JahazielOrigin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: “beheld by God; vision of God”
Gender: Masculine

The name is composed of the Hebrew elements, חזה (hzh), which can mean “to behold” or “vision” and  אל (‘el) (God). The name is borne in the Old Testament by 5 briefly mentioned characters.

The name occurred in brief use in the English-speaking world in the 18th-century among Puritans.

Another form is Chaziel.


Eder, Ederne

Eder,EderneOrigin: Basque or Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: “handsome; beautiful;” or “flock.”
Basque (ED-er); Sp/Por (EY-deer). Fem. (ed-DER-neh)

The name comes from the Basque word for “handsome; beautiful.”

Alternately, Eder can also be from the Biblical Hebrew עֵדֶר; (flock). In the Bible, this is the name of the son of Beriah and of a place where it is said Rachel was buried.

Eder is also the name of a river that flows through Germany. It was first mentioned by Tacitus as the place the Romans crossed before destroying the Chatti stronghold of Mattium. It was referred to in Latin as Adarna, Aderna and Adrina. The etymology is unknown.

In Basque, Eder is techinically unisex but is more often used on males. It has crossed over in the Spanish-Speaking and Portuguese-Speaking world where it is popular rendered as Éder. The exclusive feminine forms include: Ederne and Eider.



JoahOrigin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: “Yahweh is brother; brother of Yahweh”
Gender: Masculine

The name is composed of the Hebrew elements,יַהְוֶה‬(Yahweh) and אָח (ach) meaning “brother.”

Joah is borne by 4 minor characters in the Old Testament.

In the English-speaking world, Joah has been in sporadic use since the 17th-century. A notable bearer was English musician, Joah Bates (1741–1799).

Another form is Joach.



Adiel (1)Origin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: debated; most likely “ornament/jewel of God.”
Gender: Masculine
(AH-dee-el; ENG. AY-dee-el)

This is the name of 3 minor characters in the Bible, one is the name of the father of Maasai, a Cohen (or Jewish priest), the other is the name of the head of the tribe of Simeon, and the 3rd is the father of Azmaveth who was a treasurer under King David. All of the aforementioned appear in the Book of Chronicles.

As for its meaning, it has traditionally been believed to mean “ornament of God; jewel of God,” being composed of the Hebrew (עדה) adi meaning “ornament” or “jewel” and  אל (‘el) pertaining to elohim. However, the  first element may actually relate to the root word  אל (ad) meaning “witness” and also “forever; eternity,” and “booty.” The same root word also relates to “congregation, community, parish, denomination; swarm, flock.” Somehow, the original root word of all of the above are related. Compare the name to the modern Hebrew Unisex name Adi עדי (jewel, ornament).

Among non-Jews, the name has been in use across Europe since the Protestant Reformation, around the 16th-century. It has been in occasional use in Scandinavia, Finland, the Netherlands, U.K, the Americas and Australia. It has come in recent use in Latin America as well.

Ironically the name was not revived among Jews until modern times. There doesn’t seem to be any records for this name among Jews from Medieval Times to pre-WWII in Europe, the Ottoman Empire or the Middle East. It seems to have become widespread after the creation of Israel in 1948. Since the 1960s, its French feminine form of Adielle has appeared in occasional use among Jews in French-speaking countries such as France and Canada.

Another form is the Dutch Adiël (male) and Adiëlle (female).

Modern Hebrew female forms include Adiela (also Spanish) and Adielit.


Ziv, Ziva, Zivit

800px-Cloud_in_the_sunlightZiv is a male Hebrew name which comes directly from the Hebrew word זִיו (ziv) meaning, “brightness, radiance, splendor. In the Bible, this was the name of second month of the Jewish Calendar  (1 Kings 6:1, 6:37), which in modern times is known as Iyar.

Ziva and Zivit are its feminine forms, though Ziv has also been occasionally used on girls.

Alternately, Ziva is can be a latinate form of the Slavic Živa



zabdielOrigin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: bestowed by God; gift of God
Gender: Masculine

The name is composed of the Hebrew elements, zeved זבד (gift, bestowal) and el אל (elohim; God).

The name is borne in the Old Testament by 2 very minor characters.

  • In (1 Chronicles 27:2) Zabdiel is mentioned as the father of Jeshobeam and one of the 12 commanders of the subdivisions in Israel.
  • In (Nehemiah 11:14), Zabdiel is the son of Heggedolim.

