Biblical Names


I finally sat down and worked out a first draft of the Biblical Names list for the Scrivener Name Generator.  If you just want the list, you can find it in the Scrivener tab above (handy link).  When playing around with the list in the generator, I found it played very well with both the Virginia First Families last name list, and the Civil War Generals list.  Probably because those periods in time featured a lot more emphasis on children being given Biblical Names.

So why did I want this list?

Civil War era names.  Biblical names were much more popular in the early 1800s, when those individuals who got involved in the Civil War were born.  That makes the list good for the 1870s novel I’m working on, and probably a good go to name generator for American-based Steampunk.  I’ve also made good use of Biblical names when creating an isolated or otherwise anachronistic society.  The list does contain several standard names (David, Jonathan, Mark, James) but it also includes several names that immediately stand out more in modern society (Abaddon, Dathan, Joezer, Zedekiah).

Now is where I get comments from angry Zedekiahs, I’m sure.

There are modern groups that lean more towards Biblical names, especially Amish society.  That might be why they strike me as feeling appropriate for isolated groups.

I’ve not done this before in the first name lists, but I’ve also included name meanings, since that was a driving force behind the use of these names.  Especially given the sheer number that paraphrase down to “hey, isn’t God awesome?”  I’ve had mixed success actually searching for name meanings that I know are in the list after importing it, I hope it’s working correctly, but I’m not entirely sure it is.

My goal is to expand the list as I go, and I’ll tweet updates when they happen.  There are names (such as Maher-shalal-hash-baz) that I know aren’t in there yet, but the challenge is finding lists that are easily digestible with both gender and meanings included.

Next big project will be along similar lines: Saints, with patronage in place of name meaning.

On a side note, I’d like to say this is turning into an interesting and ultimately fun project.  I’ve always enjoyed randomizers, more so when I have the opportunity to seed them.  I used to play a game called Age of Empires II that included several built-in random map generators, meant to give every starting player equal access to the necessary resources to win, without having the map be entirely predictable.  When an expansion came out, the company opened up the random map generation code to the public and let people go to town.  That was the last time I can remember having this much fun generating randomization files.  Just something about putting a file together, compiling it, hitting the randomize button, and seeing the fruit of my labor.  Having it work.  It appeals to the bits of me that learned programming in college and thought that would be my career.  Hell, at one point I even wrote a Visual Basic program that would automatically generate random map files for AoE2.  Yes, that’s the kind of geek I was.

So, as with all the files, share.  Use.  Enjoy!  And let me know if they’re helpful, or if there’s any glaring problems with them.

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