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Old 06-10-2019, 11:10 AM
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Some Christians Name Their Kid 'Christian' (or the local equivalent); Do Other Religions Do This?


The name "Christian" is not particularly uncommon in English, even if the parents bestowing the name aren't particularly devout. I assume that the same is true in other culturally-Christian nations that don't use English.

Do children get named for their religion outside of Christianity? Are there little Buddhist children named [the local equivalent of] "Buddhist"? Are there little Muslim kids named [the local equivalent of] "Muslim"?
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:15 AM
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"Islam" is both given name and surname. People with Islam as a given name:

Islam Slimani (born 1988), Algerian football player
Islam Karimov (19382016), president of Uzbekistan
Islam El-Shater (born 1976), Egyptian football player
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (born 1972), Libyan political figure and son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:17 AM
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In the way that "Christian" comes from "Christ" (i.e. both the word and the name is from the founder of their religion), there are tons of Muslims named "Muhammed".
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:37 AM
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In the way that "Christian" comes from "Christ" (i.e. both the word and the name is from the founder of their religion), there are tons of Muslims named "Muhammed".
I don't think it's even comparable - Muhammed and its variants is by far the most popular male first name in the world. I'd happily wager there's more than one order of magnitude difference in the popularity of the one vs the other in their respective cultures, too - I only personally know one Christian, for instance (although I know several people with that as a surname. Ironically, they're Muslim. Slave naming is weird.) but I think ~50% of the Muslims I know have Mohammed as a first name (and 25 % have Abdullah or some variant)- so much so, most Muslims I know actually go by their second name.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:01 PM
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The Hebrew first name "Yehudah" seems very close to the Hebrew word for "Jew" (Yehudi?). The English version of "Yehudah" is "Judah" or "Jude", with "Judith" being a feminine form.

"Yehuda" was, apocryphally, one of Jacob's sons and later the name of one of the twelve tribes.

What I don't know is whether or not it's common for non-devout folks of Jewish ancestry to use these given names.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:27 PM
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I don't think it's even comparable - Muhammed and its variants is by far the most popular male first name in the world. I'd happily wager there's more than one order of magnitude difference in the popularity of the one vs the other in their respective cultures, too - I only personally know one Christian, for instance (although I know several people with that as a surname. Ironically, they're Muslim. Slave naming is weird.) but I think ~50% of the Muslims I know have Mohammed as a first name (and 25 % have Abdullah or some variant)- so much so, most Muslims I know actually go by their second name.
I agree that Mohammed is much more common than Christian, however, Jesus is a fairly common name in some parts of the world. Oddly enough, I personally know 1 Christian but zero Muhammeds or Jesuses, of course the former is probably influenced by knowing fewer than a dozen muslims that I know of in my lifetime.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:57 PM
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I agree that Mohammed is much more common than Christian, however, Jesus is a fairly common name in some parts of the world. Oddly enough, I personally know 1 Christian but zero Muhammeds or Jesuses, of course the former is probably influenced by knowing fewer than a dozen muslims that I know of in my lifetime.
Or Hispanics... "Jesus" (Hay-ZOOS) is an extremely common name in NYC. Or Major League Baseball .

I'm not sure I've met a guy named Christian, but any number of "Chris"es may have been "Christian" in full. I have met many a Christina / Cristina / Christine, but again, "Cristina" is an extrely common Hispanic name (it's also the name of a Spanish language talk show I used to see advertised all the time, obviously named for the host).

Growing up in an Italian neighborhood, I knew a couple of kids named "Sal" that I learned much later was short for "Salvatore", meaning "Savior". I have never met a Hispanic person with the Spanish equivalent, "Salvador", but I remember one of the main characters in the Netflix import "Money Heist" (originally produced in Spain under the title of "Casa de Papel") takes the name "Salvador", and he gets called by nicknamed "Salva" - so it's a common enough name (in Spain, at least) to have a standard short version.

I always wonder how "religious sounding" such names are to their ear, as to me, "hay-ZOOS" is just a typical Hispanic name, it does not connote "Jesus Christ" to me in the way that it probably does to a native Spanish speaker who grew up religious.

