The meaning of names among Mediterranean Jews

Marc Eliany ©

Azoulay (Az, Az Oullah, Azuelos, Aziza, Ouziel, Oziel, Oz)

among other possible variations depending on the country and language of the person.

Azoulay is represented here by Moroccan and Palestinian creators. The name is common among Jews in North Africa. It is associated with a variety of meanings: Izil = good in North African Berber, the good one; Tazoulaït = a tribe in Morocco; Azul = blue in Spanish (Azuelos), the one with blue eyes and most interestingly an abbreviation of 'isha zona vahalala lo yikhu' (they shall not wed a prostitute or engaged woman) which implies that Azoulay were priets in an ancient time.

The name may be an Arab/Spanish transformation of Oziel into AzOullah = God beloved. The name may be related to 'Az' = 'strong' or 'strength.' Aziza may be an Aramean transformation of the same name. The names: A'z, O'z, O'ziel are modern Hebrew version used in contemporary Israel.

Prefixes attached to the root name such as (aben, iben, abi, avi, am, ben, bin, abou, a, aj, al, bel, ha, i, la, lel, me, m, o, wi, vi, ) denotes usually a relation to a person, i.e., the father of or the son of X, a place, i.e., a person from X, an occupation, i.e., a person who practices a specific occupation, a characteristic of a person, i.e., beautiful... The prefixes al, el are equivalent to 'the' in English or the article 'le' in French. In the Moroccan Berbers tradition, prefixes such as 'wi' 'vi' 'i' means usually a family relationship to X, the equivalent of Abu in Arabic, i.e., 'the father of', 'son of' a man, a tribal affiliation and so forth.In the Hebrew tradition, the prefix ‘M ‘ is an abbreviation of the word 'from.'

Suffixes such as oulah, oulay, ilah, ily, el, eli are used in Hebrew and Arabic to associate a name with God' blessing.

Suffixes such as 'i' or 'ri' 'ti' refer to an association with a person or a location, for example: arditi= from ardou or ard.
Suffixes such as 'illo' 'ano' 'ino'
'nino' are used in Spain and Italy to indicate descendence or association with an attribute.
Suffixes such as 'yah', 'yahu' 'hu' are used in Hebrew to denote God's benediction, for example: aviyah, aviyahu, avihu...
Suffixws such as 'oun' 'on' 'yout' 'out' characterize adjectives in Hebrew, for example: Hayoun, hayout...

AZOULAY Guillaume (1949-.). Morocco (Mazagan). Painter in USA. Known for linear based figuratif paintings of horses, Moroccan and Biblical scenes.
AZOULAY HASFARI Hana (XXes.). ’Israël. Actor and screen writer. Author of the film Shehur (Magic, 1995).
AZOULAY Katia (XXes.). Morocco (Essaouira). Author (with Elsa Rosilio and Régine Sibony) of Essaouira, Mogador, parfums d’enfance (Mogador, a scent of our childhood).
AZOULAY André (1941-). Morocco (Essaouira). Advisor to Moroccan kings Hassan II and Mohamed VI. Economist. Journalist, Chief Editor of Maroc Presse. Co-founder of Identité et Dialogue an organization of intellectuals geared to mediate between Arabs and Jews.
AZOULAY Arié-Georges (XXes.). Morocco (Fès). Educator. School director in Ashdod. Administrator at Habonim (Youth and Pioneers department of the Jewish Agency). Mayor of Ashdod, Israel.
AZOULAY David (1954-). Morocco. Educator. Politician. Israeli Parliament Member representing the religious party Shas. Municipal counsellor in Acres.
AZOULAY Maxime (1917-1998). Morocco (Casablanca). Lawyer. Legal advisor to the Moroccan High Court. Member of the Human Rights Council. Parliament member. Recipient of the Royal 'Ordre du Trône'.
AZOULAY Salomon (1925-). Morocco (Safi). Businessman. Educator. Sionist activist. Contributed to the development of the Youth Movement Charles Netter. Contributed to the construction of synagogues in Portugal. Author of Écoute mon fils, (Listen, My Son).
AZOULAY Abraham (1570?-1643). Morocco (Fès). Rabbi in Hebron. Kabalist. Author of Kiryat Arba’ as well as Hésséd lé’Abraham (Abraham's Memoires) and important source on geneology and life in Fes and the Holy Land..
AZOULAY Abraham (Hakadoch) (?-1745). Morocco. Rabbi of Marrakech. Author of Mikdach mélekh (The King's Sanctuary).
AZOULAY Chalom (1848-1922). Morocco (Sefrou). Rabbi. Poet. Author of many responsas.
AZOULAY Haïm Yossef David (Hida) (1724-1807). Palestine (Jérusalem). Rabbi. Founder of a Jewish Seminary (yéchivah) in Livorno (Italy). A prolific writer.
Author of Chém haguédolim va’ad lahakhamim (The names of the Great Council of Sages).
AZOULAY Itshak (XVIIes.). Palestine (Hébron). Son of Abraham Azoulay. Rabbi. Kabalist. Author of Zéra’ Itshak (Isaac's Children).
AZOULAY Raphaël Isaïe (?-1830).Italy. Rabbi of Ancôna. Author of Tiférét Moché (Moses Splendour).


Azoulay, Hayim Yossef Shem Hagdolim (the names of the great)

AZOULAY Haïm Yossef David (Hida) (1724-1807) Chém haguédolim va’ad lahakhamim (The names of the Great Council of Sages).

Levi, J et. al. 2000        Dictionnaire biographique du monde Juif Sepharade et Mediteranean, Editions Elysee, Montreal.

Toledano, J. 1983        La saga des familles, Les juifs du Maroc et leurs noms, Editions Stavit, Tel Aviv

Laredo A. 1978           Les noms des juifs au Maroc (Madrid, 1978)