How to tell by someone's last name if they're Jewish - Quora

This page may be out of date. Save your draft before refreshing this
page.Submit any pending changes before refreshing this page.
Hide this message.


Sign In
Jewish Ethnicities and People

** How can you tell by someone's last name if they're Jewish? **

This question isn't at all meant to be offensive. I'm just curious and I'm
obviously too shy to ask the person directly.

-Answer Wiki-

12 Answers
Marc Ettlinger
Marc Ettlinger, a yiddishe boychik.
If I may start with an anecdote to join the conversation with /meyn/

My wife and I went to Buenos Aires and we were amazed at the number of
Jewish names we saw: Weiss, Kline, Goldberg. We knew a lot of Jews had come
here before and during the war, but this many? We soon learned, however,
that these weren't Jews, rather just Germans - these are German names,
after all, the equivalent of White, Small and... well... Goldtown. (Indeed,
these could very well have been descendants of Nazis fleeing Allied

The reason names like /Weiss /and /Klein /are "Jewish" names in the US,
while /Beyer /and /Eisenhower /are not is a matter of happenstance: The
German Jews that came to the US happened to have names like /Weiss/, while
the non-Jewish /Weiss/'s stayed or ended up in Argentina. So, the
stereotypical American Jewish names -- Goldberg, Goldstein, Greenberg,
Greenstein, etc, are a function of most American Jews (but not all) being
Ashkenazi/Eastern European.

(Why Eastern European Jews have the names they do is another story for
another question.)

Still yet, some last names are very much Jewish by design: Cohen, Cohn,
Katz (abbreviation of Cohen Tzedek) are derivative


how do you know a jewish name

© 2005-2018