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Jewish Names

Jewish Names

Jewish names are multi-dimensional, representing Hebrew names from the Tanakh, Yiddish names that were historically used by Ashkenazi Jews, and names with gentile origins that eventually gained widespread use among Jewish communities.

Alexander, though Greek in origin, has long been used by Jews, originally to honor Alexander the Great. And Molly, an Irish name, was often used as a translation of names like Malke and Miryem when European Jews immigrated to America. It’s been popular with Jewish families ever since.

Along with Molly, other Jewish names for girls in the US Top 1000 include Alana, Esther, Hannah, and Nina. In addition to Alexander, other Jewish names for boys in the US Top 1000 include Ari, Benjamin, Jacob, and Solomon. Unique names with Jewish history that might appeal to modern parents include Goldie, Lev, Romi, and Wolf.

If you’re looking for a name that will connect your child to their Jewish heritage, start here by searching our comprehensive list of Jewish names.

  1. TheodoreHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "gift of God"
    • Description:

      As unlikely as it may seem, Theodore is a hot new hit name, vaulting into the Top 10 in 2021 for the first time ever. Friendly nickname Theo may be responsible for some of that, though there are plenty of baby boys given Theo as their full name too. Add their numbers together, and the two names jump to Number 6.
  2. EstiHeart
    • Origin:

      Short form of Esther or Estelle, Persian
    • Meaning:

      "star"
    • Description:

      Esti is most commonly a short form of Esther and Estelle, both making the big move from old lady name to cool young name. It's also a popular short form of the Basque names Estitxu and Estibalitz. In French Canada, it's an untranslatable swear word.
  3. AureliaHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "the golden one"
    • Description:

      Aurelia is the female form of the Latin name Aurelius, an ancient Roman surname. Aurelius is derived from the Latin word aureus, meaning "golden," which was also the name of a gold coin used in Ancient Rome. Aurelius was a cognomen, a third name in Roman culture that often referenced a personal characteristic or trait, likely used for someone with golden hair.
  4. FelixHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "happy, fortunate"
    • Description:

      Felix was originally a Roman surname but was adopted as a nickname by the ancient Roman Sulla, who believed that he was especially blessed with luck by the gods. It is the name of four popes and sixty-seven saints; in the Bible, Felix is a Roman procurator of Judea.
  5. SilasHeart
    • Origin:

      Aramaic, Latin, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "of the forest; or prayed for"
    • Description:

      Silas is a Biblical name of debated – or possibly multiple – origins. It may be a simplified form of the Latin Silvanus, meaning "of the forest", or alternatively may be a Greek form of the Aramaic Seila or Hebrew Saul, meaning "asked for, prayed for".
  6. AvaHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew, Latin or Germanic
    • Meaning:

      "life; bird; water, island"
    • Description:

      In medieval times, Ava was a diminutive of Germanic names beginning in Av-, in particular Aveline, from which the name Evelyn would eventually arise. It may derive from a Proto-Germanic root meaning "island" or "water". However, the medieval name eventually fell out of use entirely, only to resurface in contemporary times. This suggests that today’s Ava may be a modern variation of Eva. Alternatively, Ava could also derive from the Latin avis, meaning "bird." Ava has separate Persian roots as a name meaning "voice" or "sound."
  7. IrisHeart
    • Origin:

      Flower name; also Greek
    • Meaning:

      "rainbow"
    • Description:

      Iris is directly derived from the Greek word iris, meaning “rainbow.” In Greek mythology, Iris was the goddess of the rainbow, a messenger for Zeus and Hera who rode the rainbow as a multicolored bridge from heaven to earth. In ancient times, the Iris was considered a symbol of power and majesty, the three petal segments representing faith, wisdom and valor. This colorful image led to the naming of the flower and to the colored part of the eye.
  8. ClaraHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bright, clear"
    • Description:

      Long relegated to an Olde World backwater, the European-flavored Clara has been speeding up the charts on sleeker sister Claire's coattails for the past few decades. Now, many would say the vintage chic Clara is the more stylish of the two names. Actor Ewan McGregor was an early celebrity adopter of the name for one of his daughters.
  9. EleanorHeart
    • Origin:

      English variation of French Provencal Alienor, meaning unknown
    • Description:

