8 Hebrew Names
Whether you're on an international search for an uncommon name, or you want to connect Baby to your Jewish roots (Mazel tov!), Hebrew names offer a world of interesting possibilities. Here are a few names, old and new, for your consideration.
Rarely heard in the States (it’s more common in Israel), Nava is a soft, feminine girl’s name which—aptly—means “pretty.” (You might call it the multicultural version of Bella.) Nava has Spanish, Hindi, and Native American incarnations. At once sweet and sophisticated, this versatile name is overdue for a popularity boost.
This Hebrew variation of Michael feels more masculine with an “H” on the end, but is interesting and appropriate for either gender. Also the name of the shiny, sheet-like minerals found embedded in rock, Mica is a modern-sounding, yet grounded unisex choice.
Pronounced with a long “E” in its first syllable and meaning “stone,” this boy’s name is related to Ebenezer (which has its own so-uncool-it’s-cool appeal). Modern, short and unusual, Eben is a perfect choice for parents looking to name outside the box.
Another solid unisex option, Koren means “gleaming,” and sounds a bit like the Irish name Kieran. An unusual, upbeat name that’s especially nice—and traditionally used—for a boy, its feminine usage stems from its Greek, rather than Hebrew, origins.
The word zahav means “gold” in Hebrew, and Zahava—a derivative name meaning “flower”—is rising in popularity, thanks to the Jolie-Pitt’s choice of the similar-sounding Zahara for one of their daughters. Zahava offers a different twist with an equally feminine, textured sound.
The name of Moses’ father-in-law, as well as a character on the early 1960s-1970s TV show The Beverly Hillbillies, Jethro‘s cultural clout also includes reference to the rock band Jethro Tull. A traditional name with campy cultural associations, plus an ‘O’-sound ending? This is modern baby name gold. Its meaning, appropriately, is “abundance.”
Meaning “gives joy,” and derived from the Hebrew Avigail, Abigail is familiar in the American name lexicon, but is nonetheless a traditional choice; in the Bible, Abigail was King David’s wife. This pretty name shortens to the ever-accessible Abby, and is now backed by a world of notable namesakes including First Lady Abigail Adams and Hawaiian princess Abigail Kaw?nanakoa.
In the Bible, Adlai was the father of one of King David’s herdsmen. In the 20th century, presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson popularized the name. Today, Adlai—which means “witness,” or “God is just”—is a beautiful Biblical name with an unusual sound and cool, contemporary feel.
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