Diminutives, Yiddish - Male
Slide 31 of 94
Slide 31

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Sometimes a diminutive is made by adding a suffix. Just as Joey means "little Joe", so can Moshe become Moshka, Ber become Berel or Berka or Bertsha, Leib become Leibish or Leibke or Leibel, Hirsh become Hirshel or Hirshka, etc. Depending on the region, diminutive suffixes may be formed with -l, -k or something else. The suffix -ish was popular in Galicia, Hungary and Romania. The introduction to Alexander Beider's A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire describes which suffixes were common in which regions.