      While some think Eleanor is a variation of Helen via Ellen, it actually derives from the Provencal name Aliénor, of highly-debated meaning. It may come from the Germanic name Adenorde, meaning "ancient north" or "noble north". Another theory is that it derives from the Latin phrase alia Aenor, meaning "other Aenor," used to distinguish some original Eleanor, who was named after her mother Aenor. Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine brought it from France to England in the twelfth century. Other spellings include Elinor and Eleanore.
  10. JudeHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin diminutive of Judah
    • Meaning:

      "praised"
    • Description:

      Jude is an example of a name whose image was turned on its head primarily by one appealing celebrity. So take a bow, Jude Law: You--in collaboration with the Lennon-McCartney song "Hey Jude"--have erased Jude's old connections to the traitorous Judas Iscariot and Thomas Hardy's tragic Jude the Obscure, and inspired a legion of new babies named Jude.
  11. AmeliaHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "work"
    • Description:

      Amelia is derived from the German name Amalia, which in turn is a variation of Amalberga. The root, amal, is a Germanic word meaning "work," and in the context of female given names suggests themes of fertility as well as productivity. Aemilia, the name from which Emily is derived, is unrelated to Amelia.
  12. MilesHeart
    • Origin:

      English form of Milo
    • Meaning:

      "soldier or merciful"
    • Description:

      Miles, which took on a permanent veneer of cool thanks to jazz great Miles Davis, is a confident and polished boy name starting with M that has been appreciated in particular by celebrity baby namers, including Elisabeth Shue, Mayim Bialik, Larenz Tate, Joan Cusack and Lionel Ritchie.
  13. EzraHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "help"
    • Description:

      Ezra is potentially an abbreviation for the Hebrew phrase Azaryahu, meaning “Yah helps.” In the Bible, Ezra led a group of fifteen hundred Israelites out of slavery in Babylon and back to Jerusalem. The Latin name Esdras derives from Ezra.
  14. EthanHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "strong, firm"
    • Description:

      Ethan derives from the Hebrew name Eitan. There are several Ethans in the Old Testament, the most prominent of whom, Ethan the Ezrahite, is praised for his wisdom. International variations include Etan and Izan.
  15. MatildaHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "battle-mighty"
    • Description:

      The comeback of this sweet vintage name, one of the most stylish girls' names starting with M, has been prompted by a boomlet of starbaby Matildas, beginning with chef Gordon Ramsey's in 2002 and Moon Unit Zappa's two years later. But the renaissance of this name of the charming Roald Dahl heroine was assured when Michelle Williams and the late Heath Ledger chose Matilda for their daughter.
  16. TobiasHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek from Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God is good"
    • Description:

      Tobias is the Greek form of the Hebrew Tobiah, which was derived from the name Toviyah. Toviyah was created from the elements tov, meaning "good" and yah, representing the Hebrew God. Tobias is the name of several biblical figures but is primarily associated with the story of Tobias and the Angel.
  17. BeatriceHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "she who brings happiness; blessed"
    • Description:

      Beatrice is derived from Beatrix, a Latin name meaning "she who brings happiness." In the earliest sources it is also recorded as Viatrix, meaning "voyager", so there is some weight in both meanings.
  18. CalebHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "devotion to God"
    • Description:

      Caleb has two potential derivations, the first being from the Hebrew kelev, meaning “dog,” and the second from the Hebrew components kal and lev, together meaning “whole heart.” In the Old Testament Caleb is one of only two ancient Israelites (Joshua was the other) who set out from Egypt to finally enter the promised land.
  19. NathanielHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "gift of God"
    • Description:

      Nathaniel was derived from the Hebrew name Netan’el, meaning “gift of God,” composed of the elements natan, meaning “to give,” and ’el, in reference to God. The name is featured several times in the Old and New Testaments, typically spelled Nathanael. In the New Testament, Nathanael is also known by his other name, Bartholomew.
  20. ZacharyHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "the Lord has remembered"
    • Description:

      Zachary is the English variation of Zacharias, which itself is derived from the Hebrew name Zechariah. The name Zachary is attached to eight different people in the Bible, the most prominent being the father of John the Baptist, and it's also presidential, via 12th president Zachary Taylor. Zackery is an alternate spelling, and nicknames include Zack, Zach, Zac, and Zak.