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Posted: 22 October 2007 08:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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In my high school was a kid whose last name was “Schoon”, pronounced skoon.

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Posted: 22 October 2007 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Keira Knightley had to change the spelling of her name from Kiera because leftpondians kept pronouncing it “keye-ra” ...

Don’t know why, but slightly odd things seem to have happened to the spelling of some Irish surnames as they crossed the pond - Kelly gained an “e” (Kelly is 40 times commoner in the UK than Kelley) and Callaghan lost its “g” ...

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Posted: 22 October 2007 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Schnieder Schroedinger Schroeder ... SH SH SH

I still think that part of the whole issue may well be the fact that the names Myridion mentions are German and the original pronunciation is already similar to Sh-. This is also what LH was pointing out.

I don’t know how this will have worked over the centuries, but from the examples you are bringing up, as far as the sounds are concerned, it looks like the Dutch Sch- with its guttural -ch- was likely to become Sk- whereas the German Sch- changed to Sh-.

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Posted: 22 October 2007 09:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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The surname of one of my schoolfriends was Schunselaar, pronounced Skoonselahr.  Her father was Dutch.

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Posted: 22 October 2007 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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my name is shush------ Fleischer.

From Russ(shush)ia!

In 1776 Empress somebody or other insisted that all JEWS HAD TO TAKE Germanized last names based on their occupations.

My Great-Grandfather was a butcher in a shtetl (shush) in The Ukraine.

Yes!  Just 4 generations back to 1776

[ Edited: 22 October 2007 10:47 AM by alanabbott ]
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Posted: 22 October 2007 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I believe the year was 1809, and all Jews had to take fixed, inheritable surnames (of Yiddish or Russian origin and of their own choosing), so they could be tracked for taxation and other purposes.

[Addendum: After looking around, it seems it is more complicated than I remembered (history always is). Different parts of the Russian Empire had different decrees (ukases) passed. The Austrian, Napoleonic, and Prussian Empires also got into the act. See the article in the first edition of the Encyclopedia Judaica and this genealogical site have some more information. Some names could be chosen, but from a fixed list, and others had arbitrary names forcibly given to them.]

[ Edited: 22 October 2007 02:00 PM by jheem ]
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Posted: 22 October 2007 01:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Thank you, jheem, for some fascinating links, and for leading me to this one about Jewish names.  I was also interested to learn that the phrase “beyond the pale” doesn’t relate to the region known as The Pale, but is from an Anglo-Norman word, pal, stake, which is also linked to “palisade”.

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Posted: 22 October 2007 02:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Yes, it’s interesting.  I noted after I saw your post that “Beyond the Pale” is on the Big List.

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Posted: 23 October 2007 04:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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jheem - 22 October 2007 11:04 AM

I believe the year was 1809, and all Jews had to take fixed, inheritable surnames (of Yiddish or Russian origin and of their own choosing), so they could be tracked for taxation and other purposes.

[Addendum: After looking around, it seems it is more complicated than I remembered (history always is). Different parts of the Russian Empire had different decrees (ukases) passed. The Austrian, Napoleonic, and Prussian Empires also got into the act. See the article in the first edition of the Encyclopedia Judaica and this genealogical site have some more information. Some names could be chosen, but from a fixed list, and others had arbitrary names forcibly given to them.]

Was that just for Jewish people - and didn’t they have inheritable surnames before that time? It seems very late and leads me to wonder when various groups of people/nationalities began to use surnames and when they became a legal necessity. there’s got to be a website about all this somewhere.

(It also makes me wonder if Sikh families in Britain have to use their family name for legal purposes, cause most of the Sikh families I know use ‘Singh’ as their surname and I didn’t realise it wasn’t a family name until one man, having fallen out with the Sikh community, insisted that his kids were know by their family name (’Digwa’) instead of ‘Singh’ from then on - he also shaved his beard and had his sons’ hair cut)

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Posted: 23 October 2007 04:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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and didn’t they have inheritable surnames before that time? It seems very late and leads me to wonder when various groups of people/nationalities began to use surnames and when they became a legal necessity

The tradition was for simple patronymics, N1 son of N2, though another reference mentioned that some affluent Jewish families adopted surnames as early as the 11th century in Western Europe. Most Tamilians in India still use a system of simple patronymics, N1 N2, though some have added family names.

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Posted: 23 October 2007 05:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I was also interested to learn that the phrase “beyond the pale” doesn’t relate to the region known as The Pale, but is from an Anglo-Norman word, pal, stake, which is also linked to “palisade”.

Well, it relates to it in that the Pale (of Settlement) is a specialized use of the same word, but as the Big List says, “The phrase beyond the pale is not from any of these specific senses, but rather from the general one of boundary or limit.”

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