In the English-speaking world, the name came into sporadic use in the 16th-century, around the time of the Protestant Reformation. Notable bearers include early American physician Zabdiel Boylston 1679-1766 (who is noted as the first person to perform a surgical operation in the U.S.), and Massachusetts representative, Zabdiel Sampson (1781-1828).



MordecaiOrigin: Biblical
Meaning: debated
Gender: Masculine

The name is of debated origin and meaning. It is found in the Book of Esther as the name of the adopted father of Esther, the son of Jair of the tribe of Benjamin. Mordecai was a Persian subject of Jewish extraction who refused to bow down before Haman, who as a result, proclaimed an edict to kill all Jews. Through the successful plotting of Mordecai and his adopted daughter Esther, they were both able to entrust themselves to the Persian king who upon marrying Esther, foiled Haman’s plot to annihilate the Jews.

The meaning and origin of the name itself seems to be debated. A popular theory is that it is from a Persian name, Marduku, which simply means “servant of Marduk” or “belonging to Marduk.” Marduk was the name of the supreme Sumerian creator diety who had been worshipped in Ancient Persia and Babylon. According to scholars, it would not have been unlikely for Jews to bear the name of a pagan diety as many exiled Jews took the names of their captors; among ancient Persian Jews, Marduk would have just been a general translation of “God.”

Other theories propound that it comes from various Hebrew root words, such as

  • מַר, מָרִיר (mar) “bitter”
  • from a Hebrew source r-d-d “bruising”
  • from a Hebrew source m-r-d “contrition”

According to rabbinic literature, a Midrashic interpretation of Mordecai is that the name is from the Hebrew words, mara dochi, meaning “pure myrrh.” It is also suggested that  Mordecai’s name was actually Mordecai Bilshan, based on Ezra 2:2 and Nehemiah 7:7, and thus the name has also been interpreted as meaning “master of many languages” due to the latter element, reminding readers that Mordecai was highly learned.

In the English-speaking world, Mordecai has been in use since at least the 16th-century, and seems to come into popular use after the Protestant Reformation.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Mardec’hai (Breton)
  • Mordechai (German/Dutch)
  • Mardoqueo (Spanish)
  • Mardochée (French)
  • Mardocheo (Italian)
  • Mordekai (Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Mardocheusz (Polish)
  • Mordecai (Portuguese)
  • Mardohej Мардохей (Russian)
  • Mordekaj (Serbo-Croatian)
  • Mordokai (Finnish)
  • Mardohaj Мордехай (Ukrainian)

Mordecai has not appeared in the U.S. top 1000, but Mordechai has. The latter entered the U.S. top 1000 in 2003 when it came in as the 963rd most popular male name. Mordechai disappeared and reentered in 2016 as the 998th most popular male name.

Nicknames include:

  • Mordy
  • Chai/Kai



JerichoFrom the name of a city mentioned in the Bible which is now located in Palestine. The meaning of the name is debated, some sources claim the name is from a Caananite word reah meaning “fragant” or the Canaanite word for moon (yareah), as the city was once the centre of worship for the Caananite moon-god Yarikh. Yarikh’s name also appears as Jarah, Jerah and Jorah. In modern times, the name is referred to as ʼArīḥā, in Arabic, meaning “fragrant.”

It’s use as a given name can possibly be traced to the 16th-century. Records indicate a scattering of Jereachs and Jerichs in England, and Jerigos in Germany is attested to many times, though I cannot tell if these are related to Jericho or if they are a form of George or Jeorg. Jericho definitely comes up in records by the 18th-century both in England and the United States.

The name first appeared in the U.S. top 1000 in 2013 and currently ranks in as the 932nd most popular male name.

A possible short form is Jerry.

The name appears in other languages in the following manner, though keep in mind that most of these are anecdotal.

