JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Amuletic Names #general

Judith Romney Wegner

At 9:42 AM -0400 8/15/06, Marlene Bishow wrote:

Dear Cousins:

My stepdaughter is named for her mother's Aunt Annie, born in
Baltimore. The family was >from Russia, now Ukraine. Aunt Annie had
an amuletic name, "Chia Chana." Chana being the Hebrew name for

Well, more precisely, Annie (or Anne) is the English name for Chana.
They come >from Anna, which is the Greek New Testament transliteration
of the Hebrew name Hannah -- Chana is the usual Yiddish spelling of

"Chia" (more accurately, Hayyah) is likewise a Hebrew name --for
which the usual Yiddish spelling is Chaya. (In fact, I've never
seen it spelled Chia until just now!).

Chaya (or Hayyah) has two meanings. BTW, Hayyah (in which the
initial H represents the guttural letter Het), is the correct
scholarly transliteration >from Hebrew, which people almost never use.

The first and basic meaning is "living creature." Hayyah is strictly
speaking the feminine form of the adjective "Hay" (usually rendered
"Chai") meaning "living." Secondly -- and somewhat unfortunately
in the context of female names -- the word Hayyah in the Bible is
used to designate a wild animal as opposed to domesticated cattle
(behemah) .

Judith Romney Wegner