The meaning of names among Mediterranean Jews

Marc Eliany ©

Granati, Garanati


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

The root of the name may be 'granada' or 'grant'

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

The root ‘grant’ may be in the English language and may refers to a person of some accomplishment i.e., the great one. Some Spanish/Portuguese and Moroccan Jews did settle in England but it is more likely that the name is related to a place of origin or a type of stone. It is in all likelihood a deformation of Granada.
The root ‘granada’ refers to a location or origin, i.e., the city of Granada in Spain.
The root
‘granite’ in Hebrew refers usually to a type of stone.

ALGRANTE Esther Morguez (XXes.).Turkey. Poet. Journalist. Community leader. Author of 9 Eloul : Poésias on the Holaucost.
GRANADA Abraham ben Itshak (XIIIe-XIVes.?). Spain. Rabbi. Author of Bérit haémounah (The Alliance of Belief)


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)