My guess is that once a name is that common, it probably loses its religious overtones except when specifically used in prayers and similarly overtly religious contexts. Unless a guy named Jose married a Maria and named their first child Jesus, that might draw some comments.

Last edited by robardin; 06-10-2019 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:35 PM
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I've been acquainted w/ two men at different times who are named Gotama, and they are Buddhist.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:15 PM
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I know a couple of Chris(tian)s, a Judith, a couple of Judys (not Jewish), but no one named Islam.

I know a couple of Mohammeds, but no Jesus's

None of those names feels very religious to me.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:26 PM
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I've known several people named Tao.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:42 PM
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I have an ancestor named Christian. Taiwans religion is sort of a mix of various influences and I have yet to meet anyone name A mix of various influences. I will post an update if I ever meet anyone named that.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:51 PM
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A coworker is named Gopal Krishna. He tells me these are both common names in India.

Krishna is a major deity in Hinduism.

Gopal is the infant/child form of Krishna.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:59 PM
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Probably a majority of popular names among Hindu Indians are the names or epithets of Hindu deities: Ram, Ganesh, Parvati, Mahesh, Indrani, Narayan, etc. etc. etc.

I'm not sure if this counts as being named for one's religious denomination, though, as in the given name "Christian".
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:23 AM
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A coworker is named Gopal Krishna. He tells me these are both common names in India.
Looking at our phone directory, I see several people with either middle or surnames of Gopalakrishna, Gopalakrishnan, and minor other variations.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:38 AM
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If a boy or man has a name like Hyrum or Brigham, you can almost certainly guarantee that they're Mormon, or at the very least, their parents were when they were born.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 06-11-2019 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:46 AM
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I agree that Mohammed is much more common than Christian, however, Jesus is a fairly common name in some parts of the world.
And don't forget the feminine version, Emma, popular in multiple cultures which view naming their sons Jesus as "taking God's name in vain".


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I have never met a Hispanic person with the Spanish equivalent, "Salvador", but I remember one of the main characters in the Netflix import "Money Heist" (originally produced in Spain under the title of "Casa de Papel") takes the name "Salvador", and he gets called by nicknamed "Salva" - so it's a common enough name (in Spain, at least) to have a standard short version.
Just as a curiosity: if you meet a Spaniard called Salva(dor), you can safely ask if he's from Valencia. There's about a 99% probability he'll be; the few who aren't are named after their grandfather who was from Valencia.

(and it's La casa de papel)
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Last edited by Nava; 06-11-2019 at 01:49 AM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:55 AM
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The Hebrew first name "Yehudah" seems very close to the Hebrew word for "Jew" (Yehudi?). The English version of "Yehudah" is "Judah" or "Jude", with "Judith" being a feminine form.

"Yehuda" was, apocryphally, one of Jacob's sons and later the name of one of the twelve tribes.

What I don't know is whether or not it's common for non-devout folks of Jewish ancestry to use these given names.
I know of at least one Spanish Judah who was Jewish, the poet Judah Halevi; it's the name used to indicate that a male character is Jewish in Spanish legends, stories and plays (the female name used is Rebecca, there is a whole genre of legends called la bella Rebeca, "beautiful Rebecca").
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:47 AM
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And don't forget the feminine version, Emma, popular in multiple cultures which view naming their sons Jesus as "taking God's name in vain".
If someone's named Emma, it's much more likely their name stems from the various Germanic roots than ... whatever path gets you Emma from Jesus.

Not an origin I'd ever encountered before today, and one of my daughters is named Emma. Is it short for Emmanuella or something?
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:09 AM
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Bingo, although both in English and French it would normally be spelled Emmanuelle.

Last edited by Nava; 06-11-2019 at 03:10 AM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:48 AM
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The Hebrew first name "Yehudah" seems very close to the Hebrew word for "Jew" (Yehudi?). The English version of "Yehudah" is "Judah" or "Jude", with "Judith" being a feminine form.

"Yehuda" was, apocryphally, one of Jacob's sons and later the name of one of the twelve tribes.

