I deal a lot with names, whether given names or family names, especially as I collect genealogical information. So recently I'm puzzled about some Germanic-Jewish names that are related to numbers. "EINZIG" is someone who is one or unique. I have friends whose family name is ZWANZIGER. They told me that it derived from where the family lived, that they had a town council in their community/kehila consisting of 20 people. So if you were a member of the council you were one of the 20, or a Zwanziger. Checking in Alexander Beider's book of "A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia," here are a few more names, and I haven't exhausted the list:
- ZWEI or ZWEIER a two;
- DREISIGER is a thirty-year old;
- SIEBZIGER is a septuagenarian;
- HUNDERT is 100;
- TAUSEND is 1000.
Some names could have more than one meaning, such as DREIER, which mean a three; a turner, or drayer.
So here's another one that I don't get: SIEBZEHNER -- someone who was a 17-er. Can anyone come up with a reasonable explanation for being one of the 17? (One of a family of 17 kids?, a council of 17? Something to do with the kehila's standards of conduct? something kabbalistic?) I'm at a loss.
How about any other numerical names?
Gmar vechatimah tovah to all!