JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Leib, Lieb, Levi and Nimes #general


In a message dated 3/2/2006 10:52:27 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, writes:

< I think you are confusing two German/Yiddish words here.
< "Lieb", pronounced leehb, is >from the same root as the English "love", while
< "Leib" (note the spelling, also "loeb" etc.), pronounced lahyb, is >from the
< word for "lion". . . . . . .
< I think the similarities between "leib" and "levi" might have led people to
< connect the two, but I would not automatically assume that any given "Leib"
< was a levite.

==There is really no danger of such confusion for those who speak Yiddish.
Leyb, (>from German Loewe) meaning lion, is written in Yiddish with the Hebrew
letter bet, Levi is written with the Hebrew letter vav. The only possible
"confusion" might be in Russian (I do not know Russian and do not read the
cyrillic alphabet), where, I understand, the name Lev is derived >from the word
for lion.

==There may be some "confusion" in German-Jewish Surnames. It is highly
likely that some Jews de-Judaized the surname Lewi or Lewin by assuming the
surname Loewenstein, Loewenberg etc.

==Levi or Lewi is a rare first name today for Jews who are Levites by
descent. The best-known American Jew with a first name Levi, wasn't born that way.
He was named Loew in his home village in Upper Franconia, Germany. It was
only in America, where Levi was not uncommon among Christians, that Loewi
Strauss "Americanized" his name to Levi, and so marked his jeans.

==Jews and people aren't the only ones whose name get changed with
geographic moves. Jeans are named not after some woman (or Frenchman) named Jean,
but after Genoa, the Italian port. And denims take their name >from the French
city Nimes.

Michael Bernet, New York

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