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?

1 Answer 1


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

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    so how did he get his name? Dec 12, 2010 at 20:12
  • @Gershon: now you're asking for something that's beyond the scope of linguistics.
    – Chanoch
    Dec 12, 2010 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, 2010 at 21:24
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    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, 2010 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, 2010 at 22:25

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