The Surname "Briefman"
Would you mind adding my last name Briefman to your database? It's of Jewish origin, and I can't say for sure, but its meaning most likely means "brief man" as in someone who is brief with talking.
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Your surname is probably of Dutch origin, as "brief" means 'letter' and "man" means 'man' in Dutch. It's also possible that your surname is of German origin, then the original variant should've been spelled Briefmann.

I think that 'briefman' is probably a nickname for a postman.


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Here's another possibility from page 153 of “A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire,” by Alexander Beider, published in 1993. The surname BRIFMAN is derived from BRJF, an acronymic surname---I believe the Jews are the only ethnic group to use that type of name.

The BR designates "Ben Rabbi" and the JF designates the initials of the rabbi, whose actual name is unknown to the author (Beider).

Beider has a few pages of bibliography, including "Some Acronymic Surnames," by J[oshua] H. Neumann. in> Revue Internationale d'Onomastique, vol. 17 (1965) p. 267-74.

170 acronymic surnames (including roman transliteration) are said to be listed in the Hebrew language article by Eliezer S. Rabinovitz, in the periodical Reshumot, vol. 5 (1927/28) p. 295-323 and vol. 6 (1930) p. 324-358. Reshumot was published in Tel-Aviv.

Reg Niles
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