The meaning of names among Mediterranean Jews

Marc Eliany ©


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

Bouzaglo is represented here by rabbis, a filmmaker, a poet and educators of Moroccan origin, probably from the Dra' region in Southern Morocco.

The name
consists of a complex prefix made of two elements abou/bou = father which implies lineage and the root 'zaglo' = rod or perch in Arabic. It means also 'yoke' in Berber. It may refer to yoke making for farming. It may be an ancient Aramaec name composed of 'zag' = teller and 'lo'= him, a story teller or educator.

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...

ABOUZAGLO Chélomo (XIXes.). Palestine. Zionist activist. Educator at Alliance Israélite Universelle in Haïfa and the Middle East. Founder of the Sepharadi section of the Histadrut in Haifa, Israel.
BOUZAGLO Haïm (XXes.). Israel. Professor of literature and theatre studies. Screen writer and filmmaker: Un mariage fictif ; Le temps des cerises; the summer of Avia.
BOUZAGLO Chalom (XIXes.). Morroco. Rabbi. Kabalist in Palestine. Settled in London. Author of Mikdach mélékh (The King's sanctuary), Hadrat mélékh (the king's splendour); Kissé mélékh (the king's thronel); Hod mélékh (The king's majesty) and Kévod mélekh (the king's honor).
BOUZAGLO David (1902-1975). Morocco (Zaouia). Rabbi, educator, linguist, poet, lithurgy singer, paytan in Morocco and Israel. Adapted Jewishpoetry to Andalousian musique.
BOUZAGLO Mordékhaï (XVes.). Morocco. Rabbi. Kabalist in the Dra' region. Worked with Rabbi Haïm Vital in Safed, Palestine. Author of Mah’yanot hokhmah (Springs of wisdom).


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)