What is the vowel associated with the letter “dalet” in the name “Aleph-Dalet-Nun-Yud”? I always assumed it was a “cholam” (see here for example) but someone who is (otherwise) careful in his pronunciation seems to make it a “kometz” or maybe a “patach”. Sourced answers vastly preferred.

  • 2
    Is this individual a Sephardi, perhaps? The Sephardic cholam is quite similar to the Ashkenazi Komatz.
    – Dave
    Mar 11, 2012 at 18:07
  • @Dave No, but I think he may have been influenced. Mar 12, 2012 at 8:46

1 Answer 1


There are two different names you may be referring to. In Genesis 19:2 it says:

וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֶּה נָּא-אֲדֹנַי, סוּרוּ נָא אֶל-בֵּית עַבְדְּכֶם וְלִינוּ וְרַחֲצוּ רַגְלֵיכֶם, וְהִשְׁכַּמְתֶּם, וַהֲלַכְתֶּם לְדַרְכְּכֶם; וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֹּא, כִּי בָרְחוֹב נָלִין
and he said: 'Behold now, my lords, turn aside, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your way.' And they said: 'Nay; but we will abide in the broad place all night.'

thereby using a patach under the nun to denote "my masters."

However in Deuteronomy 3:24 it says:

אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה, אַתָּה הַחִלּוֹתָ לְהַרְאוֹת אֶת-עַבְדְּךָ, אֶת-גָּדְלְךָ, וְאֶת-יָדְךָ הַחֲזָקָה--אֲשֶׁר מִי-אֵל בַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר-יַעֲשֶׂה כְמַעֲשֶׂיךָ וְכִגְבוּרֹתֶךָ
O Lord GOD, Thou hast begun to show Thy servant Thy greatness, and Thy strong hand; for what god is there in heaven or on earth, that can do according to Thy works, and according to Thy mighty acts?

thereby using a kamatz under the nun to denote "The Lord" [a name for God].

I note that there also exists that word with a chirik (Genesis 44:19) or tzeirei (I Kings 16:24) under the nun (meaning "my master" and "masters of" respectively) but I am not aware on any spelling with a cholom on the nun.

Note: in addition to showing the different vowels under the nun, these pesukim do show rather conclusively that the vowel on the dalet is always a cholom. I can't find any instance in tanach without the cholom on the dalet in the context of shem hashem.

  • 1
    I'm asking about the "vowel associated with the letter “dalet” not the nun. Both your quotes use a cholom with the dalet. Mar 11, 2012 at 17:41
  • 5
    @AvrohomYitzchok Oops! My bad. It is most definitely a cholom on the daled as can be seen by all the pesukim I quote.
    – Double AA
    Mar 11, 2012 at 17:46

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