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In Greek phero means "to bear." Etymology-wise, what given name means "bearer of the anointed one"?

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Answer: Christopher

The name Christopher was coined by combining the Greek khristos, the anointed (a translation of the Hebrew mashiah, messiah), and pherein, to bear. The St. Christopher of legend was a giant who helped travellers by carrying them across rivers.


How can a man (Christoper) be considered a bearer? Only women bear children.

But men have to bear with women.
urleen at

I named two of my children Jennifer and Christopher. I named a dog Guinevere and called her Eve. I have always taken Jennifer (with no research whatever) to be a modernized spelling of Guinevere.

[Mootguy: Jennifer is the Cornish form of a Welsh name, Gwenhwyvar. Guinevere is the Norman French version of the name. ]
galesmail at

St. Christopher bore Christ on his shoulders. That's the derivation of his name: Christ-bearer.
alictwomb at

I had guessed "Jennifer." I see I was wrong, but while we're at it, let me ask what the etymology of Jennifer is, and let me add that we've loved your game for years and want to thank you a thousand times for the hours of joy (and knowledge) you have given us. -- Zev Shanken

[Mootguy: Does anyone know what the etymology of Jennifer is?]
zev_shanken at

That was a good one. Giving the Greek root "phero" was a key into the thing. Was there a Christopher who actually carried Christ somewhere?
chuckdavis at

I thought (St.) Christopher carried the holy family across a river as they left Palestine and travelled to Egypt to escape King Herod who wanted to kill the sweet baby Jesus. He is also the patron saint of travellers.
dtalling at

Excellent. I have brother named Christopher and I love the meaning of his name and to me it means He is carrying Jesus in his heart. Glory to God
bduff at

It is worth noting that the Hebrew word "mashiakh" means "the annointed one" and was applied in the Hebrew Bible, notably in the case of King David, but also to anyone else who was anointed.
blancar at

Just FYI, x-dtalling at wrote about "... left Palestine and traveled to Egypt to escape King Herod...". Sorry, but it was the other way round. PRE-Jesus, the Jews fled Egypt and travelled to "The holy land" (Palestine). Whether there was a "Christopher" involved or not is a bit of an interesting thought....
dean.psaras at

That is my name, I have it known its origin from third grade.
jc8ward at

Very interesting; I had heard that before, but you confirmed it. Sounds very much like the Egyptian word Pharoh (sp?), who was also an anointed leader and considered a god. But I suppose that's taking it a bit too far. Thanks for the interesting words! I enjoy it. Regards Vicky Schoeman
easchoeman at

I certainly wouldn't have gotten it without the clue. Good question for the upcoming holiday!
jpopelka at

First one I've guessed correctly! Either I'm getting intelligenter or you're getting unsmarter.

[Mootguy: Both are true, no doubt.]
jennidorothy at

Re: the comment from xdean.psaras at dtalling was right -- the story of "the flight into Egypt" appears in Matthew 2 (although any association with St. Christoppher would be by way of later apocrypha or legends). The story was a very popular subject for medieval and renaissance painters.
ian.johnstone at

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