I read this interesting snippet this week.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE STANDARD
SIR, — In this town there is an innkeeper who rejoices in the baptismal name of “Mahershalalhashbaz” (see Isaiah 8,i). I should think this is unique. He is commonly called “Maher,” but in the parochial and other lists the full name appears.
Report says (but I will not vouch for its truth) that his father wished him to be named “Uz,” but on the clergyman remonstrating he immediately said “Then we will have the other,” and produced from his pocket a slip of paper with the longer name.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
Dereham, Norfolk, April 8.
(London), April 11, 1892
Snippet from British Baby Names
The man in question was Maher Tuck, who I located in the 1871 census in Dereham. He died the year after this letter was written, aged 54.
In fact the letterwriter was incorrect in his assumption that Maher Tuck’s first name was unique, as although it was a rare name, there were other Mahershalalhashbazes living at that time. The name originates in the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament and is said to be the longest name in the bible.
More than most, it’s a name that required shortening, and other nicknames included Marc, Marshall and Baz.