JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re:"El" as given name for a male? #general

Perets Mett <p.mett@...>

Lynne Shapiro wrote:

I have a copy of a record of birth and circumcision >from the archives in
Odessa. According to two different translators, it shows the name of the
child's father as, in English, "El Gdalovich UMANSKY". I assume
Gdalovich is a patronymic. (My great-grandfather, Nachum UMANSKY,
referred, in a translated letter I have, to "Uncle Gedalia".) What kind
of name is "El"? Is it an abbreviation for a longer name? Or does it
have some other meaning?
May I hazard an educated guess?

I cannot speak for Odessa but, in Poland, the name Elyohu (Elijah) was, in
spoken Yiddish, commonly contracted to "El-er" or "Ella". [I often call my
son, whose name is Shmuel Elyohu, "Shmulella"]

This being so, it is not inconceivable that a clerk would enter the first
name "El" for someone given the Hebrew name Elyohu. In general, Hebrew
names were not recorded on civil records.

Perets Mett

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