AARONאַהֲרֹןmEnglish, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name אַהֲרֹן ('Aharon)
which is most likely of unknown Egyptian origin. Other theories claim a Hebrew derivation, and suggest meanings such as "high mountain" or "exalted". In the Old Testament this name is borne by the older brother of Moses
. He acted as a spokesman for his brother when they appealed to the pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery. Aaron's rod produced miracles and plagues to intimidate the pharaoh. After the departure from Egypt and arrival at Mount Sinai, God installed Aaron as the first high priest of the Israelites and promised that his descendants would form the priesthood.... [more]
ABRAHAMאַבְרָהָםmEnglish, Hebrew, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
This name may be viewed either as meaning "father of many" in Hebrew or else as a contraction of ABRAM (1)
and הָמוֹן (hamon)
meaning "many, multitude". The biblical patriarch Abraham was originally named Abram but God changed his name (see Genesis 17:5). With his father Terah
, he led his wife Sarah
, his nephew Lot
and their other followers from Ur into Canaan. He is regarded by Jews as being the founder of the Hebrews through his son Isaac
and by Muslims as being the founder of the Arabs through his son Ishmael
ADAMאָדָםmEnglish, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Russian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Romanian, Catalan, Hebrew, Arabic, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek, Biblical Hebrew
This is the Hebrew word for "man". It could be ultimately derived from Hebrew אדם ('adam)
meaning "to be red", referring to the ruddy colour of human skin, or from Akkadian adamu
meaning "to make".... [more]
Means "strong, mighty" in Hebrew. This word is used in the Hebrew Bible to describe God.
Means "small wave, ripple" in Hebrew.
Form of YAAKOV
. Akiba ben Joseph was a prominent 1st-century Jewish sage.
Means "to ascend" in Hebrew. This is also a Hebrew word referring to immigration to Israel.
Means "old" in Yiddish. This name was traditionally given to a sickly newborn by Jewish parents in order to confuse the Angel of Death, in the hopes that he would go looking for somebody younger or somebody else.
AMOSעָמוֹסmEnglish, Hebrew, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek, Biblical Hebrew
From Hebrew עָמַס ('amas)
meaning "load, burden". Amos is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Amos, which speaks against greed, corruption and oppression of the poor. Written about the 8th century BC, it is among the oldest of the prophetic books. As an English name, Amos
has been used since the Protestant Reformation, and was popular among the Puritans.
ARIELאֲרִיאֵלm & fHebrew, English, French, Spanish, Biblical, Biblical Greek
Means "lion of God" in Hebrew, from אֲרִי ('ari)
meaning "lion" and אֵל (el)
meaning "God". In the Old Testament it is used as another name for the city of Jerusalem. Shakespeare used it as the name of a spirit in his play 'The Tempest' (1611), and one of the moons of Uranus bears this name in his honour. As an English name, it became more common for females in the 1980s, especially after it was used for the title character in the Walt Disney film 'The Little Mermaid' (1989).
Means "doe, gazelle, hind" in Hebrew.
Means "gazelle, hind". It is taken from the Hebrew phrase אַיֶלֶת הַשַׁחַר ('ayelet hashachar)
, literally "gazelle of dawn", which is a name of the morning star.
Means "blessed" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a companion of the prophet Jeremiah, acting as his scribe and assistant. The deuterocanonical Book of Baruch was supposedly written by him. A famous bearer was Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), a Dutch-Jewish rationalist philosopher.
Means "bear" in Yiddish, a vernacular form of Dov
From the title of the Virgin Mary Our Lady of Carmel
(Karmel) (meaning "garden" in Hebrew) is a mountain in Israel mentioned in the Old Testament. It was the site of several early Christian monasteries. As an English given name, it has mainly been used by Catholics.
Derived from the Hebrew word חַיִּים (chayyim)
meaning "life". It has been used since medieval times.
