Jewish names. Their origin and meaning
Our site provides a unique opportunity to know the origin of his Jewish name. As in the Russian Empire were about half of all Jews in the world and among the Russian-speaking Jews have a great variety of names, (most of which – Jewish origin), it is necessary to clarify that if you had a Jewish last name is not a direct proof of the Jews.
You should also note that there are many families whose carriers are both Jews and non-Jews. In this brief review, we will try to tell you only about the main types of Russian-speaking Jews Jewish surnames.
Early Jewish names
The Jews in their regular life, in principle, do not use names. And at birth, and at the conclusion of a marriage contract, and in the writing of divorcement, and when called to the Torah, and in the inscription on the gravestone taken to indicate the name of the person and the name of his father (a prayer for the health and recovery – the name of the mother). But in the Middle Ages we find in Europe a few well-born Jewish families – mostly rabbinical such as Kalonimus, Lurie, Schiff and others – Winners names “pure”, ie, passing from generation to generation for centuries. For example, the descendants of the many thousands of Clan Rappoport (Rapaport Ropoport). Despite the fact that most of the Jews (and Gentiles), Europe did not have names, though, to the 18th century (early 19th), virtually all European countries, the mass assignment of names to the Jews, and others citizens. This was caused by the necessity of Russia, Austria-Hungary, the German states, and other countries in the polls of the population registered to collect taxes and recruiting services.
The names were chosen both by the media, so could also be granted to local officials, we find extraordinary euphonious names such as Muterperel (Sea Pearl) or Rosenzweig (rose branch) or Rubinstein (ruby stone). We also find, for example, in Austria-Hungary, the assignment of names offensive to Jews.
As a rule, the names given by the name of parents Ayzikson (son of Isaac), Gytis (son of Gita), Minkin (son Minky), Malis (son of Mali), and the name of the village where there was a man: Eisenstadt (who originated from the same German city) , Brisk (a native of the city of Brest-Litovsk, which was called Brisk in Yiddish), Vileykin (a native of the town Vilejka on the border between Belarus and Lithuania) is often based on the name arose nicknames: Sirota, Babin, deaf to the profession: Hayat (Taylor ) Sandlyar (Shoemaker) by occupation: Resnick, Cantor, Soifer, origin: Katz, Kagan, Levin, Levinsky, etc.
Besides Jewish surnames formed in the Russian language, we find a lot of names of German and Yiddish. Obviously, the ancestors of the holders of the names have already come to Russia with them.
National and linguistic features of Russian Jewish surnames
Among Russian-speaking Jewish family names are several types according to their national language origin. For example:
German-Yiddish names usually come to Russia from Germany and Austria-Hungary, and are German words or phrases such as: Klein (small), Groys (large), Miller (Miller), Berman (literally – people bear in Russian – Medvedev), Nuremberg (city in Germany), etc. Often they end up ending “-man”, “Berg”, “Kindi”, etc., and the suffix “-er”. You can most safely be assumed that, as in Russia familieobrazovanie occurred later than in Central Europe, the ancestors of the holders of the names came from the German-speaking countries: Zalkind.
Russian Jewish names
Russian Jewish names usually have the ending “-in”, sometimes “s”, “-ovsky” as, for example: Pyatigorsk (from Pyatigorsk), Sverdlov (from the town of Sverdlovsk). Assignment of Jews in the Russian Empire began at the turn of 18-19 centuries in order to indiscriminate population registers, and especially in the recent accession of the Eastern regions of the Kingdom of Poland. It is important to note that the Ashkenazi Jews of Russia names formed the name of the father or mother with the addition of the suffix “s”, are extremely rare, with the exception of the mountain and the Bukharan Jews.
Polish Jewish names
Polish Jewish surnames formed Polish words such as Zholondz (acorn), or, as a rule, are based on the name of the village or parents with adding the ending “-ovich”, “-Ivic,” or “-sky”, such as , Grzybowski.
Ukrainian Jewish names
Tend to reflect the activity of the person, not the end, such as Weaver, Tailor.
Baltic Jewish names
Yiddish are graduating with a sense of belonging “, use”, “es”, as, for example, Malis (son of Mali), “-son” means “son” (the name is also common in the English-speaking and northern European Jews, and the German Jews, for example, Michelson, Jacobson Grilyus).
