phone orders call 1-800-AVOTAYNU (286-8296)
Beider, author of A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the
Russian Empire and A Dictionary of Jewish
Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland has completed his third
magnum opus, A Dictionary of Ashkenazic Given Names.
most comprehensive compilation and analysis of Ashkenazic given names
This 728-page book identifies more than 15,000 given names derived from
just 735 root names. Each root name includes a detailed description of
the origin (etymology) of the name, a list of the variant and
derivative names displayed in a scheme that reveals how the variants
evolved, and references to the more than 15,000 variations of the root
names throughout the centuries--some dating back to the 11th century.
An index to the 15,000 variations guides you to the proper root name.
The book may be
breaking down the brick wall caused by Eastern European Jews not having
surnames prior to the 19th century. Because this book identifies a
given name in a specific place at a specific time it may provide a clue
as to the early origin of ancestors.
in Understanding Early Ashkenazic History and Ashkenazic Given Names
The Dictionary represents only 60% of the book. The remainder is a
300-page thesis on the origins, structure, pronunciation, and
migrations of Ashkenazic given names. It provides new important data
* the general history of Ashkenazic Jewry including an
Jewish migrations in Europe since the Middle Ages until the 17th century
* an analysis of the names borrowed from Gentiles shedding
on the relationship between Jews and non-Jews in the Middle Ages
* a history of Yiddish including dating of various phonetic
dating the beginnings of Yiddish dialects, dating and localizing the
use of various diminutive suffixes.
portions of the book
* The dictionary entry for the feminine given name Yentl
* List of the 15,000
given names in the dictionary
8½" x 11" 728 pp. Cost $85.00
Baker, former Head Librarian of YIVO Institute and now Reinhard Family
Curator of Judaica and Hebraica Collections Stanford University
book on Jewish names is a real tour-de-force, a major contribution to
onomastics with wide-ranging applications to several other fields as
well. The author ingeniously makes use of first names in the service of
"linguistic archaeology," and this method has enabled him to trace
migratory patterns that are not otherwise discernible from archival
documents. The publication of this important work is cause for genuine
© 2009 by Avotaynu, Inc.
Avotaynu and its logo are registered trademarks of Avotaynu, Inc.