Re: names Erma & Ola - Thank you! #general

LSHAPSKI <lshapski@...>

I am not able to respond personally to everyone who answered my queries
regarding the Russian given names Erma for a male and Ola for a female,
but I would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their

The general concensus re: the name Erma is that the "E" sound in Russian is
pronounced as "YE" would be in English. Therefore, Erma or Ermia is
actually Yermiah, or Jeremiah. One respondent even said that she had two
documents for one individual, one showing him as Ermia and the other as

The name Ola was not as clearly defined. Some responders were certain it
was Olya or Olga. Others referred to Oga, Alla, or Elka or Elke... One
person told me her mother's Yiddish name was Olia. I did not say in my
original query that the name Ola was not on an official Russian document
but on a printed Russian wedding invitation, i.e., on a somewhat formal
but not official record.
A few people pointed out that the name "Alta" was probably given to "fool
the Angel of Death", because it means "Old" in Yiddish. (I was aware of
that before, but had not stated that in my letter.)

Lynne Shapiro
Western Mass.

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