Q. I always wondered about the origin of the name “shofar”. Can you give me any information?
A. It seems to derive from the name of an animal with a curved horn. Others say that the root of the word means “bright”, since the shofar produces a clear, sharp note; or that it derives from a verb which means “to hollow out”.
The rabbinic view links it with the verb shapper, to amend or adorn. Hence shofar has the meaning of amending or beautifying our deeds (Midrash Num. R. 29:6).