Sally Bruckheimer <sallybru@...>
A reader responded about the personal name Berko:
"What about it being a Kinui for Berkovitz and the person being called
that as a first name knickname?"
Berko and Berek are diminutives for the name Ber. In Slavic languages,
the diminutive is often shown with a -k. Similarly Moshe is sometimes
called Moshek or Moshko.
-ovitz and similar endings are patronymic endings meaning, in this case,
that the person's father was Berek. Berek's son Abraham would be called
Abraham ben Berek-in Russian Abraham Berkowitz. So Berko did not come
from Berkowitz but vice versa. In this case, a patronymic can give youanother generation-the Father. Sometimes, however a patronymic is taken
as an inherited family name, so you have to be careful Ber is usually Dov
in Hebrew, so Berko was probably known in schul as Dov, the two names mean
the same thing. Of course, it is possible that Ber could be something
entirely different in Hebrew since it is not a requirement that the names
be used together.
All these name problems are very common. I think there are probably
more name questions like this than any other topic in Jewishgen after
"Can you tell me about my ___ ancestors!"