Rabbi Shmuel Gorr
Rabbi Gorr, Edited by Chaim Freedman
This book deals with Jewish personal names (first names).
For example, the name Zeev, a Hebrew name meaning "wolf", became Germanized as Wolf, then became a diminutive Wolfel, and finally Velvel.
Gorr gives the following for "Tzirre" (which produces Tsirlin/Cherlin):
The various endings (-el, -ka and variations) are diminutives.
Jewel. Etymology: German zier, ornament.
Gorr mentions also a possible connection with Hebrew (le'tzayyer, paint), which seems fanciful.
By adding "son of" to Tzirre or one of the diminutives, one gets various matronymic surnames: Tzirlin, Tzirkin, Tzirel'man, Tzirel'son, etc.
A curiosity: the common name Zeitlin is formed in a similar way, from the female name Tzitta, which - unusually - comes from Italian (zitta, fast).
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