Tips for decoding the meaning of Jewish Surnames:
The following are several tips that will help you to decode the meaning of Jewish Surnames:
Toponymic: surnames ending with SKY / SKI / ER
Toponymics refers to an idea of procedence. This means that the surname could have been originated as a nickname denoting the procedence of the first person who used it.
The ending forms SKY / SKI come from polish or russian areas. We could state that the SKI form is preferably polish, because the latin scripture was used in Poland. The SKY form used to be a transliteration from the russian language. These are some examples:
Tarnapolsky: from Tarnopol
Warszawski: from Warsaw
The ending form ER comes from yiddish or german.
These are some examples:
Berliner: from Berlin
Vengrover from Vengrova
Other forms of toponymics could be adjectives in different languages. Example of this is the surname Bloch that comes from Wloch, that means «Italian» in polish language. Something very important to take note is that toponymic does not match with the place where the surname was assigned. Only outside of Poland a polish person would be called «Polish».
Therefore in the case of Warszawski, we could state that this surnames was originated outside of Warsaw, and assigned to a person who came from Warsaw.
Patronymic: surnames that comes from father's name OV / OVICH / EVICH / OWICZ / EWICZ
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