Jahaziel

JahazielOrigin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: “beheld by God; vision of God”
Gender: Masculine
(juh-HAZE-ee-el)

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.

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Zelda

ZeldaThe name can either be a Yiddish feminine form of Selig (blessed; happy) or a diminutive form of Griselda.

The name came became somewhat widespread at the turn of the 20th-century thanks to the American writer, Zelda Fitzgerald (1900-1948), who in her case, was named for the fictional characters in Jane Howard’s Zelda: A Tale of the Massachusetts Colony (1866) and Robert Edward Francillon’s Zelda’s Fortune (1874).

Despite its vintage feel, Zelda has only recently appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 within the last 2 years, first entering in 2015. It is currently the 689th most popular female name.

This is also the name of the character from the video game series, The Legend of Zelda by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka.

Other notable bearers include American fashion designer, Zelda Wynn Valdes (1905-2001), American actress Zelda Rubenstein (1933-2010) and American actress, daughter of Robin Williams, Zelda Williams (b.1986).

Another form is Selda.

The name has also occurred in occasional use in French-speaking countries, Spanish and Portuguese-Speaking countries and German-Speaking countries.

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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.

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Joah

JoahOrigin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: “Yahweh is brother; brother of Yahweh”
Gender: Masculine
(JOH-ah)

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.

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Tamir

TamirOrigin: Hebrew
Meaning: “secret; hidden”; “tall.”
Gender: Masculine
(tah-MEER)

The name is related to two different Hebrew words,  טמיר (secret; hidden), or תָּמִיר (tall). This is one of the many modern Hebrew vocabulary names that came into use after the creation of the State of Israel in 1948

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Adiel

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.

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Shai

Shai.jpgOrigin: Hebrew שַׁי
Meaning: “gift”
Gender: masculine
(SHY)

The name comes directly from the Hebrew word for “gift,” but is often used as a diminutive form of Isaiah (Hebrew Yeshayah/Yeshaiah). Sometimes the name is transliterated as Shay. In recent years, the name has occasionally been given to females.

Alternately, in Egyptian mythology, Shai was the name of the personification of fate. Shai was a sort of deity who was believed to decide the span of man’s life at birth and is one of the dieties present upon judgment of the deceased’s soul.

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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

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Zabdiel

zabdielOrigin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: bestowed by God; gift of God
Gender: Masculine
(ZAB-dee-el)

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).

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Mordecai

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

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