Given Names Pepi and Betti #hungary


Hello Everyone:

This question concerns the names Peppi/Pepi, and Betti.

Were these given (at birth) names, or, were they nicknames for Josefina and
Erzibet respectively?

Please advise.

Alfred J. Holzman


Holzman: Turcianske RUDNO, Kremnice, Rajec, Banova, Slovakia,

Trostler: Bela, Slovakia

Kohn: Laclava/Laszofalva, Slovakia

Reichert: Suchany, Slovakia

Guttman: Nyirmada, Kisvarda, and Vaja (Szabolcs Megye) Hungary

Winkler: Nyirmada

Guttman: Kassa/Kosice, Slovakia

Weingarten: Kassa/Kosice, Slovakia and Khust, Hungary

Ligety/Ligeti: Kassa/ Kosice

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Jan Meisels Allen

Alfred Holzman asks if the names Pepi and Betti were these given (at birth) names,
or, were they nicknames for Josefina and Erzibet respectively?

My paternal grandmother's sister was born with name Pepi as on her birth record
from what was then Hungary-in mid 1800's.I have three family members who were born
with the name Betti. For both the Pepi and 3 Bettis all were born in 1860-1880

Jan Meisels Allen
Agoura Hills, CA

ZUPNIK, Presov, Mestiszko, Szivdnik; Salgo, Sebes Kellemes,
Slovakia (formerly Hungary)
MICHELBERG, SYK, SZLANG, TYKULSKIER Sochaczew, Chorzele, and Zakroczym Poland
GUTFARB --Zambrow,
Poland ASZ, Nasielsk, Poland ELION, PERLA
Suwalki Lithuania


Madeleine Isenberg


Having read and extracted information >from records and tombstones in
the Spis Region of Slovakia, I encountered the names you mentioned
quite often. At one time I googled "nickname Pepi" and came up with
an interesting connection to the Spanish nickname (Pepe) for someone
named Joseph, because of the connection to the words, "padre putativo"
and the Ps at the beginning of the words! So it would seem this got
transferred to a woman's name, and someone generally named Josephine.
However, I don't think I encountered any men with the name Joseph
being called Pepi among my records.

Betti appeared for women with Hebrew or Yiddish names, Bayla,
Breindel, Bluma, Bracha, Devora (means a "bee"), Basha, Berta,

No direct connection to Ersebet, but it is certainly reasonable for a
woman whose name ends as in -bet or -beth to have been a Betti, Such
a nickname even exists in English speaking countries, where Betty is a
nickname for Elizabeth.

Madeleine Isenberg
Beverly Hills, CA

Researching: GOLDMAN, STEINER, LANGER, GLUECKSMAN in various parts of
Galicia, Poland, such as: Nowy Targ, Wachsmund, Lopuszna, Ochotnica,
possibly Krakow, who migrated into Kezmarok or nearby
Straszky/Nagy-Eor/Nehre, both now in Slovakia.
GOLDSTEIN in Abaujszina (Sena), Szkaros, and Kosice, Slovakia;
Tolcsva, Hungary; Possibly Timosoara, Romania


Concerning diminutives Pepi and Betti, were the people in question born in Hungary? If so, most European countries, including Hungary, have some form of the Napoleonic naming codes, an official body that maintains a list of names that can be used to name children, including the banning of names that are too diminutive. Emperor Napoleon had very decisive views on the giving of 'ridiculous names' to children, obviously, and set down laws governing the practice. Diminutive forms, like Bobby for Robert, are seen as childish and limiting and social studies bear that out. But parents do like to do what they wish so those who were born in other countries where such laws did not exist or were not enforced may have given diminutive forms as formal given names. My daughters have the middle names Mariska, Annuska and Elluska. All named after deceased family members and perfectly legal where they were born in England but their Hungarian-Czech grandmother is very disapproving as they're not 'real' names, had they been born in Hungary they'd have had to been Maria, Anna and Gabriella.

Diminutive forms are called becenÊv in Hungary, formal given names are called keresztnev. Pepi/Peppi is a diminutive of Jozefa, Jozefina, Jozsa so that's pretty simple. Betti is not so straightforward, it can be a diminutive of Erzsebet but also is used for Brigitta, Bernadett, Bettina, Beata, Berta, and Beatrix. Hope this helps!

Devon Smith

Surnames: Lanyi, Lipkovic, Vacek, Salomon, Friedman, Muller


that's a tough question. i suspect the answer is "both". in some cases, i think
parents named children based on a popular nickname, such as "boske", and never gave
a second thought to the "proper" name, whereas others named them "erzsebet"
officially, but used the nickname anyway. i haven't noticed any particular pattern
. and in b/m/d registers, the registrars seemed to record names like pepi and mor
without a problem.

....... tom klein, toronto wrote:

This question concerns the names Peppi/Pepi, and Betti.

Were these given (at birth) names, or, were they nicknames for Josefina and
Erzibet respectively?

Please advise.

Tom Chatt

from my own family research, I can tell you that I found "diminutive" names on official records in Hungary (or at least the northern reaches of the empire in the 1860s). My great-grandmother, Betty Littman, was born in the county of Szepes in the Kingdom of Hungary (today it is the Spiť region of Slovakia). On her 1864 civil birth record, her name is recorded as "Betty". (That birth registry is in German, which was the prevalent language of that region, even though part of Kingdom of Hungary.) On the 1869 census of the family (records in Hungarian), she is listed as "Bethy". Many of her siblings on the same census have diminutive names, including "Josi" (Joseph), "Leny" (Lena), "Esti", and "Resi" (Rose). Betty's Hebrew name was Bluma, and on later records in America, she appears as Bertha, but to my knowledge she always went by Betty in person throughout her life. I do not know whether the name Bertha had any use in her early life in Hungary, or if it was improvised after she came to America at age 23, not yet married.
Tom Chatt
Los Angeles, CA
Researching LITTMAN in Hungary; BRAUTMAN in Kishinev