Oprah: The Story of the Woman Who Inspired Her Name

by Jeremy Spirogis
Oprah: The Story of the Woman Who Inspired Her Name

Oprah has one of the distinctive names round, so followers could be stunned to know she was named after somebody. Interestingly, she was not named after somebody named Oprah. Does that sound unusual? Here’s how one of many world’s most well-known books and a mispronunciation led to Oprah’s iconic identify.

Oprah | Christopher Polk/Getty Images

The vilified lady who impressed the primary identify of a significant movie star

Flip by way of the pages of the Bible and also you’ll by no means discover the identify “Oprah.” However, there’s a minor determine within the Book of Ruth named Orpah. Orpah is among the lesser-known ladies of the Bible.

The Book of Ruth is among the few books of the Bible with a feminine protagonist. Orpah and the e-book’s protagonist, Ruth, each marry into the identical household. After their husbands die, their mother-in-law, Naomi, tells them to go away her and discover new husbands. Ruth, Orpah, and Naomi all cry. Afterward, Orpah leaves Naomi behind whereas Ruth decides she will’t abandon her mother-in-law.

An illustration of Orpah, Ruth, and Naomi from the Book of RuthAn illustration of Orpah, Ruth, and Naomi from the Book of Ruth
Orpah, Ruth, and Naomi | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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Consequently, all the pieces works out for Ruth. She marries a wealthy man and has a son named Jesse who turns into the grandfather of King David, one of the well-known biblical figures and an ancestor of Jesus Christ. Orpah, then again, is rarely discussed a single time within the Bible exterior of the Book of Ruth’s first chapter. She is given no decision. 

According to the Omaha World-Herald, Jewish custom paints Orpah in an unfavorable mild. Medieval rabbis claimed Orpah slept with 100 males and a canine the night time she left Naomi. Supposedly, this night time of untamed ardour led Orpah to turn out to be pregnant with one of many Bible’s most notorious villains: the enormous Goliath. This makes Orpah and Ruth parallel one another completely, as Ruth was an ancestor of King David and Orpah was the mom of his nemesis Goliath.

David about to slay Goliath with his swordDavid about to slay Goliath with his sword
David and Goliath Culture Club/Getty Images

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Why Oprah isn’t named Orpah

It’s attention-grabbing how Oprah was named after such a minor — and vilified — biblical determine. Comic Books Resource says Oprah’s aunt, Ida appreciated the identify Orpah and gave it to her niece. A rumor persists that the Orpah/Oprah identify change is the result of a typo on Oprah’s delivery certificates, however this rumor is fake.

So why is her identify Oprah relatively than Orpah? It’s a difficulty of mispronunciation. AOL reviews Oprah stated “My Aunt Ida had chosen the identify however no one actually knew find out how to spell it, so it went down as ‘Orpah’ on my delivery certificates, however folks didn’t know find out how to pronounce it, in order that they put the ‘p’ earlier than the ‘r’ in each place else apart from the delivery certificates.

Oprah raising her handsOprah raising her hands
Oprah | Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards

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“On the birth certificate it is Orpah, but then it got translated to Oprah, so here we are. But that’s great because Oprah spells Harpo backwards. I don’t know what Orpah spells.” Harpo Studios is the identify of Oprah’s prodcution firm.

Oprah having such a singular identify might have helped her turn out to be as well-known as she is. It’s straightforward to recollect her identify when you’ve heard it. At the very least, her identify impressed the identify of her studio.

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