"Goldilocks and the Three Bears" by Kerry Darlington

English and Yiddish
Gender: Female
Meaning: "Gold" or "Golden-haired"
Pronunciation: GOAL-dee
Other Forms: Golda, Golde, Goldy

A radiant choice, full of spunk and a surprising amount of history: today's name is Goldie!

When we think of Goldie, our minds are inevitably drawn to the gamine Goldie Hawn, or perhaps even fairy-tale characters, ala Goldilocks, but would you be surprised to know that it also has a long use in the Jewish community? Golda is a name of Yiddish origin, meaning, you guessed it, "gold". You may have come across it before; Golda is the name of Tevye's wife in Fiddler on the Roof, and was also the name of Israel's first female Prime Minister, Golda Meir (her life story will soon be coming to cinemas, starring Helen Mirren!). Golda Madden was a silent film actress, but more recently it can be seen on actresses Golda Rosheuvel, better known as Queen Charlotte on Bridgerton and Gołda Tencer, who is also the director of the Jewish Theatre in Warsaw.

The word gold has an extremely long history, deriving from the Proto-Germanic gulþą, which itself comes from the Proto-Indo-European ǵʰelh₃-, meaning "to shine, to gleam; to be yellow or green". Just to give you an idea, Proto-Indo-European, or PIE, was thought to have been spoken from 4500 BC to 2500 BC! Gold has long been associated with beauty and wealth, and in some forms of Christianity and Judaism, both good and evil. In the Book of Exodus, the golden calf symbolizes idolatry, while Moses was later instructed to cover the Ark of the Covenant with pure gold. In Islam, gold and silk were not to be worn by men, though this was not strictly adhered to, with one example being during the Ottoman Empire. Aristotle spoke of "the golden mean", or the perfect middle of two extremes, like that of excess and deficiency.

Goldie is now seen as a character on the hit show, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and on three celebrity children: daughters of designer Steve Madden, Australian musician Ben Lee and actress Ione Sky, and Australian actress Stephanie Macintosh. I think it's a wonderful and bold choice, unusual yet familiar, and with much more substance than you might think at first glance. What are your thoughts on Goldie?


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