Hungary SIG #Hungary Re: Re: The Hebrew equivalent of Vilmos #hungary

tom klein <h-sig@...>

My only disagreement with this is that "hamechune x" is a bald statement of fact. in the case of a get, the man is available, and can (presumably) provide his jewish name. in that case, if it really is Binyomin/Zeev/Wolf, it is quite understandable to add "hamechune Vilmos" ("called Vilmos") to the end, as a clarification, for the narrow purpose of writing a proper get. in the post-emancipation world, hungarian jews (unlike those in poland/russia) were often known more by their secular names than their jewish names, so the clarification was quite necessary.

But not every Binyomin/Zeev/Wolf was named Vilmos (as an alternative, Farkas Springs to mind immediately, but then again Tivadar is also a well known example).

Any such statistical (anecdotal) links are at best suggestive, so you cannot jump to the conclusion that a given Vilmos had a hebrew name of Binyomin without any documentation.

The linking of Jewish and secular names was almost automatic elsewhere, but i find many more exceptions among hungarian jews. This may be partly due to the popularity of "hungarian" names (like Arpad, Bela, Geza, Zoltan, etc.) for nationalistic reasons, or just "not-too-jewish" names (Adolf, Janos, Pista, Miksa, etc.) for assimilationist reasons. in either case, where there isn't a convenient jewish equivalent, the names can't really "match". (e.g. Geza to Moishe Yaaqov or Erzsebet to Feigele.)

and there may also have been a demographic reason for *not* matching names, namely that family sizes decreased dramatically, limiting the number of children available to commemorate departed ancestors. (I see a little of this in my own names, which came >from 2 different persons, and in my children's names.)

....... tom klein, toronto

"Prof. G. L. Esterson" <jerry@...> wrote:

Judy Floam (>from Baltimore - my birth town!) posted as follows:

"Just a further thought on this question: does the name "vilmos" have a
meaning in Hungarian? And does it have anything to do with wolves?
"Ze'ev" means wolf in Hebrew and the Yiddish-German-English counterparts to
that Hebrew name were often Wolf or William (including my father and one of
my mother's brothers)."

Judy has brought up a very interesting question, to which I can respond as

In fact, not only did the rabbis specify that the Hungarian secular name
Vilmos was a legal kinui for the two Hebrew names Binyamim and Ze'eyv, but
also they specified that these two Hebrew names also had another *Yiddish*
kinui, Volf. That is, for men having the two names Binyamin and Volf,
their Legal Jewish Name would need to be written as: Binyamin haMechune
Volf. And for Ze'eyv, Ze'eyv haMechune Volf. So, here we see there is an
interesting linkage between the two Hebrew names and the Yiddish name Volf.

Another interesting fact: if you visit the JewishGen web site:

< >

and search for the Hungarian name Vilmos, you will find one listing for
this name by itself, besides the two listings for the name together with
Binyamin and Ze'eyv. And this record for Vilmos alone shows that this
Hungarian secular name is considered to be *equivalent* to the German
secular name Wilhelm and its nickname Willi. Also shown there are
Latin/Latinized names (Villemus and Wilhelmus) which were also *equivalent*
to the Hungarian and German secular names.

The German secular name Wilhelm was a very popular name with Jews
throughout Europe, including Hungary, and some Hungarian Jews substituted
the Hungarian version (Vilmos) of Wilhelm, while others alternatively used
both under different circumstances. Interestingly, the German secular name
William was also widely used throughout Europe, including Hungary, and the
name William was a secular kinui in German-speaking lands (including
Hungary) for many Hebrew names; however, it did not enjoy a *special*
statistical linkage to any specific Hebrew given names in either Germany or

So, Jewish genealogists should draw conclusions >from these
statistical results in doing their research of archival documents.

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

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