- Theophoric name
:"See technical note on viewing special characters."
A theophoric name (Greek: "bearing a deity") embeds the name of a god, both invoking and displaying the protection of that deity. Instances of theophoric names embedding
Apollo, will be familiar among the many men named "Apollonios" or "Apollodorus" in Greek Antiquity.
Theophoric names were also exceedingly common in the
Ancient Near Eastand Mesopotamia, where the personal name of an individual included the name of a god in whose care the individual is entrusted. The practice, called in onomasticstheophory, refers to this namingconvention of adding a god's name (or the local equivalent of the generic term for "god") to an individual's proper name.
Judaism and biblical
The name of God that appears in Hebrew biblical texts as יהוה transliterates as YHWH,(For more information about the pronunciation of יהוה see
Tetragrammaton, Jehovahand Yahweh)
Here, "-hh" at the end of a word means Hebrew "h" with
mappiq, showing that that 'h' must be pronounced and is not a mater lectionis.
Among the Biblical names that have developed this way are:
Referring to God:
Elizabeth: Hebrew Elisheva= "my God is an oath" or "my God is abundance"
*El: Samuel: "his name is El"
Michael: "Who is like God?"
Yahweh: Jonathan (Hebrew Yônāṯān or Yehônāṯān: "who Yahweh gave"
Jesus: Ye·shu′a‛ or Yehoh·shu′a‛: “Yahweh/Jehovah Is Salvation”.
Referring to other gods:
Abijam: "my father is Yam"
Zedek: Melchizedek: "My king is Zedek"
Nabu: Nebuchadnezzar(in BabylonianNabu-kudurri-usur)
Baal: Ishbaal: "man of Baal".
Theophoric names in Baal were sometimes "censored" as "-bosheth" = "shameful one", whence
Some names could be controversial political statements: "
Beliah" can mean "Baal is Yahweh", " Jael" and " Elijah" can mean "Yahweh is El" (and vice-versa, respectively), while " Jabin" can mean "Yahweh is the son".
Theophoric names with "Yeho" or "Yo" prefixes or "Yah" or "Yahu" suffixes
"The name of the Israelite deity YHWH (usually shortened to Yah or Yahu) appears in many theophoric names of the First Temple Period, e.g., Yirme-yahu (
Jeremiah), Yesha-yahu ( Isaiah), Netan-yah, Yedid-yah, Adoni-yah, Nekhem-yah.
"Yahū" or "Yehū" is a common short form for "
Yahweh" in Hebrew names; as a prefix it sometimes appears as "Yehō-". In former times that was thought to be abbreviated from the supposed pronunciation "Yehowah". There is nowadays an opinion [http://members.fortunecity.com/yahuwthah/Resource-577/AnsonLetter.htm] that, as "Yahweh" is likely an imperfectiveverb form, "Yahu" is its corresponding preteriteor jussiveshort form: compare "yiŝtahaweh" (imperfective), "yiŝtáhû" (preterit or jussive short form) = "do obeisance".
However, the name
Judah(Yehūdah) is not an example: here the "ye-" is a verb imperfectiveprefix, and the name means "He adds [a son to my family] ". Some other examples of "y-" in biblical Hebrew names are also verb imperfectives.
"Yeho" prefixes changed to "Yo" prefixes
In the table below, 13 theophoric names with "Yeho" prefixes have corresponding forms (in bold type) where the letters "eh"' have been omitted. There is a theory by
Christian Ginsburgthat this is due to Hebrew scribes omitting the "h", changing Jeho (hebrew|יְהוֹ) into Jo (hebrew|יוֹ), to make the start of "Yeho-" names not sound like an attempt to pronounce the Divine Name. [ Christian Ginsburg, Introduction To the Massoretico-Critical Edition Of The Hebrew Bible, p 369] and [http://www.lamblion.net/Articles/ScottJones/jehovah1.htm]
Table of theophoric names with "Yeho" and "Yo" prefixes
[Note that theophoric names with "hebrew|יוֹ" [i.e. "Yo"] are written in bold letters.]
