JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Meaning of Name FRIEDMAN #general


Judith Romney Wegner
 

Researching FRIEDMAN (FRYDMAN,FRIDMAN) of Korosten and Zitomir in
Ukraine.I have
maintained that our family name of FRIEDMAN translates to "man of
peace". Others
say it means "freed man " or "free man".I would appreciate some elucidation in
this matter. Thank you.
Elmer Friedman
Dear Elmer,

Frieden (pronounced Free-den) is German/ Yiddish for peace. So
by all means go with your own idea, which happens to be the correct
answer!

The German (and Yiddish) word for free is frei, Note three things
about that word:
(1) there's no "d" in it
(2) the "e" and "i" in the word "frei" are in *that* order and not "i e"
(3) German words with e before i are *always* pronounced like the
English word "fry" and *never* like the word "free."

So, please tell your relatives who held the contrary opinion that
there is absolutely no connection between the name Fried and the
German word "frei."

This mistake arose because of a common American misconception that
German words spelled with "IE" are pronounced like the English
pronoun "I", while those spelled with "EI" are pronounced "EE." In
fact, the exact reverse is the case! Your relatives may have
wrongly assumed that the German adjective "frei" -- which means
"free" but is pronounced "fry" -- was actually pronounced free --
and therefore, they assumed that the word "frei" must have some
connection with the name Friedman (Frydman, Fridman But in fact, the
German word "frei" meaning "free" has nothing whatsoever to do with
the German word Frieden (pronounced freeden), meaning "peace."

Judith Romney Wegner

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