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Updated June 9, 2019

Family name origins & meanings

  • German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) : regional name from (Lower) Saxony, German (Nieder-)Sachsen in northern Germany. The region is called after the Germanic tribe which settled there in Roman times and was named from a Germanic word which is preserved in Old Saxon, Old High German sahs ‘knife’, ‘sword’. (The area in central Germany named Sachsen was named after the line of princes who had the title to the northern territories in 1422.)
  • Jewish (eastern Ashkenazic) : name adopted in memory of persecuted forebears, an acronym of the Hebrew phrase Zera Qodesh SHemo ‘his name is of the seed of holiness’.

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