Mahala

Mahala is an English female name. It could be derived from Hebrew Mahalah, a male Hebrew name which is a variant of Mahlah, a unisex name of uncertain meaning though possibly meaning “weak, sick” or “disease” from Hebrew challah חָלָה (to become sick, to be ill). It could also be a variant of Mahalath, a Hebrew female name meaning “lyre” or “harp”.

In Arabic, mahala (also spelled mahalla) is a word meaning “way station, stop-over; camp; district; section; county” via Arabic verb halla حَلَّ (to untie, to dissolve). Mahala is also a Balkan word meaning “neighborhood, quarter, suburb” which derives from the Arabic root above.

Mahala has also been used as a slang word for a Native American woman, coming from the Spanish word mujer “woman”. It’s also possible that it could be a Native American form of Mary, which is the English form of Hebrew female name Miriam, a name of unknown meaning though possible meanings ascribed to it are “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness” or “obstinacy”, and “wished for child”. It’s also possible that it might be derived from an Egyptian source either meaning “beloved” from myr, or from mr “love”.

Origin: Hebrew, Ancient Egyptian, Arabic

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Variants:

  • Mahalia (English)
  • Mahalath (Hebrew)
  • Mahlah (Hebrew)
  • Machlah (Hebrew)
  • Machalat (Hebrew)
  • Maeleth (Biblical Greek and Latin form of Mahalath)
  • Maala (Biblical Greek and Latin form of Mahlah)

 

Male forms:

  • Mahalah (Hebrew)
  • Mahlah (Hebrew)
  • Machlah (Hebrew)

 

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