What’s in a name?


Between carvings and symbols and names, the wealth of surprises in historic cemeteries never cease to amaze me. For example, this headstone is located in a small, upstate New York town. It would be a story in itself on how she managed to come by this name. Here are a few things I was able to find out.

Huldah. Hebrew in origin, and pronounced hool-daw.

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, Huldah was “a Prophetess; wife of Shallum, the keeper of the wardrobe in the time of King Josiah. It seems that Huldah enjoyed great consideration as a prophetess, for when Hilkiah found the scroll of the Law he, with his four companions, took it to her. On that occasion she prophesied that God would bring evil upon Jerusalem and upon its inhabitants. The king, however, was told that he would die in peace before the evil days came (II Kings xxii. 14-20; II Chron. xxxiv. 22-28).”

The Myth-Folklore Course Diary notes that as often with Hebrew names, “Huldah” has a meaning: “weasel.” Although northern Europeans often regard the weasel as a masculine creature, in many cultures the weasel is a quintessentially feminine creature, sometimes revered as a midwife (as in the birth of Heracles), but also feared as a witch (as, for example, in Apuleius).”


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