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Horen Coat of Arms / Horen Family Crest

Horen Coat of Arms / Horen Family Crest

The surname of HOREN is an Ashkenazic Jewish altered form of the name HORN, under Russian influence. Russia has no H and and alters H in borrowed words to G. In Israel the name has been reinterpreted as being from the Hebrew GOREN, meaning 'threshing floor'. It was also an occupational name for someone who made small articles such as combs, spoons, and window lights out of horn. Horn was a commonly used material in the Middle Ages when glass was for most people prohibitively expensive and plastics, of course, had not yet been invented. It was also an occupational name for someone who played the musical instrument, which was made from the actual horn of an animal. This was used not only in recreation and entertainment, but also as a signal. It was a topographic name for someone who lived by a horn-shaped spur of a hill or tongue of land in a bend of a river, or a habitation name from any of the places named with this word. Occasionally the name was used as a nickname of uncertain application, perhaps referring to some feature of a person's character, or else used to refer to a cuckolded husband. The name was adopted by Ashkenazic Jews, referring to the ram's horn (Hebrew SHOFAR) which is blown in the Synagogue during various ceremonies. The name has spread throughout Europe and into the United States in many forms, which include HORNE, HORNE, HORNOR, ATHORNE, HORNIKER, Van den HOORN, HORNLEIN and ORENSTEIN, to name but a few. A notable member of the name is Charles Henry GOREN (1901- ) the American bridge expert and author, born in Philadelphia. He practiced law in Philadelphia until 1936, when he abandoned law to concentrate on bridge. As a masterful player, he put his knowledge into print with numerous books, and contributed a daily newpaper column, syndicated in the United States. When traditional Jews were forced to take family names by the local bureaucracy, it was an obligation imposed from outside traditional society, and people often took the names playfully and let their imaginations run wild by choosing names which corresponded to nothing real in their world. No one alive today can remember the times when Jews took or were given family names (for most Ashkenazim this was the end of the 18th century or the beginning of the 19th) although many remember names being changed after emigration to other countries, such as the United States and Israel in recent years.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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