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Names of People: Surnames in Pre-Modern Europe
(2,620 words)

In sources from various towns of western Germany one sporadically encounters Jews having surnames from the 14th century onward. During the 16th–18th centuries, surnames were already commonplace in Frankfurt-am-Main and Prague. The same is true for Vienna and Hamburg from the start of the 17th century. Some of these surnames are based on the Hebrew lexicon or are taken from the Hebrew component of Yiddish. For example, on tombstones in Prague one finds (a) numerous occupational names such as: חייט ḥayyå̄ṭ ‘tailor’, חלפן ḥalp̄å̄n ‘money exchanger’, חזן ḥazzå̄n ‘cantor’, דיין dayyå̄n ‘j…

Cite this page
Beider, Alexander, “Names of People: Surnames in Pre-Modern Europe”, in: Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Edited by: Geoffrey Khan. Consulted online on 26 March 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2212-4241_ehll_EHLL_COM_000472>
First published online: 2013
First print edition: 9789004176423



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