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Type Surname (from occupation)
Usage German, Jewish
Pronounced Pron. /ˈwaɪn.stɑk/(English)  [key·simplify]

Meaning & History

English variant of the German surname Wenstock, an occupational name for a producer or seller of wine, from German Weinstock "grapevine" (also compare Wein).

The name was also adopted by Ashkenazic Jews, largely recollecting the prominence of wine in the Jewish scriptures and its use 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 Israel ('they shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine', Jeremiah 6:9), but since wine is mentioned over 900 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 bearer was Arnold Weinstock, Baron Weinstock of Bowden (1924-2002), an English industrial executive.
Added 9/8/2011 by anonymous
Edited 12/21/2023 by SeaHorse15