Would it be weird for me to use this name?
Poll Results: Is it a little funny for a non-Jewish kid to have the name Ari? What do y'all think?
5% (1)Ari is a strange name for a non-Jewish kid, and may create confusion
94% (18)Ari is a fine name, regardless of background, and doesn't seem exclusively Jewish
0% (0)I'm not sure
i live in the pnw and i know a lot of babies with jewish names who are not jewish. i think it is a cultural thing - these old-fashioned jewish names just hit the ear in a certain way that's appealing and they seem to embody a lot of positive characteristics. i don't think it is problematic or culturally-appropriative to use those names. many old hebrew names are our most popular names.
I'm Jewish, and if I meet someone named Ari, I generally assume that they're Jewish. That said, I wouldn't be particularly surprised (or care) if I found out they weren't Jewish. But I would potentially invite someone to a holiday dinner based on their name. If you like the name, I'd say use it.
I do think Ari is a historically Jewish name.
That being said, many of our common names are "historically Jewish". I would assume names like Matthew, Luke, John, Jedidiah, etc are all "Jewish" by definition as well, having come from the Talmud or Old Testament. If my kids knew someone named Ari, I honestly wouldn't give it a second thought. (I do have my limits though, i.e., as a purely Western European-descended white person, I wouldn't name my kid Suki or Ekaterina unless I possessed heritage that made those names fit my kids)
I posted in the name thread that my husband and I agreed on Arie, or Ari for a girl name. Although it can mean other things in other languages, Ari is a Hebrew name not a "Jewish" name which is one of the reasons I liked it. Hebrew does not mean "Jewish" but Jew means Hebrew or Israelite. Being a Jew means you come from the tribe of Judah which is one of the tribes of Israel (there are 12). My husband and I know that we are Hebrew Israelite's, we are not considered "Jewish".
Jenny - did you write into Swistle about this?? I saw a post about it this morning. http://www.swistle.com/babynames/2013/04/26/baby-naming-issue-is-it-odd-to-use-the-name-ari-if-not-jewish/
it looks like the majority of their readers agree with the MDC DDC! funny.