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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Multi-Culti Name

In the description of the blog, we state that some of our posts require a degree of scholarship on the part of the reader.    Some don't.


My cousin in Eretz Yisrael tells me that official records indicate the arrival of a new name on the most popular list for newborns in Israel.  That name is Adele.  He writes
Adele (for a girl) was ranked #8. It turns out it is a combination of people inspired by the name of a famous current singer, and those who name their daughters after R. Nachman's daughter (who in turn was named after her great-grandmother, Baal-Shem-Tov's daughter, but Rav Nachman is much more popular today)

While the two names happen to be written the same, they are pronounced very differently.  They are homonyms, not homophones.  The singer's name is Uh-Dell', and the Yiddishe name is Ei'-dil.  I assumed that their meanings were similarly unrelated.  I was wrong.  They both stem from the German for Noble or Refined.  But I guarantee that despite the etymological synonymity, the concept of what Eidelkeit comprises differs, and the name is thoroughly multiculti.

After writing this to my cousin, he wrote
I think for Gittin Eidel and Ohdel are considered two names
Other reasons people gave for this name are simply "thanks to G-d" and (believe it or not) acronym for Esh Dat Lamo

Another funny coincidence- there was an American actress named Sarah Jessica.  I am one hundred percent sure that whoever named her did not realize that Jessica was the other name of Sara Imeinu- Yiskah.  An equivalent masculine name would be Yisrael Yaakov.  Or maybe Dov Ber or Naftali Tzvi.

On this topic- you might like to know that the United States Social Security administration offers a searchable database of babys' names since 1880.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Naftali Tzvi - shoudn't it be "Hirsch Tzvi"?

Nice article, thanks.

R. Halevy
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Barzilai/Eliezer Eisenberg said...

Kevod R' R Halevy, thank you for writing. I used Naftali Tzvi because in Birkas Yaakov the Tzvi/Ayala is associated with Naftali, just as Yehuda is often Yehuda Leib and Binyamin Ze'ev. Same idea, though.