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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Baby Name to Discuss: Moses

Rachel writes:
I have two kiddos; Lucy Allison and Asher Scott. Seriously, I thought we were being all original when we gave them those names. Sad, no? At least they're classics.

So, we are thinking about having a third and I must know...

Is naming a child Moses a bad idea?

I remember when I was in high school, and heard for the first time of a baby being named Noah. I was SO SURPRISED. This is not the way I would have put it at the time, but my reaction was basically "OMG, religious much??" Like, why not just name him Peace That Passeth Understanding Smith and be done with it?

And of course now a scant twenty ten (*cough*) years later, Noah is a perfectly ordinary name, used by even completely non-religious people, and there were two Noahs in my son's class last year. The names Isaac and Isaiah and Elijah are similar: formerly they would have been used only by particularly religious families, and now they are used by anyone.

I have a feeling Moses will be the same way. Right NOW it sounds a little...celebrity, because of Gwyneth Paltrow---but I suspect that will wear off and then we will have another name to add to the boy category. And thank goodness, because that category is MIGHTY SKIMPY.


Erin said...

I have a friend with a son named Moses. He's super cute and it seems perfectly normal. I think it will become more and more popular like Noah, Elijah, Isaac, etc.

M said...

We considered Elijah, but I decided it was "too heavy."

I don't think anything of Noah or Issac, but when I hear Elijah or Isaiah or Moses ... I tend to think the parents are a bit on the religious-freak side. I don't think the names themselves are bad, though.

Just my two cents. I tend to like lighter names (probably because I think my name and my husband's name are both a little on the heavy side).

Anonymous said...

I think it is going to be more popular. But don't do this: I have a friend who named her boy Moses, they call him 'Mo' so cute, right? Except his last name is Koko, so his name is Mo Koko. Luckily, I think this kid is going to have the personality to match his name.

Pocket said...

I love love LOVE the name Moses and wish Gwenyth Paltrow didn't use it because now it's going to turn too popular for my taste. I also love the name Abraham for a little boy (I'm not necessarily a religious person, but I think many of the Prophets have great names)! Plus Abraham could also refer to Mr. Lincoln, which I think is neat.

F8hful Lo said...

I guess I will be a downer...I don't like the name Moses for a child. I feel strongly about naming your child within your culture, though, so find it is difficult to picture a little Caucsian (my culture) boy named Moses, so I think it depends. However, I also strongly believe you should name your child what you like so who cares what I think!!! Also, if people knew how many names were "Biblical", they probably wouldn't assume those who name their children a more well-known one are "religious freaks." Another thought: does Moses go with Asher and Lucy? I am not so sure...

Pipsylou said...

I was the one that posed the question. I am curious? What names WOULD go with Lucy and Asher? This blog is so bad...feeding my name addiction!

I have NEVER heard of a Moses, Just like I had NEVER heard of a little Lucy or Asher. And now that I have a Lucy and an Asher, they are EVERYWHERE! (Well, Lulu, Lucia, Lucyana, Ashton, Ashley, etc.)

Is it simply because I am more attuned to the names?

Peace said...

I love Moses! I think it is a great name and would totally use it if it didn't clash with my "S and Z heavy" last name. I say go for it.

Amy said...

I think at this point, I hear Moses and think it's a very heavy name for a child. But I agree that with time it could probably become just as common as Isaiah or Noah (although they do also have a lighter sound to them with all the 'a' sound). Rarely do I hear Noah and think of arks and I'm sure eventually we'll hear Moses and think of little boys rather than a bearded man and a parted ocean.

F8hful Lo said...

Pipsylou- hopefully I hadn't offended you with saying I wasn't sure Moses matched with your other names :) Just opinions, right?

I consulted Swistle's fave book, the Baby Name Wizard, and here is what I found:

Names that go with Asher: boys - Judah, Ari, Gideon, Lincoln, Rider; girls - Ariel, Dalia, Piper, Darcy, Allegra

Names that go with Lucy: boys - Charlie, Leo, Harry, Oliver, Mose (close to Moses!!!); girls - Annie, Ruby, Stella, Nora, Gracie

I thought Lucy and Asher were kind of British or English names, but the book did not concur. If I had to choose and went with the book, I like Piper, Darcy, and Stella as girl names to go with yours, and Oliver or Charlie for boys (although somewhat common). What do you think? Just some ideas!

