Three Noahs by
(234 Stories)

Prompted By What's in a Name

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Noah R,  Noah G,  and Noah L

As you may know it’s traditional in Jewish families to give children the names or initials of loved-ones who have died.   And so when we were expectant parents we planned to name the baby after my late father-in-law whose name was Naftali.

My woman’s intuition told me we’d have a girl,  and the name we chose for her was Nina.   And on the improbable – or so I thought –  chance we’d have a boy,  we held the name Noah in abeyance.

Then – so much for my mother wit and my woman’s intuition – we had a boy,  and so Noah it was!   (See  My Brown-Eyed Girl)

We thought it a wonderful name for our son and a bit unusual,  but when he started kindergarten we discovered there were two other Noahs in the class.   Their teacher,  In order to distinguish among the three,  taught them to use their last initials,  and so henceforth they were known as Noah R,   Noah G,   and Noah L.

On Mother’s Day that year I got a lovely card that I proudly taped to the fridge.   My kindergartner had drawn a big red heart and beneath it were the words  –  LOVE,  NOAH  L

Dana Susan Lehrman

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Names, Parenting
Characterizations: funny, well written


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    Cute, Dana L! Our David went to nursery school with several other Davids, plus the rabbi of the congregation was also David, so he would come home and tell me how many Davids he knew!

  2. Suzy says:

    Great story, Dana. I love that he signed his Mother’s Day card “Noah L.” As you will see when you read my story, I had to do that last initial thing in elementary school too, as there were 5 Susans in my class. Always hated having to write Susan U. on everything.

    Love the picture of the three Noahs, which obviously was not from kindergarten. Nice that they stayed friends. Did Noah R. actually go to Dartmouth, or just have the shirt?

    • Thanx Suzy, the photo of the 3 of them was in their high school year book, taken by Noah R’s brother who was an amateur photographer and was posed in our local Carl Schurz Park.

      Despite the tee-shirt Noah R went to Georgetown, Noah G in the Yankee hat went to Johns Hopkins, and Noah L despite the Michigan hat went to Brown. They have since drifted apart but our 3 sets of parents have remained close friends.

  3. Marian says:

    Aw, love the ending of the story, Dana. Dick’s youngest grandson is Noah, starting a new line of Biblical names in his family.

  4. Khati Hendry says:

    That is indeed a cute story. What a sweetheart. Noah is a name that has endured. Love the picture too. I hope they have stayed friends.

  5. John Shutkin says:

    Really cute story. And who would have thought that there would be so many Noahs? There was only one on the ark, right? As mentioned, My Lizzie (now Libby) had two other Lizzies and an Izzy in her class, but that’s a lot more common name.

    And, yes, loved that ending!

  6. Nice story of the Noahs, and great picture of the boys grown up. Names seem to get popular out of nowhere, and as a surprise to parents who think they picked a unique one. My son Zach was on a high school basketball 🏀 team which had 5 Zachs on the court at the same time (in my day there were no Zachs, and quite possibly there are few or none coming up the grammar school ranks today).

  7. Similar story, different name. Ever since I saw “The Ten Commandments”, I loved the name “Joshua”, (probably because the actor who played him, John Derek, was stunningly gorgeous).

    My son Josh had 3 Joshuas in his Hebrew school class. But I still loved the name.

  8. Laurie Levy says:

    I have always loved the name Noah, but I guess lots of other people did as well! It’s still a popular name.

  9. Susan Bennet says:

    Darling story, Dana. I wonder, did the “L” follow your Noah past kindergarten? Noah is a fine name. Our family had a Noah thing going for several generations until my grandfather ruined it by naming his Great Dane “Noah.” Thereafter no mother wanted to name a son after the dog.

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