Segal, and its variants including Segel and some families with Siegel, is a primarily Jewish family name.
The name Segal has been said to be derived either from Hebrew segan leCohen (assistant to the Cohens) although a minority of sources claim that "Segal" is an abbreviation for segan le-kehunah (assistant to the priest) instead. However, early appearances of the name as šēgal or šāgal in Palmyrene inscriptions suggest these are folk etymologies and its ultimately derivation is as a loanword from the Assyrian title 𒊩𒂍𒃲 issu ēkalli > (is)sēkalli "queen" (literally "palace woman"), borrowed from Akkadian into Aramaic and Hebrew as the divine and personal name שֵׁגַ֥ל, including in the Hebrew Bible (e.g. Psalm 45:9).
Notable people with the surname include the following:
- Isaak Sigal, Ukrainian scientist
- Boris Sagal, American film director
- Jean Sagal, American actress
- Katey Sagal, American actress
- Liz Sagal, American actress
- Peter Sagal, American actor
- Alan F. Segal, American Professor of Jewish Studies
- Alvin Segal, American-Canadian businessman and philanthropist
- Brandon Segal, Canadian ice hockey player
- Dan Segal, British mathematician
- David HaLevi Segal (1586–1667), Polish rabbi and Halakhist
- David Segal (politician), Member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives and candidate for Rhode Island's 1st congressional district
- Erich Segal, (1937–2010), American author, screenwriter, and educator
- Francesca Segal, (b. 1980), British author and journalist
- Gabriel Segal, (b. 1959), British Professor, philosopher and author
- George Segal (artist), (1924–2000), American sculptor and painter
- George Segal, (b. 1934), American actor
- Gloria Segal, (1928-1993), American politician
- Graeme Segal, Australian mathematician
- Hugh Segal, (b. 1950), Canadian Senator and co-chair of the Conservative Party of Canada campaign in the 2006 Federal Election
- Irving Segal, (1918–1998), American mathematician
- Jack Segal, (1918–2005), American composer
- Jakob Segal, biology professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin
- Jeffrey Segal, (1920-2015), British actor
- Joel Segal, American liberal activist
- Judah Segal, British professor of Semitics
- Kate Segal, Member of the Michigan House of Representatives from the 62nd district
- Marilyn Segal, American psychologist
- Michael Segal, (b. 1972), Israeli scholar of computer science
- Moshe Zvi Segal, Israeli rabbi
- Nachum Segal, Jewish American DJ
- Philip Segal, (b. 1958), English-born television producer
- Richard D. Segal, American businessman and art collector
- Samuel Segal, (1902–1985), British doctor and politician
- Sara Segal, later Sophia Karp (1861–1904), the first professional Yiddish theater actress
- Stephen H. Segal, American science fiction writer and editor
- Walter Segal, (1907–1985), architect who developed a system of self-build housing.
- Segal (musician), British musician and composer known for his work on the TV series Skins
- Steven Seagal (b. 1951), American action movie actor
- Bernardo Segall (b. 1911), American film and TV composer
- Harry Segall (1897–1975), American playwright and screenwriter
- Lasar Segall (1891–1957), Brazilian painter of Lithuanian Jewish origin.
- Pamela Segall (b. 1966), American voice actor for many American children's shows.
- Stu Segall, former porn producer, founder of Stu Segall Productions.
- Ty Segall, Garage rock musician
- Harold Segel, American academic
- Jason Segel (b. 1980), American actor
- Jonathan Segel (b. 1963), American violinist and guitarist, plays in Camper Van Beethoven, formerly with Dieselhed, Sparklehorse, and others.
- Joseph Segel (b. 1931), founder of QVC television station
- Adam Siegel, (b. 1969), American guitarist
- Bugsy Siegel, (1906–1947), Jewish-American gangster
- Corky Siegel, harmonica player in the Siegel–Schwall Band
- David A. Siegel, American entrepreneur
- David Siegel (screenwriter), American screenwriter
- David Siegel (musician), American producer, musician and songwriter
- Don Siegel, (1912–1991), American film director and producer.
- Eli Siegel, (1902–1978), poet and critic who founded philosophy of aesthetic realism
- James Siegel, thriller novelist
- Jerry Siegel, (1914–1996), American co-creator of Superman
- Joel Siegel, (1943-2007), American film critic ad television journalist
- Mark Siegel (illustrator), (b. 1967), American illustrator
- Robert Siegel, American NPR radio journalist
- Wayne Siegel, (b. 1953), American composer living in Århus, Denmark
- Marc Chagall, (1887–1985), Russian-Jewish Painter
- Segal–Cover score, attempt to measure relative liberalism or conservatism of U.S. Supreme Court Justices.
- The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion ed. Adele Berlin - 2011-p3 "Various family names are derived from abbreviations; for example, Katz (kohen tsedeq [righteous priest]) and Segal (segan leviyyah [Levitical aide]). Abbreviations or acronyms were commonly employed in Talmudic literature as an exegetical ..."
- Jewish Budapest: Monuments, Rites, History ed. Kinga Frojimovics, Géza Komoróczy - 1999 p190 "Siegel / Segal / Segall / Chagall, etc.: segan levayya, leader of the Levites (sagan is a loanword from Ancient Mesopotamia, Sumerian and Akkadian, originally denoting a dignity).
- Ladies' Home Journal Vol.90 page liii ed. Newell Convers Wyeth - 1973 "Thus descendents of Ben Rabbi Judah Lowe became Brill; Segan Leviyyah became the surname Segal or Segel."
- Precious possessions: treasures from the Library of the Sharon Liberman Mintz, Elka Deitsch, Havva Charm - 2001 p38 "... pouring water from a pitcher into a laver. This illustration is a visual reference to the Levitical ancestry of the family of the bridegroom whose surname (Segal) is a standard Hebrew abbreviation for segan le-kehunah (assistant to the priest)."
- Lipiński, Edward (1975). Studies in Aramaic Inscriptions and Onomastics. Peeters Publishers. p. 99. ISBN 9789061860198.
- "Psalm 45:9 Hebrew Text Analysis". biblehub.com. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
- Parpola, Simo (1988). "The Neo-Assyrian Word for "Queen"" (PDF). SAAB II/2: 73–76. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
- "Segal Association", www.segal.org, website of the Segal association
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