Aaron (given name)

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Russian Icon of Aaron
PronunciationDutch: [aːˈʔaːrən]
English: /ˈɛərən, ˈærən/
Language(s)English, Exodus 4:14
DerivationAncient Egyptian (Aharon), Hebrew (אהרן), Greek (Ααρών), Latin (Aaron), British English (/ɛərən/), American English (/ærən/, /eɪrɪn/)
Other names
Variant form(s)Aharon, Aron, Harun

Aaron is a hellenized Hebrew masculine given name.[1] The 'h' phoneme in the original Hebrew pronunciation "Aharon" (אהרן) is dropped in the Greek, Ααρών, from which the English form, Aaron, is derived.

Aaron the brother of Moses is described in the Torah, the Quran and the Bah'ai Iqan.

The origin of the biblical name is uncertain, however, an Ancient Egyptian origin may indicate "aha rw" meaning "warrior lion",


or from Aaru, the Egyptian heaven ruled by Osiris.


According to other different theories, the name could be derived from various Hebrew roots meaning "high mountain", "mountain of strength", "exalted", or "enlightened",[2] or "bearer of martyrs". The name Aharon may itself be a variant of Haran, the name given to the older brother of Abraham in the book of Genesis.[3]

The given name was used by Jews and early Christians, then became exclusively Jewish in the Middle Ages, taken up by Gentiles in the 17th century, and popular among both in the end of the 20th century. Aaron was most popular in the United States in 1994 peaking as the 28th most popular name. Aaron is also a Jewish surname. St. Aaron's day is on July 1 and is celebrated in French speaking countries and Poland. The name is generally recognisable around the world as referring to the biblical Aaron and cognate forms in other languages include Aarón in Spanish; Aarão in Portuguese; Aron in Irish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Croatian; Árón in Czech; and Harun (هارون) in Arabic. The variant used in the Russian language is "Ааро́н" (Aaron),[4] with "Аро́н" (Aron) being its colloquial form; diminutives include "Ааро́нка" (Aaronka), "Аро́нка" (Aronka), and "Ро́на" (Rona).[5] The patronymics derived from this first name in Russian are "Ааро́нович" (Aaronovich; masculine) and its colloquial form "Ааро́ныч" (Aaronych), and "Ааро́новна" (Aaronovna; feminine).[5]

"Aaronite" is a noun referring to the biblical tradition and modern genetic line of Kohanim claiming descent from the biblical Aaron. "Aaronic" is an adjective referring to their traditional priestly attributes such as attention to detail, respect for tradition, and religious dogmatising. For example, biblical texts focussed on rules and traditions such as Leviticus are considered aaronic.


In its original Hebrew, Aharon (אהרן) is pronounced as three syllables, a-ha-ron. This Hebrew pronunciation is still used in modern Hebrew in Israel today. The Hebrew sound had no direct equivalent in Greek, when Jewish scriptures were translated by Greek-speaking Jews in Alexandria around 200 BCE to form the septuagint, so these translators used a pair of Greek alpha letters to approximate the same sound, "Ααρών". This was translated again by St. Jerome from the Greek to the Latin Vulgate as "Aaron" in the fourth century CE. It is thought that the Greeks and Romans would pronounce Aaron similarly to the Hebrew, as the Catholic Latin pronunciation is still defined this way.[6]

The English pronunciation of the biblical Aaron's name was derived by anglicising the Latin during the Church of England's translation of the Authorized King James Bible in 1611 (possibly influenced by older English translations of the bible from Anglo Saxon times onwards). The modern Church of England Pronunciation Guide, the BBC pronunciation guide,[7] the Mormon pronunciation guide,[8] the Oxford English Dictionary,[9] the Longman pronunciation guide,[10] and Harper Collins Biblical Pronunciation Guide[11] all define this modern English pronunciation as /ɛərən/ ("air-run", where "air" is the same sound as in "dairy"). This pronunciation is used in the 1956 film The Ten Commandments featuring the biblical Aaron, by UK chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks when speaking in English,[12] and in the BBC production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus.[13]

The English name "Aaron" is sometimes confused with the English name "Aron" which is also derived from the biblical Aaron but through translation routes other than the Church of England (e.g. Scandinavian[14] and Celtic[15] churches) and pronounced /ærən/ ("a-ran" as in "arrow"). It is further sometimes confused with the names Arran and Aran which are also pronounced /ærən/ ("a-ran" as in "arrow") but derive from various sources unrelated to the biblical Aaron such as the Scottish Isle of Arran and Irish Aran Islands. Aeron is another unrelated name, pronounced air-ron, of an old Celtic god and the Aeron chair.

