Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Baby Bella

Knowing my authority on baby names, alipete made sure I saw the Times' story on America's most popular baby names. You've probably heard by now that 2009's wise parents most often chose two "Twilight"-related names, Isabella and Jacob.

Well, whatever. You can't really be mad about Jacob. Jacob's always been a popular name, despite all odds. I mean, I could never name my boy Jacob, because I'd be constantly reminded of the Esau/Jacob bible story. What a ridiculous story! Jacob had to wear goatskins to simulate the hairiness of his brother -- gross!

When refreshing my memory of this epic and absurd tale, I read this:
Onlookers named the first עשו, Esau (`Esav or `Esaw, meaning "hairy" or "rough", from Hebrew: עשה‎, `asah, "do" or "make"; or "completely developed", from Hebrew: עשוי‎, `assui).

The second is named יעקב, Jacob (Ya`aqob or Ya`aqov, meaning "heel-catcher", "supplanter", "leg-puller", "he who follows upon the heels of one", from Hebrew: עקב‎, `aqab or `aqav, "seize by the heel", "circumvent", "restrain", a wordplay upon Hebrew: עקבה‎, `iqqebah or `iqqbah, "heel").
Onlookers named these kids? They named them Hairy and Heel-Catcher? And those names were so perfect, they stuck forever? As badly as I'd like to mock mothers for naming a girl Isabella because of their love for a fictional undead metaphor for sexual anxiety, they've got nothing on those old Hebrews.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks dan -- this biblical shit totally came up in my crossword today...