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Is 'Punch' Jewish?

 
 
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 08:47 am
Yesterday I met up with my old college professor for a coffee. He has just become a grandfather for the third time, his son wants to call his daughter Lucy Punch. Now the prof has no problem with Lucy, but thinks Punch is a bit weird, and may cause her to be bullied at school. When he asked why, he was told that she has a Jewish grandmother, and that Punch is a Jewish name. Neither of us have found any evidence of this scouring the internet, in fact if you type Puch and Jew or Jewish on google you just get a load of rather repulsive anti-semitic websites. Has anyone heard of anyone, Jewish or otherwise called 'Punch,' other than Mr. Punch from Punch and Judy?
 
View best answer, chosen by izzythepush
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 09:18 am
@izzythepush,
http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Punch

it could well have been the surname of a Jewish family - all sorts of family names get adopted/modified as people travel

1. why does it matter?
2. why does old college professor have anything to say about it?
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 09:21 am
@ehBeth,
1)It's more curiosity than anything else.
2) She is his granddaughter, and he's concerned with a name like Punch she may be bullied.
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 09:24 am
@izzythepush,
Quote:
Yesterday I met up with my old college professor for a coffee. He has just become a grandfather for the third time, his son wants to call his daughter Lucy Punch. Now the prof has no problem with Lucy, but thinks Punch is a bit weird, and may cause her to be bullied at school. When he asked why, he was told that she has a Jewish grandmother, and that Punch is a Jewish name. Neither of us have found any evidence of this scouring the internet, in fact if you type Puch and Jew or Jewish on google you just get a load of rather repulsive anti-semitic websites. Has anyone heard of anyone, Jewish or otherwise called 'Punch,' other than Mr. Punch from Punch and Judy?


So many things to be addressed here.
The starting space is of course a surname database search. What I located first was: http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Punch
it doesn't seem to have a religious direction, at least not directly.
Next we have: http://www.americansurnames.us/surname/PUNCH/origin which states the name is of English origin and it's religious attachment is Christian.

Next, we tried the old method. I tried Rabbi Punch and found nothing. Then I attempted Reverend Punch and found something. Actually a few somethings.
First up: http://www.rosychurch.org/index.php?page=church-history Scroll down the page and in the section listed as The Restoration, you will read about a Baptist preacher by the name of L. David Punch.

Now, here's the oddity. When I put in Reverend Punch, one hit was, ta-da! your former Professor's soon to be granddaughter name- Lucy Punch. http://www.contactmusic.com/news/lucy-punch-was-awful-reverend-at-pals-wedding_1226147
apparently she is a British actress who became ordained to officiate at the wedding of 2 friends. http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/entertainment/Lucy+Punch-95653.html

The real question here is does the professor believe that the child having a name of Jewish origin would cause the child to be bullied or is it the name itself?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 09:29 am
There was also an old magazine named Punch - just to confuse things.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 09:31 am
do the jews play hockey?

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_B5_zqptngDA/SrLf1YJUAfI/AAAAAAAABfA/sDlM9IYG1Ms/s400/george-imlach-punch.jpg
George "Punch" Imlach (March 15, 1918 – December 1, 1987), was an NHL coach and general manager.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 09:33 am
@Sturgis,
Thank you Sturgis. As his granddaughter is a few days old it can't be the same Lucy, and Punch would be a middle name, not the surname, which I've not mentioned.

I think his main concern is that knowing what kids are like, if you tell them your name is Punch they may use it as an excuse to punch you.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 09:37 am
@izzythepush,
There is an obvious visual relationship between images of Fagin and those of Punch. That is the only possibility of anti-semitic linkage in my opinion.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 09:51 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:
I think his main concern is that knowing what kids are like, if you tell them your name is Punch they may use it as an excuse to punch you.


That makes much more sense than the Jewish thing.

Still, first and last names are far more commonly used than middle names. I purposely gave my daughter a weird middle name as her first name is somewhat conventional, and I wanted her to have the option to choose between them as her personality developed (we name them when they're newborns but who knows how they'll turn out!!).

