Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Seth

The name Seth originates in the Bible. He was the third son of Adam and Eve and born after the murder of Abel at the hands of his other brother Cain. When Seth was born the Bible reads as follows: “And Adam knew his wife again and she bore a son, and called his name Seth, for she said ‘God hath appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.’” [Genesis 4:25].  In Hebrew, שֵׁת (Sheth) means “appointed, placed, compensated” from the root “shiyth” meaning “to appoint, set.”  Like many Hebrew Old Testament names, the etymology is closely related to the person’s Biblical story.  Seth’s lineage remained faithful in their allegiance to God, hence they were called “the sons of God” while Cain’s descendants were referred to as “the sons of man.” In fact, Noah was the great-great-great-great-great-great grandson of Seth.  The name was adopted in England in the late Middle Ages, but mainly popularized by the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation (c. 17th century). In fact, the Puritans often bestowed this name on a child whose older sibling had died in keeping with the Biblical reference as a replacement son to Abel. The name has also been popular among Jewish people.  

All About the Baby Name – Seth

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME SETH

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME SETH

The name Seth has never achieved “super-popularity” in the United States. At the turn of the 20th century, the name was only moderately used, and as the decades persisted into the last century, the name went out of fashion almost completely. The low-point of the name’s usage was during the 1930s and 1940s. However, by the 1970s, Seth began to show some signs of life as it quietly climbed the charts. The height of the name’s success came in the year 2000 at position #63 on the charts. It appears that the name really wanted to settle itself on the Top 100 list of most widely used boys’ names, but it just could not manage to stick. The name continues to decline and it’s hard to tell where it might go from here. As an ancient Hebrew Biblical name, we expect to see it endure in usage, even if its popularity is not stellar. The idea of naming a “replacement” son Seth in keeping with the Puritan history is too macabre for the modern American sensibilities. Instead, it’s an easy-going and unpretentious choice for a little boy. One syllable and lacking in nicknames, Seth is straightforward, plain, classical and somehow modern. As one of the first five people to be theoretically named on the planet earth, how can you go wrong with a name like Seth? A pioneer of names.

Quick Facts

ON SETH

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

Hebrew

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

1

RANKING POPULARITY:

231

PRONUNCIATION:

SEHTH

SIMPLE MEANING:

Appointed, placed

Characteristics

OF SETH

Mystical

Wise

Eccentric

Intuitive

Imaginative

Philosophical

Solitary

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Seth

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME SETH

Seth is a main character in Charles Dickens’ novel, Martin Chuzzlewit, originally serialized in 1843-44, and holds the title of one of the most marvelous villains in literary fiction. In fact, his name became a synonym for hypocrisy in the 19th century. Along with his two daughters, judiciously named Charity and Mercy, but hilariously nicknamed Cherry and Merry, he portrays himself as a very moral person, when in fact he is anything but. He is a substandard architect who holds “classes” for students, all the while passing off their work as his own. He is conniving, unctuous, mean-spirited and sanctimonious – in short, the type of villain whose downfall is hopefully awaited and gleefully received.

Seth is a character in Stella Gibbons’ 1932 comic novel, Cold Comfort Farm. The young heroine, Flora Poste, goes to live with relatives after she is orphaned and promptly sets about putting their mixed-up lives to rights. Seth is a moody, handsome, bored and over-sexed young man with a passion for Hollywood. So what does Flora do for him? Naturally – she introduces him to a film director, and Seth becomes a famous movie star.

Popular Songs

ON SETH

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Seth


Famous People

NAMED SETH

Seth Green (actor)
Seth Meyers (SNL cast member)
Seth Etherton (baseball player)
Seth MacFarlane (animator)
Seth Olsen (football player)
Seth Rogen (actor)
Seth Smith (baseball player)
Seth Wescott (Olympic snowboarder)

Children of Famous People

NAMED SETH

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Seth

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME SETH

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Seth