The meaning of names among Mediterranean Jews

Marc Eliany ©

ABRAHAMINI (Abrahami, Avrahaminian, BenAbraham)
ABRAHAO (see also Abravanel)

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

Abraham is the name of the father of monotheism. The name is common among Jews, Christians and Moslems. It is an ancient Hebrew name composed of two elements ab = father which implies lineage and the root 'raham' = mercy or womb.

Prefixes attached to the root name such as (aben, iben, abe, abi, abou, aboul, avi, am, ben, bin, abou, a, aj, al, bel, even, 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.'

Complex prefixes such as 'Ab e' in the name Ab E Rgel consist of two elements Ab=father and E=the.
Complex prefixes such as 'BarHa' in the name BarHaNess consist of two elements Bar=son and Ha=the.

Suffixes such as 'an' or 'in' denote affiliation or a characteristic in Aramaec.
Suffixes such as 'a' characterize ancient Hebrew names, i.e., AviHatsir'a'
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...
Suffixes such as 'oun' 'on' 'yout' 'out' characterize adjectives in Hebrew, for example: Hayoun, hayout...

ABRAHAM de SARAGOSSE (IXes.). Spain. Merchant. Dealt with the Francs and settled in their kingdom.
ABRAHAM ELBARCHILON (XIIIes.). Spain. Tax collector on behalf of King Sanche IV of Castillia.
ABRAHAM le Victorieux (XVes.). Algeria. Community leader. Facilitated a refuge in Tlemcen for Jews expelled from Spain.
ABRAHAM Mony (XXes.). Argentina. A Zionist community leader who played an important role in immigration to Israel.
ABRAHAM Yéhezkiel (1958-). Israël (Tel Aviv). Of Iraki origin. Economist. Parliament member representating the Labor party.
ABRAHAMINI Joseph (XVIIes.). Italy. Accused of ritual murder in Vérone. Released after claiming the act is forbidden in Jewish law.
ABRAHAO Coje (XVIes.). Portugal. Diplomat. Contributed to the developement of Portuguese colonies in India. Signed a peace treaty with the Shah of Iran.


ABEHSSERA Chalom Séfér youhassin (Genealogy Registers).

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)