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.

Alameda Fri 28-Sep-12 11:52:06

what in case it upsets the anti-semites campergirl?

if I was Jewish I would like a child called Aryeh which I THINK is lion

Emsiero Fri 28-Sep-12 11:56:19

gwennan no problem with being identified as Jewish of course, but just don't want it to be a big statement, if that makes sense?

camper and RT I hadn't thought of the Zionist thing per se - and definitely don't want to be taking a political stance with my son's name, it was more about finding a Jewish name we liked.

Love lots of the other names suggested, especially Amos, which was also on our list. DH has vetoed lots of the more traditional biblical names, not sure why!

Emsiero Fri 28-Sep-12 11:57:57

And thanks to everyone who said they liked it. I really love the name, but now just a bit worried about people thinking we're making some massive statement with it!

MrsBodger Fri 28-Sep-12 11:58:18

I seem to be in the minority here. I don't think I'd assume Jewishness in a little Noam, I think because I know so many little Noahs, Joshuas, Zacs, Judes etc who aren't Jewish.

Emsiero Fri 28-Sep-12 12:00:51

Have to go now, but thanks so much everyone for all your help and honesty. Am probably just getting generally jittery about everything as I approach due date!

NimChimpsky Fri 28-Sep-12 12:04:27


Lovely name. I think linguist but that's no bad thing.

campergirls Fri 28-Sep-12 12:14:01

No Alameda: because not all Jews in the diaspora are Zionists or endorse the state of Israel's actions, and many would not want to give their child a name that could be read as signalling such a position/endorsement.

I don't tbh think it's a huge risk, but I thought I'd mention it in case the OP found it helpful.

YouMayLogOut Fri 28-Sep-12 12:25:02

Quite a nice name, although I expect a lot of people will mishear it as Noah.

I thought "Chomsky" as well, because I've never heard of anyone else called Noam.

I didn't know it was a Jewish name.

Feckbox Fri 28-Sep-12 12:37:14

too much like, Moam, those chewy sweets

CheeseAndJamSandwich Fri 28-Sep-12 12:59:22

I would definitely assume Jewish ancestry, which you have, so no worries there. It's a lovely name.

MadameCastafiore Fri 28-Sep-12 13:01:15

I have Albanian relative called Noam and they Muslim so not Jewish at all to me!

delilah88 Fri 28-Sep-12 13:06:13

What does it mean?

ashleyscott Fri 28-Sep-12 13:18:38

No, I don't think it sounds Jewish, it's a lovely name and if you both like it that's the most important thing. It's not easy to find a name that you will both agree on...

dizzyday07 Fri 28-Sep-12 13:30:12

Perhaps it would come down to the circles you move in. I have never heard of Noam Chomsky [insert unworldy emoticom]

I have a Hebrew name (Leah) and have never been asked if it reflects my religion/heritage but then again I come from a line of red haired Scots!

tryingtoleave Fri 28-Sep-12 13:34:04

No more than Levi, or Seth, or Isaac, which all seem to have become generally popular. There were twin boys at my post natal exercise class called Reuben and Solomon, and they weren't even Jewish.

NimChimpsky Fri 28-Sep-12 13:34:59

It's not much like maoam.

Feckbox Fri 28-Sep-12 14:59:45

well it is to me if it's the very first word that popped into my head!

Feckbox Fri 28-Sep-12 15:00:26

and the second was gnome

MadameCastafiore Fri 28-Sep-12 17:29:02

Sorry just thought would read answers on this thread and thought what an idiot I am, relatives algerian.

They are quite vocal about the issues in Palestine and Isreal so I woudln't think they would have given their child a jewish name! But looks as though they have - means beautiful or good looking too.

LarkinSky Fri 28-Sep-12 19:27:27

I can't hear 'Noam' without my mind immediately adding 'Chomsky', but that's the only reference I have for the name.

whatinthewhatnow Fri 28-Sep-12 19:36:58

gnome. sorry. and then chomsky.

but not 'too jewish', no. so many jewish names are around, because often old testament names are beautiful. In fact I spent a quiet evening when pregnant looking through an old testament and writing all the names I saw down because I knew i wanted a good solid name for my boy.

Well, my first thought is my cousin who is called Noam! He is Jewish grin I think it's lovely, and I actually called my own ds Noah. So yes, I would think it was a Jewish name, but only because the only person I know with it is!

I think it's lovely.

Fiveweeksandcounting Sat 29-Sep-12 07:43:20

I would definitely consider it Jewish and would imagine the parents to be either Israeli or modern orthodox. I do like it though.

MummyOnTheLoose Sat 29-Sep-12 07:54:23

I thought of Chomsky- but apart from that, I think it's a lovely name. I'm Jewish, I came from Israel in fact, but DH isn't and my kids aren't, and I was a bit too afraid to name my kids names like this. I've got a Shoshannah, and I've got ordinary old testament names like Joshua. If I have another child, I'd love to give them a name liza Tzrafira or something.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now