Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Orpah

Orpah is an obscure Biblical female name from the ancient Hebrew script עָרְפָּה meaning “nape” or “back of the neck”. She appears in the Old Testament’s Book of Ruth as one of Naomi’s two daughters-in-law (the other being Ruth). During a period of great famine, Naomi and her husband Elimelech and their two sons left Israel for Moab in search of food. As the Israeli family settled in Moab, Naomi’s two sons (Mahlon and Chilion) eventually marry two Moabite women, Ruth and Orpah, respectively. As time passes, Elimelech, Mahlon and Chilion die and the three women are widowed. Now without her husband and sons, Naomi decides to return to her original home in Judah (where apparently there is now the promise of food). Both Ruth and Orpah obediently follow their mother-in-law until Naomi says: “’Go, return each of you to your own mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me’…Then she kissed them and they lifted up their voices and wept. And they said to her, ‘No, we will return with you to your people.’” (Ruth 1:8-10). Yet Naomi kept insisting they turn back. And guess what? That’s exactly what Orpah did. Hence her name’s etymology (because she turned back). And Ruth (whose name means “companion”) gets all the credit for refusing to leave her mother-in-law (and for converting to Judaism), whilst Orpah did as her mother-in-law asked. She stayed behind with her own people. There’s actually another Orpah who’s even more well-known than this old Biblical lass, and her name is Orpah Gail Winfrey. You know her as Oprah Winfrey, the result of childhood mispronunciations that stuck. Here’s another Orpah who went on her way and never looked back!

All About the Baby Name – Orpah

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME ORPAH

The number Four personality is marked by stability and discipline. This is the personality that follows the rules and is conservative by nature.  They have an earth-bound energy that prefers to build things methodically on top of firm foundations; they don't cut corners. Fours take their time and don't like to be hurried. But the outcome of their endeavors is likely to result in some strong and useful structure, which makes them great engineers and inventors. Fours are anything but frivolous or controversial. This is a trustworthy, straight-forward personality that embodies dedication and organization. They are the backbone and anchor in their relationships, careers and communities. They are tidy, punctual, and full of integrity. Hard-work comes naturally to a Four and they are immensely reliable. This is the personality you can always count on.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME ORPAH

You won’t be surprised to hear that Orpah is a name that’s never been on America’s Top 1000 list. It’s just way too obscure. Not to mention that Ruth gets all the recognition for “clinging” to her mother-in-law, while Orpah is the one who said “bye-bye now”. If you read the story, though, Orpah did absolutely nothing wrong. She loved her mother-in-law, she did right by her husband and she only did as she was asked. What’s so wrong with staying with your own family and your own people? From this perspective we love the name Orpah. And we also love the fact that it’s Oprah’s real birth name. How cool is that?

Quick Facts

ON ORPAH

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

Hebrew

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

N/A

PRONUNCIATION:

OR-pə

SIMPLE MEANING:

Nape (back of the neck), hind

Characteristics

OF ORPAH

Dependable

Solid

Practical

Hard-working

Industrious

Studious

Conservative

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Orpah

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME ORPAH

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Orpah

Popular Songs

ON ORPAH

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Orpah


Famous People

NAMED ORPAH

Oprah Winfrey (b. Orpah Gail Winfrey)

Children of Famous People

NAMED ORPAH

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Orpah

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME ORPAH

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Orpah