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Thanksgiving Inspired Baby Names

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Ah, November. 'Tis the season for cold weather, family get-togethers focused around indulgent meals and … contemplating Thanksgiving-themed baby names? If you have conceived or are due in November, you may consider a Thanksgiving-themed name for your little one to commemorate the time of year when he or she was conceived or born. There are many traditional names that have meanings significant to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Virtue names and biblical names are often selected for Thanksgiving-themed names since many of the Pilgrims, who established a colony in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620, as well as people who came over on the Mayflower had these names. Virtue names have become linked with the Puritans, but actually date back to gladiators and scholars in Greek and Roman times. They chose to name their children after traits of strength and wisdom, believing that the name would then protect their children from negative influences of the world. They also hoped that as their children grew up they would inhabit such traits for which they were named.

Some of the boys' names of the time include Edmund, Raymond and Osmond the Teutonic element "mund" meant peace or protector. However, according to an excerpt from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Baby Names © 1999 by Sonia Weiss: "By 1590, when the Puritan movement first developed as a sect of the Church of England, these names had largely been replaced by the names of saints and martyrs, as dictated by the Catholic Church, and then by the biblical names that were embraced by the Church of England. However, even these names were too evocative of the Catholic Church for the Puritans, and they began to baptize their children with phrases from Scripture or pious admonitions."

None of the boy virtue names have ever made it into mainstream popularity or hit any top baby names lists, but girls' virtue monikers such as Hope, Faith, Grace, Destiny and Trinity tend to have maintained their popularity a bit more, according to a source from Parenting.com. Hope originates from Old English and means "expectation or belief"; originating from the Latin language, Faith means "to trust"; and Grace, which also originates from Latin, is associated with the Three Graces, who were the goddesses of nature in Greek mythology. The Puritans used the term grace to describe the state of being in God's favor rather than a reflection of physical beauty. Other names with biblical references include Patience, Piety and Prudence.

Of those, Grace, Destiny, Trinity, and Faith were all in the top 55 names for girls in 2004. Famous virtue-named celebrities include Faith Hill (who named one of her daughters Gracie Katherine), Faith Ford and Grace Kelly. In fact, Miley Cyrus was actually born Destiny Hope Cyrus.

Thanksgiving-themed names that simply mean "thanks" or "thankful" are also up for consideration. According to BellaOnline's Baby Names Editor, Nancy R. Callahan, one name the Puritans commonly used for girls was Thankful (or with a spelling variation, Thankfull). The male name Jadon means thankful in Hebrew (though it can also be interpreted as "he will judge"), and Shakir, also male, is Arabic for thankful. The feminine name Tendai is Shona for "be thankful."

Pilgrims and Mayflower passenger names are other possibilities when considering Thanksgiving-themed monikers. Male names include Myles (for Myles Standish), William or Bradford (for William Bradford), John (for John Carver), Christopher, Henry, George, Thomas, Roger, Edward, and Samuel. Girl names include Alice, Rose, Sarah, Ellen, Joan, Mary and Priscilla.

If you have more to think about this November other than how to cook the turkey — such as welcoming a new little bundle — consider a Thanksgiving-themed baby name. Many have maintained popularity through the years, and others hold a traditional and significant meaning with unique and original sounds.

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