Mystery Monday: Ephrod

We asked on social media for reader input on our next monthly topic, and people on Facebook were firmly in favor of masculine/feminine name pairs while people on Twitter voted for mystery names. We’ve decided to take up the former for the monthly topic, but rather than make the latter the topic for March, we’re going to start a new series: Mystery Monday!

Every Monday we will post an entry that hasn’t yet been published with a view towards harnessing the collective onomastic power of the internet. If you have any thoughts about the name’s origin, other variants it might be related to, other examples of its use, etc., please share them in the comments! If you wish to browse other Mystery Monday names, there is an index.

Our first Mystery Monday name is Ephrod. It’s a name that sure looks like some obscure Biblical name, and our single example of it from 16th C England puts it in a context where that would be likely — except we haven’t been able to find any instance of this name in the Bible, or elsewhere!



Filed under mystery monday

6 responses to “Mystery Monday: Ephrod

  1. David D.

    I didn’t get anywhere with this. The name does not occur in the TLG or the LLT, for example. Possibly a mistake for the biblical term Ephod?

    This was fun! I hope you keep it up.

  2. Ioanna

    Oh, I love this theme! Could it be possibly related to Herod Antipas, who obviously features strongly in Christian history? Here is what I think: The ‘ph’ in Ephrod takes me to Greek origins. There are various historical instances of words and names getting slightly altered in the translation from Greek characters to Latin. Herod is written Ηρώδης, and presumably, Ephrod would be written Ηφρώδης.

    Ηρώδης – Ηφρώδης In Greek letters, the names look strikingly similar, and such a spelling mixup seems plausible. Also just doing a Google search, the first name Efrodi comes up on a 4-5 social media accounts. Perhaps you could contact them to ask about the origins of their name.

  3. Brian M. Scott

    Assuming that this is from the Bruton parish registers in Somerset, the name is feminine: one entry is for Ephrod Ludge, d. of Tho: L., christened 28 September 1587, and the other is for Ephrod Ludg, d. of Thomas Ludge, buried 15 November 1587.

    However, I found a later masculine instance of what appears to be the same name. This page, which is supposed to be based on U.S. Census records, shows an Ever L. Butler, born ~1901 in Alabama, whose siblings were Luella, Henrietta, Mary, Molan, James, Melessie, Annie, and Efrod. This page says that he was a newborn son in 1910.

    None of this helps with the etymology, however. Neither does the existence of several Indonesian women named Efrodia!

  4. Jörg Knappen

    The closest match I could find is a Biblical feminine name and place name Ephrath. Mixing it up with Ephod may give the form Ephrod, but this is just a guess.

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