St. Austin?

Here’s my quick rundown on some currently popular boys’ names. Again, it’s a lot easier to detect the Christian names among them than among the girls!

Austin is really just an old-fashioned form of the name of St. Augustine.

Other saints’ and Biblical names: St. Aidan (also St.Aidan of Lindisfarne), St. Nicholas, Jack (Jackson), William, Justin, James, Zachary, Caleb, Noah, Nathan, Benjamin.

Hopefully, Jaden and Jayden are meant to be the Biblical name Jadon, “thankful”.

Connor/Conor comes from the extremely old Irish name Conchobar (con – “of the hound” + cobar – “help, assistance, aid.” Warriors were also called “hound,” so it would mean both “hound’s help” and “warrior’s help.”).

Conchobar mac Nessa was the kingly protagonist of huge chunks of the Ulster Cycle,  and is mostly known for trying to marry Deirdre, treacherously killing the Sons of Uisnach, and being the the uncle of Cu Chulainn. However, the storytellers also say that he was so enraged when he heard of the unjust death of Jesus Christ that he burst an old wound, which killed him. Possibly this is why his name was always treated as a good baptismal name.

Obviously, the O’Connors (the clan of his descendants) are all fond of him. The martyred bishop Blessed Conor O’Devany is an excellent patron saint for all Conors, Connors, and Conchobars. However, in the old days, there used to be functional equivalents laid out for this purpose for Irish names not specifically associated with saints. Back then, Conns and Conors considered themselves under the protection of St. Cornelius, and often used this as their name with non-Irish people. That’s why a lot of older men named Cornelius have the nickname Connie.

I suppose the functional equivalent thing might be one way to deal with all the crazy names people give their kids…. For example, Ryan, like Reagan, comes from the Irish word for king. So presumably these guys are under the protection of Christ the King.

I don’t know what you’d do with “Logan”, good Scottish last name that it is, since it just means “little hollow”. Likewise, what do you do with “Cameron”, which means “crooked nose”? Camillus or Camilla, maybe.

Brandon actually does have a St. Brandan, though the English name means “broom-plant hill” and the Irish one means something totally different. Or you could just go with Brendan.

But it really is a lot easier if you just go with a normal name. I mean, you can call your kid Logan as a nickname or middle name as much as you want! Just not a good idea as a baptismal name, ne?


1 Comment

Filed under Church, History

One response to “St. Austin?

  1. +JMJ+

    Oh, wow! Banshee, I’ve just come across all your posts on popular names and their saintly equivalents and just love them all! Thanks so much! 😀

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