Before few month I send this letter to a person in Holland that ask me the
same question, What is the origin of the family name Toff ? I write the
letter in Dutch and this is the translation to English .
First this name is written in different spelling also as Tov, Tow, Tof,
Toff, but as we know this is usual and spelling is something >from the 20
We have few explanation for this name and I write on the family name that is
used in Holland, in Germany I don't find this family name.
No 1: It get out >from the Hebrew word TOW and it mean Good, but according my
knowledge I don't think that it is the origin of the name Toff.
No 2: In Veendam, a small city in Northern Holland, Lived in the 18
century a person with the name Manuel Jonas Tof (birth 1756) , Jonas is a
nickname to the Hebrew name Jona and it mean a Pigeon , a Dove. In Dutch it
is a DUIF and >from Duif to Toff is the way very short Duif - Tuif - Toff.
So In this case I can said that the name Toff get out >from the Hebrew name
No 3: Another explanation is that the name get out >from the given name David
. Perhaps was in this family a person with the name David and the nickname
of David is Tevel or Tyvel and >from this we get the name Toff through this
way :David - Tevel - Teffel- Toffel -Toff.
No 4 : Alexander Beider in his book Jewish Surnames in Poland give the
suggestion that the name Tov - Toff get out >from the German name Teper
(page 438). Teper mean a kettle-maker and Top in German mean a kettle.
It can be that the bearer of this name was a kettle-maker or a merchant in
No 5: It is a small possibility that the name Toff is a acronym >from the
Hebrew letters Tet -Vav - Beith , but I don't can find a good explanation to
this word, except the number 17 (Tet =9 + Vav = 6 + Beith =2 = 17)
My opinion about Toff = Pigeon have a small evidence in the Dutch archive.
In 1811 change the Family Rachmanuth his name to 2 different Dutch names
one part take the name POST and the other part take the name TOFF , it was
very usually that a family take different names (in my family take one part
the name Muzikant and the other part the name Viol)
We get 2 names POST -TOFF In Dutch you said Postduif what mean a
This is only a small indication that the name Toff get out >from Jona as I
think it is.
In all the cases I spoke about Holland where this name was used as TOFF more
then in other European countries.
Best regards Ury Link Amsterdam Holland