berg vs. burg

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, Jul 3, 2020.

  1. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Many surnames end in berg (mountain). Stein (stone), Weiss (white), Gold, etc. The only name (I am aware of) that ends in burg (city) is Ginsburg. Ginsberg is also a name. What does Gins mean here? How is there are the two names? Are there any other surnames with burg?
     
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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  5. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Hamburg, Salzburg, Johannesburg, to name 3 others.

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    Burgh is a closely related term and far more common in the UK (e.g. Edinburgh), although Burg in English I believe was a dialect variant of Burgh... but ultimately all coming from the old German. In the UK it also led to the -bury variant (e.g. Canterbury, Banbury, Newbury etc).
     
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  7. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    I am well aware of the fact that burg appears in place names. My question was about surnames of people. From the previous post it appears that Ginsburg is derived from a place name.
     
  8. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    I went to school with a fellow named Brandenburg
     
  9. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Brandenburg (like Brandenburg gate) is a place name in Germany.
     
  10. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    and
    many who came to this country used the place names from whence they came as their surnames.
    our local dnr ranger's name is Billerbeck----

    (perhaps that was once preceded with "von" ?)
     
  11. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Seems more likely that a person would be named after a town than a mountain, doesn't it?
     
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Both are places from which one can hail.
     
  13. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Ah, my apologies. Anyhoo - Hapsburg/Habsburg is probably the most famous example. Then there's Friedburg, Hamburg, Rodenburg... all German, all based on cities, I believe.
     
  14. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Then there is also the French bourg, used to mean a town or even the centre of a village, hence bourgeois, etc.

    Serge Gainsbourg, Strasbourg.......
     
  15. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

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    Don't forget the Star Trek Borg

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  16. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    True, but cities tend to be more commonly used as names. London is a more common name than Matterhorn.

    If a person is "from" a place, cities tend to be more habitable places than moutains.
     
  17. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm.... Rodenbouough... Roddenbury... Roddenberry?
     
  18. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Among Jews, names ending in berg (like mine) are a lot more common than those ending in burg.
     
  19. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I knew a Dutchman whose surname was Logtenberg, but pronounced Lochtenberech, in the Dutch fashion. This gave me an insight into why the city of my birth, Edinburgh is pronounced Edinbrer.
     
  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I thought it was "Ed'nbruh".
     
  21. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Well they're about the same.
     
  22. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    We tend to pronounce -borough as -bruh... so it's quite common for people to misspell it as Edinborough. Marlborough is "Marlbruh", for example.
     
  23. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    You guys are always swimming upstream, aren't you?

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