A theophoric name (from Greek: θεόφορος, theophoros, literally
"bearing or carrying a god") embeds the name of a god, both
invoking and displaying the protection of that deity. For example,
names embedding Apollo, such as Apollonios or Apollodorus, existed in
Theophoric personal names, containing the name of a god in whose care
the individual is entrusted (or a generic word for god), were also
exceedingly common in the ancient Near East and Mesopotamia.
Some names of theophoric origin remain common today, such as Theodore
(theo-, "god"; -dore, origin of word compound in Greek: doron, "gift";
hence "God's gift"; in Greek: Theodoros) or less recognisably as
Jonathan (from Hebrew Yonatan, meaning "
1 Classical theophoric names 2 Christian theophoric names 3 Germanic theophoric names 4 Hinduism 5 Islam 6 Judaism and biblical
6.1 El 6.2 Yahweh 6.3 Referring to other gods
7 References 8 External links
Classical theophoric names
Christian theophoric names
Amadeus: (Latin) "lover of God" Bogdan: (Slavic) "God's gift" Bogomil: (Slavic) "dear to God" Bozhidar: (Slavic) "gift of God" Christian: (Greek) "believer in Christ" Christopher: (Greek) "Christ-bearer". Deodatus/Deusdedit: (Latin) "God-given" Dorotheus/Dorothea: (Greek) "gift to God" Fürchtgott: (Germanic) "God-fearing" Gottfried: (Germanic) "God's protection" Gottlieb: (Germanic) "God's love" Shenouda: (Coptic) "son of God" Theodore/Theodora: (Greek) "gift of God" Theodosius/Theodosia, Theodotos/Theodotē and Dositheus/Dosithea: (Greek) "God-given" Theodotus: (Greek): "given by God" Theophilus: (Greek) "one who loves God" Theognis: (Greek) "God-knowing" Theophanes: (Greek) "manifestation of God" Theophrastus: (Greek) "godly speech" Theaetetus: (Greek) "one who pleads to God" Timothy/Timotheus: (Greek) "one who honors God"
Some Christian saints have polytheistic theophoric names (such as
Saint Dionysius, Saint Mercurius, Saint Saturninus, Saint Hermes,
Saint Martin of Tours, Saint
Os, meaning "god"
Oslac Oswald Oswin
Thor, the god of thunder
Thorstein means "Thor's stone" Thorkel means "Thor's craft" Thorulf means "Thor's wolf" Thordis Thora
Ing, an old name for
Ingrid Ingeborg Inger Ingunn
Rarely, Germanic names contain the element Wod (such as Woðu-riðe),
potentially pointing to an association with the god Odin. In
connection, numerous names containing wulf "wolf" have been taken as
totemistic, expressing association with
Abdullah/Abdullahi: "servant of God"
Judaism and biblical Main article: Theophory in the Bible
This article contains Hebrew text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Hebrew letters.
Much Hebrew theophory occurs in the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament. The most prominent theophory involves
names referring to El, a word meaning might, power and (a) god in general, and hence in Judaism, God and among the Canaanites the name of the god who was the father of Baal. names referring to Yah, a shortened form of Yahweh. names referring to Levantine deities (especially the storm god, Hadad) by the epithet Baal, meaning lord.
In later times, as the conflict between Yahwism and the more popular
pagan practices became increasingly intense, these names were censored
Ariel: "lion of God"
Daniel: "God is my judge" or "justice from God"
Elias/Elijah: "my God is Yahweh"
Elisha: "my God is salvation"
Elisheba = "my God is an oath" or "my God is
Emmanuel/Immanuel: "God is with us"
Ezekiel: "God will strengthen"
Gabriel: "God is my strength"
Ishmael: "God has heard"
Israel: "who prevails with God"
Elijah/Elias: "my God is YHWH"
However, the name Judah (Yehūdah) is not an example. The name Judah,
comes from the root word Yadah = Yud-Dalet-Hey, which means "praise".
The letter Yud is also a prefix pronoun in Hebrew, thus not every name
or word beginning with Yud or Yud-Hey is theophoric.
