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May her memory be a blessing

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Linhpi, May 20, 2010.

  1. Linhpi Senior Member

    Hanoi, Vietnam
    Vietnamese
    I have heard this sentence while listening to a conversation but I wasn't sure what it actually meant. The speaker said "Your mother, may her memory be a blessing, will be proud of you." (The mother had passed away)

    What troubles me most is "her memory" and "a blessing". And the idea of the whole expression as well.

    Can you help me understand it?

    A big thank!
     
  2. EStjarn

    EStjarn Senior Member

    Spanish
    May his/her memory be for blessing is a honorific in Judaism used when naming and speaking of the deceased. (Wikipedia)

    Perhaps May her memory be a blessing is a variant of the above. link
     
  3. Linhpi Senior Member

    Hanoi, Vietnam
    Vietnamese
    Thank you for the link. Actually wikipedia was the first place where I looked it up but it didn't help me with the understanding of the expression. Knowing it a honorific in Judaism when referring to the dead is still too vague. I want to get its literal meaning, at least.

    Does it mean something like "we wish the memory about her will bless us all" or "God blesses our memory about her" or "May our memory about her be good" or else?
     
  4. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I'm going to slip this answer in, based on my knowledge of the Hebrew original of the phrase. It means may her memory (the memory of her person, of her life) bless us. "Be a blessing" can mean "bless [someone/something]".
     
  5. EStjarn

    EStjarn Senior Member

    Spanish
    The general meaning of a honorific is to convey esteem or respect. (Wikipedia, link).

    The word memory is used in the following meaning: "The fact of being remembered; remembrance: Dedicated to their parents' memory." (AHD, link).

    I would therefore interpret May her memory be a blessing as

    May the memory of her [continue to] be a blessing [for us].
     
  6. Linhpi Senior Member

    Hanoi, Vietnam
    Vietnamese
    Thank you all, especially for the information that "Be a blessing" can mean "bless [someone/something]" :X
     

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