The Origins of Leah

By Leah Stone

I don’t know where my first name came from. My middle name, May, was chosen in remembrance of my Great Grandmother May Stone. She died before I was born. It was then a coincidence that I was born in May, since I was five weeks early and should have been born in June. It is strange to be named after someone I have never met except through pictures and stories.

My brother used to joke that my name means ‘cow’ in Hebrew, and it was often a hilarious joke throughout my childhood. It was only recently that I researched it for myself and realised he had partially lied. I don’t know why I believed my younger brother at the time, he just enjoyed winding me up. Whilst the word ‘Cow’ could be derived from the the name Leah, the most precise translation of my name, ‘weary’, is not any more positive, and I’m angry at my parents for giving me such a negative meaning, whilst his name translates to ‘Defender of mankind.’

If I had been a boy, I would have had my brother’s name, Alex. It’s strange to think how different my life would be if my name had been different would people look at me differently? When you hear someone’s name you make an immediate assumption. What do people assume when they hear the name Leah?




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