Their origins begins with the Jews of Spain and Portugal, which in the Netherlands and Italy, Byzantium and Turkey have spread around the world, including those in Eastern Europe, for example, Tsiyuni (of Zion), Luria, Toledano (from Toledo).
The names of Bukharian Jews have started to give the Russian authorities after the accession of Central Asia to the Russian Empire. It was quite a lengthy process – from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century. As a rule, with few exceptions, the Bukharan Jews can be identified by name, composed of the name of the father or mother (Sephardic, Russian pronunciation, as Russian officials have heard) with the addition of Russian ending “-s” or “s”, for example, Yakubov , Pinchas, Gulkarov Abramov, Moshav, Leviev, Gabriel.
Mountain Jewish names
The names of the Mountain Jews were given by Russian officials in the second half – the end of the 19th century, following the accession of the Caucasus to the Russian Empire. As a rule, with few exceptions, it was the name of the father or mother with the addition of Russian ending “s”, for example, Ashurov (son Asher), Sadykov (on behalf of Zadok), Shaul (Saul’s son), Nisimov (son Nissim).
Georgian Jewish names
Georgian Jewish names are formed by adding the suffix “-shvili”, like the Georgians, for example, Isakoshvili. Education with the suffix “-dze” Jews have not met with very rare exceptions, such as the name Pichkhadze.
The names of the rabbis and the titles of their books
As a rule, the names of prominent rabbis for convenience of use, especially in books written as abbreviations, such as: Rambam, Ramban, – or they are called by the name of the famous books of the Torah and comments they have written. How, for example, the Chafetz Chaim (Thirsty life, the title of Rabbi Yisroel Meir Cohen and-out Radzinya) Chazon Ish. In rare cases, these names are passed to descendants, such as the famous children’s writer Russian Jew Samuel Marshak – descendant Moreynu ve Rabeynu Shmuel (Marshak).
The names associated with the Jewish religious activities
As the religious life is inseparable from the Jewish way of life, the proportion of Jews among the names is very high, such as: Avrech (married yeshiva student) Parnis (Parnassus – rich head of the community, which it contains), Rabinowitz (son of a rabbi, as well as other similar formation of this family: Rabin, Raber, Rabiner), Melamed (Jewish teacher of small children), Shames (synagogue beadle), Resnick (cutter stock, and the same in Hebrew – Shoikhet), Menaker (osvezhevalschik carcasses), Liner, Kantorovich ( son of a cantor, or the Hebrew root – Khazankin), Lerner (teacher in Yiddish), Gabay – Gabbe (headman synagogue).
The names associated with the qualities of their first owner
These include both names, reflecting the external qualities of the person, such as Schwarz (Black), Weiss (Belenky), Jaffe, Joffe (beautiful), Vaysburd (white beard), Kosoburd (forward beard), Spout, Superfin (very beautiful) or with the internal qualities of the person, such as a Hasid, etc.
Surnames derived from trades
As you know, many Jews were craftsmen, and therefore Jewish surnames often refer to the activity of our ancestors, for example, Shoemaker and Sapozhnikov (Sandlyar in Hebrew, Yiddish Sandler, Schuster or Shusterman in German), a furrier (Kushnir, Kushner, Kushner Kushnerenko) Zlotnik (jeweler), Shleyfman (manufacturer sheath), Sklar (glazier). Typically, the end of the names clearly indicates the geographical origin, for example, the names with the ending “-man” – the German or Austrian descent, such as Furman, Schneiderman, Zuckerman, Ukrainian ending with “-ovich”, “-uvich” Baltic with ending “-on”, “en”, Moldovan ending with “-esku”, “-usku” etc.
The names associated with the origin of
As you know, the Jews attach great importance to their origin, so, for example, the descendants of the tribe of Levi or a special family of the tribe of Levi – Coen – add your name and-Levi or a Cohen-ie indication of its origin. Therefore, some of the most common Jewish names – not only in the Russian Empire, but in the whole world – is Kagan, Kogan, Kaganovich, Katz, Caan Kaganov, Barkat, Kazhdan, Levi, Leviticus, Levitan, Levinsky, Levinson Levitansky, Segal, etc.
