Celebrity Names Blog

Puritan Names: From Sin-Deny to Fight-the-good-fight-of-faith

While you may love or loathe the kinds of faith-based names that are growing in popularity today -- from Heaven to Messiah to Miracle -- those names are not particularly "out there", especially compared to the  kinds of faith-based names our American forebears the 17th Century Pilgrims gave their babies.  We've written about the names of the Mayflower babies in the past and now, thanks to our friends at The Hairpin, we have deeper insight into the wild and wooly world of Puritan names. (Read the complete list here) These real-life Puritans names turn to "scriptural phrases, pious ejaculations, or godly admonitions" for inspiration.

Beyond the names we've heard before like Love, Repentance, Clemency and Hope, the list contains a lot of names that are new to us, even if they're not exactly er, name-worthy. (We're looking at you If-Christ-had-not-died-for-thee-thou-hadst-been-damned Barebonee)

On the other hand, a name like Continent Walker is a great take on the geographic names we've seen lately, and we appreciate the literalness of Anger Bull. We think moms today could take inspiration from Vyktorye Buttres or Redivivia Mathews. 

What do you think of the Puritan names? Do you think any could be modernized for today's values and name trends?



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January 29, 2012 1:20 PM
By Erinne (not verified)

I'm getting pretty attached to Patience as a middle name, so when I yell at my child I would have a little reminder! I do like the Puritan style, but man, those are crazy.

January 29, 2012 4:09 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

The name Continent really just makes me think incontinent. Some of my other least favorites include Humiliation, Comfort, and Silence, which was often given to girls to remind them of the line from Timothy: "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection."

January 29, 2012 6:15 PM
By Jen (not verified)

We used to joke when I was pregnant that we were going to name our baby "Honor-thy-father-and-mother."

January 29, 2012 7:42 PM
By Other virtues (not verified)

it's interesting to look at virtue names from a non-religious point of view. We chose Merit as a second name, as a virtue we wanted to endorse as atheists. (Logic and Reason didn't make the cut... maybe next time... hee hee)

January 31, 2012 1:13 PM
By Allison (not verified)

I really like virtue names - Amity, Mercy & Felicity are three of my favorites.
But some of these Puritan names are crazy. Why do that to a child? Especially when other kids might be named something simple like Sarah, John & Paul.

January 31, 2012 1:38 PM
By hillary (not verified)

The Puritan names in my family tree, not so much. Their ideas of female virtue names were Silence and Submit.

January 31, 2012 2:25 PM
By Nickimom (not verified)

I feel like half of these could be fantastic band names. For example Kill-sin Pimple. I'd listen to their music.

Other good band names:
Helpless Henley
Wrestling Brewster
Wealthy Whathing

And why did so many use alliteration: Helpless Henley, Wealthy Wathing, Thankful Thorpe, Clemency Chawncey, Humiliation Hinde

January 31, 2012 2:26 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Constance, Prudence, Remember, Traveler, Cherish, Harmony, Wish, Honor

January 31, 2012 4:26 PM
By Millie Moses (not verified)

Apparently Doctor If-Christ-had-not-died-for-thee-thou-hadst-been-damned just went by Damned.

Doesn't seem like much of an improvement.

Also... Preserved Fish. XD

January 31, 2012 6:20 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

How about twins named Guts and Glory? "No guts-no glory" LOL!

February 23, 2012 7:16 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My friends and I once spent hours flipping randomly through the bible for a Puritan bible verse first name and the phone book for last names. My favorite is still Her-breasts-were-like-dancing-gazelles Brown. The book of Solomon is not particularly prim or proper.

February 24, 2012 3:36 PM
By selahhue (not verified)

A friend of mine named her little girl Avery, which is sweet, but I thought a great twist of the name would be to name a baby girl Bravery.

February 24, 2012 6:59 PM
By Selahhue (not verified)

I LOVE Traveler... considering this if we have a boy!

November 7, 2012 3:22 AM
By Macy Lerma (not verified)

Today could take inspiration from Vyktorye Buttres or Redivivia Mathews.

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