JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Hungarian Jewish Surnames #general

Judith Romney Wegner

At 4:39 PM +0200 9/9/06, Evelin wrote:
----- Original Message -----
From: "Vivian Kahn" <vkahn@...>
Tom Klein has accurately observed that a
Hungarian Jewish name ending in "y" would be
unusual. Robert Neu, one of Hungarian SIG's
most erudite volunteers, says that one way to
distinguish Jewish Hungarian >from non-Jewish
Hungarian names is that the former end surnames
with the letter "i" and the latter use the
letter "y".
I just wish to add that the surname "i" instead
of "y" ending seems to be true not only for
Hungarian Jews but also for Jews living in
Prussia and probably at other places as well.

For example the WASBUTZKI / WAZBUTCKI surname
comes >from Seirey, a place of former Prussia.
Maybe so, but the name itself is obviously
Polish, not German (i.e., not Prussian)! And it
is certainly true of Polish surnames that gentile
names end in -ski while the Jewish version of the
same name usually ends in names in -y

Does anybody know why this is? Did it happen
because when written in Yiddish (i.e. in Hebrew
alphabet letters) the -ski ending had to be
rendered with a letter yod -- which would then in
turn automatically be rendered as a "y" when
persons with such names came to European
countries or USA and had to transliterate their

Or was there by any chance a Polish law
requiring this difference in order to make it
possible to distinguish Jews >from "genuine"
Poles? I wonder why that would not surprise

Judith Romney Wegner

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