🔼The name Susan(nah): Summary
- From the noun שושן (shushan), lily.
🔼The name Susan(nah) in the Bible
The popular name Susan doesn't occur at all in the Bible; but it is a truncated form of the Biblical name Susannah (Σουσαννα). This name Susannah occurs only once in the Bible, in Luke 8:3, where she is mentioned among the women who minister to Jesus.
🔼Etymology of the name Susan(nah)
In the Old Testament the name Susannah (or rather the Hebrew form: Shoshannah) occurs only in an apocryphal chapter that was added to the Book of Daniel (and which is still contained in the Catholic Bible). This chapter, together with two other additions to Daniel, survives only in Greek but it's generally accepted that these stories were written in Hebrew. As such, this name is identical to a feminine version of the noun שושן (shushan), meaning lily:
There's an odd correlation between the color white and the number six. The nouns שש (shesh) and שיש (shayish) mean alabaster, which is a whitish translucent material. The identical word שש (shesh) means six. The noun שושן (shushan) describes the lily, which has six leaves and is proverbially white. The adjective ישש (yashesh) or ישיש (yashish) means old or white-haired.
The relatively rare verb שוש (sus) or שיש (sis) means to exult or rejoice, and its nouns ששון (sason) and משוש (masos) mean exultation, joy or gladness. Despite their similarity to the previous, these words seem to have little to do with the number six or being white, which is possibly why these words were pointed differently in the Middle Ages (the previous words have sh-sounds while these words have s-sounds).
The Greek name Susannah is a transliteration of the Hebrew word for Lily, and means White or Pure.