What are Jewish sounding names that come from various occupations and locations? Please give the "rough" translation and background too.

  • 2
    @Moshe What do you mean by "occupations and locations"? Are you asking for any and all Jewish names, their meanings and origins?
    – WAF
    Dec 26, 2010 at 4:14
  • See also judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/12527.
    – msh210
    Dec 22, 2011 at 22:56
  • 1
    you mean surname correct?
    – Seth J
    Feb 29, 2012 at 23:48

3 Answers 3


Kohen, Cohen, Coen, Katz etc.= families of kohanim

Levi, Levy, Weill, Segal = families of leviyim

  • 1
    It is said that Katz is an acronym for Kohen Tzedek and Segel for Segan Leviim.
    – YDK
    Dec 26, 2010 at 6:04
  • @YDK Is there evidence of those names being acronyms?
    – cube
    Dec 26, 2010 at 14:00
  • 2
    cube, yes. There are many manuscripts and early printed seforim in which both these names appear and there is a " in between the kof and tzadi of Katz, as well as between the gimel and lamed of Segal. These clearly indicates that they are acronyms. One example would be the seforim of the Shach, in which, although he was known by the last name Katz, he is called "Kohein Tzedek. e.g hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=45712&pgnum=1
    – Yahu
    Dec 27, 2010 at 1:45
  • 1
    And then see here hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=41340&pgnum=1
    – Yahu
    Dec 27, 2010 at 1:46
  • Notice that only 9 years later Kohein Tzedek has become Katz. The Salonika print is in Tav Kuf Samech Alef and the Lvov print is in Tav Kuf Ayin.
    – Yahu
    Dec 27, 2010 at 1:48

Kramer = storekeeper

Wasserman = water carrier

Kentof = Kohain Tov

Klein = small

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