JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen RE: [Puzzling Words] Temele #general

Wegner, Peter

Les Culank wrote:
<There was a Temma in our GATOFF family.>
<Prof Esterson's JewishGen Names Database includes several diminutives with an
added l such as Temerl. He notes the origin >from Tamar.>

In my judgment, it is far more likely that "Tema" as a Russian-Jewish name came
to Jews as a nickname for the Russian name Tamara -- and not directly >from the
Hebrew biblical name Tamar (regardless of whether the latter was the source of
the Russian name Tamara, as some people assert). Certainly "Tamara" seems to
have been commoner among Russian gentiles than the Hebrew "Tamar" among
traditional European Jewish women -- who, however, were often given versions of
Russian/Polish female names and the corresponding nicknames.

In modern times, the biblical Hebrew name Tamar has become more common due to
its popularity mong Israelis. Actually the Bible speaks of two women named Tamar. One was the wife of Er, son of Judah (see Genesis ch 37); the other was King David's daughter Tamar -- who was mainly famous for being raped by her half-brother, Amnon son of David (see 2 Samuel ch 13).

Judith Romney Wegner

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