I occasionally drift by a humorous web site, Larknews.com. To me it's a bit like a magazine I really enjoyed many years ago, Mad Magazine. Anyone remember the gap-toothed, Alfred E. Newman?
Anyway, here's a recent posting from their site. (If you'd like to visit, click here.)
Siblings saddled with obscure Old Testament names petition court
RICHMOND, Va. — Five Virginia siblings — Jephthah, Hezekiah, Othniel, Boaz and Reumah Peterson — petitioned for and received legal name changes, becoming, respectively, Jason, Tom, Bob, Willie and Morgan.
The children said the obscure Old Testament names given them by their Christian parents had caused "enough heartache and teasing to last a lifetime."
"Getting a summer job was impossible because bosses couldn't pronounce my name," said Jephthah, 18, now Jason. In the Bible, Jephthah the Gileadite appears in Joshua 10-12 and was called "a mighty warrior."
"A mighty warrior, sure, but what kind of name is Jephthah?" says Jason. "You can't even shorten it."
Reumah, 15, the Petersons' only girl, was named after Abraham's brother Nahor's concubine. She chose the name "Morgan" as her new identity.
"My biggest fear was that people would look it up and find out I was named after someone's mistress," she says. "And having the nickname 'Reumy' didn't help."
The three middle brothers, Hezekiah, Othniel and Boaz, chose Tom, Bob and Willie because "they're the most normal names we could think of," said Tom, 11. "People were constantly asking us if we were Jewish." After the judge granted their request, the boys were beaming.
"It feels a lot better having a standard American name," says Willie, 9, formerly Boaz. "You don't feel singled out. I lived a long time with Boaz around my neck. Now maybe the other kids'll stop spitting milk at me."
Parents Dick and Wanda were saddened by their children's decision.
"We scoured the Good Book for names of righteous people that time sort of forgot," Dick says from his home in Richmond. "The symbolism was there for each child, but I understand they weren't fitting in. More than once Othy and Zekie came home crying from school. Still, we wish they'd stuck it through. Maybe we should have gone with New Testament names — Bartholomew or Thaddeus, or maybe Dorcas." •