The Meaning of Names – Zallagh

The meaning of names among Mediterranean Jews

Marc Eliany ?

AMZALLAG (amzallagh, zallagh)
among other possible variations depending on the country and language of the person.

The root of the name ‘zallag’ may have an Arabic/Berber meaning, refering to an occupation as necklace or string/rope maker. The origin of the name is in all liklihood Berber and may refer to an affilation with the tribe Ait Zallag. The name is known in Morocco, Spain and Portugal.

Prefixes attached to the root name such as (aben, iben, abi, avi, am, 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’ or ‘ri’ refer to an association with a person, for example: Mori = my teacher.
Suffixes such as ‘illo’ ‘ano’ ‘ino’
‘nino’ are used in Spain and Italy to indicate descendence or association with an attribute.

AMZALLAG Salomon (Samy Elmaghribi) (1922-).Morocco (Safi). Popular Singer. Composer. Orchestra leader. Teacher and Lithurgy leader in Israel and Quebec.
AMZALAK Ha?m (1824-1916). Gibraltar. Merchant Banker in Jaffa. Assisted pioneers to settle in Egypt during WWI.
AMZALAK Mos?s (1892-1978). Portugal (Lisbonne). Historian. Economist. Philosopher. Professeur at Lisbon university. Led a Marrano congregation back to Judaism. Labored to save Jews from Nazi persecution.
AMZALLAG Abraham (1939-). Morocco. (Casablanca). Music professor at Be?r Ch?va university in Israel. Sp?cialist in Moroccan musique. Orchestra leader.


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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