The short answer is yes, but let's make a whole post out of Pam's inquiry.
First, it is interesting to me that the names of Pam's relatives are Romaine (as in lettuce), Morton (as in salt), Harlan (as in Kentucky Fried Chicken's Colonel Sanders), John (as in Fitzgerald Kennedy), Gloria (as in Swanson), Douglas (as in Fairbanks), and so forth.
Mnemonic Devices R Us.
Second, in this great poker game called life, I'll see Pam's mother's and mother's siblings' names and raise them a notch or two with the names of my stepmother and her siblings: Cleo, Mildred Louise, John D. (as in Rockefeller), Willie Margaret, Russell Sterling, Marvin Edward, Billy, Marian Faye, Fred, and Bonnie Sue.
Third, and back to the main topic, actor Mahershala Ali's name is not actually Mahershala, it's Mahershalalhashbaz. It says so right in the wikipedia article about him: “Ali was born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore in 1974, in Oakland, California, the son of Willicia and Phillip Gilmore. He was named after Maher-shalal-hash-baz, a biblical prophetic-name child, and raised a Christian by his mother, an ordained minister. During his college basketball career, he went under the first name of Hershal. In 2000, he converted to Islam, changing his surname from Gilmore to Ali.”
So far, so good.
I'm wondering, though, why, in its shortened form, he dropped the "l" that was part of the "shalal" just before the "hashbaz". Odd. It's rather like if your spouse's name was Barbara and instead of shortening it to Barb like everyone else would, you shortened it to Bar. Oh, wait, President George H.W. Bush actually did that.
What's a consonant or two between friends? No big deal.
Maher-shalal-hash-baz, a transliteration into our alphabet of the Hebrew words מַהֵר שָׁלָל חָשׁ בַּז (remember to read from right to left), means "Hurry to the spoils!" or "He has made haste to the plunder!" and is the second mentioned prophetic-name child in the biblical book of Isaiah:
"Moreover the Lord said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man's pen concerning Maher-shalal-hash-baz. And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the Lord to me, Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz. For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria. " (Isaiah 8:1-4)
The name Maher-shalal-hash-baz, then, is a reference to the impending plunder of Samaria and Damascus by the king of Assyria, Tiglath-Pileser III (734–732 BCE).
The prophet Isaiah's first son, Shearjashub, is mentioned in Isaiah 7:3. Jewish and Christian commentators traditionally note that this first son's name is also prophetic – meaning "the remnant shall return" – but no account of why, when or how this son was named is given in the Book of Isaiah.
Maher-shalal-hash-baz is often counted the longest name (and word) used in the Bible, though a possible longer name-phrase, "Pele-joez-el-gibbor-abi-ad-sar-shalom", is found in Isaiah 9:6 :
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6), which in Hebrew (again, a transliteration) is Pele-joez-el-gibbor-abi-ad-sar-shalom.
I couldn't begin to tell you why, but all of the foregoing vaguely reminds me of a hilarious old Monty Python bit in which Eric Idle as an English vicar expounds on a verse from Genesis, "My brother Esau is a hairy man, but I am a smooth man." -- at least I think it was Eric Idle. It might have been John Cleese.
I guess that's enough perplexedness/bemusement/fascination/dumbfounderment for one post (with thanks to reader Graham Edwards who supplied the adjectival form of the phrase; I merely converted the adjectives into nouns).
Until next time, keep your powder dry, or as they said in World War II, praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.
A final plea to parents everywhere: Please do not name your child Tiglath-Pileser as he (or she) will be scarred for life.