The meaning of names among Mediterranean Jews

Marc Eliany ©

MANSANO (see also Maman)

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

The root of the name may be 'Mans.'
The root 'mans' is preceded by the prefix 'al' and followed by the suffix 'i' in one case and 'ano' in another case. Mans may refer to an origin or location, perhaps in Souther France. The name is found among Jews of Spanish origin, perhaps pointing to a location in Spain in the province of Salamanaque, known for the Mazano apples. The name may refer to apple tree in Spanish.

Prefixes attached to the root name such as (aben, iben, abi, avi, ben, bin, abou, a, aj, al, bel, 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' refer to an affiliation with, for example a person from 'Mans' perhaps in Souther France.
Suffixes such as
'ano' are used in Italy to indicate descendence or more specifically, in the case of Mansano, the grand child of Mans. It may also be a simple designation of origin or a place.

ALMANSI Joseph (1801-1860). Italy. Hebrew Poet. Multi-lingual.
ALMANSI Dante (?-1948). Italy. Judge. Community leader in Italy during WWII.
ALMANSI Emilio (1869-1948). Italy. Doctor. Mathematician. Contributed to the development of the theory of elasticity.

MANSANO Abraham (?-1781?). Morocco. Rabbi. Author of Séfér méa chéh’arim (One hundred gates) among other books.


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)