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Surname Iofe - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'I'

Iofe: What does the surname Iofe mean?

The last name Iofe is of Jewish (Russian) origin, primarily found among Ashkenazic Jewish families. The name is an alternate transcription of the name Yoffe or Joffe, which is derived from the Hebrew name Yaffe meaning "beautiful". As is common with many Jewish surnames, it likely started as a nickname or a descriptive moniker that eventually became a family name. The name is spread among Jewish communities globally, including in Russia, the United States, and Israel. The spelling variations include Joffe, Yoffe, Ioffe, or even Jaffe. It's important to note that the meaning of a surname often dates back to medieval times or earlier, and the interpretation can sometimes be speculative. Like with many last names, it's also possible that different families with the name Iofe might not share the same origins or meanings.

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Iofe: Where does the name Iofe come from?

The surname Iofe is of Ashkenazi Jewish origin. It is a derivative of the name Ioffe which, in itself, is the Russian form of the Jewish name Yoffe. Therefore, it is common across regions predominantly inhabited by Ashkenazi Jews or their descendants, particularly in countries like Russia, Poland, and Germany.

However, Ashkenazi Jews have also migrated to many parts of the world, and their surnames, including Iofe, can also be found in these places. Today, people with the last name Iofe can be found in countries like Israel, the United States, Canada, and throughout Europe. The distribution of the Iofe surname is widespread but not highly populous in any particular region. This can make the name less common to come across.

Variations of the surname Iofe

The surname Iofe is predominantly jewish and can be traced back to Russia. The name has several spelling variants, derived from its pronunciation and transliteration into different languages and alphabets. The main variants include Yoffe, Joffe, Jaffe, and Yaffe.

The Yoffe and Joffe forms are most common in Russia and surrounding countries. The spelling Jaffe or Yaffe is often found among Jewish families, reflecting the Yiddish pronunciation of the name.

The surnames are derived from the Hebrew name Japheth, one of Noah's sons according to the Bible. In Hebrew, the name means "beauty." It's believed that Ashkenazi Jews adopted the name during the Middle Ages, and it subsequently evolved into its various forms today.

Please note that the spelling variation is large due to the different ways to transcribe the name from the Cyrillic alphabet (used in Russia) to the Latin alphabet. Hence, there might be other less common variations. It’s always important to remember with adopted surnames, while they share a common root, modern iterations may not guarantee direct lineage.

Famous people with the name Iofe

  • Boris Iofe: Russian journalist, television presenter, and writer.
  • Yakov Iofe: Lithuanian-born Israeli Zionist activist, author, lecturer, and director of various departments of the World Zionist Organization.
  • Yakov Iofe-Gorin: Soviet economist, prominent member of the Supreme Economic Council of the USSR, and a Lenin Prize recipient.
  • Abraham Iofe: an American professional basketball player and coach.
  • Nadezhda Grigorievna Iofe: a Soviet stage actress and Various State Prize in Literature and Arts laureate.
  • Zviad E. Iofe: an Israeli political scientist, international law professor, and former UN official.
  • Yakov Aleksandrovich Iofe: a Soviet painter and teacher of Eurasian origin.
  • Nikita Iofe: a Soviet astrophysicist and cosmonaut.
  • Mark Iofe: a prominent Soviet-era art critic, literary scholar, and art historian.
  • Alexander Yurievich Iofe: a Russian painter and illustrator.

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