This surname of ROTHERT is a German and Ashkenazic Jewish nickname for a person with red hair. The name was originally derived from the Old German word ROT (red). As a Jewish surname it was adopted for the same reason. The name has numerous variant spellings which include ROTHEFOS, ROTH, ROTHER and ROTHFUSE. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. 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. Philip Milton ROTH, born in 1933, is the American novelist from Newark, New Jersey. He attended Bucknell University as an undergraduate and received a master's degree from Chicago University where he taught from 1956 until 1958. His upbringing was Jewish, conventional and lower-middle class, he was an uncompromising, tough-minded writer. His novels include 'The Ghost Writer' (1979), 'Zuckerman Unbound' (1981) and 'The Prague Orgy' (1985). He is married to the actress Claire Bloom.
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