Help needed with Translation of sentence from Yiddish #belarus #translation


Henry Carrey Boston,MA . Carey/Kirzhner/Berestyaner , Belous , Isenberg - Lutsk ; Postolov/Herman/Kolovsky-Zhitomir
 

Lesley , 

It is not a " bobe mayse"  . The word for a red-head in Yiddish is " a geler " . Gelb is a variation of " gel " which means  " yellow," " yellowish " or "ginger", although one can talk about someone having " royte hor ". A blonde is " a blonde" or " blondinke" .  I double- checked this with two Yiddish dictionaries .

I first came across this in a comic song " Kalebute " about an old  Rabbi , Rov Nute ,   whose young wife , Trayne Taybl ,  liked to take long walks  in the   evenings with the Rabbi's student who is described as having red "peyes". The mystery is how the wife  gave birth to a " zun a geler"  since she and her husband both had black hair !!.  
"
Now why a red head was called a " geller " and not a " royter "  is an interesting question . To me " a royter " would be someone with a ruddy complexion ( or maybe  a Communist ! .) I know that in Israel a " gingie " is a redhead , although in English a "ginger cat is really yellow-orange" and "ginger " in Cockney rhyming slang is something else entirely . My best guess is that in different cultures the yellow/orange/red spectrum is described differently . I think I read a Yiddish text describing oranges as " yellow" .( Some oranges are in fact more yellow than orange ) .  Before Europeans imported oranges, we maybe never had a word for that reddish/yellow color . In any case , your great grandfather was Velvl der geler or Velvl der gelber ( -er ending on adjective is masculine /-e ending is feminine )  to distinguish him from other Velvl's in Motol or because he was the only red head in the family .
Hope this helps.

 Because most Jews did not have surnames in Eastern Europe until the early 19th century and when they did have them , they were used only  for government  purposes . People called each other by their given names and some kind of modifier . It could be a body description " "Fishke der Krimer " ( Fishl the Lame " ) or refer to a profession or trait , " Tevye de Milkhiker " ( Tevye the Dairyman or Tevye  the mild-mannered ) ,or Surke mir di lange hent " ( Sarah with the long hands i.e. a thief )  or even referring to where someone had moved from " Duvid (der) Berliner . 
So, Velvl der geler fits right in ! 
--
Henry H. Carrey


schwartzeli115@...
 

maybe it is "der gevelber " shopkeeper
Elie schwartz
translator hey translations 
globel


Michele Lock
 

Some men who have light brown or blond hair have red beards. I remember the rabbi at my shul in my hometown looked like this.
So the 'Gelbe' could have referred to Motel's hair color, rather than his beard color.

Interestingly, I also have family lore of a great great grandfather who was tall and had a red beard. 
--
Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
Rabinowitz in Papile, Lithuania and Riga, Latvia
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lev/Lew in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus


Diane Jacobs
 

There is a Motel site I believe on jewishgen
that has good info. My grandfather’s Becker
Greenfield Chemerinsky family are from there.
What are your surnames.  many came to NYC
and Chicago.

Diane Jacobs


On Dec 3, 2021, at 11:07 AM, lesleyedwards@... wrote:

My Great Grandfather,  who lived in Motol in Belarus at the end of the 19th century, unusually, had red hair and a huge beard.  Family tradition has it that he was known locally as "Velvel der Gelbe", but der Gelbe translates as "Yellow" not red.  Can anyone solve this apparent contradiction or is it just one of those Bubba Meisers that exist in most families?

Lesley Edwards
Cheshire, England

--
Diane Jacobs, Somerset, New Jersey


lesleyedwards@...
 

My Great Grandfather,  who lived in Motol in Belarus at the end of the 19th century, unusually, had red hair and a huge beard.  Family tradition has it that he was known locally as "Velvel der Gelbe", but der Gelbe translates as "Yellow" not red.  Can anyone solve this apparent contradiction or is it just one of those Bubba Meisers that exist in most families?

Lesley Edwards
Cheshire, England