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It is most common for the name Yona to be used for males. There are many female Yona's too. In Parshas Noach the Pasuk says V'Hayona Lo Motzo Monoach which is a Loshon Nekeiva (female dialect). How did the name Yona become a male name?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

It's the name of Yona Hanavi, and he was a male.

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so how did he get his name? – Gershon Gold Dec 12 '10 at 20:12
@Gershon: now you're asking for something that's beyond the scope of linguistics. – Chanoch Dec 12 '10 at 21:20
Maybe you can call Yona to both male and female bird and Noah just "occasionally" took a female bird. However the male version was caught more because of Yona Hanavi. – jutky Dec 12 '10 at 21:24
The coincidence of grammatical gender and gender of the signified person when it comes to naming after pre-existing animals or objects isn't necessarily meaningful. Male ostriches, for example, are also b'nos ya'ana, and it would therefore not be problematic (for grammatical reasons, irrespective of aesthetics) to name a baby boy Bas Ya'ana. – WAF Dec 12 '10 at 22:23
Please note: My prior comment makes a lot of debatable assumptions. Another example is the name Simcha, which is grammatically feminine. – WAF Dec 12 '10 at 22:25

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