Re: Where did "Katya" come from? #ukraine #yiddish #russia #names


Simon Zelman
 

Most Jews in Ukraine, starting around the late 1800s, had a Russian name that they would go by in dealings with the state and with non-Jews (and starting in the 1910s-1920s, with Jews as well). The Yiddish name was usually reserved for the immediate family. My great-grandmother was born Udel, registered as Adelya as her Russian name, and went by Olya (nickname for Olga) with most people, including her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Girsh would go by Grisha (a nickname for Grigoriy), Khaim would become Yefim, Yankel would be Yakov and therefore Yasha as the nickname, Moishe would be Misha (a nickname for Mikhail), my grandfather Rakhmiel goes by Misha as well. All to say that Gitel was your great-grandmother’s Yiddish name and Katya was most likely the name she went by (but she didn’t necessarily go by Yekaterina ever, the name for which Katya is a nickname).

Simon Zelman
San Francisco, CA

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