Dear Hungary SIG,
I asked Dr. Nathan Reiss [Rutgers University], for his thoughts about the origin of Meixler as a Jewish
Attached is a synopsis of his thoughts. I was wondering if anyone on the Hungary SIG had any comments.
Below is a record of a correspondence between Dr. Nathan Reiss and myself on the possible origin of the
Dear Dr. Reiss,
If you have any thoughts about my last name, I would appreciate what you think. I have researched it back
to the early 1800s in Hungary, and the spelling was always Meixler, Maixler, so some variant on that.
As for your name, I don't know, but ever since I first saw it I've been curious about its origins. I had been
guessing that itwas old Spanish. I just checked my little book of Jewish names and theclosest name that it
has is Meisel, which it suggests is a patronymicname, "an affectionate diminutive of Mordechai".or from
"Moshe". If I had to guess, I'd suggest the latter, and that it came>from a place where the letter "x" was
pronounced as "sh".How does your family pronounce the name?
Thanks for the thoughts on my name. You are the second person who mentioned old spanish.
It was always pronounced Mike-slur as far as Iknow. The family came >from a town in Hungary - Miskolc. I was able to trace it back to about 1807 there.
I'll bet the place name Miskolc(s?) is theanswer. I once had a summer job in a place where everyone else but mespoke Hungarian, so I learned a bit about the language. Although neither the"c" or "cs" sounds are pronounced like an English"x", it's plausible that the last part of the town's name wasmispronounced as a "ks" by non-Hungarians. So a person >from Miskolcswould be a Miskolcser, which would be pronounced as "Miskolxer",which would explain how the "x" got in there. Then it probably wassimplified to its current form. This could well have happened while your familywas still in Hungary, because it was under foreign rule for so much of itshistory.
Dear Hungary SIG
This is a really interesting theory. Do you think it is correct?