As I write this, I’m cooling off from the sweltering summer heat with a cold iced tea. And yet, I cannot stop thinking about Hanukkah. Why? Because it’s time to review Jewish baby names that begin with the letter “O,” of course!
In Hebrew, the word “or” isn’t a conjunction, but rather a noun that means “light.” Thus, the name Or — and its many derivatives like Lior or Liora — are extremely common names for babies born around Hanukkah. But if that isn’t your jam, never fear! There are plenty of beautiful and unique Jewish baby names that begin with the letter “O” that have meanings to do with nature or biblical roots. Let’s take a look, shall we?
1. Odelia — No, not Ophelia. Odelia. In Hebrew, this beautiful name means “I Will Thank God.” It can also be spelled as “Odelya” or “Odeliah.”
2. Ophira — Stay golden, Ophira! In Hebrew, Ophira means “gold” or “land of gold.” In the Bible, Ophir was a region known for its wealth.
3. Orna — Tree huggers, this name is for you! In Hebrew, Orna means “pine tree.” It can also be spelled as “Ornah.”
4. Orpa — In the Book of Ruth, Orpa is a Moabite woman. In Hebrew, the name means “gazelle” or “fawn.” Fun fact: Oprah Winfrey was actually given the name “Orpah” at birth, but due to her family’s frequent mispronunciation and misspelling, she changed her name to Oprah.
5. Or — Hanukkah, baby! This gender-neutral Hebrew name means “light” and thus is a common name for children born around the Festival of Lights.
6. Omri — In Hebrew, Omri means “sheaf of grain.” Omri is also the name of the first Israeli player in the NBA, Omri Capsi.
7. Oran — Are you an Irish Jew? This name might be for you! Oran has origins in both Aramaic and Old Irish. In Aramaic, Oran means “light” and in Old Irish it means “pale green.”
8. Ori — This Hebrew name means “my light.” How sweet.
9. Ovadya — Ovadya (or Obadiah) means “Servant of God” in Hebrew. In the Bible, Ovadya was one of the 12 minor prophets.