Erika said...

I like Moses a lot. Yes, it's a heavy mantle for a wee boy, but wee boys grow up and I think Moses is a strong name with many attractive qualities for a grown man. I also think it works just fine with Lucy and Asher. And I agree with Swistle -- I think Moses, much like Isaac or Noah -- can be used in a way that's unrelated to Biblical/religious issues.

Swistle said...

Pipsylou- I think it is partly tuning in (noticing the names way more when you have kids with that name), and partly that when people first have their kids, they don't know other kids the same age. Then, later, when kids get around other kids, THAT'S when you find all the other kids with the same names. And finally, it's partly the actual rising popularity of the names: Lucy and Asher are both going up---though still not wildly popular, just in that sweet spot of "familiar without being one-in-every-class."

Pipsylou said...

Yes! I agree...familiar, but not TOO common. I am glad that my kids won't have "one in every class"... (like my name, Rachel), but their names aren't so weird that people either can NEVER spell it or take them for the wrong gender. That's never fun.

My name was probably in the top 20 for my birth year and yet I have ALWAYS loved it! I guess lots of names are popular for a reason! The other funny thing is that our alternate names for Asher were Ethan and Henry - isn't Ethan #3 for boys now?

I love hearing all of your opinions!

I am not offended at all - actually just confused because it seemed like since Moses and Asher are both Biblical names they would go together well.

I have had other people think that both my kids' names sound British. I think so too! My husband thinks Asher Scott sounds like an author complete with spectacles and pipe. :)

Rayleen said...

Love Moses for a little boy. I say go for it.

Swistle said...

F8hful Lo- Ah, I see what you mean. Usually what's meant by "Biblical names" is not "any name that appears in the Bible," but rather names with a primary (or at least very strong) Biblical association. So, for example, the name John appears in the Bible, and certainly you could call it a Biblical name if you were using it for that reason, but the name John has so many other associations, and so many thousands of years of common usage, that it isn't really a "Biblical name."

The name Moses, on the other hand, is primarily associated with Mr. Parting of the Red Sea, and there are very, very few other Moseses that spring to mind. Same with Noah: we knew him as the guy who survived the total destruction of the entire world, and that's almost all (though, as I said, this has changed as the name has come into common use).

When a name is very, very rare, and is only used (1) in the Bible and (2) by strongly religious people wanting to make a religious statement, that increases the association with the Bible, and with religion. And so those are "Biblical names" in a way a name like Matthew or Jacob is not.

Jan said...

I take offense at the religious freak comment--not necessary!

shoeaddict said...

I think Asher and Moses "go" together. I personally LOVE LOVE the name Asher. It's my one my fav boy names but my husband knew someone with that name.

Lucy is so cute! Lucy Ricardo is one of my all time favorite characters on tv.

Brooke said...

Have you consider the Moises spelling? I have seen this spelling on Hispanic men and I think it is an attractive spelling.

As far as the religious thing goes, I think all three names are religious, with Moses being the "most" religious.

In regards to your current children's names:

Lucy is such a lovely name! For me, it's one of those names that no matter how popular it gets, I will always love it. I have the same feeling for Annabel and Grace.

Also, I have never met an Asher, several Ashtons, but not a single Asher. It is a handsome name, well done.

Best wishes!

Susan said...

To my ear, Moses has a very different flavor than Lucy and Asher, which I think have a light, pleasing sound. "Charlie" or "Leo" seem like names that would fit right in and complement them.

It's not that I think "Moses" would only fit in a family with a Habakkuk or a Zephaniah, but I do think with a Moses I'd expect siblings with somber names like Justice or Ira.

Mairzy said...

Susan's comment sums up my own feelings that I couldn't figure out how to spell out. Lucy and Asher are lovely light names, while Moses has some serious weight behind it. Then again, Noah did too at one point, but not so much now.

Mairzy said...

Names to go with Lucy and Asher... hmmm...

Issachar (just kidding :) )
Aaron (related -- literally -- to Moses but lighter in feel)

Phillips Family Three said...

Wow, cool. You know, I found this blog of yours because I was googling "baby names Moses". We're considering it for our baby boy too. Well now I don't feel so weird. I like it. it's a cool name, and Noah was part of my argument too. :D

Well, good luck, and take it easy! Seems the name is catching on already. :)