What I don't know is whether or not it's common for non-devout folks of Jewish ancestry to use these given names.
Israel is also a fairly common Jewish name (or at least it was - it's considered old fashioned now). This does not necessarily refer to the country; "Israel" is also a euphemism for the Jewish people, AKA the "Children of Israel" or "Israelites".
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:36 AM
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Israel is also a fairly common Jewish name (or at least it was - it's considered old fashioned now). This does not necessarily refer to the country; "Israel" is also a euphemism for the Jewish people, AKA the "Children of Israel" or "Israelites".
Oddly, I've never met a single Jewish "Israel" but I must know at least six Latin American ones.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:52 AM
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Oddly, I've never met a single Jewish "Israel" but I must know at least six Latin American ones.
It's often Americanized as "Irving".
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:17 AM
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. . .
I'm not sure if this counts as being named for one's religious denomination, though, as in the given name "Christian".
If we stuck to names of religious denominations, this would be a short thread. According to this site, there are 4300 religions in the world, but few of us know the names of more than a few. Link contains a list of the top 20.

Last edited by ioioio; 06-11-2019 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:10 AM
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Oddly, I've never met a single Jewish "Israel" but I must know at least six Latin American ones.
My Hebrew name is Israel. I rarely have cause to use my Hebrew names except for being called for Aliyah.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:26 AM
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So far as I know, historically there was no endonym for “Hindu,” so I don’t think “Hindu,” meaning an adherent of the Hindu religion, is a very common name for a Hindu.

Hindus have no problems using names of deities as personal names though. Many Hindus have names that are the main name or an alternate name for a deity.

Some common god names—Dev (“god”), Vishnu, Shiva, Devi, Parvati, Durga, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Ishwar (“god”), Saraswati, Lakshmi, Varuna, Indra, Rudra, Bhagavan (“god”), Brahma

Very commonly these names appear in compounds — Indranil, Buddhadev, Debabrata, etc.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:42 AM
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Bingo, although both in English and French it would normally be spelled Emmanuelle.
I've never met an Emmanuelle (I would think the association with softcore porn would limit it somewhat nowadays anyway) and I know lots of Emmas, both adults and kids (it seems to be in vogue again - My daughter was one of 5 in a class, at one stage) - for all of them, it's their full name. Ditto all the famous Emmas I can think of - Watson, Thompson, Bunton, Roberts...

All the Emmanuelles I can think of are French actresses.

Last edited by MrDibble; 06-11-2019 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:34 PM
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My step-father-in-law was named Israel, but that is not comparable to Christian, although Judah is. And neither is Mohammed, although Islam is. My niece whose mother (my sister) is Jewish and father Catholic (both non-practicing) shocked the family by naming her first-born Christian. And they don't shorten it to Chris. I still have a problem getting my mind around that.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:19 PM
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Tangentially related, I see that Kim Cardasian and Kanye West have named their latest child "Psalm."
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:50 PM
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Bingo, although both in English and French it would normally be spelled Emmanuelle.
"On this farm there lived a dog, and Bingo was his name-o, E-M-M-A-N..."

Nah, I don't think it'll catch on.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:32 AM
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My step-father-in-law was named Israel, but that is not comparable to Christian, although Judah is.
I disagree. Open any siddur, and you'll find countless examples of prayers and passages featuring the word "Israel" as referring to the people, not the place, including the most important prayer of all, the Shema - "Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one." The name "Judah", on the other hand, is not associated as closely to the Jewish people or faith. Mostly, it's just a name.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:46 AM
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"On this farm there lived a dog, and Bingo was his name-o, E-M-M-A-N..."

Nah, I don't think it'll catch on.
Bingo Baggins was Bilbo's uncle, though.

Also, in the earliest drafts of LOTR, Bingo was the son of Bilbo Baggins and Primula Brandybuck. Later, he morphed into being Frodo, cousin of Bilbo instead.

Of course this would be actually on topic in this thread only if there was a Vala named Bingo.

Last edited by Qadgop the Mercotan; 06-12-2019 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:49 PM
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Probably a majority of popular names among Hindu Indians are the names or epithets of Hindu deities: Ram, Ganesh, Parvati, Mahesh, Indrani, Narayan, etc. etc. etc.

I'm not sure if this counts as being named for one's religious denomination, though, as in the given name "Christian".

Christian isn't a denomination. Baptist, Lutheran, Catholic, those are denominations.
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