Names with bad meanings and history!

Hey guys! I thought it would be fun to talk about popular or trending names that have terrible meanings or history. The name that inspired me to do this was [name_f]Delilah[/name_f]. People love it and I agree it is a beautiful sounding name but it has a terrible origin! [name_f]Delilah[/name_f] was the name of a temptress from the bible who seduced [name_m]Samson[/name_m] so she could cut off his hair which was the source of his strength. I just don’t get why you would want your child to share a name with someone like that! [name_f]Do[/name_f] you guys know of any other names like this?

Yes! I totally agree with you about [name_f]Delilah[/name_f]! Here are some others I found:

Disclaimer: I found these meanings online so don’t come at me if they are wrong

Cecilia means blind
[name_u]Kennedy[/name_u] means deformed head (beautiful name, but…what?!)
[name_u]Cameron[/name_u] means crooked nose
[name_u]Mallory[/name_u] means unfortunate or unlucky
[name_f]Molly[/name_f] means bitter
[name_f]Lola[/name_f] means ‘lady of sorrows’
[name_f]Leah[/name_f] means weary

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Jezebel - Term for a loose woman
[name_f]Dahlia[/name_f] - the [name_m]Black[/name_m] [name_f]Dahlia[/name_f]
[name_f]Ophelia[/name_f] - she drowned in [name_m]Hamlet[/name_m]
[name_u]Jackson[/name_u] - [name_u]Jackson[/name_u] Browne, [name_m]Andrew[/name_m] [name_u]Jackson[/name_u], [name_u]Michael[/name_u] [name_u]Jackson[/name_u]
[name_m]Aryan[/name_m] - If you aren’t [name_f]Indian[/name_f], it’s related to Nazis
[name_u]Lennon[/name_u] - [name_m]John[/name_m] [name_u]Lennon[/name_u] was a notorious wife beater
The list goes on…

Jezebel was also the name of an evil queen that killed people who refused to worship her.

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Ophelia was actually driven mad (mentally ill) which led to her inability to help herself, even when she eventually drowned. She didn’t drown by choice.

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Judas—betrayed [name_m]Christ[/name_m]
[name_m]Adolph[/name_m]—well, you know
[name_m]Nixon[/name_m]–president who quit in disgrace

[name_f]Claudette[/name_f] - lame, crippled
[name_f]Mary[/name_f] - bitter
[name_f]Cecilia[/name_f] - blind
[name_u]Kennedy[/name_u] - misshapen head
[name_m]Clyde[/name_m] - as in, [name_f]Bonnie[/name_f] and [name_m]Clyde[/name_m] aka infamous bank robber and murderer
Isis - terrorist group
Osama - bin laden

[name_f]Lilith[/name_f] and [name_u]Tristan[/name_u]! (So sad about [name_u]Tristan[/name_u] though! :sob:)

I am curious where people draw the line in real life. Obviously [name_m]Adolf[/name_m] and [name_f]Isis[/name_f] are completely off limits imo. But what about [name_f]Keira[/name_f], [name_u]Kennedy[/name_u], [name_f]Claudia[/name_f], [name_m]Clyde[/name_m] and [name_u]Tristan[/name_u]? I know people with each of those names. Are they named by people who don’t research or didn’t realize the meaning? Or is meaning not that big of a deal? Is association stronger than meaning?

@columbiacharm I definitely feel like association is stronger than meaning for me. I care very little about the literal meaning of names (unless they’re word names, of course, then it’s sort of obvious). [name_f]Claudia[/name_f] and [name_u]Tristan[/name_u], for instance, are lovely names with rich historical/literary history, and I personally don’t give a hoot if their literal meanings are technically negative.

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@columbiacharm I have to agree about [name_m]Adolf[/name_m] and [name_f]Isis[/name_f]; both are completely off limits for me as well. Otherwise, for me personally, I have one name on my list that most people will balk at… [name_m]Donald[/name_m]. Most name sites I have come across have said naming your child after a current or recent president should not be done, especially one so controversial. Unfortunately for them, I do not have to defend my (future) child’s name choice by getting out my family tree. [name_f]My[/name_f] Papa, [name_m]Donald[/name_m] [name_u]Lee[/name_u], was an amazing man who was more a father to me in the first 10 years of my life, than my own was in my entire life. If I had to choose someone to honor, it would be him. This, to me, matters more so than the association (or meaning).

Dakota: it’s just controversial, even though people irl wouldn’t bat an eye.
[name_u]Salem[/name_u]: the history behind it and the cigarette brand

@elle123 @columbiacharm

I sometimes see the meaning as “dark-haired one” so I think dark is refering to the hair not like being evil or something so I don’t see what’s wrong with the meaning of this name

Yeah, I don’t think Isis was ever really popular but it is unfortunate that the terrorist group ruined it as Isis was an Egyptian Goddess


Agree with @KaiLun, a lot of people have dark features - hair, eyes, skin etc. There is nothing wrong with this meaning. In fact, I think it’s lovely.

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There are people who are not religious and don’t care about a bible story.

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My dad has the exact same name! Would you consider [name_m]Donal[/name_m] or [name_u]Darragh[/name_u] as an updated twist?

I actually don’t mind [name_f]Delilah[/name_f]. In the story she always seemed more naive to me than evil. (But of course, that’s my personal interpretation.) Plus, the name [name_f]Delilah[/name_f] has featured many times in music and art, so the Biblical story isn’t the only association that people may have.

Some other Biblical figures also have questionable stories attached to them (e.g. [name_m]Adam[/name_m] and [name_f]Eve[/name_f] ate the forbidden fruit, [name_m]David[/name_m] had a man killed so he could sleep with his wife) and people still use those names. I think it’s possible to separate the name from the story, though I would draw the line at the likes of [name_f]Jezebel[/name_f] and [name_m]Judas[/name_m].

I can’t. I’ve talked to a couple of people in the family and it will not be seen as an honour name if I change any part of his name. I tried with [name_u]Lee[/name_u] (which I actually love and will be using), making it [name_m]Wesley[/name_m], and whomever I spoke to balked. I would love to give [name_m]Donald[/name_m] as a name with the nn [name_f]Kona[/name_f] (the Hawaiian translation of and another name in Scottish and [name_f]English[/name_f] for [name_m]Don[/name_m]), but I know my future SO may balk for a different reason.

I’m just more upset than anything that in the world we live in, most people irl seem to write off a name due to one bad bearer of the name while denying the existence of many more bearers of the name with far greater morals and ethics; people who should be emulated. Also, they assume giving someone a name (like [name_m]Donald[/name_m]) is for a public figure (in this case the President) could be the only reason for the name when it could be for someone else wholly unrelated. [name_f]My[/name_f] two exceptions are [name_m]Adolf[/name_m] and [name_f]Isis[/name_f] (for obvious reasons).

@shells15 I wouldn’t associate [name_m]Donald[/name_m] automatically with Trump, it was a very very common name for men of a certain generation and I would assume a little boy named [name_m]Donald[/name_m] today was named after a father/grandfather/great-grandfather. I think it’s lovely that you want to honor the important [name_m]Donald[/name_m] in your life. Besides, it has plenty of nickname options including your [name_f]Kona[/name_f]. [name_m]Just[/name_m] chiming in to give you some support :slight_smile:

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@findemaxa13 Thank you!