Sharon

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For other uses, see Sharon (disambiguation).

Sharon (Hebrew: שָׁרוֹן Šārôn "plain") is a given name as well as an Israeli surname.

In English-speaking areas, Sharon is now predominantly a feminine given name, although historically it was also used as a masculine given name. In Israel, it is still commonly used as a masculine given name.

Etymology[edit]

The Hebrew word simply means "plain",[1] but in the Hebrew Bible, שָׁרוֹן is the name specifically given to the fertile plain between the Samarian Hills and the coast, known (tautologically) as Sharon plain in English. The phrase "rose of Sharon" (חבצלת השרון ḥăḇaṣṣeleṯ ha-sharon) occurs in the KJV translation of the Song of Solomon ("I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valley", and has since been used in reference to a number of flowering plants.

Unlike other unisex names that have come to be used almost exclusively as feminine (e.g. Evelyn), Sharon was never predominantly a masculine name. Usage before 1925 is very rare and was apparently inspired either from the Biblical toponym or one of the numerous places in the United States named after the Biblical plain.

Usage history[edit]

Use as a feminine name begain in the early 20th century, first entering the statistics of the 1,000 most popularly given names in the United States in 1925. Its inspiration was possibly the heroine of the serial novel The Skyrocket by Adela Rogers St. Johns, published in 1925 and made into a romantic drama film starring Peggy Hopkins Joyce in 1926.

The name's popularity took a steep increase only in the mid-1930s, however, and peaked during the 1940s, remaining a top 10 name for most of the decade. The variant Sharron is on record during the 1930s to 1970s, with a peak popularity in the US in 1943. The more eccentric spelling Sharyn was popular only for a brief time in the 1940s, peaking in 1945.

The name's popularity has steadily declined since the 1940s (except for a slight rise in the late 1950s), falling out of the top 100 after 1977, and out of the top 500 after 2001.[2]

In the United Kingdom its popularity peaked during the 1960s. It was the 10th most popular female name by 1964 and was still as high as 17th in 1974 (when it was at rank 70 in the US), but a sharp decline in popularity followed and since the 1980s it has not featured in the top 100.[3]

People with the given name[edit]

Feminine given name[edit]

Masculine given name[edit]

People with the surname[edit]

Sharon was adopted as a surname by Zionist emigrants in the context of the Hebrew revival in the early 20th century, and has since become a heritable Israeli surname.

  • Arieh Sharon (born Ludwig Kurzmann, 1900–1984), Israeli architect
  • Ariel Sharon (born Ariel Scheinermann, 1928–2014), Israeli Prime Minister. Scheinermann was given the surname Sharon by David Ben-Gurion in c. 1948.[4]
  • Avraham Sharon (born Abraham Schwadron, 1878–1957), Israeli intellectual
  • Moshe Sharon (b. 1937), Israeli scholar of Islamic history and civilization, author i.a. of the Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae, a work in progress planned to contain all ancient Arabic inscriptions found in the Holy Land[5]
  • Omri Sharon (b. 1964), Israeli politician, son of the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

Pseudonym[edit]

  • Deke Sharon, stage name of Kurk Richard Toohey (b. 1967), American singer, musician, producer

Fictional characters[edit]

Place-names[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strong's Concordance H8289
  2. ^ Popular Baby Names; socialsecurity.gov; accessed 1 January 2015.
  3. ^ Sharon - Meaning And Origin Of The Name Sharon, BabyNames.co.uk; accessed 1 January 1, 2015.
  4. ^ Freedland, Jonathan (January 3, 2014). "Ariel Sharon's final mission might well have been peace", The Guardian. ("his name was given to him by Israel's founding father, David Ben-Gurion – turning the young Scheinerman into Sharon")
  5. ^ http://www.asmeascholars.org/professor-moshe-sharon/