I’m crating a fictional character (for a D&D game, if it matters), and I want his name to be a word from a religious language meaning “Bountiful”, or something along those lines. So I figured that I’d use the Hebrew word. Well, OK, I don’t speak Hebrew, but my friend Google does, and it says that the word I’m looking for is שׁוֹפֵעַ . It even gives a few phrases that would use that word, such as “bountiful harvest”, which sounds like it’s about the right sense of what I’m looking for.
A few problems, though. First, I don’t read Hebrew characters, and I’m going to want the name to be in CommonEnglish on the character sheet. And I also want to be able to pronounce it. So what would the Latin-alphabet transliteration of that be?
Second, and this isn’t precisely necessary, but is there a specific process that the Hebrew language would go through to turn an adjective into a proper name?
I am not a Hebrew expert, though I am always trying to learn more…
seems incorrect. שׁוֹפֵעַ would be pronounced, as written (no “h”, either, but there is an ayin at the end), as “shofea”, reason being that a dagesh qal would typically occur at the beginning of a syllable immediately following a vowelless consonant, which does not apply here. In your case, following a vowel there should be a soft sound.
Is there any “process”, or are they just ordinary adjectives and/or nouns? We have names like חוה (Eve), רם (Ram), איתן (Eitan), שגיב (Sagiv), etc. There is a Biblical name שִׁפְעִי, btw, and שפע seems like a vaguely cromulent name as well. I would love to hear a detailed explanation of the naming process in Arabic and Hebrew, though. I think @CairoCarol started to explain some processes in a different thread?
Probably not me. It’s possible I weighed in on something to do with Arabic, but it wouldn’t have involved any sophisticated knowledge. When I lived in Egypt I briefly studied how to write MSA (Modern Standard Arabic) and speak Egyptian vernacular, but all I retain is a little knowledge “about” each, rather than knowledge “of” either one, if that makes any sense.
Soft F sound rather than hard P sound is right; DPRK has the pronunciation right.
שִׁפְעִי with the Yod at the end is a possessive, so approximately “my bounty”. Pronounced “Shofeai” or “Sheefeai”
There isn’t a way to turn an adjective into a name per se, and you can use adjectives as names as you want; but if you wanted some biblical inspiration, pretty much every name that ends in “-iel” means “God is my…”
So for example “Daniel” - God is my judge; “Auriel” - God is my light; etc. It’s not an actual name, but you could go with something like “Sheefiel” or "Shofeil (pronounced “Sheef-ee-el”) to mean something along the lines of “My bounty is a gift from God”, if that’s what you’re going for.
You could also pronounced it “Shefa” instead of “Shofa”. Transliteration is hard…
Note that “Shofea” (bountiful) is the male form of the adjective. The female form is “Shofa’at”; unfortunately, that’s also a slang term for “voluptuous”.
That said, “Shefa” (bounty or plenty) is a an existing name, albeit a rare one.
However, straying from the שפע (Sh-F-E) root… there’s another Hebrew word for bountiful: “Atir” (עתיר). It’s a more archaic word, mainly used in formal phrases - it’s from the Aramaic word for “rich”, I think. Still, any Hebrew speaker would recognize it, and I think I’ve heard it as a first name, too.
Since the version provided includes vowels and nekudot (additional pronunciation cues), if you look carefully at the פֵ you can see there’s no dot in the middle, so it’s an unvoiced “F” instead of the voiced “P.”
Much though I find the notion amusing of naming a character “Voluptuous”, this particular character is male. And I’m specifically looking for the word one would use for a good harvest, so “generous” or “rich” or the like wouldn’t be quite right, though @DPRK’s suggestion of “Yaniv” (“bear fruit”) might work. It also sounds better as a name: “Shofea” is too close to “Sophia”.
I also want to avoid the “el” root, because even though I’m using Hebrew as a stand-in, this is from a polytheistic culture, and in fact this particular character’s favored deity is female, so something that suggests “one Lord” wouldn’t fit.
And in any of these suggestions, the vowels (except for aleph, which for some reason isn’t considered a vowel) are pretty flexible, right?