Meaning of the Jewish Surnames - Occupational Surnames


Some Jewish surnames were assigned based on the occupation of the person who received it for the first time.

Examples of this are:

Schuster or Szuster: shoemaker in German and Yiddish
Schneider or Sznajder: tailor in German
Kaufmann or Koyfman: business man in German / Yiddish
Holzman or Goltsman or Goldsman: Wood/man, lumberman
Nudelman: Needle/man, tailor
Krawiec or Kravitz: tailor in Polish
Shoijet or Schochet or Szuchet: slaughterer in Hebrew / Yiddish

We have to pay attention to the transliterations that occurred when Poland became independent in 1920. All Russian names were changed to latin characters based on their pronunciation. In another article we will introduce the Soundex Daitch-Mokotoff method used for identifying variants in the scripture of Ashkenazic Jewish surnames.


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