|Nephite PN||1.||Ruler of the dissident city of AMMONIHAH (Alma 12:20)|
If the name is to be divided into the elements anti- and -onah, the first part of this PN, anti, may have the same constituent elements as ANTI-NEPHI-LEHI. If the first element anti- is from the EGYPTIAN nty, enty, nad has the same meaning, it may be pronounced ike the English "Anti-", with the sense "who; he (of), the one having; partisan (of)." Onah may possibly be explained as wnh, a type of priestly functionary (DNWSI 833). With the first element anti having the sense "he (of), the one having; partisan (of)," the PN may have the meaning "one having a priestly/priesthood function," which may be appropriate given that AMMONIHAH was religiously--and politically--dissident. *ʾnh, "humility" is also possible, with the overall meaning "one possessed of humility."
Given the close connection between the PN ANTIONAH and the unit of gold measure "antion" (Alma 11:19) there may be a subtle metonymic play on the name ANTIONAH, who functions as chief ruler of the renegade Nephite city of AMMONIHAH and ZEEZROM, who joins with ALMA and AMULEK in preaching to the inhabitants of the city: ZEEZROM could be seen metonymically as "Mr. Moneybags" and ANTIONAH as "Mr. Gold Nugget."
Deseret Alphabet: 𐐈𐐤𐐓𐐆𐐄𐐤𐐂 (æntɪoʊnɑː)
- I owe this comment to the perceptive observation made by Jeff Lindsay. It was also made earlier in print by Gordon C. Thomasson, “What’s in a name? Book of Mormon Language, Names, and [Metonymic] Naming,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 3/1 (Spring 1994):1-27.