Janet Jackson welcomed her first child recently, a baby boy named Eissa.
While some reports suggested she might honor her late brother Michael with her baby’s name, the moniker she and her Qatari businessman husband Wissam Al Mana chose actually is the Arabic form of Jesus.
According to Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz of Nameberry.com, Eissa — pronounced eye-sa and also spelled Isa, Issa or Essa — is a widely used first and last name in the Arab world, and is becoming more visible throughout Europe, too. But in the U.S., Eissa was used last year for only six baby boys.
Like Jesus, Eissa means “the lord is salvation.” The name of the Christian savior has many variations around the world, including Yasu, Yeshua and the popular Joshua.
The most famous bearer of the name was probably Isa Celebi, a 14th-century Ottoman prince.
Interestingly, Janet’s brother Michael’s middle name was Joseph — also the name of the stars’ father — which means “Jehovah increases,” so Eissa could in fact have a subtle link to both men.
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