The surname LIPSKY has various derivations, which include a pet form of Philip and other Germanic personal names, a habitation name from the duchy of Lippe and a topographic name for someone living on the banks of the river Lippe in Westphalia, which is of uncertain etymology. It is extremely ancient, being recorded by the Roman historian Tacitus in the form Lupia. Variant spellings include LIPSCHUTZ, LIFSCHUTZ, LIVSHITS, LIFCHIZ, LIPPE, LIPA, LIPSIUS, LIPS, LIPEN, LIPGEN, LIPKA and LIEPE. The name is also an Ashkenazic Jewish habitation name from LEOBSCHUTZ in Upper Silesia or LIEVESCHITZ in Bohemia. Surnames which were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have the same meaning in many languages. The court of Charlemagne (Charles the Great, king of the Franks (742-814) was Christian and Latin speaking). The vernacular was the Frankish dialect of Old High German, and the personal names in use were Germanic and vernacular. These names were adopted in many parts of northwest Europe, particularly among the noble ruling classes. Hereditary surnames were found in Germany in the second half of the 12th century - a little later than in England and France. It was about the 16th century that they became stabilized. Because of the close relationship between the English and German languages, some Germans are able to transform their names to the English form just by dropping a single letter. Many Germans have re-spelt their names in America. A great number of immigrants from Germany settled in Pennsylvania. After the start of the first World War, Germans in great numbers Anglicized their names in an effort to remove all doubt as to their patriotism. Afterwards some changed back, and then during World War II the problem became acute once more, and the changing started all over again, although not with as much intensity. A notable member of this name was JUSTUS LIPSIUS (1547-1606) a Flemish humanist, born in Issche, near Brussels. Professor of classics at Jena, Leiden and Louvain he was successively Catholic, Lutheran, Calvinist and once more Catholic, reflecting the turbulent religious climate of the times. He latinized his name from JOSET LIPS, a common practice amongst scholars with an international reputation.
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