Help! Baby name debate

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2009
Help! Baby name debate
Fri, 06-18-2010 - 7:00pm

We are having a girl this fall and have agreed on her name for several weeks now: Providence. Today hubby calls me saying he looked it up in the dictionary and it means God. He thinks it would be inappropriate to name our child God. Here is the most common definition:

   /ˈprɒvɪdəns/ Show Spelled Show IPA
( often initial capital letter ) the foreseeing care and guidance of god or nature over the creatures of the earth.
( initial capital letter ) God, esp. when conceived as omnisciently directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with wise benevolence.
a manifestation of divine care or direction.
provident or prudent management of resources; prudence.
foresight; provident care.
Use providence in a Sentence
See images of providence
Search providence on the Web
1300–50; ME < L prōvidentia foresight, forethought. See provident, -ence

I now worry he doesn't love it anymore and am very torn....everyone I suggested we speak with (due to extensive religious knowledge) he said no because we are keeping the name a secret until she is born. Therefore....anonymous internet world....please weigh in!

Community Leader
Registered: 11-12-2008
Sat, 06-19-2010 - 10:53am

Well, I tend to think of providence as God's will and direction, rather than actually His name. I would say that if your husband thinks the name is uncomfortably close to naming the child God, though, it is a valid concern. You still have time to find another gem that will not be unsettling to either of you. If you are interested in some suggestions for alternatives, the ladies on

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2010
Sat, 06-19-2010 - 10:54am
I think it's all about your intentions, and yours are good. The name is pretty and I would keep it. Your average person on the street is not going to be holding a dictionary, and even if they were, it's only one definition of several.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2007
Sun, 06-20-2010 - 11:08am

If it helps any, I have never interpreted Providence as a alias for God.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2004
Mon, 06-21-2010 - 5:28pm
I hear lovely Puritan virtue name rather than anything heretical, and I have a pretty low threshold of heresy :) I think any time Providence is used to mean God, it's because the word 'God's' is implied in front of it. The word itself certainly doesn't mean God Himself. These days people are more likely to think of the city and maybe the TV show (wasn't there one, very briefly?) rather than anything spiritual anyway. It's a big name for a little girl, but I think I like it!
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Avatar for devonelisa
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 06-24-2010 - 9:01pm

Does he think all the Providence Hospitals are 'God' hospitals?