"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Names and Meanings

If you are on Facebook, you know they have these silly quizzes and name things that suck people into doing.  I'd seen a number of my friends post "Origin of:  [insert your name]" and then you'd get some reply like I did.

Sus / Anne were Arabic in origin for Warrior / Princess.

I actually did it twice, and the second time received this:

Sus / Anne from Egyptian for Little / Fighter

Either way it seems I like fighting!

I was really hoping for Susa meaning "difficult" in Malay like my friend, Lat, told me a few years ago.  This amuses me.

From baby name books and websites, I already knew the meaning of Susanna. 

Meaning & History
From Σουσαννα (Sousanna), the Greek form of the Hebrew name שׁוֹשַׁנָּה (Shoshannah). This was derived from the Hebrew word שׁוֹשָׁן (shoshan) meaning "lily" (in modern Hebrew this also means "rose"), perhaps ultimately from Egyptian sšn "lotus". In the Old Testament Apocrypha this is the name of a woman falsely accused of adultery. The prophet Daniel clears her name by tricking her accusers, who end up being condemned themselves. It also occurs in the New Testament belonging to a woman who ministered to Christ.As an English name, it was occasionally used during the Middle Ages in honour of the Old Testament heroine. It did not become common until after the Protestant Reformation, at which time it was often spelled Susan

A Jewish friend, Naomi, chimed in on this topic, and gave me this information about my name and a couple family names.  I basically wanted to save the information so I'm posting it here.

"Susanne is Hebrew - it is a corruption of Shoshana, which means Lily, as in Song of Songs 2:1, "I am the rose of Sharon, I am the lily of the valley (Shoshanat HaEmek)."

About Rebekah, she wrote:

" Rebecca is more complicated. It is a Jewish name but the origins predate Hebrew - if you remember, the Biblical Rebecca was not the daughter of a Jew."

which was a little weird because I hadn't thought of that, and always considered it a Hebrew name, I suppose. Hmmm.

About Rose of Sharon:

"Chavatzelet haSharon ("Ch" as in Bach) In modern Hebrew the accent almost always falls on the last or penultimate syllable."

I asked if a girl were named Rose in Hebrew if she'd be "Chavatzelet" (I got that from the phrase mentioned above), and she replied,


"The word is archaic. The modern Hebrew name is Vered or Varda. Both popular names."

Note:  Although I've always gone by Susanne, my real name is Susanna Rebekah.  My mom is Sharon, and Rose is a well-used name on my maternal grandmother's side of the family.   


jaraad said...

Is the middle name an American thing only or do Europeans have a middle name as well?

Regarding the origin of the name thing on Facebook, all the Arabic ones I saw were wrong.

Susanne said...

I figured they were ALL wrong..too bad. But it was a little entertaining, I suppose.

Good question about middle names. You made me curious so I found this on Mental Floss.

"In ancient Rome, having multiple names was an honor usually bestowed upon the most important people—like Gaius Julius Caesar. The fad died out only to pick back up again in Western cultures in the 1700s, when aristocrats started giving their children lavishly long names to indicate their place in society. Similarly, lengthy Spanish and Arabic names adopt paternal or maternal names from previous generations to trace the individual’s family tree. (In other cultures, like Chinese, there are traditionally no middle names.)

The three-name structure used today began in the Middle Ages when Europeans were torn between giving their child a saint’s name or a common family name. The practice of giving three names eventually resolved the problem with a formula: given name first, baptismal name second, surname third. It branched to America as immigrants arrived: Adopting a trio of labels became a way of aspiring to a higher social class. Nonreligious middle names—often maternal maiden names—gradually became the norm, and by the Civil War, it was customary to name your child whatever you liked. Middle names had started to become more or less official by World War I, when the U.S. enlistment form became the first official government document to include space for them."

source: http://mentalfloss.com/article/58440/why-do-we-have-middle-names

So, yes, it seems we got the middle name thing from Europe. :)

jaraad said...

Interesting. Thank you.
I didn't know the Spanish names are similar to Arabic ones. Good to know.

Haitham Jafar said...

Fighter / difficult or a bit of both, too, maybe :P

Interesting info for sure.
There is a saying in Arabic that each person has something attached to him/her from the name they go by (rough translation <---- disclaimer :D)
I think this is somewhat true although some people tend to over-emphasize such notion.

In a related query; why do we the names for colours as they are (in any language!) - *how is that related haitham!* :P

Susanne said...

I like your thoughts on names, Haitham! :)

That's interesting about the Arabic saying concerning names, too! Glad you shared that.

Rebekka @ Becky's Kaleidoscope said...

I never realized that your middle name is the same as my first name. :)