Dictionaries of Name Origins and Meanings


Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland. Teaneck, NJ: Avotaynu, 1996. (TE, JHC)
A compilation of more than 32,000 Jewish surnames with origins in the part of the Russian Empire known as the “Kingdom of Poland”.

Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Ashkenazic Given Names: Their Origins, Structure, Pronunciation, and Migrations. Bergenfield, NJ: Avotaynu, 2001.
More than 15,000 given names have their origins in 735 root names. These lists include detailed descriptions of the origin of the names and a list of variant and derivative names.



Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Bergenfield, NJ: Avotaynu, 2004. (TE, JHC)
Historical information on the Galician region from the 14th century and the meaning and incidence of more than 25,000 Jewish surnames there.



Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire. Rev. ed. Bergenfield, NJ: Avotaynu, 2008. 2 vols. (TE)
A compilation of 74,000 Jewish surnames from the Russian Pale of Settlement showing etymology, variants, and where within the Russian Empire the name originated.
Vol. 1: Introduction and dictionary.   Vol. 2: Listing of surnames by the Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex System.


Beider, Alexander. Handbook of Ashkenazic Given Names and their Variants. Bergenfield, NJ: Avotaynu, 2009. (TE)
Updated and abbreviated version of Beider’s, “A Dictionary of Ashkenazic Given Names.”



dicionarioFaiguenboim, Guilherme, Paulo Valadares and Anna Rosa Campagnano.  Dictionary of Sephardic Surnames. 2nd ed. Bergenfield, N.J.: Avotaynu, 2003. (TE)
A compilation of 17,000 surnames that were used by Jews who lived in Spain and Portugal for 15 centuries and later spread across the world as Sephardim and Conversos. There is also a lengthy summary of Sephardic history and a linguistic essay about Sephardic names.


Feldblyum, Boris. Russian-Jewish Given Names: Their Origins and Variants. Teaneck, NJ: Avotaynu, 1998. (TE)

Gorr, Rabbi Shmuel. Jewish Personal Names: Their Origin, Derivation and Diminutive Forms. Bergenfield, NJ: Avotaynu, 1992. (TE)

Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German-Jewish Surnames. Bergenfield, NJ: Avotaynu, 2005. (TE, JHC)
This is the equivalent for German names of the Alexander Beider books on Russia, Poland and Galicia. It gives more than 13,000 surnames from the area that was pre-World War I Germany, including the etymology, alternative names and geographical incidence of each name.

Tagger, Mathilde A. Dictionary of Bulgarian Jewish Surnames. New Haven: Avotyanu, 2014. (TE)


Tagger, Mathilde A. Dictionary of Sephardic Given Names. New Haven: Avotaynu, 2015. (TE)