The meaning of names among Mediterranean Jews

Marc Eliany ©

ATTIA (BenAtia)

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

A'tia means gift in Arabic. The name is common in North Africa and around the Mediteranean.

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 '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.

ATHIAS Immanuel (XVIIes.). Netherlands. Brother of Joseph Athias. Publisher of Judaica.
ATHIAS Joseph (?-1700). Netherlands. Brother of Immanuel Athias. Publisher of Judaica. Originaire des Pays-Bas.
ATIAS Mordékhaï (XXes.). Bosnia. Chair of the Sepharadi Community of Sarajevo. He introduced proportional elections and progressive taxes in his community.
ATTIAS Ménahem (1864-1942). Morocco (Tanger). Journalist. Multi-lingual. Editor of l’Eco Mauritani founded by Isaac Larédo.
ATHIAS Itshak (XVIIes.). Portugal. Rabbi of Hambourg and Venise. Editor of Tesoro de Preceptos (The precepts).
ATHIAS Moché Israël (?-1665). Spain. Rabbi. Spiritual leader of the sepharadi community of London.
ATHIAS Yom Tov (XVIes.). Spain. Contributed to the Bible traslation into Spanish in Ferrare (Italy).
ATTIA Ézra (1881-1970). Syria (Alepo). Rabbi. Director of the Porat Yossef Yeshiva Academy. Author of a commentary on Kétoubbot (Marriage contracts).
ATTIA Itshak (XVIIe-XVIIIes.). Morocco. Rabbi. Author of Mésharet Moché (Moses' Assistant).
ATTIAS David Israël (XVIIIes.). Portugal. Rabbi. Known for his approval of Mayïm rabim (Rich Sources) of Raphaël Meldola, rabbi of Bayonne.
ATTIAS Ménahem (XVIIIes.). Morocco. Chief rabbi of Tétouan. Author of Ner Ma’aravi (Western light).


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)