In the 20th century, ambiguity over the pronunciation of "Aaron" was created by naming children after Elvis Aaron Presley rather than after the biblical Aaron. Presley's middle name was originally "Aron" on his birth certificate and pronounced /ærən/ ("a-ran" as in "arrow") by his parents to rhyme with his stillborn brother's name, Garon. Presley later legally amended his middle name to be spelt "Aaron" to match the English biblical Aaron, but without changing the pronunciation.[16] Naming children after Presley effectively created an alternative de facto pronunciation which can now be found in the Oxford American English Dictionary,[17] along with /eɪrɪn/ ('ay-rin' as in "A to Z") which is heard in the American deep south. However the difference in these pronunciations in American English is often small or nonexistent due to its longer "a" than British English, as can be heard in American media such as episodes of Lost, recorded interviews with Aaron Copland, or Hollywood's 1999 Shakespeare movie, Titus.

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  1. ^ "Jewish Names". jewfaq.org. Retrieved 2008-01-06.
  2. ^ MFnames.com - Origin and Meaning of Aaron
  3. ^ HaranChaim Vital, Sha'ar Ha-Gilgulim (Gate of Reincarnations) Chapter Thirty-Three, Section 3b. Rabbi Isaac Luria (16th century) connects the character of Aharon to that of Avraham's older brother
  4. ^ Superanskaya, p. 20
  5. ^ a b Petrovsky, p. 31
  6. ^ "The correct pronunciation of Latin according to Roman usage. Rev. Michael de Angelis CRM PhD, 1937" (PDF).
  7. ^ L. Olausson, and C. Sangster. Oxford BBC Guide to Pronciation, Oxford University Press 2006, page 1.
  8. ^ "Pronunciation Guide". Church of Latter Day Saints. Retrieved 2013-05-01.
  9. ^ http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/Aaron?q=aaron. Oxford English Dictionary, 2013.
  10. ^ Wells, John C. (1990). "Aaron". Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. Harlow, UK: Longman. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-582-05383-0.
  11. ^ Bible Pronunciation Guide. ed. William O. Walker III, Harper Collins, 1994, ISBN 0060689625
  12. ^ "Website of the chief rabbi". Jonathan Sacks. Archived from the original on 2013-04-01. Retrieved 2013-05-01.
  13. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rsLl8wDLg4. Titus Andronicus, BBC Shakespeare video series, 1985. DVD ASIN:B000KPG7RA
  14. ^ "Andra Mosenboken (Book of Exodus), Swedish Bible".
  15. ^ "Eaxodus (Book of Exodus), Irish Bible" (PDF).
  16. ^ "About the King". Official Elvis Presley site. Archived from the original on 2010-11-05. Retrieved 2013-05-01.
  17. ^ http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/american_english/Aaron. Oxford American English Dictionary
  18. ^ Stutts Rothschild, Aaron Bradford (December 2018). "ABS LLC - Insights from Dr Stutts Rothschild". ABS LLC | forward>>>.
  19. ^ Stutts Rothschild, Aaron Bradford (April 2018). "Crypto VS Traditional Currency". The Execranks.


  • А. В. Суперанская (A. V. Superanskaya). "Современный словарь личных имён: Сравнение. Происхождение. Написание" (Modern Dictionary of First Names: Comparison. Origins. Spelling). Айрис-пресс. Москва, 2005. ISBN 5-8112-1399-9
  • Н. А. Петровский (N. A. Petrovsky). "Словарь русских личных имён" (Dictionary of Russian First Names). ООО Издательство "АСТ". Москва, 2005. ISBN 5-17-002940-3