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Pronounced Pron. Wine-stock  [key]

Meaning & History

This surname of WEINSTOCK is the English variant of the German surname WENSTOCK, an occupational name for a producer or seller of wine, derived originally from the Old German WEIN. The name was also adopted by Ashkenazic Jews, largely recollecting the prominence of wine in the Jewish Scriptures and its used in Jewish ceremonies. It has been suggested that the surname has been adopted because of the symbolic association of the vine with the Hebrew personal name ISREAL ('they shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine) Jeremiah. 6:9, but since wine is mentioned over nine hundred times in the Jewish scriptures it is almost impossible to explain which reference there is to this name. The name has spread throughout Europe in many forms which include WEINER, WEINMANN, WEINERMAN, WAINNERMAN, WEINSCHTOCK and WAINSHTOK. When traditional Jews were forced to take family names by the local bureaucracy, it was an obligation imposed from outside traditional society, and people often took the names playfully and let their imaginations run wild by choosing names which corresponded to nothing real in their world. No one alive today can remember the times when Jews took or were given family names (for most Ashkenazim this was the end of the 18th century or the beginning of the 19th) although many remember names being changed after emigration to other countries, such as the United States and Israel in recent years. A notable member of the name was Arnold WEINSTOCK, baron WEINSTOCK of BOWDEN, born in 1924. He is the English industrial executive, from London, England. He worked at the Admiralty from 1939 until 1945, and was engaged in finance and property development. He entered the radio and allied industries, and joined GEC in 1961 becoming managing director in 1963. Since then he has developed greatly the power and influence of the company through a series of 'take-overs'. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.

Added 9/8/2011 by anonymous