DANIELדָּנִיֵּאלmEnglish, Hebrew, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Croatian, Armenian, Georgian, Biblical, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name דָּנִיֵּאל (Daniyyel)
meaning "God is my judge", from the roots דִּין (din)
meaning "to judge" and אֵל (el)
meaning "God". Daniel was a Hebrew prophet whose story is told in the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament. He lived during the Jewish captivity in Babylon, where he served in the court of the king, rising to prominence by interpreting the king's dreams. The book also presents Daniel's four visions of the end of the world.... [more]
DARדַּרf & mHebrew
Means "mother-of-pearl, nacre" in Hebrew.
DAVIDדָּוִדmEnglish, Hebrew, French, Scottish, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Czech, Slovene, Russian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Romanian, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name דָּוִד (Dawid)
, which was derived from Hebrew דּוֹד (dod)
meaning "beloved" or "uncle". David was the second and greatest of the kings of Israel, ruling in the 10th century BC. Several stories about him are told in the Old Testament, including his defeat of Goliath
, a giant Philistine. According to the New Testament, Jesus
was descended from him.... [more]
DEBORAHדְּבוֹרָהfEnglish, Hebrew, Biblical
Means "bee" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Book of Judges, Deborah is a heroine and prophetess who leads the Israelites when they are threatened by the Canaanites. She forms an army under the command of Barak
, and together they destroy the army of the Canaanite commander Sisera. Also in the Old Testament, this is the name of the nurse of Rebecca.... [more]
DIKLAHדִּקְלָהm & fHebrew, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Possibly means "palm grove" in Hebrew or Aramaic. In the Old Testament this is the name of a son of Joktan. In modern times it is also used as a feminine name.
DORדּוֹרm & fHebrew
Means "generation" in Hebrew.
Means "my generation" in Hebrew.
Means "freedom" or "sparrow" in Hebrew.
EDENעֵדֶןf & mHebrew, English (Modern)
Means "place of pleasure" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament the Garden of Eden was the place where the first people, Adam
, lived before they were expelled.
EHUDאֵהוּדmBiblical, Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew
Meaning unknown, possibly related to Hebrew אֶחָד ('echad)
meaning "one". In the Old Testament this is the name of one of the biblical judges. He killed Eglon, the king of Moab, and freed the city of Jericho from Moabite rule.
ELAHאֵלָהf & mHebrew, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Means "oak tree" or "terebinth tree" in Hebrew. This was the name of the fourth king of Israel, as told in the Old Testament. He was murdered by Zimri
, who succeeded him. In modern Hebrew this is typically a feminine name.
ELI (1)עֵלִיmEnglish, Hebrew, Biblical, Biblical Greek, Biblical Hebrew
Means "ascension" in Hebrew. In the Books of Samuel in the Old Testament he is a high priest of the Israelites. He took the young Samuel
into his service and gave him guidance when God spoke to him. Because of the misdeeds of his sons, Eli and his descendants were cursed to die before reaching old age.... [more]
ELIJAHאֱלִיָּהוּmEnglish, Hebrew, Biblical
From the Hebrew name אֱלִיָּהוּ ('Eliyyahu)
meaning "my God is YAHWEH
", derived from the elements אֵל (el)
and יָה (yah)
, both referring to the Hebrew God. Elijah was a Hebrew prophet and miracle worker, as told in the two Books of Kings in the Old Testament. He was active in the 9th century BC during the reign of King Ahab
of Israel and his Phoenician-born queen Jezebel
. Elijah confronted the king and queen over their idolatry of the Canaanite god Ba'al
and other wicked deeds. At the end of his life he was carried to heaven in a chariot of fire, and was succeeded by Elisha
. In the New Testament, Elijah and Moses
appear next to Jesus
when he is transfigured.... [more]
Means "my God is my light" in Hebrew.
Diminutive of ESTHER
. A famous bearer was the American businesswoman Estée Lauder (1908-2004), founder of the cosmetics company that bears her name. Her birth name was Josephine Esther Mentzer. Apparently she added the accent to her name Estee
in order to make it appear French.
