On this page: Discussion and Bibliography.
Following pages: Alphabetical Listing of Given Names and Examples of Full Names
The majority of the women mentioned in these sources bore names derived from the vernacular languages, Spanish and occasionally Arabic. However, this was not simply a case of Jews adopting the naming practices of their non-Jewish neighbors; the vernacular names used by Jewish women were not those popular among Navarran Christian women, such as Maria, Juana, and Sancha. Instead, Jews preferred to give their daughters names clearly derived from ordinary words.
Many of these names referred to admired personal traits, such as Bella, Bona, Dolça, Gentil, and Jamila. Others described the bearer as a woman of rank, as with Ceti, Dueynna, and Reyna. Names could refer to precious objects, such as Aljohar and Oro.
Even more popular than single-element names were names formed of two words joined together. The most frequent element in such names was Oro-, found in names such as Orodueynna, Oromadre, Orosol, Orovida, and the bilingual compound Oroceti. Another common element was Sol-, found in Solbellida and Soloro. It is noteworthy that these two elements are superlatives; gold (oro) was the most valuable coinage metal, and the sun (sol) is the brightest object in the sky.
A significant minority of women had names from the Hebrew bible. The most popular such names were Ezter, Sara, and Miriam. Other biblical names in use included Hanna, Rachel, Rebeca, Hadassah, and Basseva.
In contrast to the variety of vernacular names, names coined from ordinary Hebrew words were uncommon. The only popular name of this type was Cima (from the Hebrew word simcha). Its masculine counterpart would seem to be the name Sasson, popular among Jewish men in Navarre; cf. Jeremiah 33:11, "The voice of joy (sasson) and the voice of gladness (simcha)..." In addition, the name Mazalta may represent the Hebrew phrase mazal tov.
There were many instances of names formed by adding diminutive endings to other names. Examples include Bellida (much more common than Bella, in fact), Cetieylla, Donieylla, Estreilla, and Matrieylla.
Carrasco, Juan, Fermín Miranda García, and Eloísa Ramírez Vaquero. Los Judíos del Reino de Navarra: Documentos 1334-1350 (Navarra Judaica 2). Pamplona: Gobierno de Navarra, Departmentado de Educacíon y Cultura, 1995.
Carrasco, Juan, Fermín Miranda García, and Eloísa Ramírez Vaquero. Los Judíos del Reino de Navarra: Documentos 1351-1370 (Navarra Judaica 3*). Pamplona: Gobierno de Navarra, Departmentado de Educacíon y Cultura, 1996.
Carrasco, Juan, Fermín Miranda García, and Eloísa Ramírez Vaquero. Los Judíos del Reino de Navarra: Registros do sello 1339-1387 (Navarra Judaica 4). Pamplona: Gobierno de Navarra, Departmentado de Educacíon y Cultura, 1994.
Lacave, José Luis. Los Judíos del Reino de Navarra: Documentos hebreos 1297-1486 (Navarra Judaica 7). Pamplona: Gobierno de Navarra, Departmentado de Educacíon y Cultura, 1998.
Real Academia Española. Corpus Diacrónico del Español (CORDE). s.v.