Psalm and Siblings: 10 Christian Word Names

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are known for their unique naming style, so it wasn’t too surprising that they picked the highly unusual Psalm for their youngest son, who was born two weeks ago. It was an eyebrow-raising choice for some, but personally, I think it’s a great fit with their family. They’re clearly a fan of unusual word names- their oldest three are North, Saint, and Chicago- and they’ve discussed in interviews the meaning behind the choices. Psalm’s brother’s name is Saint, an equally religious sounding word name. Even many of Kim’s nieces and nephews sport names borrowed from the dictionary; Psalm’s cousins include Dream, Reign, Stormi, and True. So in honor of their unique but fitting choice, 11 religious word names:

Vesper- It’s another name for Venus, but also a word for evening prayer services in the Roman Catholic church. Vesper was also the name of a Bond girl in the 2006 film Casino Royale. 

Hymn- Of the names on this list, Hymn strikes me as most similar to Psalm and Saint because of its uniqueness- it’s very rarely used as a personal name, probably due to the potentially confusing similarity to the word “him.”

Deacon- In several Christian denominations, a deacon is a religious cleric that ranks below a priest.  Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe chose the name for their son in 2003, probably causing its entry into the top 1000 the following year. Deacon has since risen in the charts and currently ranks at #486.

Priest/Priestly- Like Deacon, Priest is both a religious word name and an occupational name. The addition of “-ly” gives the name more of a surname flair.

Dove- Doves are often used as symbols of peace, and the word is picking up steam as a name. Disney star Dove Cameron is a prominent bearer of the name.

Shepherd- Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd,” is the most famous of many mentions of shepherds in the Bible. It ranks in the top 1000 for boys in two spellings- Shepherd at #718 and Shepard at #963.

Trinity- At #168, Trinity is by far the most popular name on the list. It ranked in the girl’s top 100 from 2000-2012, probably inspired by the character in The Matrix. 

Elegy- Like Psalm, Elegy has both spiritual and musical connections. It has a similar sound to more familiar names like Ellery and Eloise, but its meaning is cause for hesitation; an elegy is a mournful poem or song, often written as a memorial for the dead.

Halo- Although not in the top 1000, Halo is used occasionally- the name was given to 219 girls and 26 boys in 2018.

Messiah- Although it may seem like a name with big shoes to fill, Messiah is surprisingly popular- it ranked #203 in 2018.

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Hawaii’s Top 100 of 2017

Hawaii is always my favorite state to check out once the state-by-state popularity list is released. Linguistically, culturally, and even physically, Hawaii is distinct from the rest of the country, and its naming trends reflect that. The top 100 looks fairly similar to the national list, but it’s dotted with the expected Hawaiian influences and […]

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Birth Order Baby Names

It’s rare in the U.S., but in some cultures, naming children by their birth order is a common practice. Romans were famous for it and introduced us to names like Quintus and Septimus. Designers Cortney and Robert Novogratz, who you may recognize from the short-lived reality show Nine By Design, named their fifth son Five. For […]

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The Curious Case of -YS Names

I’ve recently been pondering a possible trend: names ending in “ees,” as in “Elise.” It seems that there are quite a few creative names ending in the sound “on-ees” or “lise” out there, especially for Hispanic women. I’ve known women, mostly Puerto Rican, named Ivelisse, Nashalys, Xianlyze, Anabelize, Angelis, Analyse, and Emalise, all pronounced “ees” […]

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Fascinating N Names

Part 14/26 Niall- Brought to fame by teen heartthrob Niall Horan from the boy band One Direction, Niall is the long-neglected original form of Nigel and Neil. Its pronunciation is tricky-Horan pronounces it like the Nile river, but some Gaelic speakers pronounce it closer to “Neil.”  Niall’s origins are also murky; it could mean “champion” […]

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Strong, Brave Warrior Girls

Parents have long sought strong names for their sons. Macho names like Gunner and Wolf have a distinct appeal for boys. But increasingly, parents are looking for names that reflect qualities of courage and strength for their daughters as well. Gone are the days of dainty girls and tough boys- modern parents see the benefits […]

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Fascinating M Names

Part 13/26 Magalie- This unusual French form of Madeleine (via Magdelene) makes for a highly distinctive but very wearable choice. Mandolin- It’s more famous as a musical instrument (pictured), but Mandolin, and variant spellings like Mandalynn and Mandalyn, is occasionally used in the US. The popularity of the Mandolin crowd unsurprisingly follows the ups of […]

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