ESTHERאֶסְתֵרfEnglish, French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Possibly means "star" in Persian. Alternatively it could be a derivative of the name of the Near Eastern goddess ISHTAR
. The Book of Esther in the Old Testament tells the story of Queen Esther, the Jewish wife of the king of Persia. The king's advisor Haman
persuaded the king to exterminate all the Jews in the realm. Warned of this plot by her cousin Mordecai
, Esther revealed her Jewish ancestry and convinced the king to execute Haman instead. Her original Hebrew name was Hadassah
Means "might, strength" in Hebrew.
EZRAעֶזְרָאmBiblical, English, Hebrew
Means "help" in Hebrew. Ezra is a prophet of the Old Testament and the author of the Book of Ezra. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. The American poet Ezra Pound (1885-1972) was a famous bearer.
GIDEONגִּדְעוֹןmBiblical, English, Hebrew
Means "feller, hewer" in Hebrew. Gideon is a hero and judge of the Old Testament. He led the vastly outnumbered Israelites against the Midianites, defeated them, and killed their two kings. In the English-speaking world, Gideon
has been used as a given name since the Protestant Reformation, and it was popular among the Puritans.
HADARהָדָרf & mHebrew
Means "splendour, glory" in Hebrew.
HANNAHחַנָּהfEnglish, Hebrew, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Arabic, Biblical
From the Hebrew name חַנָּה (Channah)
meaning "favour, grace", derived from the root חָנַן (chanan)
. In the Old Testament this is the name of the wife of Elkanah
. Her rival was Elkanah's other wife Peninnah
, who had children while Hannah remained barren. After a blessing from Eli
she finally became pregnant with Samuel
Means "altar, mountain of God" in Hebrew. In the Hebrew Old Testament this word is applied to the altar in the temple in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 43:15).
Yiddish diminutive of HIRSH
. As a non-Jewish American name (somewhat common around the end of the 19th century), it was likely inspired by the German surname HERSCHEL
, borne for instance by the British-German astronomer William Herschel (1738-1822).
Means "deer" in Yiddish. The deer is particularly associated with the tribe of Naphtali
(see Genesis 49:21).
Means "tongue of a bell" in Hebrew.
Means "amber" in Hebrew.
IRA (1)עִירָאmBiblical, English, Hebrew
Means "watchful" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of King David
's priest. As an English Christian given name, Ira
began to be used after the Protestant Reformation. In the 17th century the Puritans brought it to America, where remained moderately common into the 20th century.
Means "asphodel" in Hebrew (an asphodel is a type of flower).
IRVINGmEnglish, Scottish, Jewish
From a Scottish surname which was in turn derived from a Scottish place name meaning "green water". Historically this name has been relatively common among Jews, who have used it as an American-sounding form of Hebrew names beginning with I
such as Isaac
. A famous bearer was the Russian-American songwriter and lyricist Irving Berlin (1888-1989), whose birth name was Israel Beilin.
ISAACיִץְחָקmEnglish, Spanish, Catalan, Jewish, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name יִץְחָק (Yitzchaq)
meaning "he will laugh, he will rejoice", derived from צָחַק (tzachaq)
meaning "to laugh". The Old Testament explains this meaning, by recounting that Abraham
laughed when God told him that his aged wife Sarah
would become pregnant with Isaac (see Genesis 17:17), and later Sarah laughed when overhearing the same prophecy (see Genesis 18:12). When Isaac was a boy, God tested Abraham's faith by ordering him to sacrifice his son, though an angel prevented the act at the last moment. Isaac went on to become the father of Esau
with his wife Rebecca
ISRAELיִשְׂרָאֵלmJewish, English, Biblical, Biblical Greek
From the Hebrew name יִשְׂרָאֵל (Yisra'el)
meaning "God contends", from the roots שָׂרָה (sarah)
meaning "to contend, to fight" and אֵל (el)
meaning "God". In the Old Testament Israel (who was formerly named Jacob
; see Genesis 32:28) wrestles with an angel. The ancient and modern states of Israel took their names from him.
