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For a musical exploration of Ashkenazic names by Corey Weinstein, click here.) century, but the overwhelming majority of Jews lived in Eastern Europe and did not take last names until compelled to do so.
The process began in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1787 and ended in Czarist Russia in 1844.
MATRONYMICS (daughter of…) Reflecting the prominence of Jewish women in business, some families made last names out of women’s first names: Chaiken — son of Chaikeh; Edelman — husband of Edel; Gittelman — husband of Gitl; Glick or Gluck — may derive from Glickl, a popular woman’s name as in the famous “Glickl of Hameln,” whose memoirs, written around 1690, are an early example of Yiddish literature Gold/Goldman/Gulden may derived from Golda; Malkov from Malke; Perlman — husband of Perl; Rivken — may derive from Rivke; Soronsohn—son of Sarah.
Finally, there were Jewish names changed or shortened by immigration inspectors or by immigrants themselves and their descendants to sound more American, which is why “Sean Ferguson” was a Jew.
Let us close with a ditty: mean “son of Berl” Matronymics should be changed to “Based on Women’s Names,” because most of these names are not strictly matronymics.
According to the YIVO Encyclopedia, “the resulting names often are associated with nature and beauty.
It is very plausible that the choices were influenced by the general romantic tendencies of German culture at that time.” These names include: Applebaum — apple tree; Birnbaum — pear tree; Buchsbaum — box tree; Kestenbaum — chestnut tree; Kirshenbaum — cherry tree; Mandelbaum — almond tree; Nussbaum — nut tree; Tannenbaum — fir tree; Teitelbaum — palm tree.
HEBREW ACRONYMS Names based on Hebrew acronyms include: Baron — evia (second-rank Levite) OTHER HEBREW- and YIDDISH-DERIVED NAMES Lieb means “lion” in Yiddish.
It is the root of many Ashkenazic last names including Liebowitz, Lefkowitz, Lebush, and Leon. It is the root of many Ashkenazic last names including Hirschfeld, Hirschbein/Hershkowitz (son of Hirsch)/Hertz/Herzl, Cerf, Hart, and Hartman.
For example, Asch is an acronym for the towns of terdam.
Other place-based Jewish names include: Auerbach/Orbach; Bacharach; Berger (generic for townsman); Berg (man), meaning, from a hilly place; Bayer — from Bavaria; Bamberger; Berliner, Berlinsky — from Berlin; Bloch (foreigner); Brandeis; Breslau; Brodsky; Brody; Danziger Deutch/Deutscher — German; Dorf(man), meaning villager; Eisenberg; Epstein; Florsheim; Frankel — from the Franconia region of Germany; Frankfurter; Ginsberg; Gordon — from Grodno, Lithuania or from the Russian word , for townsman; Greenberg; Halperin—from Helbronn, Germany; Hammerstein; Heller — from Halle, Germany; Hollander — not from Holland, but from town in Lithuania settled by Dutch; Horowitz, Hurwich, Gurevitch — from Horovice in Bohemia; Koenigsberg; Krakauer — from Cracow, Poland; Landau; Lipsky — from Leipzig, Germany; Litwak — from Lithuania; Minsky — from Minsk, Belarus; Mintz—from Mainz, Germany; Oppenheimer; Ostreicher — from Austria; Pinsky — from Pinsk, Belarus; Posner — from Posen, Germany; Prager — from Prague; Rappoport — from Porto, Italy; Rothenberg — from then town of the red fortress in Germany; Shapiro — from Speyer, Germany; Schlesinger — from Silesia, Germany; Steinberg; Unger — from Hungary; Vilner — from Vilna, Poland/Lithuania; Wallach—from Bloch, derived from the Polish word for foreigner; Warshauer/Warshavsky—from Warsaw; Wiener — from Vienna; Weinberg.
Jews distrusted the authorities and resisted the new requirement.
Although they were forced to take last names, at first they were used only for official purposes.
It is the Yiddish translation of the Hebrew work for lion — . It is the Yiddish translation of the Hebrew word for gazelle — . The symbol of The dove is associated with the prophet Jonah.