JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Gersh is not Gershon #general


Judith Romney Wegner
 

Roy Ogus wrote:

I know that the Yiddish given name Hirsh/Girsh is a kinui for the
Hebrew name Tzvi. Does anyone know whether the given name "Gershon" is
derived >from the same name Girsh/Hirsh, or has some other root?
The answer is that Gershon is totally unconnected with Hirsch/Girsch. It
is an original biblical Hebrew name, not a relatively modern Yiddish one!
But even had you asked the question the other way round (i.e., "does Gersh
come >from Gershon?") it still wouldn't work! It seems you were
bumsteered by overlooking the fact that the spelling "Gersh" occurs only
because G is the letter used by Russian for the H sound in the German word
Hirsch.

In the names Gershon and Gershom (which are two different names but both
biblical!) the G represents the Hebrew letter Gimel, having no connection
whatsoever with the sound "H" or with any Russian or German word. We need
to keep these three unrelated languages separate in our minds, to avoid
invalid trans-linguistic speculations.

The name Gershom appears in Exodus 2:22 as the firstborn of Moses. The
name Gershon appears at Exodus 6:16 as the firstborn of Levi (who was the
third son of Jacob and Leah).

Judith Romney Wegner

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