Monday, November 4, 2013

What's In a Name?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how our chosen names can hide our heritage.  I mentioned that neither Meg (Margaret) nor Winters are Jewish names.

Jewish heritage passes from mother to child, so intermarriage can certainly produce a Jewish Winters, but I think most people would consider it British, not Jewish.  Of course, those are not mutually exclusive.

Margaret, like Mary, is typically a Catholic name but one reader mentioned a Jewish friend named Margaret.  I know a Jewish Margaret who prefers Peggy.

Jewish babies are assigned a Hebrew name.  Traditionally, the Hebrew name is similar to the English name, so I did a bit of research.

Margaret does have Hebrew equivalents.  So if I ever need to give my Jewish equivalent, I can safely choose from Levana, Margalit, Meira, or Penina.  I kind of like the first and last ones.  What do you think?  There's a little poll to the right to choose your favourite.


  1. I am suddenly reminded of Mike and Bernie Winters who were indeed both British and Jewish. I like Levana, but Margalit feels much closer to Meg

  2. Meg:

    Interesting stuff.

    First, I'd recommend Meira for you, as all the others are too different from Meg (too many syllables.). Meira only has one additional, making it easier to recognize someone is calling out YOUR name. IMHO, YMMD.

    Second, I grew up in the Northern VA area quite unaware that different names indicated different places, countries, or religions of origin. When someone would hear a surname and tell me 'that person is Polish', etc., I hadn't a clue. Adulthood brought an understanding of the matter, but I'm still horrible at figuring out all but the most obvious. I don't feel worldly at all.

    So, is it to be Meira.



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