Thursday, October 1, 2015

Throwback Thursday #6: It Had to Be Jew

In honor of my recent two year anniversary with my boyfriend, this Throwback Thursday is brought to you by his family tree! His Jewish ancestors immigrated to the US in the early 1900's from Eastern Europe, so there's quite a few foreign names to be found. I was only too excited for these new names (at least to me) when he showed me his family tree.

On a personal note, our names are at #6 and #7 currently - Ethan and Emily. While I'm used to being surrounded by Emily's, Ethan's name trended upwards a bit later. This means that if we hear someone yell "Ethan", it's usually a mom to her six-year-old.

A pretty gross picture of us in 2013

Female names

Fannie - short form of Frances, meaning "free man"
While this is a really cute name that should be brought back with the nickname-name trend, it's a slang term in the UK that won't go over well. 

Simi - short form of Simcha, meaning "happiness"
While Simcha is traditionally a boy's name, I think it's a great unisex choice. Simi has a bright, fun sound and a great meaning. Southern California residents will also recognize it's connection to Simi Valley, though the valley title comes from the Chumash language. 

Ochel - ?
I've done quite a bit of research to no avail. If any readers can find out Ochel's origins, I'd be grateful! I'm 99% sure it's Hebrew, perhaps with some translation errors. 

Sandel - spelling variation of Shaindel, diminutive of Shaina, meaning "beautiful"
While this name would definitely get some shoe-related teasing, learning more nicknames for Shaina and the like is always fun. 

Male names

Isidore - from Greek, "gift of Isis"
I was surprised to see a Greek name on a mostly Hebrew list, but thanks to Behind the Name, I found out that it seems to have become popular in Jewish families as the Americanization of Isaac, Israel or Isaiah. This name is cute, and could definitely fit in with all the other Is-names on the playground.

Tvie - spelling variation of the Yiddish form of Tobiah, "God is good"
Many of you might be familiar with this name through the main character of "Fiddler on the Roof", Tevye. The Slavic sound is cool and unusual, and it's a great cousin of Toby

Cornelius - from Latin, "horn" 
This name only dropped off the list in 2009, so it's not as outdated as you might think. While the sound may be "corny", it's definitely got character (and a few literary references). 

Zalman - variation of Solomon, meaning "peace"
Well-known author Salman Rushdie has made this name more recognizable, but it's got a personality all its own. The Z adds zip, but the history is classic. Check out other old Z-names in my Throwback Thursday post from September 3rd!

Any names you haven't heard of? Can any readers offer more history for these variations? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. Ochel is definitely Hebrew -- I'm finding it in phrases like beit ochel and hadar ochel, apparently meaning 'dining hall'! I'm betting it's origin as a name lies elsewhere.