Is this of Hebrew origin only
This has been my married name for forty four years. I am divorcing the man finally but I love it’s Hebrew origins. Something my husbands family strongly denied. They said it was of Swiss origin and related to William Tell. My husband s grandfather converted from Protestant to Catholic when the grandmother insisted. I think he was Jewish and trying to disguise his Semitic background. My husbands family would foam at the mouth if I even suggested it had Hebrew origins. It is a first and last name in Israel . It means dew especially in the morning.a
Tags:  Hebrew
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Tal indeed means dew in Hebrew. The h behind the a doesn't make much sense, though. However, with names you get a lot of varieties.T-A-L, three letters only. This leaves a lot of room to interpretation and speculation. The German word Tal means valley (cf. dell), and this is where Switzerland comes in. I am not sure about the origin of Wilhelm Tell's last name; I suppose it's from some DIET name (people), but it might as well stem from Tal.I am sure you will find associations of the kind in many languages.You will have to ask: Where does the family come from? Jewish or Swiss? Other?
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If it's Swiss it would seem to be a local variant (with characteristic change from Standard German D to Schwiizertüütsch T)of a topographic name from Northern Germany - Dahl. "Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, North German, and Jewish (Ashkenazic): from any of the medieval and modern forms of Germanic dala-, Old Norse dalr, ‘valley’. Throughout Norway and elsewhere in Scandinavia this is a common farm name. In some cases it is a habitational name from places in Germany named Dahl or Dahle, from the same word. As a Jewish family name this is a habitational name or an ornamental adoption."
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University PressNote that in Germany and Denmark it does NOT mean valley. In Denmark it refers to any low-lying area, in Northern Germany it seems to have been borrowed from Low German in the sense of "manor" (presumably from its use in farm names)
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I own four books on Germans surnames (Bahlow, Naumann, Gottschald and Kohlheim) and they all refer to "Tal". Now Tal is the German word for valley, but it can mean any kind of depression, not neccessarily a valley as we might envisage.I haven't been able to find any connection to "manor" - where did you take that from?
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My mistake based on a reference to Hagen-Dahl. They are indeed valleys, or in valleys, although the usual toponym in the area now is -tal, occasionally -thal. One is even Dahl-Friedrichsthal. They tend to associated with a -bach (or in English beck).
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Sorry, I was talkung about DAHL, not TAHLsee above
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Thank you so much for all your insights into Tahl. I’m in an acrimonious divorce (on his side) over 44 yrs. In Oregon a woman can revert to her maiden name for free. In my case that would be Bossen. Coming to the end of this trial by fire and TRO’s and have to choose soon. His name as he wears it sickens me but as I study Hebrew I love the name in the context of the early morning dew. Yes the male line were Jews in deep denial.
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I have to say, it seems extremely rare for a European Jewish family to have a Hebrew surname. Aside from Cohen, I can't think of any. Surnames in the European tradition were given by one's neighbours and acquaintances, and although a few words crossed into the vernacular, Hebrew was largely a liturgical language in both Europe and Palestine, and so surnames of European Jews are usually coined from the local language - German, French, Slovakian, Ukrainian etc. — Rothschild, Dreyfus, Goldstein, Hamarnick. There are of course patronymics based on Hebrew first names, but these may also be used by non-Jews, after all Hebrew names are popular among Christian communities as well. The majority of "Hebrew" surnames like Tal are relatively recent, having their origin in the Zionist movement of the 20th Century and the revival of the Hebrew language as a modern vernacular. It's far more likely that a Hebrew name Tal has a "hidden" past as the Swiss-German surname Tahl.
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