Its source is Shoshana, a Hebrew name meaning "Lily."
The name Suzan ranked 1168th in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of the 1990 US Census.
Though this name has fluctuated in use, it has been quietly present throughout the last century.
The first known Shoshana (or Susanna) features in a Hebrew literary piece regarded as an unofficial addition to the Book of Daniel. It is, in fact, an ancient detective story, complete with a dramatic trial scene.
The beautiful Shoshana is accused of adultery by two elders. Despite her protests of innocence, she is about to be condemned to death when the prophet Daniel intervenes. He demands that the elders stand up to separate cross-examination about their accusation.
Outside one another's presence, the two elders give contradictory accounts of the alleged crime. Daniel argues that they intended to deceive the court, and that they, not Shoshana, were the ones with the sinful intentions.
Thanks to Daniel, Shoshana is found innocent, and the elders are condemned.
Suzan D. Johnson
Senior pastor in the American Baptist Churches.
1987-88 National Council of Women''s Women of Conscience award winner for her contributions to the well-being of working women and their families (see list of Women of Conscience Award winners)