“What’s in a name?”



Two participants in the Book of Mormon Onomasticon project, Dr. Montague and Professor Capulet, engage in a passionate discussion of the question that provides the title for this blog entry.


Some may be aware of the fact that there has been a working group for some years now, known as the Book of Mormon Onomasticon project, in which several scholars of Semitic languages and philology have trained their sights on the proper names in the Book of Mormon.


Some may not.


In any event, the results of those efforts, to date, are available on this website for any who might be interested.


Posted from the banks of the Provo River



  • RaymondSwenson

    Hugh Nibley was greatly impressed by the ability of the relatively uneducated Joseph Smith of 1829 to somehow come up with names that are not in the Bible but are nevertheless at home in the world of 600 BC Judea and its neighbors, including Egyptian names not translated until some years.later from Egyptian hieroglyphs, and even legitimately appearing Greek names like Timothy and Lachoneus. Over and over they are found to correspond to real names in contemporary ancient sources, like Alma ben Judah. How could a modern person with only a 6th grade education create a credible list of names that (a) are not currently known but (b) will turn out to be from 600 BC Palestine?

    Writers of fantasy and science fiction are constantly creating new names for persons, groups and places that are supposed to be indicative of alien races or societies. A professor of medieval literature like Tolkien could draw on his vast knowledge to create neologisms that sound authentic, especially as they represent societies for which he has created an entire language, lie Elvish or Klingon. It might be interesting to use a dictionary of F&SF names to see whether any of them have even the slightest resemblance to 600 BC names. Being an avid F&SF reader, I personally doubt that this kind of “random name generator” would come up with many .