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The Daily Genealogist Name Origin: Ariel

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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

ARIEL (m/f) (Hebrew ‘lion of God’): (1) An emissary of Ezra (Ez. 8:16); (2) a symbolic name for Jerusalem used by the prophet Isaiah [James Strong, The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (2010), p. 27]. The meaning “lion of God,” by extension, gives this name a connotation of heroism. While it is seen most often in present-day American use as a female name, ARIEL was a male name in colonial times and before, as witness the character in Shakespeare’s Tempest, whose name may also be derived from the Hebrew. Ariel Ballou (1715–1791) of Cumberland, R.I., and wife Jerusha Slack had son Ariel Ballou, Jr. (1758–1839), father of a numerous progeny (Adin Ballou, An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous in America, pp. 71, 155). The name was used several times elsewhere in the Ballou family as well. ARIEL is still seen as a male name in Hebrew. Ariel Sharon (b. 1928) served as eleventh Prime Minister of Israel from 2001 to 2006.

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