From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Shapiro, and its variations such as Shapira, Schapiro, Schapira, Sapira, Spira, Sapiro, Szapiro (in Polish) and Chapiro (in French), is a Jewish surname which can be either Ashkenazi or Sephardi.[1]


One theory suggests that it derives from Shpira, the Hebrew/Yiddish name for Spira (Hebrew: שפירא‎), pronounced Shpira, (which is an Aramaic borrowed word meaning "handsome"[2]), the medieval name of Speyer, Germany.[3][4] The Jewish community of Speyer was one of three leading cities central to the development of Ashkenazi culture, referred to as the ShUM-cities, an acronym based on the names of the cities. Other name variants are Sapiro, Spira, Spire, Spiro, Spero, Chapiro, Sprai, Szpir, Szpiro, Saphir, Sapir and Spear. The name "Speyer" has also become a well-known surname that was spread by Jews from Frankfurt to England, the United States and Canada in the late 19th and early 20th century. Another theory suggests that the name has Sephardic origin—it derives from San Pedro, one of the Jewish settlements in Spain. The Jewish community of Spain was a leading centre in the development of Sephardic culture.

Notable people surnamed Shapiro[edit]

Other uses[edit]

  • "Miss Shapiro", a song by 801 from the album 801 Live

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Alkana, V. Surnames from a 3000 name family-tree of Jews from the Island of Rhodes and Turkey.
  2. ^ Hebrew-English, English-Hebrew Dictionary in three volumes, by Israel Efros, Ph.D., Judah Ibn-Shmuel Kaufman Ph.D, Benjamin Silk, B.C.L., Edited by Judah Ibn-Shmuel Kaufman, Ph.D., The Dvir Publishing Co. Tel-Aviv, 1950
  3. ^ search for Shapiro
  4. ^ (Kaganoff, 1977) Source: Saul Zeichner,27 November 2000, Revised 10 April 2009