Yankee Doodle. Yes, real names.
Combine a first name with a last name, and the humor continues. For instance, Electric Music’s last name was Sparks! (born around 1896 in West Virginia). Then there is Cheese Bologna … Cucumber Pickle … Delicious Bacon … Howdy Guy … Married Young … Mustard Mustard … Odius Nutt and Smelly Cotton!
I encountered some interesting first/last name combos while traveling on a revival team. One church had two people with unusual names: Peter Pan Pringle and Snow White. (And Snow White played a harp, no less!) As I remember it, one of the students at the Bible college I attended was named Candy Barr. (She got teased. A lot.)
But on a more serious note …
Many names have deep meanings. Long ago, people named their children according to a character quality they desired for that child, or an event that recently happened in the parent’s lives, or for some other significant reason or purpose. An angel told Jesus’ parents what He would be called and why (Luke 1:30-31; Matthew 1:21).
I recently did some research for Revive Our Hearts author/speaker Nancy Leigh DeMoss for a series on some of the names of Jesus. The series is called “The Wonder of His Name.” I wrote her about how this affected me; and Nancy also included the letter at the beginning of her series in the radio program, “Your Great Name.”
In this opening program, Nancy said, “… throughout the Scripture, there are approximately 350 names or titles attached to Jesus … And the wonder of His names is that these names reveal to us who He is …. They reveal His splendor, His majesty, His exaltation. Some of His names also reveal His humanity and His humiliation. His names tell us why He came. His names tell us about His work and His ministry on our behalf.”
So many names, and yet, as Nancy says:
“…there’s not one name or any small number of names that can adequately or fully capture the wonder of who Jesus is and what He came to do.”
If our help is in the name of the Lord (see Psalm 124:8; Proverbs 18:10), then we need to study those names to understand the One we are trusting to help us! I encourage my readers to study the wonderful names and titles of Jesus during this 2014 Lenten season.
Then, decide for yourself …
Which of the wonderful names blessed you the most? Taught you the most? Opened your eyes to the Wonder of Christ? And did it lead you to praise Him more?
Credit: Names of Jesus poster available at InspirationArt.com