This Biblical choice might seem like an unlikely pick – but once upon a time, so did Isaiah.
Thanks to Rocking Fetal for suggesting Boaz as Name of the Day.
Back in the Old Testament, Boaz was Ruth’s husband, an ancient magnate. In some tellings it is a December-June romance; others paint Boaz as rich, young and handsome to boot. Regardless of Boaz’ attributes, he and Ruth had a son, and their son had a son, who had a son of his own – the future King David.
For another religious angle, the two copper, brass or bronze pillars in the first temple in Jerusalem were called Boaz and Jachin. Boaz meant swift or strong; Jachin meant founding. They’re described in more than one passage in the Bible.
While Noah and Rebecca are perfectly mainstream, inspiring parents to dig ever deeper for an inventive Biblical choice, Boaz has been largely overlooked. He should be given a two-syllable pronunciation – BO az. But it is tempting to say boze, like the speakers. Or worse, to mangle Boaz as Bozo. That may be why the name has yet to catch on – Bozo the Clown comes to mind, and was such a pop culture icon for Baby Boomers that he’s yet to fade.
But Boaz is a distinctive choice, and he may be familiar from the map. Boaz, Wisconsin was the site of an early mastodon discovery. Not only did archeologists unearth a skeleton, they also found evidence of early human settlements hunting the giant beasts. The creature is known as the Boaz mastodon.
Meet a Boaz circa 2009, and he’s probably Israeli. In the 2007 season of Kokhav Nolad – the Israeli version of Pop Idol – the winner was Boaz Ma’uda. Other contests that season were Marina and Shlomi. Not every Israeli name translates gracefully into English. But Boaz scored a brand new Chevy and a recording contract, so perhaps he’ll inspire some parents.
Long before the singer or the clown, you can find Boaz in sparing use. Protestant parents leafing through the Good Book sometimes chose Boaz. And they’ve continued to do so right through modern day. US Census recordings show a steady sprinkling of men named Boaz.
That said, he’s never charted in the US Top 1000 and seems like a long-shot for a revival. But if you’re searching for a formal name to go on a birth certificate for baby Bo? Then Boaz might be a dark horse contender.