Ichabod

"The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane" by John Quidor

Origin:
Hebrew
Gender: Male
Meaning: "No Glory"
Pronunciation: IK-eh-bahd
Other Forms: N/A

Ichabod has been a guilty pleasure of mine since I can remember - something about the strong C sound and it ending with with the equally strong D I think. It's just fun to say!

Ichabod is roughly translated to mean "no glory", which at first seems like a rather horrible meaning for a name. But in actuality there is so much more to it. In the Bible, Ichabod is the son of the priest Phinehas and an unnamed woman. His mother went into labor hearing that the Ark of God, also known as the fabled Ark of the Covenant, had left Israel and fell into Philistine hands. In the Book of Samuel it is explained his name means "the glory has departed from Israel".

Of course the most well-known Ichabod is Ichabod Crane, the protagonist of Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". Crane, the local schoolmaster, has a strong belief in anything supernatural, which includes the legend of the "Headless Horseman", the ghost of a Hessian soldier who was decapitated by a cannonball during the American Revolution.. He later becomes interested in Katrina Van Tassel and angers Abraham "Brom Bones" Van Brunt. After proposing to her he heads home alone at night, only to encounter the famous Headless Horseman, and never be seen again.

There are several proposed inspirations for Ichabod Crane, from the US Army Colonel of the same name whom he meet in Sackets Harbor, New York, in 1814, to a schoolmaster in Kinderhook named Jesse Merwin. Whoever it was, they helped create a character that has captured the imagination for centuries.

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