German SIG #Germany Re: Nathaniel = Sandel ? #germany


In a message dated 1/3/2003 writes:

I just ran across the name Sandel in records >from Hoof, Hessen.
At first I thought it might have been "Sender" -- a common nickname for
Alexander -- but at one point it was paired with Nasaniel (Nathaniel).

=="Pairing" is the right word. In the same way that Sander/Sender is
derived >from [Alek]sander, Nathaniel (usually pronounced Nassanel) gives us

Diminutives of names (and nouns) vary widely through local dialects of
German and Yiddish: -lein, -le, -che, -chem, -chen, -el, -del and so on.

Someone among your acestors must have assumed that the "el" in Sanel was a
diminutive and added the d to fit in with local usage.

One common example of this false-diminutive usage is the name Menachem, a
proper Biblical name. Someone in Germany a thousand years ago thought the
-chem part was a diminutive and adapted the name to the local dialect
variety. Men[a]-chem became Men-del and ever since we've been blessed by
Menachem-Mendels in the family, and Mendelsohns in philosophy and music.

It is not unlikely, however, that some Alexanders were known as Sandel and
some Nathaniels as Sander. Names and their spellings changed rapidly be
geography and century and family preference or carelessness.

Michael Bernet, New York

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