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Baby can be ‘Messiah’

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It’s a trend that goes back to the Puritans.

Parents in Tennessee will be allowed to name their 7-month-old Messiah, according to a ruling that overturns a child support magistrate’s decision, AP reports.

Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew in August said Jesus Christ was the only true messiah and changed the baby’s legal first name to Martin.

Last year, more than 700 babies were named Messiah, according to Social Security.

But coming up with surprising names is not new, Joseph Norwood notes in Slate. The Puritans turned naming their offspring into an art form. Among the most inventive Puritan names:

  • Humiliation. (Humiliation Hynde had two sons in the 1620s; he called them both Humiliation Hynde.)
  • No-Merit. NoMerit Vynall was born in Warbleton in Sussex, England.
  • Abstinence
  • Jesus-Christ-came-into-the-world-to-save. That’s a first name. Really.
  • Diffidence
  • Liberty
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