🔼The name Dodo: Summary
- Loving, His Beloved
- From (1) the verb דוד (dwd), to fondle or love, and (2) possibly the third person masculine possessive pronoun.
🔼The name Dodo in the Bible
There are three men named Dodo in the Bible:
- A man of Issachar and the father of Puah and grandfather of Tola, the seventh judge of Israel (Judges 10:1, spelled דודו).
- An Ahohite and the father of Eleazar, one of the three super-mighty mighty-men of David (2 Samuel 23:9, spelled דדי or Dodai, 1 Chronicles 11:12, spelled דודו, Dodo). In 1 Chronicles 27:4 the text speaks of Dodai (דודי) the Ahohite, who commanded one of twelve divisions of David's army, and many scholars assume that this Dodai is the same as Dodo the father of Eleazar. There is, however, no proof of this and the name Dodo is common enough to accommodate two men from the same family named such.
- A man from Bethlehem and the father of Elhanan, one of David's regular mighty-men (2 Samuel 23:24, spelled דדו, 1 Chronicles 11:26, spelled דודו).
Some scholars insist that a sun-god named Dodo — דודה — was worshipped in Israel, east of the Jordan. The expanded fortress of Zion, later known as the city of David, was then apparently known as the city of the god Dod. It's not without precedent that in Biblical times people went by names that were really divine names, or close variants thereof (the name Hadad is another example of this).
🔼Etymology of the name Dodo
The name Dodo could be construed as to derive from the verb דוד (dwd), probably meaning to fondle or to love:
The root ידד (yadad) has to do with love, and that mostly in the affectionate, physical sense. Adjective ידיד (yadid) means beloved or lovely. Noun ידידות (yedidot) means love, as in "a song of love" and noun ידידות (yedidut), meaning love in the sense of beloved one.
Curiously, an identical verb ידד (yadad II) means to cast a lot and instead of being kin to the previous, it appears to be related to the verb ידה (yada), which originally meant to cast but which evolved to mean to praise.
That our root has to do with physical fondling and love-making is demonstrated by the verb דדה (dada), which means to move slowly. Noun דד (dad) denotes a women's nipple or breast specifically as object of one's husband's interest.
Unused verb דוד (dwd) probably meant to gently swing, dandle, fondle. Noun דוד (dod) or דד (dod) means beloved or loved one, and may also describe one's uncle. The feminine version, דודה (doda), means aunt. Noun דודי (duday) literally means a "love-bringer" and describes a mandrake. Noun דוד (dud) refers to a kind of pot or jar (perhaps one that was rocked or stirred?).
It may or may not be that the noun יד (yad), meaning hand, also has something to do with this root.
The added letter ו (waw) could be seen as the masculine pronominal suffix: his. Or else, it could be regarded as a remnant of יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
For a meaning of the name Dodo, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Loving.
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names doesn't have a separate entry for Dodo, but equates it with Dodai, sees the final י and ו as remnant of יהוה and reads Beloved Of The Lord for Dodai.
BDB Theological Dictionary regards the final ו of our name as a pronominal suffix and proposes His Beloved for a meaning of Dodo.