Herschel is a variant spelling of Hershel, originating as a pet form of Hirsh, a Yiddish male name meaning “deer”. Apparently, the deer was commonly associated with the tribe of Naphtali. Herschel is also a German surname which may not only be derived from Yiddish Hirsh but it could also derived from German Hirsch which also means “deer, stag”, originally an occupational name for someone who kept deer or perhaps a nickname for someone who resembled the creature in some way. It could also have originated as a locational name for someone who lived near where stags or deers lived. The origin of the word comes from Proto-Germanic *herutaz (deer, stag) derived from a PIE root word.
- Hershel (English, Yiddish)
- Hirshel (Yiddish)
- Heshel (Yiddish)
Herschel/Hirshel הירשׁל (Yiddish)
Heshel השׁל (Yiddish)