How to Spell Hanukkah

I  got an email requesting to be removed from the blog subscription because of how I spelled Hanukkah.

In English there are at least 16 ways to spell it, including: Channuka, Channukah, Chanuka, Chanukah, Chanuko, Hannuka, Hannukah, Hanuka, Hanukah, Hanukkah, Kanukkah, Khannuka, Khannukah, Khanuka, Khanukah, Khanukkah, and Xanuka.

Hanukkah (re-dedication) has only five letters in the original Hebrew. in Hebrew, there is only one correct spelling for the Holiday, which is spelled by the Hebrew letters chet, nun,vav,kaf, hey.

Everybody has a different idea of how to transliterate the Hebrew characters. In order to sound out that Hebrew word in English, we have to add vowels.

But the variations don’t come from the Hebrew word – it’s been the same for hundreds of years. It means “dedication,” referring to the rededication of the Jerusalem temple in 164 B.C.

Spelling the word in English depends entirely on phonetic preference.


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Comments (9)

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  1. Sharri Tiner says:

    RT @heartofwisdom: "How to Spell Hanukkah" post. Got an unsubscribe because my blog spelled Hanukkah wrong. http://ow.ly/L8u1

  2. RT @heartofwisdom: "How to Spell Hanukkah" post. Got an unsubscribe because my blog spelled Hanukkah wrong. http://ow.ly/L8u1

  3. How to Spell Hanukkah? Wishing all Jewish clients,friends and future customers a wonderful first night of Hanukkah. http://ow.ly/L8u1

  4. Morganne says:

    While visiting Israel some years ago, we noticed (fron signs posted) there were many different ways to spell Yerushalim, Jerusalem. One of our travelers commented, “Isn’t it funny that they can’t spell the name of their own city?” I smiled.

  5. Davis Koc says:

    Excellent post, I’m a huge fan of this blog, keep on writing these great posts, and I’ll be a regular visitor for a very long time.

  6. Nicole says:

    In Mexico, they spell Hanukkah J-A-N-U-C-A.

  7. Spelling says:

    I wonder how many times I have misspelled that word 🙂

  8. […] English, there really isn’t a correct spelling. Some say there are as many as 16 or 17 correct ways to spell the holiday, the most common being Chanukkah, Chanukah, Hannuka, Hannukah, and […]

  9. Bob says:

    I would never spell it with an X or Kh. My Jewish friends and my rabbi would all laugh at me.

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