The historian John the Lydian (6th century) wrote: "The Roman Varo [116–27 BCE] defining him [that is the Jewish god] says that he is called Iao in the Chaldean mysteries" (De Mensibus IV 53). Van Cooten mentions that Iao is one of the "specifically Jewish designations for God" and "the Aramaic papyri from the Jews at Elephantine show that 'Iao' is an original Jewish term". The preserved manuscripts from Qumran show the inconsistent practice of writing the tetragrammaton, mainly in biblical quotations: in some manuscripts is written in paleo-Hebrew script, square scripts or replaced with four dots or dashes (tetrapuncta).


family nameoccupational surnamelast name
Names like "Johnson" and "Peterson" may be used in Jewish tradition as they too used the father's name as identification. So "Johnson" in Hebrew is "Ben Yochanon", meaning "Yochanon (John)'s son". Another common group of Jewish surnames is toponymics, for example "San'ani" (from Sana'a in Yemen), "Varshavski" (from Warsaw in Poland), "Yerushalmi" (from Jerusalem). Jews who immigrated to Israel or Palestine often changed their surnames to Hebrew ones, a process described under Hebraization of surnames. The majority of Kurds do not hold Kurdish names because the names have been banned in the countries they primarily live in (namely Iran, Turkey and Syria).


toponymtoponymsplace name
Toponymy is itself a branch of onomastics, the study of names of all kinds. Toponym is the general name for any place or geographical entity. Related, more specific types of toponym include hydronym for a body of water and oronym for a mountain or hill. A toponymist is one who studies toponymy. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "toponymy" first appeared in English in 1876; since then, toponym has come to replace "place-name" in professional discourse among geographers.


The study of anthroponyms (from Ancient Greek ἄνθρωπος anthrōpos, 'human' and ὄνομα onoma, 'name') is a branch of onomastics. Linguists and researchers in many other fields take part in anthroponymic studies, including anthropologists, historians, political geographers and genealogists. Subdivisions of anthroponymy include: Given names. Surnames. Clan names. Matronyms. Patronyms. Teknonyms. Nicknames. Demonyms. Ethnonyms. Autonyms/Endonyms. Exonyms. Ancient Greek personal names. Personal name. Suffix onym. Toponymy.

Ancient Greek personal names

Ancient Greeks generally had a single nameGreek namenickname
The study of ancient Greek personal names is a branch of onomastics, the study of names, and more specifically of anthroponomastics, the study of names of persons. There are hundreds of thousands and even millions of Greek names on record, making them an important resource for any general study of naming, as well as for the study of ancient Greece itself. The names are found in literary texts, on coins and stamped amphora handles, on potsherds used in ostracisms, and, much more abundantly, in inscriptions and (in Egypt) on papyri. This article will concentrate on Greek naming from the 8th century BC, when the evidence begins, to the end of the 6th century AD.

International Council of Onomastic Sciences

The International Council of Onomastic Sciences (ICOS) is an international academic organization of scholars with a special interest in onomastics, the scientific study of names (e.g. place-names, personal names, and proper names of all other kinds). The official languages of ICOS are English, French, and German. Members research the origin and history of names, the personal name-systems used by different cultures, the demographic patterns of names in different societies, the use and significance of names of characters in literature, brand-name creation, and many related topics in the naming of persons, places, institutions, works of art, and other miscellaneous objects.

Named-entity recognition

named entity recognitionentity extractionnamed entities
Onomastics. Record linkage. Smart tag (Microsoft).

Naming convention

naming conventionsnomenclatureBoone Hospital Center
American Name Society Promote onomastics, the study of names and naming practices, both in the United States and abroad. Namingschemes.com A wiki dedicated to the education and sharing of naming schemes. Ontology Naming Conventions The application of unified labeling or naming conventions in terminology and ontology engineering will help to harmonize the appearance and increase the robustness of symbolic representational units such as ontologic class and relation names within the orthogonal set of OBO Foundry ontologies. A full free access paper with the naming conventions is accessible online under http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2105/10/125.

Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland

. * Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland Onomastics. British toponymy.

Jewish surname

. * Yivo Encyclopedia: Names and Naming (Beider) Jewish name. Hebrew name. List of Jewish nobility. Family name etymology. German family name etymology. Polish surnames. Jewish Encyclopedia articles. Lars Menk: A Dictionary of German-Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, Bergenfield, 2005. Alexander Beider: A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, Bergenfield, 2004, ISBN: 1-886223-19-X. Alexander Beider: A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland. Avotaynu, Bergenfield, 1996, ISBN: 0-9626373-9-4. (first edition) Alexander Beider: Jewish Surnames in Prague (15th–18th Centuries). Avotaynu, Bergenfield, 1994, ISBN: 978-0-9626373-5-3.


