Word Origin & History
(pl.) "central and northern European Jews" (as opposed to Sephardim, Jews of Spain and Portugal), 1839, from Heb. Ashkenazzim, pl. of Ashkenaz, eldest son of Gomer (Gen. x.3), also the name of a people mentioned in Jer. li.27 (perhaps akin to Gk. skythoi "Scythians," cf. Akkad. ishkuzai); in Middle Ages,
applied to Germany.