I hope nomen est omen not

by Yule Heibel on April 17, 2003

In the holiday spirit, I thought I’d share something that has left me feeling rather puzzled and with a bit of an odd sense of discomfort. Some months ago I searched the web to find information about the origin of my surname. I always found it funny that it’s a Dutch word that means “trouble,” and that taken together with the Dutch “macher,” it means “troublemaker.” But in my websearch, I came across a Stanford site, Hebrew Words in Dutch (via Yiddish), that gave “heibel” a new spin. If the research on this site is correct, my name apparently does indeed mean “trouble, commotion,” but it derives from the Hebrew word “hewel,” which means … “a vain cause.” A vain cause? What am I supposed to do, shoot myself? Are there people out there called Meschugge or Toges (tachat) or Treife (terefa)? There’s a shoemaker called Seibel, which according to this site comes from “sebel” which means …dung. How do you cope with such a moniker? What do people with weird names do to compensate? Should I have taken my husband’s last name? Nah, that would have made my initials YB, which begs the question, “why not?” Talk about vain cause. I’m stuck. Prior to the internet, I wouldn’t have discovered this unflattering tidbit, but that’s where information overload gets you: looking over your shoulder, wondering about vain causes.


Goyo April 25, 2003 at 2:43 am


Hey Heilbelmacher:

Is it Cosmic coincidence that your name is so suited to your nature,
or just a complete fluke?
Design or chaos?

Peace, sister

Goyo de la Rosa

PS See you soon…and welcome back to the “nucular” port of Victoria.


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