Biblical baby names for girls: Jezebel, Sapphira, Tirzah

Several days ago, Fred Clark of Slacktivist blogged about a sort of ‘biblical gap’ in baby names:

The annual list of popular baby names from the Social Security Administration is chock full of biblical names on the boy’s side — 13 out of the top 20. Less so on the girl’s side — only six of the top 20.

To even things out, he came up with 7 female names from the Bible that “deserve wider usage”: Tirzah, Jael, Deborah, Sophia, Susanna, Phoebe and Priscilla.

He also warned about 7 biblical names “to avoid”: Leah, Jezebel, Sapphira, Gomer, Lo-Ruhammah, Noah and Hoglah.

I agree with Fred that Tirzah and Phoebe are great-but-underused names, and that Hoglah and Gomer are probably not advisable for baby girls in English-speaking countries.

On the other hand, though, I don’t think Sophia necessarily deserves wider usage (the name is already quite trendy), and I think Leah is a great name, despite the not-so-hot definition and associations.

What do you think? What are the best and worst biblical names out there (for girls or boys)?

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