Strong's # Hebrew word Strong's Transliteration
Strong's Words Compounded
Jehovah & achaz [# 270]
"a form of 3059"
Jehovah & 'esh [# 784]
"a form of 3060"
Jehovah & zabad [# 2064]
"a form of 3075"
Jehovah & chanan [# 2603]
"a form of 3076"
Jehovah & yada [# 3045]
"a form of 3077"
Jehovah & kuwn [# 3559]
"a form of 3078"
Jehovah & quwm [# 3965]
"a form of 3079"
Jehovah & riyb [# 7378]
"a form of 3080"
Jehovah & nadab [# 5068]
"a form of 3082"
Jehovah & nathan [# 5414]
"a form of 3083"
Jehovah & 'adah [# 5710]
Jehovah & tsadaq [# 6663]
"a form of 3087"
Jehovah & ruwm [# 7311]
"a form of 3088"
Jehovah & shaphat [# 8199]
"a form of 3092"
Table of Theophoric names with "Yah" and "Yahu" suffixes
Strong's # Hebrew word Strong's Transliteration
Strong's Words Compounded
yasha [# 3467] & Yah
yasha [# 3467] & Yahu
nathan [# 5414] & Yah
nathan [# 5414] & Yahu
'adown [# 113] & Yah
'adown [# 113] & Yahu
'el [# 410] & Yah
'el [# 410] & Yahu
ruwm [# 7311] & yah
ruwm [# 7311] & yahu
nacham [# 5162] & yah
Greek, Roman and Christian names
*The name "
Christopher" literally means "Christ-bearer"
Theodore/ Theodorameans "gift of God" [http://www.lgpn.ox.ac.uk/names/developments.html]
Dorotheus/ Dorotheameans "gift to God"
Theodosius/ Theodosia, Theodotos/Theodotē and Dositheus/Dosithea mean "God-given"
Theophilus(Greek), Amadeus(Latin), Gottlieb(German) and Bogumił (Polish) mean "one who loves God"
Theophanesmeans "manifestation of God"
Theophrastusmeans "godly speech"
Theaetetusmeans "one who pleads to God"
Fürchtegott(German) means "fear God"
Martinfor the Roman god Mars
Some Christian saints have polytheistic theophoric names (such as
Saint Mercurius, Saint Saturninus, Saint Hermes, Saint Martin of Tours).
slaveor servant) added to a name of Allah or one of his attributes.In Classical Arabicany of these names can be pronounced as "Abdul-" or "Abdal-" or "Abdil-" according to grammatical position in the speech.The most common are the first two:
Other Islamic names
Saif-u-Allah (name)nickname for Khalid bin al Walid
Islamic names which some think are faulty
‘Abdal Rasoul (name)means "slave of the prophet", a misnomer according to orthodox Muslim thinking, some change the name to Abd-Rab-Ar-Rasoul to mean "slave of the Lord of the prophet".
Arabic name#Common mistakes
Most traditional Hindu names honor Hindu gods or goddesses. Often, the same name is ascribed to multiple deities.
*http://www.ancientneareast.net/religion mesopotamian/cult ritual/names theophoric.html Theophoric names: bibliography
* [http://www.lgpn.ox.ac.uk/names/developments.html Lexicon of Greek Personal Names]
* [http://www.edofolks.com/html/pub119.htm Ogden Goelet, "Moses' Egyptian Name"]
* [http://www.jewish-languages.org/onomastics.html Jewish onomastics]
* [http://www.slate.com/id/2179082/ When Can Muslims Use the Name Mohammed?: Plus, why don't English speakers name their children Jesus?] by Michelle Tsai
The Hebrew-alphabet and Greek-alphabet text in this article may be displayed in some browsers at a size too small for clarity; printing the article out, or cutting-and-pasting text from the web-browser into a word processor and increasing the font size, may help. Some browsers also have a text- or pagezooming feature.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
theophoric — adjective contains the name of a deity. Elizabeth is still a common theophoric name, even though is becoming less well known … Wiktionary
name — namer, n. /naym/, n., v., named, naming, adj. n. 1. a word or a combination of words by which a person, place, or thing, a body or class, or any object of thought is designated, called, or known. 2. mere designation, as distinguished from fact:… … Universalium
theophoric — adj. bearing the name of a god. * * * theophoric, ous, physical see theo … Useful english dictionary
theophoric — [θɪə fɒrɪk] (also theophorous) adjective bearing the name of a god … English new terms dictionary
Zechariah (given name) — Infobox Given Name Revised name = Zechariah imagesize= caption= pronunciation= gender = Male meaning = God has remembered region = origin = Hebrew related names = Zachary, Zacharias, Zack, etc. footnotes = The male given name Zechariah is derived … Wikipedia
Wajid (name) — Infobox Given Name Revised| name = Wajid | imagesize = | caption = pronunciation = wa JEED gender = Male | meaning = Finder region = Muslim world | origin = Arabic related names = Wajida (feminine) footnotes = Wajid is a family name and male… … Wikipedia
Shahid (name) — wiktionary|Shaheedwiktionary|ShahidShahid or Shaheed is a a Muslim theophoric name, from Ash Shaheed (الشهيد), one of the 99 names of God in the Qur an. As a male given name it is common among Muslims, being also one of the names given to… … Wikipedia
Arabic name — The tughra (stylized signature) of Mahmud II of the Ottoman Empire. Influenced by Arabic culture, Ottoman rulers had stylized their names in the Arabic way, as depicted in this signature. Long ago, Arabic names were based on a long naming system; … Wikipedia
Yeshua (name) — For the article on the person, teaching, and acts of Jesus Christ, see the Jesus article. For information on the various adherents to the religious teachings of Jesus, see the articles on Christianity and Messianic Judaism. For the article on the … Wikipedia
List of Arabic theophoric names — This is a list of Arabic theophoric names.Islamic names Abdul namesThe following names are derived from the word Abd (= slave or servant ) added to a name of Allah or one of His Glorious attributes. In Classical Arabic, any of these names can be… … Wikipedia