What's in a name – Frayda


This is not your run-of-the-mill rabbi question, but by chance might you have the book that has the correct spelling of names? My daughter is having her siddur party and we can't figure out if Frayda has 2 yuds or one and if it has an aleph at the end or a hei. (When she was born, I was kind of thinking I'd have until the kesuva to worry about it.) I have no documents from my grandmother after whom she is named, so if you have any information I would really appreciate it.

Frayda Baila's Mommy


I am happy to answer your question.

The laws of names are primarily found in the context of gittin. A divorce bill with a misspelled name – even one inaccurate letter – can void a get and the woman would still be an eishes ish. It is a pleasure to use that knowledge for a siddur party.

The correct spelling is פרידא.

If the first syllable is pronounced fry, then it is פריידא, but if it is pronounced fray, it is פרידא.[i]

Since you spelled it Frayda and only certain chassidic dialects would say fry (a patach charif), I assume her name is pronounced with a tzeirei, as in the English word fray.

All names from foreign languages that have a komatz in the last syllable should end with an א. Hebrew names end with a ה. Thus, your daughter's middle name should be spelledבילא .

It is important that she learn to spell her name correctly in Hebrew. If she spells it differently and signs her name legibly on letters, checks and other documents, that will change the halachic status of the spelling of her name.

There are many books with spellings of names. These spellings change every generation and from community to community.

The spelling I have chosen for you comes from the principles found in the Shulchan Aruch on hilchos gittin. Get Mesudar, a sefer written by Rav Elazar Mintz of Kempna and printed in 1933, is one of the sources that elaborate on this name and rule as I have above.[ii] I don't think there is anything remarkable about this psak, however. It would be spelled this way by any Dayan who is a mesader gittin.

You are probably aware that the name means שמחה. May she bring happiness to you, your husband, other people and Hashem.


Mazel Tov!

BookID: 3 Chapter: 129

[i] Frieda with a long e (pronounced freeda) is also spelled פרידא. Two different names can have one spelling. Other factors would then be used to identify this particular person.

[ii] His ruling on that name is still relevant today since it is a Yiddish name and there has not been much change in dialect from his time until today. I have used the Shulchan Aruch despite the fact that it was written centuries ago, since the principles are what I have drawn from the Shulchan Aruch and applied.

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