Saturday, July 21, 2012

Same Name?!--Peter

Peter is an interesting case. While some names have only a few forms and are spelled the same in several languages (Andrew, Matthew, and Anna come to mind), Peter takes a slightly different form in just about every language. And thanks to the apostle, and several saints, Peter has spread throughout the world. Impressive, since the apostle's name wasn't even Peter!
When the Bible was translated into Greek, instead of Hellenizing his name, like the translators did with most others (Channah --> Anna; Yitschaq --> Isaak; Miryam --> Maria), they swapped it out entirely for a Greek name with the same meaning: Peter was actually named Cephas.
Makes me wonder what the list below would have looked like if they'd left his name alone.

Original Aramaic form: Cephas (SEE-fas)
Greek translation: Petros [Πέτρος] (PEH-trohs)
Modern English form: Peter (PEE-ter)

Other forms:
  • Boutros (BOO-tros)--Arabic
  • Peadar (PYAH-dar)--Irish
  • Peder (PEE-dehr)--Scandinavian
  • Pedr (PAY-dr)--Welsh
  • Pedro (PEH-droh)--Portuguese, Spanish
  • Pehr (PEHR)--Swedish
  • Peio (pay-oh)--Basque
  • Petrus (PEH-tros)--Dutch, German
  • Pier (PEER)--Dutch
  • Pierce (PEERS)--English [via Pier]
  • Pierre (pee-EHR)--French
  • Pierrick (PYEHR-ick)--Breton
  • Pietari (pee-EH-tah-ree)--Finnish
  • Pietro (PYEHT-roh)--Italian

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