Press "Enter" to skip to content

That Hebrew Place Name

Letter from Suzanne Macdonald

Place Names – April 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

Ed and Martha,

I recognize several of the place names in your March 2001 Colorado Central.

However, I seriously doubt that there is a Colorado place name which translates from the Hebrew. For years Cotopaxi was erroneously attributed to Hebrew. Hebrew for (#13) “married woman” would be transliterated as EESHA NAHSUEY or ISHA NASUI depending on what system was used. But I am unaware of any locale with a similar sounding name. I hope you can surprise me by identifying it.

I continue to look forward to and enjoy Colorado Central in my Denver exile. I hope and plan to return to Chaffee County in the coming fall.

Suzanne MacDonald


Dear Suzanne,

The Colorado place name is Beulah, southwest of Pueblo. According to our Webster’s second unabridged dictionary it comes from the Hebrew, be’ ulah, which literally means “married (said of a woman).” According to Random House it literally means “married woman.” We know nothing about the Hebrew language, so we don’t know whether these words will be familiar to you or whether they’re now archaic or some such thing. But we would bet that this name didn’t come from Hebrew settlers but from Isaiah 62:4,

“Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken, neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate; but thou shalt be call Heph-zi-bah, and thy land Beu-lah for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.”

Martha Quillen