The Western Georgian family name Ashkinadze consists of at least two morphemes, the last of which (-ძე = -dze in romanization) is the Georgian for ‘son’.

A Georgian trained in linguistics told me in the 1980s that the stem does NOT mean ‘Ashkenazi’, but I have forgotten his explanation of the stem, though I have a vague recollection that it is the name of an occupation or a profession.

  • 4
    Why do you think it doesn't derive from Ashkenazi? Purely because the last syllable looks like a morpheme also found in other names?
    – Cairnarvon
    Jan 16 at 16:15
  • A native speaker of Georgian with training in Georgian linguistics told me years ago that this family name has nothing t o do with Ashkenazic Jews, but I have now forgotten the explanation he gave me.
    – Martin
    Jan 17 at 5:44
  • This is a heavy over-generalisation, but I’ve found that what many Georgian linguists say about etymologies that relate to Georgian should often be taken with a pinch of salt. At some point, there must have been a school of linguistics in Georgia that went out of its way to purge the concept of loan words in Georgian and instead make everything in every other language a loan from Georgian – at least I’ve come across too many Georgian linguists who claim etymologies of that nature for it to be simple coincidence. Jan 18 at 23:12

Even if you uppercase something you still need to support your claim with some proof, because otherwise one can come up with a refutation similar in it's nature, like this one:

No, it DOES have something to do with Ashkenazi.

See, it's not that convincing per se, so I'll provide some explanation.

Jews have a long-documented history of adopting same name patterns as the community they are leaving in. That's why we have a lot of German-like (Tittenstein, for instance), Slavic-like (for instance, Rabinovich) and Luthuanian-like (as Margoulis) last names.

Jews are no strangers for Caucasus in general and for Georgia in particular. It's actually quite complicated because, generally speaking, Georgian jews in the majority are not Ashkenazis, but still, there were Georgian Ashkenazis as well.

Some actual people with this last name are actually of a Jewish origin, like, for instance:

  • Liya Efimovna Ashkinadze (bio in Russian)
  • Esther Ashkinadze (link in Russian/German)
  • Grigory Ashkinadze (link in Russian)

Apart from that (but this should be investigated) the -dze ending can be just mutated ending of si/zi for jews of non-Georgian origin.

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