Shlomit Landman, Bar-Ilan University
The Eleventh International Conference on Jewish Names, Paper Abstract
Analysis of the most popular and rare given names of the Jewish sector in the State of Israel that were given during 1948-2007, shows defined onomastic periods. The given names were taken from the records of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. One hundred and thirty-five patterns of male given names and 187 female given names were found in the 3000 most prevalent male and female given names of newborn babies. From almost 6000 rare given names that were used during these years, 431 patterns of male given names and 275 patterns of female given names have been in the list of rare given names for a long time.
All the patterns of the given names were divided into 4 groups by origin and habits of use: 1) traditional given names - were used by Jewish parents who have lived in a paponymic community, 2) renewed given names – which originated primarily from the Bible and have been used since the establishment of the Zionist movement, 3) new given names – were created in Hebrew and 4) foreign given names.
The onomastic periods were defined by the number of names from the different groups – traditional, renewed, new and foreign given names, in the lists of prevalent and rare given names, and by dominant linguistic variables - semantic, morphologic, and phonetic. Searching the flow of the given names by years shows seven distinct periods for the male and for the female given names. Linguistic changes in female names are noted for: 1948, 1949-1951, 1952-1959, 1960-1970, 1971-1983, 1984-1994, and 1995-2007. Similarly those for the male names are: 1948, 1949-1952, 1953-1959, 1960-1973, 1974-1982, 1983-1992, and 1993-2007.
The period of 1960-1970 (female) characterized with the disappearance of traditional names 3 syllables with the suffix -h, like – Alizah, Ziporah, Shoshanah, and appearance of new structures, like: Galit, Efrat, Sigal, Vered, Liat, Revital. The prevalent given names are connected mostly to the natural world, while the rare names are associated with positive feelings.