The Meaning of Names – AZHAR ZOHRA (Zohar, Zoher, BenZohar)

The meaning of names among Mediterranean Jews

Marc Eliany ?
ZOHRA (Zohar, Zoher, BenZohar)

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

Azhar is represented here by a Spanish poet from Moorish Spain. It is an Arab name, not common in North Africa but known in the Middle East. It means ‘luck’ in North African Arabic. The name is preceded by the prefix ‘a’ denotes family affiliation or a characteristic of a person, i.e., the lucky one. The name ‘Zohra’ derived from the same root, is used as a female first name in Arab countries. It is not known as a family name.

The root of the name ‘zhr’ has a meaning in Hebrew: ‘shining’ or ‘brilliant.’ The names: ‘Zohar’ and ‘Zoher’ are modern Hebrew version used in contemporary Israel.

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.
Suffixes such as ‘yah’, ‘yahu’ ‘hu’ are used in Hebrew to denote God’s benediction, for example: aviyah, aviyahu, avihu…
Suffixws such as ‘oun’ ‘on’ ‘yout’ ‘out’ characterize adjectives in Hebrew, for example: Hayoun, hayout…

AZHAR ?l?azar (Abou-Lfath) ben Nahman (XIes.). Spain (S?ville). Poet.

ZOHRA Elfassia (1908-1995). Morocco. Popular Singer in Morocco. Retired in Israel with limited success.


Azoulay, Hayim Yossef Shem Hagdolim (the names of the great)

AZOULAY Ha?m Yossef David (Hida) (1724-1807) Ch?m hagu?dolim 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)

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