Referring to Someone Named “Adonai” by Name

QUESTION


Oakland, California

I met someone whose name is Adonai. Can I refer to him by name?

ANSWER

Calling him by name would be prohibited. Besides for the concern of using God’s name in vain, I would find calling someone by this name a deeply problematic theological act.

I think that the best thing to do is to explain to him why this is a problem for you, and ask him if he has a preferred nickname/shortened name that you could use.

If this isn’t an option, in order to get around the issue, I would say “Donai” when referring to him. This way it will sound like you are swallowing your “A”.

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