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Wednesday 29 June 2022

Nuts and Bolts: theophoric names.

 There are a lot of theophoric names about. In fact, it's almost certain that you know someone who sports one - and quite likely that you possess one yourself.

The idea behind a theophoric name is that you use the name of a god as a child's name (or just the word god itself in some form) and by doing so you give a strong hint to the god in question to keep a protective eye on the infant. 

It also warns everyone else to play nice, because of the said god's propensity for getting murderously offended.

My middle name is Jane, which means God is gracious (it's basically the same name as John). Other examples include Timothy (one who honours God) Samuel (God-heard) and Daniels (the justice of God). 

Other Gods are, naturally, available. A Thora is named, predictably, after Thor, and a Mark is named after Mars. People called Dennis are dedicated to Dionysus. Hermiones, rather oddly, are called after Hermes.

Jezebels, poor things, are dedicated to Baal, from whom, one would imagine, little help is on offer.

I'm glad to have a theophoric name. If you have one, I expect you are, too. Let's face it, we can do with all the help we can get.

Nuts and Bolts: theophoric names. The Greek word theophorus means carrying a god.

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