Friday, November 11, 2011


Could a Witchy family use Trinity?

Trinity means, of course, "triad." Trinities are important to Neo-Pagans. To many Wiccans, both the God and the Goddess are triple deities. The Goddess comes in the form of a Maiden, Mother and Crone. As for the God, he takes the form of the Prince, Royal, and Elder. Triple deities exist everywhere within Paganism and Eastern religions, and 3 is a sacred number showing up in many Pagan symbols like the triskele.

But when most people use this name, they are referring to the Holy Trinity from the Catholic religion. The Holy Trinity is made up of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. That makes me wonder. Does the name Trinity "belong" to Christians?

Let's examine that. Trinity had a short boost of modest use for boys in the 1970s, it ranked at #935. It had a small boost in the girl's category as well, but it reached mega popularity after 1999. It shot up from #209 to #74 in the course of one year. It's peak was in 2004 at #48, and now rests comfortably at #73. What's to account for it's meteoric rise?

I think you already know the answer to that: The Matrix. Trinity is the kick-ass, science fiction heroine played by Carrie-Anne Moss. It was a boy's name for a similar reason. The 1970s marked the release of a spaghetti western movie titled They Call Me Trinity, with a cowboy bearing the title role.

However, one of the largest groups in the United States that uses this name is Hispanics, an overwhelmingly Catholic group. Whenever I research this name on other baby name websites, they claim that this name is in reference to the Christian religion. And that seems to be the reason why most people pick it. Variations include Trinidad, Trinidade, Trini, Triniti, and Trinitee.

If I met a little Trinity, would my first thought be that the parents were Catholic? Probably. Would it be offensive to people if they found that that wasn't the case? I don't think so. But it's mega popularity, at least for girls, would make it hard to overcome the assumption. And I know that's not fair, since our Trinities were here first. But that's reality.

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  1. The idea of a spiritual Trinity is in no way uniquely Christian and existed long before Christianity, and I definitely think it's for anyone to use.

  2. I'm Catholic - though not Hispanic - and I've compared my reaction to Trinity to the Jewish reaction to Cohen.

    Maybe it is because there's such a long tradition of giving our children saints' names that it feels unnecessary to look for a new name with spiritual meaning. Or maybe it is because the trinity is a BIG theological concept.

    From my perspective, Trinity would be a strange name for a Catholic child!

  3. I actually wouldn't assume a child named Trinity had parents of any religion - kids I know called Trinity were named after the sci-fi movie character so it seems very secular to me. I'd be stunned if someone told me they named their child Trinity for genuinely religious reasons.


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