Esther: a New York name?

Why are all New [name]York[/name] Jews calling their girls [name]Esther[/name]? Is it the Broadway musical?

I imagine it is the Biblical reference, and the returning popularity of vintage names. It was #147 here in [name]Britain[/name] in 2008, and I’ve definitely seen it equally on Jewish and non-Jewish children.

It is more than that - it was the second most popular name in New [name]York[/name] in 2008 for white girls. An anomaly compared with statistics from elsewhere.

Hmm… I know two Esthers in NYC and neither are Jewish. Not sure if your reference to “New [name]York[/name] Jews” means you’ve seen specific trends related to this population, or if there’s an assumption that all white kids in NY are Jewish! :slight_smile:

Either way, it’s a lovely name that sits right at the intersection of the trends for retro/family/ethnic/Biblical/strong female names, so I’m not surprised it’s popular these days.

[name]Esther[/name] is a very popular biblical name used amongst religious Jews. You are probably unaware of this but there is a huge Hasidic (Orthodox) Jewish population in New [name]York[/name] City, particularly in the outer-boroughs. In the Torah (Hebrew Bible) [name]Esther[/name] is a strong female character who was a [name]Queen[/name] and is celebrated during the holiday of Purim. She also more or less saved the Jews from annihilation by an “evil” character called Haman, therefore [name]Esther[/name] is a prophet and many Jews chose to name their daughters after her.

Also, not “all New [name]York[/name] Jews” are using biblical names for their children. Many do, but the majority who chose to do so are more religious. I’m from New [name]York[/name] and am Jewish, yet my name is [name]Lisa[/name] and my sister is named [name]Robin[/name]. Using names from the Torah, however, is a nice way to tie religion into your family and many biblical names are used by the entire country, not just Jews ([name]Jacob[/name], [name]Ethan[/name], [name]Leah[/name], [name]Abigail[/name], etc.)

i just meant that [name]Esther[/name] is originally a Hebrew name so I presumed Jewish people still used the name? I wanted to know if there was also a link to the musical because the name isn’t as popular in other cities.

The musical probably isn’t a factor. The name is used for it’s biblical meaning and longstanding traditional use in the Jewish community.

[name]Esther[/name] is the middle name of my baby neice, [name]Cosima[/name]. My sister and her husband used it as it is the name of his mother, and for the religious connection (we are [name]Christian[/name]).

I think it makes sense that [name]Esther[/name] is coming back now, due to its strong religious connotations and the fact that it is of the right era to now seem sweet and vintage, like [name]Matilda[/name] (also, it is probably a common name among the grandmothers of today’s babies, so it may well be that parents of little Esthers are honouring their own mothers/grandmothers). Often names which seem much more random come back into popularity in a massive way (such as, in my opinion, [name]Olivia[/name]) - [name]Esther[/name] seems fairly logical.

Thanks to Freckles - that was interesting.

I love the name [name]Esther[/name]. The book of [name]Esther[/name] in the bible is one of my favorite bible stories. [name]Esther[/name] is a really positive and strong character in the story. She is a hero, so that is probably why a lot of babies are named after her.