Chericó (Aragonese)
Ijeryhon/Jeryhon Іерыхон Ерыхон (Belarusian)
Jerihon Йерихон (Bulgarian/Serbo-Croatian)
Jericó (Catalan/Portuguese/Spanish)
Ierihón Иерихо́н (Chuvash)
Jericho (Czech/Dutch/English/German/Slovak)
Jeriko (Danish/Finnish/Norwegian/Swedish)
Jeeriko (Estonian)
Jéricho (French)
Xericó (Galician)
Ierikoni იერიქონი (Georgian)
Jerikó (Hungarian)
Ireachó (Irish-Gaelic)
Gerico (Italian)
Jerichò (Kashubian)
Jērika/Jerihona (Latvian)
Jerichas (Lithuanian)
Iericho Ιεριχώ (Modern Greek)
Jerico (Occitanian)
Jerycho (Polish)
Ierihon Иерихон (Romanian/Russian)
Yeriko (Swahili)
Yeryxon Єрихон (Ukrainian)




WatchtowerOrigin: Hebrew; Finnish; Russian; Sanskrit
Hebrew Meaning: fear of God; watchful; making bare; pointing out
Sanskrit Meaning: various
Finnish meaning: a diminutive offshoot of Irene.
Russian meaning: a diminutive offshoot of Irenej/Irina
Pronunciation: I-rah; EE-rah
Gender: Hebrew: Male; Russian: unisex; Sanskrit: Unisex; Finnish: Female

The name is cross-cultural and can either be male or female depending on the language it stems from.

It is found in the Old Testament/Torah as the name of 2 minor characters. It was the name of King David’s High Priest or chief minister, and also the name of one of King David’s mighty warriors. In its Hebrew context, Ira’s meaning is debated. I mostly found sources stating the name means “watchful,” but there have been no Hebrew sources I could find establishing this. A modern Hebrew dictionary lists the word ירא (ira) as meaning “fearful” and also “a person who fears the lord,” as well as “respectful;” and “venerating.” Hitchcock Bible Names listed several other possible meanings as listed above. Wikipedia has listed the name as also possibly meaning “wild ass,” but again, I could find no other sources supporting the latter claim.

Its use as male given name in the English-speaking world started to sporadically occur both in England and in the United States in the 17th-century. The name has always been mainly used by Russian-Jewish families, and not until the late 1800s when the U.S. and England experienced mass immigration of Russian-Jews. The few records that do occur in the 17th-century were mostly likely of Protestant Christians.

As for other Jewish communities, it doesn’t seem to have ever been popular. There is some record for Ira’s use among Medieval Middle Eastern Jews, but among Medieval Western and Southern European Jews, there is no record of it ever being used, or at least none that I can find. It seems to have become common in the late 19th-century, specifically among Russian and Polish-Jews, possibly due to its similarity to the Polish diminutive male name Irek (dim. of Ireneusz) and the Russian male diminutive Ira (dim. of Irenej). Early Russian-American Jews often anglicized the name as Irving, though these two names have no etymological relation.

The name can also be a Finnish female name (pronounced EE-rah), which is a diminutive form of Iriina, and has long been in use as an independent name.

In Sanskrit, depending on the script used, the name can be associated with the Sanskrit word ईर (wind) (masculine), and is associated with the Hindu god, Vayu.

According to Hindu legend, Ira is the name of one of the 62 daughters of Daksha and was married to the sage Kashyaba. It is uncertain which Sanskrit source this particular name relates to.

It is also used as another name for the Goddess Sarasvati and is perhaps related to the Sanskrit feminine word इरा (earth).

A notable bearer of the name was American lyricist, Ira Gershwin, whose birth name was actually Israel.

In the United States, the name has been in and of the U.S. Top 1000 Most Popular Male Names since the 1900s. It peaked at 101 in 1900 and fell off the charts in 1992. It recently re-emerged and is currently the 950th most popular male name in the United States.



Candace, Candice

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Ethiopian
Meaning: “queen mother.”
Eng (KAN-dis; kan-DAY-see; KAN-də-see) Fre (kahn-DEES)

The name is taken from an old Cushitic term for a hereditary queen of the ancient Kingdom of Cush (now Ethiopia), being derived from kdke meaning, “queen mother.” In the New Testament the title was mistaken for the actual name of an Ethiopian queen, sometimes appearing the in Greek form of Kandake (Κανδακη).

In history, Candace of Meroe was a legendary Nubian queen who went to war with Alexander the Great, in some legends, she is his lover.

The name became popular among the Puritans being originally pronounced as either (kan-DAY-see) or (KAN-deh-see). Daisy was a popular nickname. By the middle of the 20th-century, Candy became the default nickname.

The highest Candace ever ranked in U.S. naming history was in 1984 being the 101st most popular female name. Her variation of Candice ranked far higher, coming in as the 78th most popular female name in 1982.

As of 2010, Candice was the 93rd most popular female name in France.

Kandake is used as a given name in modern Ethiopia.

Another nickname is Caddy.