< Previous | Next >


New Member
My Hebrew name, which was "made-up" I'm guessing by our rabbi way back when I was a youngster, is Chonah. (Chet-nun-aleph) because there's no literal translation of my English first name or the relative my mom wanted to honor. She used another relative for my second Hebrew name, Emmanuel.

Does Chonah mean anything in Hebrew? Is it really a name? I heard that it's a masculine variant of Hannah, but no one knows for sure.

Always wanted to know this.

  • yotg

    Hebrew Israel
    I know there is an Arabic name spelled this way (حنا), but I never heard of a Hebrew name spelled חנא.
    My guess is that "Chonah" is the Yiddisher form of Hannah (that is for itself a Latinized form of the Hebrew name חנה, chanah).
    Chanah means "grace", or "favour".


    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Welcome to the forums sandee :)
    I grew up with Yiddish. There is a female name הענע (Henna). Hannah would be pronounced Hona (or Chona), but it is spelled חנה. Here is a wild guess: If they wanted to name you Hanna and pronounced it Hona and spelled with Yiddish orthography, it would come out חנא. (The name Fruma, for example, is spelled פרומה in Hebrew, but פרומא in Yiddish.) This would be very unusual, though, particularly for a rabbi, who would be expected to know how to spell a biblical name.

    On the other hand, it is not really "done" to make up a name. Are you able to ask you parents or older relatives? Did your father name you on a Torah-reading day following your birth with an aliya? Is it possible that someone pronounced Hanna the Yiddish way, and then someone else misunderstood it to be Chona?

    I love mysteries!


    New Member
    English - US
    I just came across this 12.5-year-old thread, but I know the most likely answer, so I figured I'd see if you're still looking.

    The Yiddish male name "Chonah" or "Chunah" is a Yiddish diminutive form of the Hebrew name "Elchanan".
    < Previous | Next >