Where did the baby name Shenouda come from in 2012?

Coptic pope Shenouda III (1923-2012)
Pope Shenouda III

The interesting name Shenouda began popping up in the U.S. baby name data in 2012:

  • 2014: 9 baby boys named Shenouda
  • 2013: 21 baby boys named Shenouda
  • 2012: 21 baby boys named Shenouda [debut]
  • 2011: unlisted
  • 2010: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Shenouda III — the popular pope of the Coptic (Egyptian Christian) Church who died in March of 2012. His papacy had lasted more than 40 years.

More ebullient than his predecessor, Shenouda inspired the growth of churches outside Egypt — from seven in 1971 to more than 150 three decades later.

Shenouda III was born as Nazir Gayed in Egypt in 1923. When he joined a monastery in 1954, he took the religious name Antonious El-Syriani (Antonios the Syrian). When he was made a bishop in 1962, he assumed the name Shenouda. And when he was selected as the new pope in 1971, he became known as Shenouda III (as there had been two previous Coptic Orthodox popes also called Shenouda).

“Shenouda” is based on the name of the Coptic saint Shenoute (c.347-465). Though the name Shenoute is commonly defined as “son of god,” the etymology isn’t known for certain.

Sources: Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria – Wikipedia, Pope Shenouda III obituary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.