Surname, derived from the name of the father or mother
As a rule, the population census did not think long and gave names to the father or the mother, such as the name of the father: Abramovich Pinhasovich, Yakobzon, Davidzon.
A huge number of names of Russian Jews derives from the name of the mother. For example, Malkin, Raikin, Gitlin, Sorkin, Witkin.
As you know, the Hebrew often uses abbreviations that we find in the names of: Katz, Shub, Schatz Albats Shah Patlas, Tsatskis.
Perhaps the largest group of Jewish family names associated with the area of residence. Either it’s name without the suffix, such as mints, Landau, Berlin, Oyerbah or with the Russian suffix “-s”, as, for example, Zarudinsky, Warsaw Russian suffix “-ov” as Sverdlov (from the village of Sverdlov), or with Yiddish ending “-er”: Mirer (of the World) Logovier (of logs). Sometimes – by country of previous residence, such as: Pollack (Polyakov), Deutsch (Germans), etc.
Names – the names of animals
Already in the Torah we find comparisons of Jews with different animals. For example, Jacob compares his children: Yehuda – the lion, Issachar – with a powerful ass, Dana – the serpent, Naftali – with a deer, etc. Especially the comparison of Jews with animals we see in personal names: Ze’ev (wolf), Zvi (deer), Aryeh (lion), Yael (Ibex), Rachel (sheep), Dov (bear), Behr (bear – Yiddish)
Apparently, this is the cause of frequent use in Jewish surnames names of animals, such as Nightingale, bull, cancer, Bear, Crow, Magpie, Rabbit, Bunny and their derivatives, such as Soloviev, Rakov, Medvedev.
Artificially educated family
Have, as a rule, the German-Austrian descent, appeared at a weight assigned to the Jews in these countries surnames mandatory. Have, as a rule, the two roots are conjugate in a single word, such as: Rosenzweig, and have roots: Gold (gold), Berg (mountain), Mann (man, man), Baum (wood), Boym (wood – Yiddish ), Stein (stone), Stern (star), Stadt (city), Zweig (branch), Blume (flower), etc. It is interesting that these roots can also be separate Jewish names.
Russian names of the Jews
Sometimes we find the purest of Jews from the purely Russian surnames. We can only speculate about the reason they have received such names, but for example, we know most of the Jews who were forcibly called to kantonistskuyu service were forced Russian names or have been sold to levy service instead of some other people, whose name they have received. For example: Romanov, slug Chesakov.
The newly-formed family in modern Israel
After the start of a new wave of settling the Land of Israel, about the end of the 19th century, many immigrants to change their names to Hebrew. This movement began reviver of modern Hebrew, Ben-Yehuda (Perelman), who actively fought for the revival of the spoken language of the Jews against the Hebrew spoken language of the overwhelming majority of the Jews of the time – Yiddish. After the formation of the state of its “founding fathers” were changed “galutskih ‘names on the Hebrew.
So, for example, Schiffman was Ben Sira, Golda Golda Meir became Meerovich, Cliffs has Bar-Sela, Mirsky – Bar-Shalom, Brooke – Barak Yakobzon – Jacobi Silberberg – Ap Kesef. Particularly stood out head of the labor movement Shneur Zalman Rubashov (whose name was given in honor of the first Lubavitcher Rebbe). He took the new name, which is an abbreviation Shazar. Surname parents, for example, Ariel Sharon, Sheinerman and name of the first President of Israel, Ben-Gurion was Green.
Jewish surnames and genealogy
Many modern Jews are actively interested in their genealogy, family trees are, looking for the graves of their ancestors, their extended family, and some of them because of this return to his roots and to their traditions. There is a very large sites on Jewish genealogy, such as Avoteinu and Jewishgen.
But it should be noted that due to the fact that in the Tsarist Empire in the early 19 th century Jews forcibly recruited into the army, except for those who had an only son in the family, so many Jewish families were recording many of their children under different names. Also there are numerous instances of name change during the exile in America, Israel and other countries. For example, the father of Rav Yitzchak Zilber, Rabbi Benzion Tsiyuni, changed the family name to Zilber in 1916 when moving from Latvia to Russia.