Faith, Hope, and Modesty?

by You Can't Call It "It"! on November 26, 2008

puritan_family

 

In honor of Thanksgiving, let us remember our Puritan forebears with a nod to their fondness for virtue names.  They believed that one’s name could help shape who they become as a human being, and were certainly creative in some of their best efforts to form the perfect appellation for their young one. 

Some virtue names are still in widespread use today, particularly in the middle spot– Faith, Hope, and Joy are all perennial favorites.  Yet the spectrum offers many intriguing choices that sound very modern. A few could be used on males– Noble, Justice, Prosper, Ardour, Worth?  Perhaps Submit and Chastity may be best left to rest in peace.  

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  And many thanks to T.S., who helped inspire this post.  ;-)

 

VIRTUE NAMES

Amity

Ardour

Blythe

Charisma

Charity

Chastity

Clarity

Clemency

Comfort

Constance

Courage

Desire

Destiny

Endurance

Exuberance

Faith

Felicity

Fidelity

Grace

Harmony

Honesty

Honor

Hope

Humility

Joy

Jubilant

Justice

Liberty

Love

Loyalty

Makepeace

Mercy

Mirth

Modesty

Noble

Obedience

Patience

Piety

Prosper, Prosperity

Prudence

Purity

Remember

Serenity

Submit

Temperance

True, Truth

Unity

Valor

Verity

Worth

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alicia November 26, 2008 at 11:27 pm

*sqeee* i LOVE virtue names. I don’t think I’d every use them (I just love other names more), but I have a total soft spot for them.
I particularly like:
Amity
Comfort
Constance
Courage
Felicity
Honesty
Honor
Joy
Mercy
Modesty
Noble
Patience
Prudence
Purity
Remember
Serenity
Temperance
True
Unity
Valor
Verity
Worth

Reply

2 Christina Fonseca November 26, 2008 at 11:48 pm

This is indeed a timely post. I like Felicity now; but as a child in the 60s I remember the priest would include her name along with Agatha and others during Sunday Mass – for the longest time I just thought of it as ANCIENT!

I’m curious about virtue names in other languages. They are quite common in Spanish. My middle name Amparo can be roughly translated as Refuge, and my mother is Consuelo, meaning Consolation.

Fe, Esperanza and Caridad are Faith, Hope and Charity. Fe is extremely rare, Caridad is occasionally used and Esperanza is quite popular.

Thanks for your blog and have a Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Reply

3 Lola November 27, 2008 at 11:16 am

Oh, Amity, Clement/Clementine, Jubilant (or simply Jubal), Noble, Prosper, Unity & Verity make my heart sing!

Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours, Elisabeth!

Reply

4 erica November 28, 2008 at 10:06 am

i know a Prudence (Prue), and several Grace’s.

i think Prosper would be a wonderful name, as would True.

still working on a name for our baby, i’m shocked i only have 3 months to go!!

Reply

5 youcantcallitit November 28, 2008 at 12:43 pm

Amity, Verity, Honor, Constance, Mirth, Noble, Prosper, and Jubilant are among my favorites from this list.

Christina, that’s funny about Felicity. Did they say her name in conjunction with Perpetua? Felicity doesn’t sound particularly religious to me, but I suppose it is. Amparo is gorgeous! I’d love to put together a good list of Catholic word names in Spanish– maybe you can assist me with that if you’d like?

Erica, is that a child Prudence? I have a real soft spot for that name. What is on your current list. 3 months! That’s exciting!!!

Hope everybody had a lovely holiday and avoids getting trampled today at the malls. ;-)

Reply

6 Christina Fonseca November 29, 2008 at 1:14 am

Well, Elisabeth, now that you mentioned it, yes, Felicity (or Felicitas) was said in conjunction with Perpetua. Funny that we name nerds would remember the names although not necessarily the context!

I googled it and it turns out they are part of the Eucharistic Prayer.

As for the list of Catholic word names, I’d be happy to share what I have and you can use them anyway you’d like. Email me and I’ll send you something in the next few days.

Reply

7 Heidi November 29, 2008 at 3:23 pm

what about made up virtue names?? who knows any? i know a girl named Trivity… like the pot holder. :(

Reply

8 youcantcallitit November 30, 2008 at 10:06 am

What about Travesty? Not made up, but new as a name! ;-}

Reply

9 ShellyOk December 3, 2008 at 1:38 am

Not virtue names in another language, but through time spent in Nigeria and Tanzania, I have met people with the following names:

Gracious

Overblessing

Youngsaviour

Freedom

Goodlove

Goodluck

Lucky

Amen

Precious

Modesta

Those are the names I can think of off the top of my head.

Reply

10 youcantcallitit December 3, 2008 at 10:21 pm

Hey ShellyOK, that’s quite a list! I do kind of love Modesta, and Overblessing is an interesting union of words! Thanks so much for that.

Reply

11 Mia December 18, 2008 at 5:17 pm

I think Makepeace could be an interesting middlename option for the creative namer.

I have a soft spot for Temperance, but I don’t care for “Tempie” as a nickname. FWIW, Temperance is the first name of the title character on the TV show “Bones”, and it is an cleric spell in EverQuest (an online RPG), which might give it a high nerd quotient… But I like it.

It isn’t on your list, but Silence has grown on me as well. It might have a little bit of a dark edge to it, though.

Reply

12 Aj October 29, 2010 at 11:41 am

i love virtue names!
one of my favorites that i never see on hardly any lists is Divinity.
i know that i didn’t make it up! :P
i like it, and i seem to be the only one.

Reply

13 JL January 18, 2012 at 6:51 am

Divinity isn’t a “virtue”…. it’s CANDY.

Or:
1. the nature of a deity or the state of being divine
2. a god or other divine being
3. (Christian Religious Writings / Theology) (often capital; preceded by the) another term for God
4. (Christian Religious Writings / Theology) another word for theology

A “virtue” is a positive trait or quality subjectively deemed to be morally excellent, such as the virtue of “Patience”.

Thus, Divinity is not a virtue, but a “state of being” (or candy)… so, in either case, it won’t be on a list of “virtue” names!

Reply

14 Amy February 25, 2013 at 11:08 pm

What about Earnest, Victor, Grant(ed), Legacy, Providence, Clement/Clemence as a masculine form of Clemency?

My daughter’s middle name is Joy, and on my middle name list for this baby I have Grace, Hope, Faith, Felicity, Patience, and Mercy for a girl, and Justice, Grant, Providence & Emmanuel for a boy. Courage, Noble and Truth are nice, strong, masculine names too.

JL: Prosper and Remember are really virtues either, but they are on the list. I think Trinity, Divinity, Emmanuel, etc, can be put in the same category of names.

Reply

15 Amy February 25, 2013 at 11:10 pm

I meant “aren’t”

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: