Spelling alternatives for polish name "Mushke"


My grandmothers mother's name was something like "Mushke" (from what my father remembers from his mother).

I am trying to determine the correct spelling (e.g. for looking up a birth certificate), or any other reasonable spellings / misspellings for this name.

In a recent document I got for my grandmother her mother's name is written (second word in the second row) as either "Możke" or "Mojke" - i tend to believe the first one is the correct one but would like any information or opinions.

Document fragment with name in it

I don't know the meaning of the name either but its a female Jewish name from Poland.


  • Due to repeated requests, here is the full document.
  • Please respect my knowledge of my family and the label on the 4th field:
    • The first word is indeed Josel (יוסל) which is my grand mothers father's name.
    • The middle word is NOT Mojsze (משה) its a female name, either "Możke" or "Mojke" or something similar.
    • Also the first letter of the last name is K not R - i.e. its Kopelewicz which we know to be my grandmother mother's maiden surname.
  • Still looking for some way to confirm the existence of such a name or ideas of where could it came from.

  • Ideas for the meaning of the 8th item on the document would also be appreciated.

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UPDATE 2: @Lennart Regebro suggested to compare the ending of my grandmothers mother's name with the word Zabrze. here are zoomed images, IMHO it proves (hopefully once and for all) that "mojsze" is not an option.

Specifically IMHO it can be seen on the top right of the letter I take to be a "k" that there are two strokes there. IMHO again the way this person writes his K's is by first going "with the flow" starting from the top left down and to the left then partly up (to around the middle of the letter and then going again down to the right leg of the letter and to the next letters adding top right hand of the "K" as part of a second stroke. IHMO this can also be clearly seen in the "K" for "Kopelowicz". All of this leeds me to belive the text says "Mużke". I also accept the possibility that it is nickname for some other name and would love to hear ideas.

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Posted 2013-09-09T07:18:38.160

Reputation: 405

One of ways to interpret a single word is to study how the same hand created other letters. Is there more writing on the same page? Can you post some more samples for comparison? – Fortiter – 2013-09-09T11:24:45.533

Thanks for your suggestion @Fortiter, The entire page has very little additional text with nothing that resembles this letter. anyway as I said I am almost sure it "Możke". I was hoping that someone with polish background could verify that this is indeed a possible name. or maybe explain what does this word mean if it has any meaning. – epeleg – 2013-09-09T13:07:22.573

With full respect to your knowledge of your family, you see many 'k' in the document, as in "ewakuacja" and "Elka" etc, and whatever the middle name is, it has absolutely no k in it. I'm also somewhat doubtful that any female name in Poland would end with anything else than an 'a'. Even today with non-Polish children polish people have trouble with that idea. BUT, it's common with nicknames with a 'k' in it, so "Moshka" could be a nickname for something else. If you compare to ewakuacja and Kopelewicz I would think the 3rd is j and the 5th z. Mojsze is definitely the best guess. – Lennart Regebro – 2013-09-16T15:02:54.793

Oh, and I realized that the current address could be Zabrze, and the "ze" in Zabrze looks very much like the last two letters in the middle name. I know you don't want it to be "Mojsze", but I think it's little doubt that this is what it says. – Lennart Regebro – 2013-09-17T06:31:09.510


Have a look here: http://db.yadvashem.org/names/nameDetails.html?itemId=605252&language=iw#%21prettyPhoto%5Bgallery2%5D/0/ This is a testimonial given by my grandmother about her mother. you can see at the top that it says muszke also from the hebrew spelling on the right it says "מושקה" and the hebrew leter vav (ו) has a dot near it - it means it has the sound of "U". I would consider the option of Mojsze for a second name of her father but as I already stated, its inconsistent both with the name we know for her father (also as seen in this testimony in hebrew again at item 13 which Yosef tsvi).

