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Scriptsיוֹנָה Ancient Hebrew
PronouncedPron.JO-nə English

Meaning & History

From the Hebrew name יוֹנָה (Yonah) meaning "dove". This was the name of a prophet swallowed by a fish, as told in the Old Testament Book of Jonah. Jonah was commanded by God to preach in Nineveh, but instead fled by boat. After being caught in a storm, the other sailors threw Jonah overboard, at which point he was swallowed. He emerged from the fish alive and repentant three days later.

Jonah's story was popular in the Middle Ages, and the Hellenized form Jonas was occasionally used in England. The form Jonah did not become common until after the Protestant Reformation.
Other Languages & CulturesYunus Arabic Ionas Biblical Greek Yonah Biblical Hebrew Iona, Ionas Biblical Latin Jonáš Czech Jonas Danish Jonas Dutch Joonas Estonian Joona, Joonas Finnish Iona Georgian Jonas German Yonah Hebrew Jónas Icelandic Giona Italian Jonas Norwegian Iona Russian Jonáš Slovak Jonas Swedish Yunus Turkish


Jonah Leaving the Whale by Jan Brueghel the Elder (c. 1600)Jonah Leaving the Whale by Jan Brueghel the Elder (c. 1600)


actors, animals, athletes, biblical, birds, books of the Bible, fauna, fish, Gundam characters, minor prophets of the Old Testament, nature, ocean, Orthodox Saints, Ozark characters, prophets, The Nanny characters, underwater, white
Entry updated December 8, 2017   Contribute