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MIYIR Origin of surname


Surnames derive from one of many different origins. Sometimes there may be more than one explanation for the same name. This family name is a patronymic surname derived from a male ancestor's personal name, in this case of biblical origin.

Miyir, like the Yiddish Meyer, is a form of the German Mayer, literally "farmer" in German, however as a Jewish family name, it is a form of the Hebrew male personal name Meir. In talmudic times, people credited with bringing light or intellectual clarity to their subject were given the name Meir (Hebrew for "illuminates or radiates" or "one who sheds light"). A 2nd century, disciple of Rabbi Akiva, believed to have been named Mesha or Nehorai (the Aramaic forms), was known as Rabbi Meir because of his keenness in shedding light on the Halacha (the Jewish code of law). Associated Jewish family names are Yair ("will illuminate") and the Aramaic Nehorai ("light") or their variants and patronymics. Similarly, the names Uri and Shraga (literally "fire"). Meir is documented as a Jewish family name in Arles, France, in the 13th century. It appears as Meiger and Meyger in the 14th century in Strassbourg, as Meyr in 15th century France, as Maier in Germany in the 18th century. Other variants include May in Germany and Poland, Major in Turkey, both in the 16th century, Mayer in France and Germany, and M'riro and Merito in Morocco. Named for their forefathers, families were called Meyerson, Meyerovitch, Meyrowitz, Merovic and Ben-Meir, all meaning "son of Meir". In 1683 Meyer is documented in Frankfurt am Main with Moses Meyer.
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Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
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