Is Abstinence Pougher Coming to Dinner? A Look At Curious Puritan Names

Thanksgiving is almost here! Rather than concern myself with such trivialities as, say, cooking and cleaning, I've been looking into the fascinating world of Puritan names. What child born on Thanksgiving wouldn't love to grow up with the name Sorry-for-sin Coupard?

Sarah Marshall of The Hairpin read Charles Wareing Endell Bardsley's 1888 Curiosities of Puritan Nomenclature, and rounded up the best names mentioned, for the ease of us who haven't gotten around to reading anything by Charles Wareing Endell Bardsley yet. Some of my favorites are Kill-sin Pimple, Repent Durant, Battalion Shotbolt, Die-Well Sykes, and Weakly Eakins. They would all make excellent band names, actually.

I think a list of Puritan baby names would make a hilarious Thanksgiving gift for a friend who's expecting a baby (as long as they're the sort of friend who would find it hilarious), but the best application I can think of is placecards for your Thanksgiving celebration. Make sweet little place cards inscribed with Magnyfye Beard, Lively Moody, Abstinence Pougher, and Anger Bull, and let your guests decide who's who. I'm secretly hoping to get Love Appletree.

Now, I did read Sarah Vowell's excellent book The Wordy Shipmates so you'd think I'd be able to tell you exactly how Puritans and Pilgrims compare and contrast and how either/both of them relate to Thanksgiving, but sadly, I have no head for historical facts. Feel free to clear things up for me in the comments, or just join me in wishing to someday meet someone named Preserved Fish.

(Image: The First Thanksgiving by Jennie Brownscombe via the blog of the Horticultural Society of New York)