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Those priceless Puritans!

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The old Puritans aren’t generally known for their rollicking laughs; yet when it came to naming their children, they seemed to have the most roguish sense of humour.  Not satisfied with biblical names, some sought to give their children whole bible verses or edifying slogans for Christian names:

‘Job-Raked-Out-Of-The-Ashes,’ ‘Search-The-Scriptures,’ or ‘Fly-Fornication’ for example.  Surely no child could be so-named with a straight face.

Perhaps the best-known example was ‘Praise-God’ Barebone, a member of the Nominated Assembly in Cromwell’s day.

Praise-God Barebone

‘Praise-God’ got off lightly, though – his brother was called ‘Christ-Came-Into-The-World-To-Save’ Barebone.  Nevertheless, he decided to exact his revenge on his son, naming him ‘ Unless-Jesus-Christ-Had-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned’ Barebone.  Unsurprisingly, people found it easier to refer to the son simply as ‘Damned’ Barebone. Yet, for some reason, ‘Damned’ preferred to be known as Nicholas, and it is under that name that he founded London’s first fire insurance company and fire brigade

If you’d like some more Puritan advice in naming your child, maybe one of the following can inspire you:


5 comments on “Those priceless Puritans!

  1. Were they following the example of that great OT Christian Isaiah who famously names his son a mouthful Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz (Is 8:4)?

  2. Perhaps the Barebone family were just following the example of one great OT Christian who names his son a mouthful Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz? Is 8:4 Let’s keep the tradition going!

  3. Have some friends in Uganda, Africa who very frequently refer to themselves as the "God is Able" family. I think it’s kind of common there.

    Pretty cool.

  4. I think my name, a year ago, would have been "Eye of the Needle" Porter. God has made it abundantly clear to me that I "was" worshiping my wealth and not Him. I just found your site and look forward to great learning and dialog.

  5. These are some of the most hilarious things I have read. Sure better than course jesting that most others involve themselves in. Thanks for this kind of stuff…

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