Aphra Meaning and Origin

The name Aphra is a girl’s name meaning “dust” and is of Hebrew origin. It can symbolize humility, mortality, or the cycle of life and death. The name Aphra was a given name used in the 17th century by English Puritans when they misread Biblical verse Micah 1-10 in the King James Bible “in the house of Aphrah roll thyself in the dust”. The Puritans took Aphrah to be a given name, rather than a word meaning “dust.” There is also a reference made by Cleodemus a Jewish historian in which he calls Ephah the fourth son of Abraham, by the name Aphrah. Aphra can also be associated with the Greek word “aphros,” meaning “foam.” In Greek mythology, Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, was said to have emerged from the sea foam. Aphra Behn was a famous English playwright and novelist of the 17th century. She was one of the first professional female writers in English literature and played a significant role in promoting women’s rights and literary equality.

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