Monday, June 30, 2008

Johoshabeath Davisse

Johoshabeath Davisse,

daughter of James Davisse, was baptized at the First Church in Boston on the August 28, 1642.

I'm posting this one not because it's unusual but because I'm kind of surprised that it hasn't made a 21st-century comeback. Unlike a lot of Biblical names, Johoshabeath (or Jehoshabeath or Johosheba) doesn't have a lot of harsh consonants (compare: Rizpah, Habakkuk, Vajezatha). If you type first letters into the Baby Name Wizard, you'll notice that names beginning with strong consonants (D, R, T, K, V, P) have a mountain-shaped graph, indicating that they are falling out of favor. In contrast, all vowels and a few softer consonants (N,L) have u-shaped graphs, which means that they are gaining in popularity. Even though Johoshabeath begins with a consonant, has a lot going for it: it is full of the sonorous vowels that are in vogue right now; it is Biblical, yet unusual; it has several obvious nicknames (Beth, Jo, etc.); and your daughter is virtually guaranteed to be the only Johoshabeath on her t-ball team.

Parents are embracing pseudo-religious names such as Nevaeh (and its common yet not quite as clever variant, Neveah). Why not bring back a genuine Bible name that fits a lot of modern name trends? Look for Johoshabeath to make a comeback any day now.

No comments: