What's in a Name?

Kathryn A. Martin Library invites you to view a new exhibit from the Ramseyer Northern Bible Society Collection.

Kathryn A. Martin Library invites you to view selections from a new exhibit from the Ramseyer Northern Bible Society Collection.

Everyone has a name. Many of us have a formal name.  Many of us elect to use a shortened form of our name.  Some of us have an additional a "nick name" known only to to our close friends or family.  

Some names are conventionally given only to a boy or only to a girl.  However, some names typically given to a boy can be modified for a girl, for example Paul for a boy and Paulina for a girl.  Some names serve both males and females: Allison, Lynn, and Morgan are ready examples from the past and the present. There are many variations on names: Victoria can be Vicki.  Mary can be Mara.  Allison can be Skip. Edward can be Teddy or Ned.  

Names are deeply personal, and they can be loved, appricated, or completely disliked. People can formally change their official name: some people elect not to use their formal name, and we may never know them except by the name they chose to use.  

The origin of our name may we well known to us: it may be a family name in use generation after generation.  The origin of our name can be completely unknown. The origin of our name can be simply a favorite choice at the time of our birth or our youth.

This exhibit features the origin of names from the context of the Bible.

 

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What's in a Name?

"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
—William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

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One of the nine display cases,
4th floor Kathryn A. Martin Library

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Words from names (Aaron, Abigail, Abraham...)

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Name's Origins (Adam and Alexander shown here)

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In the past, many people, many famlilies, elected to give their children the names familiar to them from their reading of the Bible.  The Bible names selected were frequently chosen to link the qualitites of people from the Bible accounts with the person being named.

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Ruth comes from the bible

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Several bibles from the Ramseyer-Northern
Bible Society Collection

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Sarah is a biblical name

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In the past, many people, many famlilies, elected to give their children the names familiar to them from their reading of the Bible.  The Bible names selected were frequently chosen to link the qualitites of people from the Bible accounts with the person being named. Joshua is shown here.

 

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Are biblical names losing popularity?

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Changes in the top 10 lists: www.behindthename.com

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Daniel, a steadily popular biblical name

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Ira, Isaac, Isiaiah

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Obadiah and Jonah

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In the past, many people, many famlilies, elected to give their children the names familiar to them from their reading of the Bible.  The Bible names selected were frequently chosen to link the qualitites of people from the Bible accounts with the person being named.

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Zephaniah

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Micah

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Israel, Jacob, Jada

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Jahzeel, James, Jared

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"Words do not change their meanings so
drastically in the course of centuries as, in our
minds, names do in the course of a year or two.
—Marcel Proust

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There is an "American Name Society"

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