"Et tu, Ionathane?!" (was Re: old hat)

Mark A. Mandel mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU
Mon Mar 6 02:59:27 UTC 2006

(In response to a thread on the American Dialect Society discussion list,
and cc-ed to the American Name Society list)

Wilson Gray wrote to Jonathan (not John) Lighter:
> Et tu, Ionathane?!

Who replied:
>"Ionathane" looks funny.  Like it should rhyme with "monotony."

To which Meredith Dixon noted:
>There's a reason for that: it should be Ioanne.  Names translate too. :)

Whom* replies:

Yes, but not that way. Wilson is right. "Jonathan" and "John" are different

According to http://www.behindthename.com/

JONATHAN: From the Hebrew name Yehonatan (contracted to Yonatan) meaning
"YAHWEH has given".

JOHN: English form of Johannes, which was the Latin form of the Greek name
Ioannes, itself derived from the Hebrew name Yochanan meaning "YAHWEH is

(But I think these names contain the Divine name "Yah", not the four-letter
"YHWH", which is not the same. ANS input?)

-- * Dr. Whom, Consulting Linguist, Grammarian,
    Orthoepist, & Philological Busybody
    a.k.a. Mark A. Mandel

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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