When posting on Mi Yodeya, I tend to use the names that have been passed down in English from King James' translation, many of which were influenced by the Septuagint/LXX. For example, I say Noah instead of Noach, Moses instead of Moshe, Genesis instead of Bereshit, etc. This is not for any polemical purpose but because the Jacobean terms are the ones that I am most familiar with.

Is this offensive? Is it OK for me to continue using these terms or should I stop and learn the "Yeshivish" names before posting any more?


3 Answers 3


It's not offensive to use variant names, no. (Except "old testament" -- that one's offensive to a lot of people.) There are currently 989 posts containing "Moses" and 460 containing "Deuteronomy", so it's not even uncommon.

You'll likely get answers that use the Hebrew forms of names, but it shouldn't be difficult for you to interpret them. If somebody uses a name or term you don't know, it's fine to ask for clarification.

We want our site to be accessible to a wide audience. If those are the names you (and other people searching the web) know, go ahead and use them.


It's not offensive to use the proper names commonly used in English. It's fine.

The language of discourse on Mi Yodeya is English, which presents an inherent challenge when dealing with terms, including proper names, that are originally Hebrew. The most common practice here is generally to use one's favorite scheme of phonetic transliteration, which presents its own complications. However, use of the standard anglicized forms is quite common, as well. For example, of the words you mentioned, here's how many posts we currently have that use each alternative:

  • Noach - 454
  • Noah - 222
  • Moshe - 3351
  • Moses - 989
  • Mosheh - 48
  • Genesis - 759
  • Bereishis - 451
  • Bereshit - 273
  • Bereishit - 215
  • Bereshis - 113
  • B'reshis - 52
  • B'reishis - 27
  • B'reishit - 27
  • B'reshit - 9

(Self-interest alert: Post written by "Isaac Moses.")

  • 1
    In light of that last line, I'm surprised you didn't include Yitzchak/Isaac.
    – DonielF
    Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 22:16
  • RE: last line -- I thought it was an English transliteration of אייזיק...
    – Zev Spitz
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 13:17

In my experience those names are used quite often around here without complaint. If they work for you, go right ahead.

It might even be preferred to use them if they aren't that obscure, based on our Jargon Policy.

Just be careful with some terms that carry strong Christian-specific meaning like "Old/New Testament".

  • Thanks. What I'm trying to avoid is transgressing social boundaries by using terms that people perceive as specifically Christian. No one has ever told me, "Hey, the term 'Genesis' is Christian. Please call it 'Bereshit'", but then again many people don't like to give this kind of feedback. Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 13:34
  • 4
    @RobertColumbia A quick search shows I've used "Gen." or "Genesis" something like 46 times on the site. If there's some social boundary I'm crossing, no one has told me either.
    – Double AA Mod
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 13:41

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