Aizik and Itzik #belarus


Moshe Shavit writes, 26 Aug 2004,

But Isaak and Aisik are the same name: the
name of our second father, the son of Abraham. The original > Hebrew pronounciation of the name is Yitzchak (=will laugh) > as Sarah laughed hearing the 3 angels predicting her
pregnancy (Gen. 18.12).
This is true, but Itzik and Aizik are separate Yiddish names, although they both come >from the Hebrew name Yitzchak. My great-great-grandfather had a brother named Itzik, and another brother named Aizik. They were definitely different people.

The situation is similar to the names Jane, Jean, and Joan in English, all of which come >from John (originally >from Yochanan), but are now considered separate names. There are other examples of this among Yiddish names too, for example Yosef and Yospe. There is a Yospe on my family tree whose father's name was Yosef. The story I heard was that his parents wanted to name him after another Yosef who had died, but since his father's name was Yosef, they named him Yospe instead.

I think Shayna and Shayndel may be another example. I used to think that Shayndel was just a nickname for Shayna, but I noticed that my great-grandmother's headstone lists her name as "Shayndel," which suggests that it was not considered just a nickname.

I have seen it suggested (I think by the late Rabbi Shmuel Gorr) that Aizik does not come >from Yitzchak at all, but >from Isaiah, but this seems implausible to me.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel

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