In the table below, 13 theophoric names with "Yeho" have corresponding
forms where the letters eh have been omitted. There is a theory by
Strong's # the name other element English conventional form
long form short form long form short form long form short form
3059 3099 יְהוֹאָחָז Yᵉhow'achaz יוֹאָחָז Yow'achaz achaz [# 270] Jehoachaz Joachaz
3060 3101 יְהוֹאָש Yᵉhow'ash יוֹאָש Yow'ash 'esh [# 784] Jehoash Joash
3075 3107 יְהוֹזָבָד Yᵉhowzabad יוֹזָבָד Yowzabad zabad [# 2064] Jehozabad Jozabad
3076 3110 יְהוֹחָנָן Yᵉhowchanan יוֹחָנָן Yowchanan chanan [# 2603] Jehochanan Jochanan
3077 3111 יְהוֹיָדָע Yᵉhowyada יוֹיָדָע Yowyada yada [# 3045] Jehojada Jojada
3078 3112 יְהוֹיָכִין Yᵉhowyakiyn יוֹיָכִין Yowyakiyn kuwn [# 3559] Jehojakin Jojakin
3079 3113 יְהוֹיָקִים Yᵉhowyaqiym יוֹיָקִים Yowyaqiym quwm [# 3965] Jehojakim Jojakim
3080 3114 יְהוֹיָרִיב Yᵉhowyariyb יוֹיָרִיב Yowyariyb riyb [# 7378] Jehojarib Jojarib
3082 3122 יְהוֹנָדָב Yᵉhownadab יוֹנָדָב Yownadab nadab [# 5068] Jehonadab Jonadab
3083 3129 יְהוֹנָתָן Yᵉhownathan יוֹנָתָן Yownathan nathan [# 5414] Jehonathan Jonathan
3085 — יְהוֹעַדָּה Yᵉhow'addah — — 'adah [# 5710] Jehoaddah —
3087 3136 יְהוֹצָדָק Yᵉhowtsadaq יוֹצָדָק Yowtsadaq tsadaq [# 6663] Jehotsadak Jotsadak
3088 3141 יְהוֹרָם Yᵉhowram יוֹרָם Yowram ruwm [# 7311] Jehoram Joram
3092 3146 יְהוֹשָפָט Yᵉhowshaphat יוֹשָפָט Yowshaphat shaphat [# 8199] Jehoshaphat Joshaphat
3470a 3470 יְשַׁעְיָהוּ Yᵉsha'yahuw יְשַׁעְיָה Yᵉsha'yah yasha [# 3467] Jeshajahu Jeshajah
5418a 5418 נְתַנְיָהוּ Nᵉthanyahuw נְתַנְיָה Nᵉthanyah nathan [# 5414] Nethanjahu Nethanjah
138a 138 אֲדֹנִיָּהוּ 'Adoniyahuw אֲדֹנִיָּה 'Adoniyah 'adown [# 113] Adonijahu Adonijah
452a 452 אֵלִיָּהוּ 'Eliyahu אֵלִיָּה 'Eliyah 'el [# 410] Elijahu Elijah
3414a 3414 יִרְמְיָהוּ Yirmᵉyahuw יִרְמְיָה Yirmᵉyah ruwm [# 7311] Jirmejahu Jirmejah
— 5166 — — נְחֶמְיָה Nᵉchemyah nacham [# 5162] — Nechemjah
Referring to other gods
Abijam: "my father is Yam"
Theophoric names containing "Baal" were sometimes "censored" as
-bosheth = "shameful one", whence
Heriberto Haber, Theophoric names in the BIble Beate Pongratz-Leisten, Reconsidering the Concept of Revolutionary Monotheism Eisenbrauns 2011 Lexicon of Greek Personal Names Ogden Goelet, "Moses' Egyptian Name" Jewish onomastics When Can Muslims Use the Name Mohammed?: Plus, why don't English speakers name their children Jesus? by Michelle Tsai
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Personal names and anthroponymy
Family name First name Forename Given name
Unisex name Saint's name Theophoric name
Honorific Last name Legal name
Maiden and married names Matronymic Middle name Nickname
Lists of nicknames
Patrial name Patronymic Personal name
Stage name List of pseudonyms List of stage names List of one-word stage names Ring name Pen name
Regnal name Religious name Skin name Slave name Suffix Surname
Matrilineal Patrilineal Patronymic by country extincti