JACOBיַעֲקֹבmEnglish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Jewish, Biblical
From the Latin Iacobus
, which was from the Greek Ιακωβος (Iakobos)
, which was from the Hebrew name יַעֲקֹב (Ya'aqov)
. In the Old Testament Jacob (later called Israel
) is the son of Isaac
and the father of the twelve founders of the twelve tribes of Israel. He was born holding his twin brother Esau
's heel, and his name is explained as meaning "holder of the heel" or "supplanter", because he twice deprived his brother of his rights as the firstborn son (see Genesis 27:36). Other theories claim that it is in fact derived from a hypothetical name like יַעֲקֹבְאֵל (Ya'aqov'el)
meaning "may God protect".... [more]
JUDITHיְהוּדִיתfEnglish, Jewish, French, German, Spanish, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יְהוּדִית (Yehudit)
meaning "Jewish woman", feminine of יְהוּדִי (yehudi)
, ultimately referring to a person from the tribe of Judah
. In the Old Testament Judith is one of the Hittite wives of Esau
. This is also the name of the main character of the apocryphal Book of Judith. She killed Holofernes, an invading Assyrian commander, by beheading him in his sleep.... [more]
Means "horn" or "ray of light" in Hebrew.
From the name of the large lake in northern Israel, usually called the Sea of Galilee in English. Its name is derived from Hebrew כִּנּוֹר (kinnor)
meaning "harp" because of its shape.
LEAHלֵאָהfEnglish, Hebrew, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
From the Hebrew name לֵאָה (Le'ah)
which was probably derived from the Hebrew word לְאָה (le'ah)
meaning "weary". Alternatively it might derive from a Chaldean name meaning "mistress" or "ruler" in Akkadian. In the Old Testament Leah is the first wife of Jacob
and the mother of seven of his children. Jacob's other wife was Leah's sister Rachel
. Although this name was used by Jews in the Middle Ages, it was not typical as an English Christian name until after the Protestant Reformation, being common among the Puritans.
LEVIלֵוִיmHebrew, English, Dutch, Biblical, Biblical Latin
Possibly means "joined, attached" in Hebrew. As told in the Old Testament, Levi was the third son of Jacob
, and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of the Israelites, known as the Levites. This was the tribe that formed the priestly class of the Israelites. The brothers Moses
were members. In the New Testament this is another name for the apostle Matthew
. As an English Christian name, Levi
came into use after the Protestant Reformation.
Means "she is mine" in Hebrew.
LIORלִיאוֹרm & fHebrew
Means "light for me" in Hebrew.
LIRONלִירוֹןm & fHebrew
Means "song for me" or "joy for me" in Hebrew.
MALACHIמַלְאָכִיmHebrew, English, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From the Hebrew name מַלְאָכִי (Mal'akhi)
meaning "my messenger" or "my angel". This is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Malachi, which some claim foretells the coming of Christ. In England the name came into use after the Protestant Reformation.
From the name of a type of flowering plant common in Israel, called the scarlet pimpernel in English.
From the Hebrew name םְנַחֵם (Menachem)
meaning "comforter". This was the name of a king of Israel, appearing in the Old Testament. His reign was noted for its brutality.
Variant transcription of MEIR
. It also coincides with a German surname meaning "mayor, leader".
MICHAL (2)מִיכַלfBiblical, Hebrew
Possibly means "brook" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament she is a daughter of Saul
. She was married to David
, but after David fled from Saul he remarried her to someone else. Later, when David became king, he ordered her returned to him.
MIRIAMמִרְיָםfHebrew, English, German, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Original Hebrew form of MARY
. It is used in the Old Testament, where it belongs to the elder sister of Moses
. She watched over the infant Moses as the pharaoh's daughter drew him from the Nile. The name has long been popular among Jews, and it has been used as an English Christian name since the Protestant Reformation.
From the name of the highest mountain in Israel, Mount Meron. It is also the name of a village on its slopes, thought to be on the same site as the ancient Canaanite city of Merom.