Recorded in many forms including Sapir, Saphir, Saphire, Saphyr, Schapera, Shapera, Shapero, Shapiro, Spier, and Spire, this is a surname of English, German, and Askenasic origins, of which there are at least three. However it has to said that there is no wholly safisfactory explanation for the origins of all the spellings. The first possible origin is locational from the German town of Speyer in Bavaria, a name which is supposed to describe a river lock or weir. From this region the original coat of arms has the blazon of silver field, charged with a red fesse or sword belt, and in chief a crescent. This would suggest that the holder was a Knight Templar or crusader who achieved victory over the Muslim Turks. The second possible exlanation is that the name derives from the Hebrew word 'sapir' meaning a sapphire jewel, and hence is an ornamental name perhaps for a jeweller, whilst in England it could be from either of the above or even from the word 'spir' meaning a spike or tower. What is certain is that the name is a very early entry onto the surnames list with Heinrich Saphir being recorded in Koln (Cologne) in the year 1172. In England whilst Spire is a very early recording, that of Shapiro is Victorian with Francis Shapiro, the son of A. W. Shapiro being baptised in London in 1878. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • SAPIR (E.) — SAPIR EDWARD (1884 1939) Né en Allemagne, Edward Sapir vient très jeune aux États Unis où il fait d’abord des études d’allemand puis d’anthropologie et de linguistique (à New York puis à Columbia University). Sapir étudie alors les langues… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Sapir — may refer to:*Places **Sapir, Israel, a moshav in Israel*People **Edward Sapir, American anthropologist linguist **Pinchas Sapir, Israeli politician and minister:incompletelist …   Wikipedia

  • Sapir — ist der Name folgender Personen: André Sapir (* 1950), belgischer Wirtschaftswissenschaftler Edward Sapir (1884–1939), US amerikanischer Ethnologe und Linguist Pinchas Sapir (1906–1975), israelischer Politiker der Arbeitspartei und Minister …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sapir —   [sə pɪə], Edward, amerikanischer Ethnologe und Sprachwissenschaftler deutscher Herkunft, * Lauenburg i. Pom. 26. 1. 1884, ✝ New Haven (Connecticut) 4. 2. 1939; wurde 1925 Professor für Anthropologie und Linguistik in Chicago ( …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Sapir — Sapir, Edward …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Sapir — [sə pir′] Edward 1884 1939; U.S. linguist & anthropologist, born in Pomerania …   English World dictionary

  • Sapir — Эдуард Сепир (англ. Edward Sapir, 26 января 1884 4 февраля 1939)  американский лингвист и этнолог. Содержание 1 Биография 2 Лингвистические достижения 3 Сочинения …   Википедия

  • Sapir — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sapir peut faire référence à (par ordre chronologique) : Edward Sapir (1884 1939), linguiste et anthropologue américain d origine lituanienne… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sapir — noun anthropologist and linguist; studied languages of North American Indians (1884 1939) • Syn: ↑Edward Sapir • Instance Hypernyms: ↑anthropologist, ↑linguist, ↑linguistic scientist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Sapir — biographical name Edward 1884 1939 American (Polish born) anthropologist & linguist …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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