Adora – Meaning Behind The Name

Adora is a very girly name. It’s the kind of thing that inspires pretend tea parties held by perfectly manicured miniature ‘ladies’ in lacy dresses with matching dolls. It’s a pretty name for a pretty picture of a girl who does not exist.

Well, OK, maybe she does exist, somewhere – just not here.

I have never been a girly girl. While I freely admit to fully enjoying my time wearing twirly skirts (if you don’t know what that is, please post the question below and I’ll fill you in!), those skirts were usually worn over the top of a pair of shorts and accompanied by some worn out sneakers. Remember that girl covered in band aids, climbing a tree and fixing the chains on her friends bikes while wearing her best Sunday dress? Yeah, that was me.

From this you should (correctly) gather that the disconnect between what was expected from a female named Adora and the reality of who I am has been a very consistent source of friction in my life. This has affected me in a myriad of ways – one of which being a tendency to research the history behind my name.

Oddly enough, many people assume this is a form of narcissism. Not so! Here’s why: perfect strangers make a point of quizzing me on the history behind my first name, and the reasons why it was bestowed upon me.


Never-seen-you-before-in-my-life strangers will assume the right to usurp lengthy minutes of my time for the sole purpose of asking direct (rude) questions about my racial and cultural history, frequently following those up with further annoyingly obvious implied-questions along a similar vein, all because I have an ‘unusual name.’ (Side note: the racial aspect to these inquiries will be explored later.)

I assure you, the research is a matter of survival not narcissism.

That said, let’s take a look at the research. What does the name Adora mean…really?


Baby Books

The baby books like to focus on the romantic and pretty aspects of the name. They revolve around some form of the words Adored or Adoration, with definitions including terms like Beloved, a Gift, and Glory. It appears in Latin, Greek, French and Spanish (among many other languages).


Most people don’t know it, but Adora is a Biblical name. It is the name of a town found in 1 Maccabees 13:20. The reason most people don’t recognize it is because of the many names given to this town, including: Adurim, Adoraim, Dura, Dora and Adora.


The literal translation of Adoraim is ‘pair of knolls,’ but the Biblical story about this town makes a far more interesting contrast to the preferred interpretation provided in the baby name books.

The story as I understand it: Adora is the place where a piece of impressive, yet brutal, war-trickery occurred. A Jewish tribe confronted another (non-Jewish) tribe and convinced the enemy (why they are enemies, I do not know), to both surrender and prove their new-found loyalty by willingly circumcising themselves.

Wouldn’t you like to have been a fly on the wall during that negotiation?

Soon after, while the men are recovering from minor penile surgery and (therefore) unable to fight, the Jewish tribe attacks and…well…yeah…

It is often listed as the only recorded instance of forced conversion to Judaism. For some reason this short-version always leaves out the mass killing of all men prior to the forced conversion of women and children.

True interpretation of the name Adora

When she was good
She was very very good
But when she was bad…

Final Comment

I did not complete a full and proper fact-checking on the Biblical story of Adora. I relied primarily on my memory of in-depth research completed several years ago. If you have facts to correct or details to add, please use the comment box below.

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  1. Pingback: Antisemitism In The Midwest | Adora Myers

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