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Lemiesz - Lemish
Created by Administrator Account in 12/24/2009 9:09:15 AM


Note forwarded to me by Laurence Krupnak

Larry Krupnak, you're amazing!

I would not have commented, until I read your explanation, and yes, I know that lemiesz in Polish stands for that metal part of the plough that cuts the furrow, it is sharpened from time to time, its name in Rusnak/Ukrainian from the Carpathian Mountains is "Lemisz" if written using the latin alphabet, but it sounds as "lemish" in English.

That saying "To forge ploughs from swords" refers really to lemiesz (in Polish).

If it were not for your comment, that light bulb would have never gone off!

Reminds me of my neighbor whose name iz Zaludek, if he didn't tell me that it came from the Slovak zholudek which stands for one's stomach, I would've never surmized that on my own, even though I know the world itself, in Polish that's zholondek but spelled with a lot of diatritics.

... I have a friend at work who goes by the surname of LEMISH. I just wanted to pose a general question to you. During your investigations into umbilico-ancestry, have you ever come across this surname ? ANd if so, is the surname of UKRAINIAN, BYELARUSSIAN, JEWISH or OTHER origin ?

... I realize that this is an inexact question, but I (and my friend) would appreciate any information from yourself or any other list members. -- Andriy

Hello Andriy:

... Thanks for contacting me.

I will offer my knowledge about the surname Lemish, although please note that I am not an expert onomatologist. I am sure other people in the genealogy group may have some insights or specific knowledge. In particular, I will ask Walter Maksimovich (Lemko Vladek) to offer his knowledge and proposals. In addition, a close friend of mine, William Hoffman, is one of the world's finest onomatologist. He is not a member of the Infoukes Genealogy Mailing list, so I will seek his expertise and pass along anything that I can obtain from him.

RE: Lemish

... The surname could have been derived from either an object or a personal trait. A lemish is a ploughshare, that is the part of the moldboard plough that cuts the furrow. The surname could have also be based on the trait of being slow, awkward, or clumsy.

... I have observed the suffix "-ish" most often in surnames of people from Byelorussia and Karpatska Rus', paricularly Uhro-Rus'. You would have to perform genealogical research to determine whether Longwin Lemish and your friend at work are Rusnaks, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Jewish, etc. The surname Lemish also appears in Poland, but it is spelled Lemiesz.

... I consulted Alexander Beider's two monumental works on Jewish Surnames (from the Russian Empire). The surname Lemish/Lemesh was found in the following shtetls and areas: Slutsk, Lyutsin, Sventsyany, Grodno, Dvinsk, and Velizh.

... I have several of William Hoffman's books, and he does not have the suffix "-ish" I'll have to ask him about this!

Lavrentij Krupnak

Note: just by way of clarification, I could add nothing to this answer to the question about "Lemish." The suffix -isz (which sounds like "-ish" in English) is used in Polish, but I could find no really useful info about its meaning or usage. I will keep my eyes open for such info, and will add it to the next revision of my book, whenever that may be. -- Fred Hoffman.

Copyright © 1998 W.F. Hoffman. All rights reserved. Used by permission.



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