Theoccoles: Over the Top, Too Death-Themed?

Grace asked: Thoughts of the name Theoccoles? Our first son is Lazarus, and we found it crazy that when looking into the name Theoccoles it means “bringer of death” I don’t know if I like this whole death theme for my boys but we do love the name Theoccoles but worry about it being a little too over the top?

My first impression is that it is a cool name. It’s not popular, and if desired, Theo becomes a great nickname. I think it goes very well with Lazarus. Considering both Lazarus and Theoccoles have somewhat darker (potentially, anyway) themes, it seems cohesive and styled.

However, Theoccoles does not mean “bringer of death“. Well, not directly! Simply, Theo means “God“. I’ll get more into the meaning possibilities in a second, but Theoccoles (or Theokoles) is very much a gaming and series name. Maybe certain characters bearing the name are known as bringers of death, but I wouldn’t say that’s a literal translation. Right now I’m under the impression that the name is mainly a modern craft. Theoccoles definitely looks like a legitimate Greek name.

Theokoles in “Spartacus”

If we were to use a death meaning, though, perhaps “thanatos” would be part of the name (think “euthanasia”). “Bringer” is typically “phoros” (think Lucifer, Christopher— “light bringer“ and “Christ bearer“, respectively). “Bringer of death” in Greek might be something like Thanasephor, as a name.

Theos in Greek naming can be about God/god, and can even refer to might, or a placer of something (“bringer“?). That’s if you consider Theos to be loosely about might and not God, maybe relating to the name Thetis (disposer, placer, to set up, to establish). Usually though, Theos in naming is just making a statement about God (think Theodore, “God’s gift”). I guess God does bring death, so maybe the name is trying to say that God is the bringer of death, but the name bearer himself might not be.

With this in mind, the root “kolos”  (meaning “dwarf”) may be the ending root word here. That root is used in Greek words to show cutting something short, striking a blow, mutilating or punishing. Cutting life short would be bringing death, if this is the metaphorical intention of the name. “God cuts short” could then be the meaning. Of course, you could also say “God’s dwarf“, if you like– that’s more literal.

If you take the “placer” meaning seriously, “placer of punishment” could be cutting life short, and maybe in that way Theoccoles could be a “bringer of death”.

So anyway, a death theme itself can sometimes be cool, but all things considered, I would probably leave this one alone. It is pretty negative, kind of holds a geek status presently, and may be loosely interpreted (giving us debatable meanings). Other than that, it wasn’t too over the top in my opinion.

Baby Names: Often Deeper Than First Glance (Guest Post by Matt)

The following is a guest post from one of our fans– a man, a father, and lover of language. Check out his intricate explanation of his daughters’ names, and also his solid appreciation of our page.

My wife & I … share [with you] an affinity for the roots and value of good names.

My wife and I just had twin girls last month, and naming was very important to us (and more complicated for not knowing the genders pre-birth). I’m a linguist; she’s a librarian. With the odd surname, we both wanted names that wouldn’t make people raise an eyebrow, since they’ll have to spell or pronounce the surname to everyone all the time.

We ended up with Amelia Katherine and Heather Laurea.

(Backstory: Our original path got us to Heather Laurea and Katherine Linnea, cross-matching meanings with each other as you’ll see, but we also have a niece with the first name Linnea, so we decided we’d avoid it if we found a good alternative.)

Amelia: traditionally “work” or “rival” Ugh.

My wife’s name is Amy, and the “-elia” part references the name אֱלִיָּהוּ Elijah, meaning “my god is YHWH”. Our hebraic spelling, אַמאֱלִיָּה, makes that a little more explicit than English.

Katherine: debatably from “each”, “torture”, or “pure” Meh.
Our Katherine is coming from the Hebrew also: כתר [k-th-r], meaning “crown”, plus the letter nun representing “the Messiah”. There is also a trace of Greek ‘εκατερος (hekateros) “each of the two”.

Heather: Of course, it’s a beautiful flower, but it’s also a transliteration of the Ancient Egyptian word for twins. (And the determinative glyph at the end of the name will be two girls kneeling toward each other holding flowers.)

Would be something similar to this.

Would be something similar to this.

heather
Laurea: This combines the “crown” meaning found in our Katherine and the floral meaning found in Heather, and it just sounds and feels better than Laura, Laurel, and other related names. Although I saw that you had a great description of the name in one of your blog posts, we’re adding that the final syllable [-yah] be the same as the final syllable in Nehemiah, et al; the name of God.

Hence:
Amelia Katherine – “Amy’s god is YHWH”; “crown of the Messiah” (“each of the two”)
Heather Laurea – “One of twins” (flower), (floral) “crown of God”

Anyway, this is just a fan letter of appreciation. Thanks for your etymological integrity!

Matt

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With some knowledge of names and language, you can see how traditional baby names with old roots can have multiple meanings, including very deep and very personal[ized] ones. It can go beyond expectation! Research everything intensely before you select it for your child, and you can even get inventive with it. The popular can be far more exotic and poetic than you’ve imagined.

For more on Ancient Egyptian glyphs and transliteration, see An Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyph Dictionary, Volume I and Volume II.