Is there a reason that "Punch" is being considered for the middle name? An old family name on one side (not the grandfather's side), something like that?
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  0  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 09:58 am
@izzythepush,
How about advising the parents to use Punch as a nickname or at least a middle name for the child?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 09:59 am
This is from Wikipedia, and confirmed what i seemed to have recalled:

Quote:
The Punch and Judy show has roots in the 16th-century Italian commedia dell'arte. The figure of Punch derives from the Neapolitan stock character of Pulcinella, which was anglicised to Punchinello. He is a manifestation of the Lord of Misrule and Trickster figures of deep-rooted mythologies. Punch's wife was originally called "Joan."

The figure who later became Mr. Punch made his first recorded appearance in England in May 9, 1662, which is traditionally reckoned as Punch's UK birthday. The diarist Samuel Pepys observed a marionette show featuring an early version of the Punch character in Covent Garden in London. It was performed by an Italian puppet showman, Pietro Gimonde, a.k.a. "Signor Bologna." Pepys described the event in his diary as "an Italian puppet play, that is within the rails there, which is very pretty."


It's obviously Italian, and with not the slightest reference to Jews or Judaism. Does your friend have an unhealthy obsession with Jews? Not to be rude to you personally, but England has an ugly anti-semitic history.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:08 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

It's obviously Italian, and with not the slightest reference to Jews or Judaism. Does your friend have an unhealthy obsession with Jews? Not to be rude to you personally, but England has an ugly anti-semitic history.


No, he's not at all anti-semitic, he taught Norman Mailer and Saul Bellow amongst others, and I've never heard anything remotely anti-semitic. He was surprised to hear Punch as a proposed middle name, she's still just a few days old old remember, and could end up being called something else. When he asked why, he was told that Punch was Jewish, and as you all seem to be saying, there's nothing that would indicate it is Jewish. His main concern is that his granddaughter would get punched because of it.

England's anti-semitic history may be ugly, but it is history. I don't think it's much worse than other European countries, and was considerably less ugly than mainland Europe during WW2.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:13 am
@izzythepush,
But how often do middle names get used in England? And in school? I don't remember middle names being used at all while growing up and going to public school here in the US.

So how would most students know what the child's middle name is unless there are duplicate Lucy _____ (same last name) in the same class and the distinguishing label for the teacher is their middle name? Just don't have the teachers call out her middle name on a daily basis and if the child was forewarned, she should only tell her middle name to close friends.

And curious: how old is this professor if he TAUGHT Norman Mailer and Saul Bellow?
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:19 am
@tsarstepan,
Even when there are duplicates, here anyway it's the last name (or at least initial) that is pressed into service. (Lucy H and Lucy D.)

When the initials are the same (that's happened sometimes!), the whole last name is used. In practice the whole name is run together, so it's Lucydonner and Lucydavis.

I won't say that middle names never come up, but it's rare, and usually volunteered.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:22 am
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:

And curious: how old is this professor if he TAUGHT Norman Mailer and Saul Bellow?


He taught me Norman Mailer and Saul Bellow.
Region Philbis
 
  3  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:22 am
@sozobe,

if your mother calls you by your first, middle and last name, you are in big trouble...
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:24 am
@izzythepush,
Everybody's anti-semitic history among European nations (in which i include North and South America) is ugly. I wasn't trying to single out Angle-land. The plot thickens (and threatens to boil over). Who told him it is Jewish? What are their attitudes towards Jews?
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:24 am
@izzythepush,
He could have been a vampire professor. Razz
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:24 am
@tsarstepan,
I used my middle name. It was my first name which didn't get used, and which i didn't want my classmates to know.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:26 am
@sozobe,
My class all through school was plagued with Lindas. Just for starters, there were Linda Archer, Linda Buffington and Linda Carter--there were others, too. Linda A, Linda B and Linda C were so routinely used that they might as well have been those girls given names.
0 Replies
 
 

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