Kathleen Shane

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"shane" family name, ancestry, and history


Shane (or sometimes Shayne) is a masculine given name. It is an Anglicized version of the Irish name Seán, which itself is an Irish derivative of the name John. Shane comes from the way the name Seán is pronounced in the Ulster dialect of the Irish language, as opposed to Shaun or Shawn. Like the name John, Shane has a long history that traces back to Hebrew name יוחנן Yôḥānnān, which means "Yahweh is gracious". Yahweh is a title of the god of the Jewish people. Yôḥānnān was the name of several important rabbis in the Second Temple Period in Palestine, such as Yochanan ben Zakai and Yochanan ben Nuri. The name had gained popularity among Jews in Judea and Galilee by the time the area became a province of the Roman Empire in 6 C.E. It was the given name of Yochanan ben Zechariah, a Jewish prophet known in English as John the Baptist. It was also the given name of Yochanan ben Zibhdi, a fisherman from Galilee who became one of the favorite students (called disciples) of Jesus Christ and so is known in English as John the Apostle. Because Yochanan also wrote one of the four accounts of the life of Jesus Christ called gospels, the Gospel of St. John, he is also known as John the Evangelist. The texts that tell of the lives of both these men named Yochanan were written in Greek, and their name was adapted in Greek as Ἰωάννης, Iōannēs (pronounced YO-han-NAYS). The name Ioannes became extremely popular among the early Christians, and bearers include such noted members of the early church as Ioannes Chrysostomos and the Ioannes who wrote the Book of Revelation. Because of the great respect Christians had for these men, the name came into use in other parts of the Christianized Roman Empire, even in more remote areas such as Gaul and Britain. The Western areas of the Roman Empire did not, however, speak Greek like the areas in the East. Instead, they spoke Latin. Accordingly, in the Western part of the Roman Empire the name was Latinized as Iohannes (pronounced like the Greek). The local populations in these areas of the Roman Empire soon changed Roman names to fit their own dialect, which included dropping the suffixes -us and -es from such names. Johannes became the Germanic Johann, for example, and on the outskirts of the Empire in the newly converted Ireland it became the Irish Eoin. In some cases, the pronunciation of the "J" also changed from the original "Y", so that in Iberia the name eventually changed to the Spanish Juan and in Gaul to the French Jean. In the 11th century the French duke William the Conqueror invaded and conquered England and brought his French knights and their dialect with him. In England, the French name Jean came to be spelled John. The Norman kings of England also conquered Ireland in the 13th century and the 14th century. The Irish nobility was replaced by Norman nobles, some of whom bore the French name Jean or the Anglicized name John. The Irish adapted the name to their own pronunciation and spelling, producing the name Seán. Seán is mostly pronounced SHAWN, but in the northern parts of Ireland it is pronounced SHAYN, thus leading to the modern pronunciation and Anglicized form of the name, Shane. In the United States, the name Shane also became associated with cowboy-types through the 1949 novel "Shane" by Jack Schaefer and the 1953 movie adaptation, directed by George Stevens from a screenplay by A.B. Guthrie Jr.. Shane is sometimes used as a feminine given name. However, the feminine version of the name is not derived from the Northern Irish name Shane, but rather from the Yiddish name Shayna, meaning "beautiful". Shane is also an occasional surname, often with the prefix "Mc", "Mac", or "O'", to form Anglicized Irish surname patronyms.

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