Origin and Meaning of the Name Adonai

The origin of the name Adonai is Hebrew and its meaning is "my Lord". It's one of the ways of referring to God in Judaism and Christianity.
Origin and Meaning of the Name Adonai

Last update: 21 August, 2022

Do you like names linked to different religions or beliefs? Are you thinking of choosing one of these names for your child? If your answer is yes, learn all about the origin and meaning of the name Adonai. You’ll be surprised by what you discover!

To begin with, we want to tell you that Adonai is a very uncommon name. For this reason, perhaps it’s a good choice for your child if you’re looking to name him in an original way and for him to be the only one in his class with this intense name.

Next, we invite you to know everything about Adonai!

What is the meaning of Adonai?

Adonai would be the plural of Adon, which means ‘my Lord’ and is one of the names of God in Judaism. Consequently, it would literally mean ‘my lords’. Although it can also be taken in singular and, in this way, it’s interpreted in several ways: ‘Master’, ‘my lord’, ‘God with us’, ‘Lord’ or ‘administrator’.

In turn, there are two versions of the name: One ending in Latin i and the other ending in the Greek y -Adonay-.

Does Adonai have any day in the saints’ calendar?

Adonai doesn’t have a special day in the saints’ calendar, as there’s no saint with this name. However, because of the relevance of its meaning, in some countries, it’s celebrated on November 1, All Saints’ Day.

A young boy meditating.
Adonai is a Hebrew name that is full of spirituality. In ancient times, it was used as a respectful way to invoke God.

Adonai, an ancient and spiritual name

Just as we’ve seen that other names have diverse origins, as in the case of Oliver, Adonai has a certain and unique one: it is Hebrew.

The original word in Hebrew is spelled adõnai and was used in ancient times as a respectful way to call God. This is because, in the third century B.C., in the reading of the Hebrew Bible it was forbidden to name God or Yahweh, so it was replaced by Adonay, whose meaning was ‘the Lord’.

A name of Judeo-Christian tradition

This name is repeated more than 400 times in the sacred books of Judaism, whose compilation is called Tanach or Mikrá. For this reason, it’s clear that the name Adonai is Hebrew and of Jewish tradition. However, this name is also important for Christians.

Although the name was forgotten for centuries, in 2008, Pope Benedict XVI ordered that Yahweh be replaced in Christian liturgies by the Hebrew name Adonai or by the Greek Kyrios. Both names refer with absolute grandeur to the name of God, our Lord. The Catholic Church, through its representative, Cardinal Arinze, expressed that this change allows us “to understand Christ, as the title of Lord becomes interchangeable between the God of Israel and the Messiah of the Christian Faith”.

In conclusion, Adonai is a name with a conciliatory essence that unites from its most intimate meaning the traditions of two of the most important religions in the world: Judaism and Catholicism.

A curious fact: Did you know that in the Bible, God is referred to in 21 different ways? One of them is Adonai, which is definitely a biblical name, and you can find it on numerous occasions in the Holy Scriptures. For example, in Psalm 8, Isaiah 40: 3-5, and Ezekiel 16:8.

Pope Benedict XVI.
In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI ordered that Yaveh be replaced by the Hebrew name Adonai or the Greek Kyrios in Christian liturgies.

The importance of a person’s name

As you’ve seen, the origin and meaning of Adonai is very peculiar. In addition, there’s another quality that proper names have that makes them so important in the lives of children. According to the work of Pau Martínezez Farrero, PhD. in Psychology from the University of Barcelona, of the Official College of Psychologists of Catalonia, published in the Journal of Humanities of the University of Seville, first names allow infants to recognize themselves, as they hear them even before they’re born.

In short, the importance of a proper name lies not only in its meaning, but in its function of providing identity to begin to define our place in the world, from the very moment we are born.

More name alternatives to explore

If knowing the facts about the origin and meaning of the name Adonai has seemed interesting to you, but you still haven’t decided what to name your child, we have much more to offer you. For example, other names related to the religious theme are Matthew, Noah, Jesus, or Peter.

Also, you can search our site for other listings of boy names according to the letter they start with or topics such as literature, history, travel, and television. The choices are many and the clock is ticking…

Get ready for the adventure of discovering the perfect name for your child!

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