It is used in synagogue and in documents in Jewish law such as the ketubah (marriage contract). Many Sephardic Jews used the Arabic ibn instead of bat or ben when it was the norm. The Spanish family Ibn Ezra is one example. There is a strong cultural pressure for immigrants to modern Israel to Hebraize their names. This practice is especially common among Ashkenazic immigrants, because most of their names were taken during the period from the end of the 18th century to the middle of the 19th century.


Israelsons of JacobJacob (Israel)
According to Midrash Genesis Rabbah, the ladder signified the exiles that the Jewish people would suffer before the coming of the Jewish Messiah: the angels that represented the exiles of Babylonia, Persia, and Greece each climbed up a certain number of steps, paralleling the years of the exile, before they "fell down"; but the angel representing the last exile, that of Edom, kept climbing higher and higher into the clouds. Jacob feared that his descendants would never be free of Esau's domination, but God assured him that at the End of Days, Edom too would come falling down.

Book of Genesis

Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1989. ISBN: 0-8276-0326-6. Speiser, E.A. Genesis: Introduction, Translation, and Notes. New York: Anchor Bible, 1964. ISBN: 0-385-00854-6. Book of Genesis Hebrew Transliteration. Bereshit (book of Genesis) – Mikraot Gedolot Haketer – online edition, Menachem Cohen, Bar Ilan University (Hebrew). Book of Genesis illustrated. Genesis Reading Room (Tyndale Seminary): online commentaries and monographs on Genesis. Bereshit with commentary in Hebrew. בראשית Bereishit – Genesis (Hebrew – English at Mechon-Mamre.org). Genesis at Mechon-Mamre (Jewish Publication Society translation). Various versions.


There is a wealth of stories and additional information about Moses in the Jewish apocrypha and in the genre of rabbinical exegesis known as Midrash, as well as in the primary works of the Jewish oral law, the Mishnah and the Talmud. Moses is also given a number of bynames in Jewish tradition. The Midrash identifies Moses as one of seven biblical personalities who were called by various names. Moses' other names were: Jekuthiel (by his mother), Heber (by his father), Jered (by Miriam), Avi Zanoah (by Aaron), Avi Gedor (by Kohath), Avi Soco (by his wet-nurse), Shemaiah ben Nethanel (by people of Israel).


King SolomonSalomonSolomonic magic
King Solomon is one of the central biblical figures in Jewish heritage that have lasting religious, national and political aspects. As the builder of the First Temple in Jerusalem and last ruler of the united Kingdom of Israel before its division into the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah, Solomon is associated with the peak "golden age" of the independent Kingdom of Israel as well as a source of judicial and religious wisdom.

Babylonian captivity

Babylonian exileexileexile in Babylon
This process coincided with the emergence of scribes and sages as Jewish leaders (see Ezra). Prior to exile, the people of Israel had been organized according to tribe. Afterwards, they were organized by smaller family groups. Only the tribe of Levi continued in its temple role after the return. After this time, there were always sizable numbers of Jews living outside Eretz Israel; thus, it also marks the beginning of the "Jewish diaspora", unless this is considered to have begun with the Assyrian Captivity of Israel. In Rabbinic literature, Babylon was one of a number of metaphors for the Jewish diaspora.

Kingdom of Judah

Judahking of JudahJudahite
Jeconiah and his court and other prominent citizens and craftsmen, along with a sizable portion of the Jewish population of Judah, numbering about 10,000 were deported from the land and dispersed throughout the Babylonian Empire. Among them was Ezekiel. Nebuchadnezzar appointed Zedekiah, Jehoiakim's brother, king of the reduced kingdom, who was made a tributary of Babylon. Despite the strong remonstrances of Jeremiah and others, Zedekiah revolted against Nebuchadnezzar, ceasing to pay tribute to him and entered into an alliance with Pharaoh Hophra. In 589 BCE, Nebuchadnezzar II returned to Judah and again besieged Jerusalem.

David and Jonathan

JonathanDavidclose personal friendship
Other interpreters point out that neither the books of Samuel nor Jewish tradition documents sanctioned romantic or erotic physical intimacy between the two characters, which the Bible elsewhere makes evident when between heterosexuals, most supremely in the Song of Solomon. It is also known that covenants were common, and that marriage was a public event and included customs not seen in this story. The platonic interpretation of David and Jonathan's relationship is advocated by the religious writer Robert A. J. Gagnon and the Assyriologist Markus Zehnder and is consistent with commonly held theological views condemning same sex relations.