TomKat's princess a new draw in Israel
JERUSALEM (AP) _ Superstar couple Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' choice of a Hebrew-flavored name for their newborn daughter has speakers of the language scratching their heads - they've never heard of it.india Updated: Apr 20, 2006 21:08 IST
Superstar couple Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' choice of a Hebrew-flavoured name for their newborn daughter has speakers of the language scratching their heads - they've never heard of it.
Baby Suri's name can be traced to a Hebrew word meaning "princess" or "noblewoman" but by such a circuitous route that the connection is lost on most Israelis.
Since the birth on Tuesday, bemused Israeli TV and radio presenters have debated the word's origins.
"Nobody here has ever really heard of it, " an announcer on Israel's Army Radio said during a discussion Thursday. The Yediot Ahronot daily agreed in its half-page splash on the celebrity birth. "We seem to have learned a new Hebrew word, and from Tom Cruise, no less," said a Channel 2 TV anchorman.
Avshalom Koor, who has for years presented TV and radio spots on the intricacies of Hebrew, said Suri was a derivation of Sarah the name of Biblical patriarch Abraham's wife as pronounced by some Central European Jews.
"Suri is a pet name for Sarah," Koor told Army Radio. "The Ashkenazi (Jews) of Poland and Hungary pronounce it Suri."
In ancient Hebrew, Sarah is the feminine form of "Sar," or lord. In modern Hebrew, the word means a Cabinet Minister.
Koor suggested a far better known but no less majestic name for the baby, noting she was born during the Jewish festival of Passover, which commemorates the escape of the ancient Israelites from bondage in Egypt.
"You could call her Geula (redemption)," he said.