Re: The Hebrew translation for the name Yetta #names

Dick Plotz

Jeffrey's reply illustrates a fact that we all need to keep in mind
with questions like Andrea's. Two related ones, in fact.

1. With the exception of common, well-known Biblical names such as
Sarah or Jacob, names do not translate, in the sense that when people
move from one country to another, especially when it involves crossing
an ocean, they often change their name, not only to the counterpart of
their original given name, e.g., Ya'akov to Jacob, but often to an
entirely different name. It's often been noted in JewishGen
discussions that men with a wide variety of names in Europe, not only
names beginning with S, became "Sam" in America. This has jokingly
been called "Samification."

2. Especially in cities, Jews' civil given names often did not
correspond in any predictable way to their ritual names. I'm a good
example of this; my Hebrew name is Yitzchak Yisrael, as is that of my
cousin Paul Plotz. We were both named after our grandfather Ike. Yes,
alliterative naming is common, but far from universal.

So attempts to deduce ritual names from civil names or vice versa,
ditto European names vs American names, are misguided at best. Even
when a civil name is Biblical in origin, it's not necessarily the
person's name by which they were called to the Torah or that appears
in Hebrew lettering on their gravestone. Think about it from the point
of view of how a person gets their given name or names. Typically,
their parents announce their name on a civil document and at a bris or
naming ceremony. Anyone who has cared for a newborn knows that it's
usually a hectic time, and making everything match up neatly is not
high on their list of priorities.

Dick Plotz
Providence RI USA

On Fri, Sep 17, 2021 at 1:57 PM Jx. Gx. <mrme1914@...> wrote:

Hello Andrea, My great-grandmother's name was Heneh Yuteh, but somewhere along the line she started using the name Yetta Chana and even more often just Yetta. My mother was name in honor of Yetta with the Hebrew name Yehudit, which in English became Judith. Incidentally, my mother had a strong bond with Yetta and often in later life referred to her as "Yitta" which seems to have a warmer tone to the name, at least to my ears.

Jeffrey Gee

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