I really wasn’t too keen on this week’s topic for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge: Favorite Name. I have previously written about the importance of the WINCHESTER middle name in my husband’s family. I am not comfortable posting information about living relatives that might encourage ID theft. Therefore, I won’t write about why my sister Betsy has two middle names or why our mom chose the name Dean for our brother. I have also previously written about the “S” confusion with my last name: SAMUEL vs. SAMUELS and the origin of that surname.
So… what to write about?? Keeping with my theme of using this year to chronicle my own generation, I decided to write about the origin of my own name. It’s pretty straightforward and admittedly a little boring. But, I promise you, if you keep reading, there will be a funny story as a reward!!
Deborah is a Hebrew name (Devorah), meaning “bee.” Bees are very busy insects – always producing honey. As I also am always busily “producing” something, I guess I am appropriately named.
I enjoyed reading these definitions found on the Urban Dictionary website:
I actually was named for my mother’s best friend, Deborah (Debby) Moscowitz. According to my mother, she chose my middle name, “Joan”, for no other reason than “it sounded good.” Over the years, I used variations of the name: Debby, Debbie, and now, finally, Deb. (I think it sounds more “grown-up” than Debbie.) My mother referred to me as Debbie, or DJ when she was feeling sentimental. Unfortunately, that was also the initials of Dishonest John – a villain featured in the Beany and Cecil cartoon show during my childhood!
My favorite “Deborah” story also has to do with my mother. I never knew exactly how to pronounce my name. Was it [deb-or-ah] – all syllables accented equally – sounding more like “deberah”? Or [de-BOR-ah] – with the middle syllable accented? I finally decided to ask my mother. I think I was maybe 50ish at the time. (Do you think I waited long enough?) Mom’s response, “How the hell should I know?” Yup – should have expected that! For the record, I mostly say [deb-or-ah]. That would make an interesting Facebook poll – so many women in the 1950s were named Deborah – how do they all pronounce it?
Here are some other interesting facts about the name Deborah.
See you next week, when I’ll be responding to the prompt “Valentine.” Not sure yet how I’ll approach that topic – it’s one of my least favorite holidays, coming in right behind New Year’s Eve!
“Urban Dictionary: Deborah”. 2018. Urban Dictionary. Accessed February 2, 2018. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Deborah.
 “Wolfram|Alpha: Making The World’S Knowledge Computable”. 2018. Wolframalpha.Com. Accessed February 2 2018. https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=how+many+people+named+deborah.