What's in a Name?

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Biblical
Pronunciation:  JOO- (English)

Meaning & History
From the Hebrew name Yehudah, meaning "praise."  In the Old Testament, Judah was one of the twelve sons of Jacob and the ancestor of the tribe of Judah.  Eventually, this tribe formed the kingdom of Judah in southern Israel when the kingdom split.  King David and our Savior Jesus were descendants of Judah.

This is the given name of Judah Ben-Hur, the central character in Lew Wallace's classic, Ben-Hur.

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  English (rare)
Pronunciation:  ǝ-KAY-shǝ 

Meaning & History
From the name of a type of tree, of which there are roughly 1300 species, and ultimately derived from the Greek word ake meaning "thorn, point."

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  English, French, German, Dutch, Biblical
Pronunciation:  BEN-jǝ-min (English), ben-zha-MEᴺ (French), BEN-yah-meen (German)

Meaning & History
From the Hebrew name Binyamin, meaning "son of the south" or "son of the right hand."  In the Old Testament, Benjamin was the given name of the youngest of the twelve sons of Jacob.  Originally named Ben-oniy, which means "son of my sorrow", by his mother Rachel, who died in childbirth, but it was later changed by his father.

As an English name, Benjamin has been in general use since the Protestant Reformation.  A famous bearer was Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), an American statesman, inventor, philosopher, and scientist.

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Italian, Catalan
Pronunciation:  frahn-CHES-kah (English)

Meaning & History
Italian and Catalan feminine form of Franciscus, a Late Latin name simply meaning "Frenchman."

I would love to do a story about  a girl with this name!  She would be Francesca, but everyone would know her as Chess.  (I love coming up with aliases and nicknames!)  Who knows, maybe I'll have a short story with her.  Hopefully, it's not yet taken...

Any name requests?

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Name definitions and history via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.


  1. It's so cool that you decided to do a post on name meanings! I think it's very creative - and I like the pictures you've put with the words. It's a great idea to do a story with that name. :)
    Lovely post, Sarah!
    Tane ♥

  2. Chess is such a cool nickname for Francesca, love it! You should absolutely do a story with a girl named that.

    Also, I have an obsession with nicknaming my characters as well... Are you secretly me in disguise??

  3. Thank you, Lady Tane!

    And thanks, Lady Lauri! Haha! That is too funny ;D I think I've found my long-lost twin!!! ^__^


To each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass, and a book of rules,
And each must make, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block or a stepping stone.