What’s in a Name? Cormac Donald McCarthy

Although he was born on November 29, our little guy officially didn’t have a name (other than ‘Baby Boy McCarthy’) for a full 24 hours! Throughout the pregnancy, DH and I had a running list of names that we were planning to select from when our son arrived. We had a ‘Top 3’ list — all three started with the letter ‘C’ and all were of Irish origin. So that part was pretty easy. The hard part was choosing which name we wanted to give him once he arrived! We had pretty much settled on a middle name, but that first name was touch-and-go for a while. It’s a big responsibility to saddle a person with a name for the rest of his life! The tough part was the DH changed his mind last minute. I had kinda thought we were going with one name, but when the baby arrived, DH became pretty adamant on a different selection. I, on the other hand, needed to be convinced….

As you’ll see from this post title, we did end up naming our son Cormac. It is a great name, and I’m really loving it, but what held me back to begin with was the idea that our son might be associated with the author of the same name (Cormac McCarthy… wrote All the Pretty Horses, No Country For Old Men, The Road, and some other disturbing novels which have been adapted to extremely disturbing films). Our selection of the name Cormac has nothing to do with any preference for the author. Just to be clear. 🙂

So, what’s in the name? Above all, I wanted our son’s name to be meaningful beyond our personal preference. I was a little unprepared that his name would end up being Cormac (which has a somewhat obscure meaning), but after a little thought I’ve determined that it really does suit our hopes for this little man. Above all, my prayer for our son is that he would grow to be a man who fears the Lord, loves His Word and lives in a manner that proclaims His kingdom. The meaning of his full name has very strong connotations, and I look forward to seeing him become a strong influence for Christ in the world.


Meaning: ‘Charioteer’ – Irish origin

Psalm 76:6-9 At Your rebuke, God of Jacob, both chariot and horse lay still. And You—You are to be feared. When You are angry, who can stand before You? From heaven You pronounced judgment.
The earth feared and grew quiet when God rose up to judge and to save all the lowly of the earth. Selah”

This verse may seem a bit obscure in application to the name and especially referencing the anger of a just God, but it impresses upon me the importance of submitting one’s life to God and His plans. Learning to submit to the Lord’s plan for our lives, especially as we enter a new phase of life with parenthood, has been imperative to my growth in faith. The Lord’s plan is perfect and His judgment alone is just; we would not be able to stand before His righteous wrath were it not for His equally efficacious saving grace. I pray that our Cormac may be a “charioteer” of the Lord, listening to and obeying His word and proclaiming His righteous judgment and salvation to “the lowly of the earth”.


Meaning: ‘World Ruler’ – Scottish/Celtic origin
Isaiah 55:4-5 “See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a ruler and commander of the peoples. Surely you will summon nations you know not and nations you do not know will come running to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.”

Although these verses are technically a prophecy of the coming Christ, the Old Testament is also full of Christ-like archetypes that the Lord raised up to lead His people and make them a witness to the world. My hope is that our son will grow to be a leader of men who would direct others to Christ.

So, there you have it. Keep yours eyes on this little guy, he’s going to do big things! 🙂

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