Is Noam TOO Jewish?

(92 Posts)
Emsiero Fri 28-Sep-12 09:20:21

Ok, so DH and I both agreed on Noam for our DS1, due shortly. We both love the name, but as my due date is looming, I am feeling a bit wobbly about it.

So, when you hear Noam, do you

- immediately think of Noam Chomsky (I don't mind this association, and have nothing against Chomsky, but I wouldn't want people to think he was named specifically after him.

- immediately think of a religious Jewish family, which we are not. I am Jewish, DH isn't, and I always wanted a name that nodded to my heritage, but I was originally just thinking of Old Testament classics, which wouldn't stand out as much. As in, there are plenty of Josephs, Samuels, etc... who aren't Jewish. Whereas Noam is a modern Hebrew name, popular in Israel. Do you think this is a problem in the UK?

As an aside, I know some people don't like it because it sounds like 'gnome', but this aspect doesn't really bother me, and we are going to pronounce it No-am (which is how it is pronounced in Hebrew). Also I like gnomes.

Honest/blunt replies are welcome, though tbh I am less interested in whether you like the name as a name (because we love it) and more interested in what judgments you might make if you met a Noam.

Gwennan Fri 28-Sep-12 09:41:33

I thought of Noam Chomsky immediately.

It doesnt sound too Jewish to me,I have never heard it before.

But I fear the child will spend its life saying "no, not Noah, NoaMmm"

StellaNova Fri 28-Sep-12 09:46:51

I didn't think of Noam Chomsky when I saw the name by itself, and if you hadn't asked in the title my first thought would not have been "Jewish". My first thought actually was "ooh a bit like Noah".

claraschu Fri 28-Sep-12 09:51:12

Sounds too Jewish to me (I'm Jewish, and so is my husband), but I really don't like modern Israeli names in general. I know too many irritating, rude, aggressive Israelis. You did say to be blunt.

JellyMould Fri 28-Sep-12 10:00:43

I thought of Noam Chomsky. But I'm a linguist.

Emsiero Fri 28-Sep-12 10:01:40

Thanks! All very helpful (but different) replies, which means I am none the wiser ;)

Seems like the Noam Chomsky link will always be there (we've already decided if Chomsky dies between now and the birth, not that there's any reason he will, we will have to have a rethink).

So maybe it's just too Jewish for Jewish people, if that makes sense? Because it's me having the doubts, not DH. And I have read it's quite popular among religious Jewish communities in US, and very popular in Israel in general.

clara so do you think of it as more of an Israeli name? I don't know many Israelis, and I know no Noams, so your perspective is very helpful.

And would DS stand out more as being Jewish if I called him, say, Abraham, or Solomon or something? It seems this might be the case if Noam is not that well known in UK. The aim wasn't to stand out, if you know what I mean, but pick a name we both like but that would reference my religious/cultural heritage, because DH (and the baby's) surname are very English.

Emsiero Fri 28-Sep-12 10:04:16

wannabe and stella I love Noah too actually, but it just seems to be everywhere at the moment (I think it's in the top baby names in UK) and we wanted something a bit more unusual.

CachuHwch Fri 28-Sep-12 10:05:57

Oooh I love it. I didn't think of Chomsky.

claraschu Fri 28-Sep-12 10:12:27

That's just my perception, probably completely unreasonable. Biblical names have many connotations, not just specifically Jewish, but Noam seems too "in-your-face" Jewish for my taste. Again, that's just me and my silly point of view, not any kind of balanced perspective.

Emsiero Fri 28-Sep-12 10:18:57

That's exactly what I'm looking for though, so thanks clara!

badtime Fri 28-Sep-12 10:26:18

I would assume that someone called Noam was either Israeli, or the son of lefty parents (and had brothers called Karl and Fidel).
(But then I had to read 'Manufacturing Consent' for about 5 different courses when I was at university...)

Emsiero Fri 28-Sep-12 10:43:12

badtime thanks for making me laugh! I guess we do qualify as lefty, and thanks for giving me ideas for any future DCs' names ;)

AvonCallingBarksdale Fri 28-Sep-12 10:46:18

I thought of Noam Chomsky - only Noam I know! I would assume you were Jewish tbf. Not sure itf that helps or not!

LaFataTurchina Fri 28-Sep-12 10:49:37

I would immediately think Chomsky, lefty parents.

Wouldn't actually immediately think Jewish name as I don't know many Jewish people so I don't know what names are popular for them.

RillaBlythe Fri 28-Sep-12 11:17:27

I would think of Chomsky but not overwhelmingly so. I'd probably think Jewish too but again not overwhelmingly so. I like the name. LOVE Solomon though, which I think doesn't necessarily read as Jewish at all actually.

kalidasa Fri 28-Sep-12 11:24:05

I would assume he was Jewish/Israeli, but not necessarily religious etc. I would think vaguely of Chomsky too. But if you like it I think it's fine.

PropositionJoe Fri 28-Sep-12 11:35:46

Well, it couldn't be MORE Jewish, I don't think. It's right up there with Joel and Solomon

Gwennan Fri 28-Sep-12 11:36:40

I'm not sure I see the problem with him being identified as Jewish from his name. For one thing, what's wrong with being Jewish? For another, I have a French name but I'm not French so names can be misleading.

For me, naming your child Noam is akin, in some ways, to naming your child Rihanna or Madonna or Cher or something because there is only one person in the public eye with that name.

According to the Internet, Noam is also a place-name in south Israel, where it is sometime used for girls.

There are plenty of names that might tick your boxes such as Abraham, David, Jacob, Joseph, Solomon, Elijah, Adam, Isaac, Aaron, Joshua, Samuel, Amos, Benjamin, Cyrus, Eli, Ezra, Gideon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jesse, Joel, Malachi, Micah, Nathan, and Reuben if you decide against Noam.

campergirls Fri 28-Sep-12 11:43:34

I thought of Chomsky first, but that's not a bad association in my mind!

However I would be wondering about the political assumptions people might make on the basis of a modern Israeli name. If you're pro-Israel/Zionist, or happy to be thought so, not a problem. But maybe something to take into consideration.

breadandbutterfly Fri 28-Sep-12 11:48:08

I might wonder if it could be a girls' name too?

RTchoke Fri 28-Sep-12 11:48:26

I think Chomsky then I think Isreali (rather than simply Jewish) and probably Zionist.

Jdub Fri 28-Sep-12 11:50:01

If I met a 'Noam' I'd think what a lovely name. I really like it.

SoupDragon Fri 28-Sep-12 11:51:15

If I heard Noam I would probably think I'd misheard Noah or, like I thought when I read the thread title, that it was a typo.

Viviennemary Fri 28-Sep-12 11:52:02

I've not heard this name before. Can't say that it sounds a particularly attractive name but there is nothing wrong with it. Think of a few other names you like if you are not sure about this name.

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