What's in a name? (If you are atheist BUT your given name has religious meaning)

I am one of those free-thinking individuals christened as "Dominique" -- ah, how godly indeed.

I was baptized and confirmed at the age when I could not protest, hence am stuck with the name (for now).

I wonder if anyone of you share the same experience about having a "religious" name and if so, what do you think about it? Are you considering having it changed?

Come to think of it, there aren't many atheist names apart from the obvious (viz. Darwin)

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I am one of those sorts with the name Christopher. Don't like Chris and when I have the god bothering types who get it wrong, I suggest that I am considering shortening it to christ which amuses me. They don't get it wrong again. 

My real first name is Georges (silent 's' - a French extravagance.) (Yes, Howard S. Dunn is my nic - and a pun.)

Georges comes from two Greek words. One is pantheistic - more or less - since it exalts the earth as a spiritual entity: "Gaia" - the Earth or Nature. Seems a reasonable entity to exalt to some level of spiritual significance.

The other is my favorite Greek word of all - since it is onomatopoeic in a way. "Erg." It means "work". Seems like it comes from a sound anyone anywhere might make in the course of working hard.

So Geo + erg = earth + work = farmer.

Of course St. George was a dragon slayer, right?

Now, don't get me started on ubiquitous theistic words like "creature" ...
"Mary." About as christian as a name gets. As it was always told to me, mom just really liked the name. So much so she intended to name all of her girls Mary with different middle names and we'd go by our middle names. She got talked out of it twice but I did grow up with a sister "Mary."

I was never crazy about my way too common name - "Plain Jane" comes to mind. But on the other hand, when you speak of first impressions, who doesn't like a Mary? It's safe. People can discover my weirdness later on.

As to the Xian connotations, I never gave it much thought and it doesn't bother me, perhaps because the name is so common. If ever I change it or give people a nickname to call me, it has nothing to do with the Xian nature of the name but the Plain Jane nature of the name. I too think there are lots of very cool sounding Hebrew names which I would totally name my kid if ever my maternal desires went beyond the pet cat(s).

I normally use a pseudonym online, but honestly, I paid too little attention when signing up on A/N and didn't realize my name would also be my screen name. Also didn't know until I'd already made several posts and several friends that you can change your name here, so I keep my real name here for simplicity sake.
That said, the name awards in my family go to my nephew, "Marcon." It's a blend of the first syllables of his father's and mother's names (Marty, Connie). Unique, but not something that got him beat up in school, and when he wants to blend in he can always go by Marc.

The other name award goes to my first grand-niece, "Brooklyn Rain." Her mom, my niece, is the other family heathen besides myself. Picked the name because A) It's not biblical and B) the child can derive a good variety of nicknames for herself from it.
As I understand it, "Jared" has no meaning, per se, but it's origin is some bronze-age Jews in the desert--I don't really like that. And who knows how many girls have been scared off by my not having a "normal" name?
Jared seems a perfectly fine name to me, just from the sound of it. What's normal where you live?
well my last name is christian, and I'm an atheist. also my family are all agnostics besides me.

My name is the Arabic form of Jesus. I wish I did not have a name with such strong religious connotations but it is what it is.


Isa, nothing wrong with a holy sounding name! I like thinking I am in cognito as an atheist among Christians, with s name that describes how I feel - as the biblical Daniel was thrown into s den of lions, I am among their equivalent, surrounded by Christians.

I'd say your name means what you want it to mean.  If you wish to be linked to a saint, a martyr, or such, fine.  If you choose to keep the name but reject others' associations, who is better qualified than you?  If you'd feel better with a different name -- my granddaughter Amelia just switched, at 14, to Alex to show her sexual feelings -- pick one you'll enjoy having and go for it.  But please don't feel that you have to accept any connotation your parents, or others, put on you.  Who you are, and what you are called, should be your own free choice.  Best wishes.

I can remember both Seth Andrews and Matt Dillahunty catching flack for having biblical names.  I think both their responses amounted to little more than: "So F***ing What?!?"

Names are labels and eminently alterable, sometimes even without going through government channels.  You don't like your name?  CHANGE IT!



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