Benno: the name #general


Ben Griffin <bgriffin@...>
 

I'm wondering what the history of the forename "Benno" is. Is it a
diminutive of Benjamin? Is it specifically Jewish, or specifically
German, or what? Anything you know might help.

Thanks

Benjamin Griffin


MBernet@...
 

In a message dated 9/5/2002 5:54:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
bgriffin@folger.edu writes:

<< I'm wondering what the history of the forename "Benno" is. Is it a
diminutive of Benjamin? Is it specifically Jewish, >>

==Kaganoff says it's derived >from Benno, a Polish and Czech diminutive of
Ber (kinnuy for Dov and for Issachar). Beider doesn't mention the name at
all unless you count a very rare Medieval Benoye-->from the Biblical
Benayah.

Encyclopedia Judaica lists about a dozen people with the Benno name, one
of them as a contributor on many topics. His Hebrew name is given as Ben
Zion, and there's also a noted Israeli jurist, Benno/Benzion.

I'm pretty sure the name's been taken by quite a few Benjamins and
Benedicts (originally Baruch). I'm not sure that the Czech/Polish
derivation is the major one; it was quite a common name among "educated"
German Jews who generally did not want to associate with Slavic names.

Benno has a neat Italian sound and has probably been appropriated for that
reason by German Jews. It may have been a vogue name, especially for boys
named Yom-Tov, Shem-Tov, Tuviyah whose name includes the Hebrew Tov, for
"good."

It's not necessarily a Jewish name either: the Chief of Police in Nurnberg
during the German deportation of the Jews, was named Benno (apparently, he
had a "good" heart and was able to save quite a few Jews.)

Michael Bernet, New York <mBernet@aol.com>

WOLFF (Pfungstadt, Frankfurt/M, Koenigsberg, Amsterdam, N.Carolina); BERNET,
BERNERT, JONDORF(Frensdorf, Bamberg, Nurnberg); FEUCHTWANGER
(Schwabach, Hagenbach & Fuerth); KONIGSHOFER (anywhere); BERG, WOLF(F),
(Demmelsdorf & Zeckendorf); Shim`on GUTENSTEIN (Bad Homburg ca 1760);
FRENSDORF/ER (anywhere); MAINZER (Lorsch); anyone in Ermreuth or Floss;
GOLDSCHMIDT (B. Homburg, Hessdorf). ALTMANN (Silesia); TIMMENDORFER


Mark Halpern <willie46@...>
 

In some Galician records, I have noticed Benno or Beno to be the
secular name for the Hebrew name Benzion.

Mark Halpern

----- Original Message -----
I'm wondering what the history of the forename "Benno" is. Is
it a diminutive of Benjamin? Is it specifically Jewish, or
specifically German, or what? Anything you know might help.

Thanks

Benjamin Griffin


Tom Venetianer <tom.vene@...>
 

According to the Oxford dictionary of first names Benno is the German
medieval short form of various Germanic names containing the word
'bern' (bear), thus it is not a Jewish name. It was used as short
form for Benedict (not Benjamin).
regards
Tom

In a message dated 9/5/2002 5:54:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
bgriffin@folger.edu writes:

<< I'm wondering what the history of the forename "Benno" is. Is it a
diminutive of Benjamin? Is it specifically Jewish, >>
Tom Venetianer <mailto:tom.vene@uol.com.br>
Sao Paulo - Brazil


MBernet@...
 

In a message dated 9/7/2002 11:24:12 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
tom.vene@uol.com.br writes:

<< According to the Oxford dictionary of first names Benno is the German
medieval short form of various Germanic names containing the word
'bern' (bear), thus it is not a Jewish name. It was used as short
form for Benedict (not Benjamin). >>

Tom Veterinarer is absolutely correct. Benno is no more a "Jewish"
name than is Irving or Sheldon. Nevertheless, the Oxford is not
necessarily an expert on names that Jews chose.

What was asked here, and what is relatively important for genealogists
in their search, is "This man is named Benno. I wonder what his Hebrew
or Yidddish name is. It appears most commonly to be Ben-Zion. Ber
(not bern, which is a city and canton in Switzerland) may be named
Benno--certinly Kaganoff makes this point via Czech and Polish--and,
as I pointed out a few days ago, Benedikt (translation for Baruch) may
be named Benno. But we cannot by any means exclude the frequent case
where Benjamin is given the "civil" name Benno, nor the popularity
among German Jews of Italianate names, where Benno may correspond with
Tuiah, Ben Tov, Shem Tov etc.

Michael Bernet, New York <mBernet@aol.com>

WOLFF (Pfungstadt, Frankfurt/M, Koenigsberg, Amsterdam, N.Carolina);
BERNET, BERNERT, JONDORF(Frensdorf, Bamberg, Nurnberg); FEUCHTWANGER
(Schwabach, Hagenbach & Fuerth); KONIGSHOFER (anywhere); BERG, WOLF(F),
(Demmelsdorf & Zeckendorf); Shim`on GUTENSTEIN (Bad Homburg ca 1760);
FRENSDORF/ER (anywhere); MAINZER (Lorsch); anyone in Ermreuth or Floss;
GOLDSCHMIDT (B. Homburg, Hessdorf). ALTMANN (Silesia); TIMMENDORFER


Prof. G. L. Esterson <jerry@...>
 

bgriffin@folger.edu posted as follows:

"I'm wondering what the history of the forename "Benno" is. Is it
a diminutive of Benjamin? Is it specifically Jewish?"

The given name Benno is a German secular name. However it was
used by Jews in Germany during the nineteenth century to the extent
that it was recognized by the rabbis as a valid name for writing in
a Get (Jewish divorce document) as a secular kinui. Furthermore,
German Jews with almost any Hebrew name adopted this German name
as a secular kinui, so that if a Jewish male had the Hebrew name
Shlomo and the secular name Benno, his name would be written in a
Get as "Shlomo hamechune Beno". If his Hebrew name was Binyamin,
his name would be written in a Get as "Binyamin hamechune Beno".
This would of course be written in Hebrew characters, not in Latin
characters.

So, while the name Benno was not specifically a Jewish name, it was
used by German (and Polish and Hungarian) Jews in their contacts
with non-Jews and was formally recognized for this use by the rabbis
who wrote Hilchot Gitin books. The name Benno was not formally
linked to the Hebrew name Binyamin, although it could have been used
by a Jew with that name.

G'mar tov,

Prof. G. L. Esterson, Ra'anana, Israel