Isabel/Elisabeth #general

Judith Romney Wegner

Dear Genners,

On the subject of Isabel/Elisabeth, I back Stan Goodman up
completely. In fact, I had twice tried to send a similar message
(which for some technical reason failed both times to arrive on the

The important facts are these:

First: It is general knowledge that Isabel/Isabella is the hispanic
form of Elisabeth. (At least, it was general knowledge 50 years ago,
when I learned that fact in my high school European history class.)

Second: What my teacher did *not* tell me (because she obviously didn't
know) was that the name Elisabeth is purely and simply the Greek New
Testament's rendering of the Hebrew biblical name Elisheva. The New
Testament Elisabeth in the Gospel of Luke was the mother of John the
Baptist; the sole occurrence of the name Elisheva in the Hebrew
Bible is in Exodus 6:23, where she isthe wife of Aaron the High

Third: By metathesis (transposition of consonants -- a common
linguistic phenomenon) Elisheva produced the name Isabella.
Elisheva has the consonants in the order L-S-B; Isabel has the same
consonants in the order S-B-L.

As Stan also correctly pointed out, there is no linguistic or
historical connection between Isabel and Jezebel -- (in Hebrew,
Elisheva and Izevel). The first is spelled with a shin,and the second
with a zayin.

I hope this dissipates the confusion.

Judith Romney Wegner

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