JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: name Grisha #general

Benzy Shani <bshani@...>

Nathan is right on both counts.

There are two primary ways a Jew ended up Grisha.
1) A G-starting Russian name was taken or given as a civil name (usually
Georgi and Gregori), in conjuction with whatever Hebrew-Jewish name was
carried (usually this would have been a Gimel-starting name like Gershon or
Gavriel, but not necessarily). The road >from Georgi and Gregori to Grisha
needs no further explanation, and the road back to the English equivalents -
George and Gregory - is no more difficult.
2) Russian doesn't have the G sound (G as in good; they certainly have G as
in gyroscope...) so many a Hirsch (Tzvi) walked around being Grisha. (I
remember one of my trumpet teachers telling me to "drop everything else and
work on the Gaydn").
When Hirsch's entered the English-speaking world, many of them became
Harry's. Bambi could also work, but it's not as common....

Benzy Shani

It's important to recognize that while Grisha may be used as a diminutive of
Gregor and Sasha as a diminutive of Aleksander, the same diminutives are
also commonly used for other names that have some of the same consonants
and/or vowels in them. For example, Grisha can also be a diminutive for
Georgi. Sasha can be a diminutive for a particularly large variety of names,
both male and female, containing an "sa" sound, including Samuel, Salomon,
Sarah, etc.

Since the original query was "what the Yiddish and English equivalents might
be", it's important to add that while there are some preferred candidates,
there is no unique answer.

Nathan Reiss
Highland Park, NJ

Join to automatically receive all group messages.