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Updated June 9, 2019

Family name origins & meanings

  • Jewish (Ashkenazic) : ornamental name from German or Polish Babel ‘Babylon’ (which was named with the Assyrian elements bāb ‘gate’ + ilu ‘god’). The Jewish people were held in captivity in Babylon from 597 to about 538 bc, and the name was sometimes adopted with reference to being an oppressed minority in a foreign culture.
  • French : from a medieval personal name bestowed in honor of St. Babylas, a 3rd-century Christian patriarch of Antioch, whose name is of uncertain origin.
  • German : variant of the personal name Babo, a name developed from baby talk, also a pet form of Paul.

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