Re: Names #general

Prof. G. L. Esterson <jerry@...>

Maida Dacher posted as follows:

"Could the names Lipe and Alter be used interchangeably? My great
grandmother's parents were Alter and Pesia. On material I got off the JRL
indexing for my fathers town tells me that people with the same last name
my grandmother's maiden name had Lipe and Pesia. Is it possible that
My gg
grandfather used both names."

The name Alter was one of those names that were in use for certain general
purposes in combination with other already existing names of an
individual. This was particularly the case for some one (an infant, child)
who was seriously ill. There is a long tradition in Judaism (and some
other religions) that if one uses a name like Alter (meaning "the old one")
that the devil coming to take the person will not be able to recognize that
this is the correct one and will pass him by.

Thus, the already existing name of the person had attached to it (or
substituted for it, in some cases) the name Alter. This led to names such
as :

Alter, or
AnyName demitkare Alter

The nickname Alterko was afterwards used for such people. The same was
true of females who were given the name Alta or Alte, with the nickname
Altka. The same type of Hebrew double names as above was then used for
women in order to record their (new) correct name in a get, for example.

Thus, Maida's gg grandfather could have had the name Lipe (which is a
derivative >from Yiddish names like Lipman and Liberman) originally, and was
given the name Alter for the above reason. He then had two different names
that could appear on different archival documents.

Shabbat shalom,

Prof. G. L. Esterson, Ra'anana, Israel

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