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?