– epeleg – 2013-09-17T09:04:32.023

The address when the document was filled was indeed Zabrze but when I zoom in (Will post another update with those images) so it was a good idea to compare, IMHO it does not look like the end of my grandmothers mother's name. – epeleg – 2013-09-17T09:21:14.310

@LennartRegebro I added another update based on your observation re: Zabrze. – epeleg – 2013-09-17T12:01:27.383

It looks very much like then end of the middle name, and although I'm no handwriting expert your rationalizations make no sense, and there is no "going with the flow" in writing the k. It's just wishful thinking. There is no chance, no matter how much you want it, that it says Mużke. The second letter is not a u. The second to last letter is not a k. You'll have to find another source for the more exact spelling. @skolima is right, it says Mojsze. I think we can only conclude that this document is not filled in correctly. – Lennart Regebro – 2013-09-17T14:56:46.537

About the end of the words, remember that I'm only talking about the last two letters: "ze". Those look very similar. The s and the r in "sze" and "rze" are of course not similar. – Lennart Regebro – 2013-09-17T15:01:05.917

If it some point it turns out there there was any Mojsze related to that area in the family I would definitely come to apologize. But for now I still insist that this is not the case as I know the names of my grandmothers parents and grandparents (and some of the names in another generation back) and there are no mojszes anywhere there... I do appreciate the idea that its a nickname and also found that the name Mushka was used in Poland by some Chasidic woman and I am investigating that lead as well. – epeleg – 2013-09-18T05:50:26.920

@epeleg: I think you misunderstand. Nobody says that there is any Mojsze related in the family. What we say is that the middle name on that form is "Mojsze". These are two wildly different things. From the other paper above there is little doubt that your grandmothers first name was Muszke. The question is then why the paper in your question says "Mojsze", and I believe skolima answered that more than a week ago. If you have further questions, let is continue this discussion in chat

– Lennart Regebro – 2013-09-18T08:37:37.970

@LennartRegebro sorry for the late response. I tried the link you sent and its not active any more. – epeleg – 2013-09-29T09:17:41.927

There is always this chat: http://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/6003/roots

– Lennart Regebro – 2013-09-29T14:11:49.367

so I will be at that chat room – epeleg – 2013-09-30T07:02:42.907



The document is a registration card issued by Central Committee of Polish Jews - Division of Records and Statistics.

Line 1 gives the last name of the person (although both are given on this line), in this case Elka Fleker;

Line 2 is supposed to be the first name;

Line 3 is the birthdate and location - only the year 1914 and town appears to be Mir;

Line 4 gives the parents names -- first name of the father and first and maiden name of the mother which appears to me to be Josel and Mojne Kopelewicz;

Line 5 gives the current address since 1 September 1939 which looks like Mir;

Line 6 gives changes of address during the war - which appears to be 1941 Nowosybirsk

Line 7 gives the present address -- Zabrze

Line 8 is education which appears to me to be Self-educated


Posted 2013-09-09T07:18:38.160

Reputation: 778

yes, everything you wrote here seems to be exact other then the point of the spelling of my grandmothers name (Line 4) which should end with "ke" not "ne"... We just know that... since asking this Q I have also learned of other women with the saצe name [ e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaya_Mushka_Schneerson ] – epeleg – 2014-04-27T08:52:00.407

In my experience, there can be a tenuous relationship between what is actually written on the document and the information that we have been given. – C R – 2014-04-27T12:36:06.767

One other possibility that comes to mind is that instead of Elka's mother's first name they put the name of Elka's mother's father. Then it would be clear why the name looks very similar to Mojsze. – C R – 2014-04-27T18:41:16.513


"Mojsze" was a common male Jewish name in Poland. The field here is labeled "father's name, mother's name and maiden surname", but it seems to me as if someone has mis-filed this form, as the full text reads "Josel (Josef?) Mojsze Ropelewicz" which is definitely a male name. Could you perhaps show the full scan of the document?


Posted 2013-09-09T07:18:38.160

Reputation: 586

2"Josel" is indeed an uncommon variant of the Hebrew name "יוסף" ("Yosef") used in Poland in Lithuania (there often as "Joselis" to have the right ending for a male noun), but also elsewhere in central Europe. – Martin Sojka – 2013-09-09T19:26:26.140


Based on your grandmother's testimonial referring to מושקה, I would assume the name is Moshe/Moses, and that he was known as Moshiko (little Moshe) or a similar Yiddish alternative.


Posted 2013-09-09T07:18:38.160

Reputation: 336