Syrian and Sephardic Surnames

Surnames derived from several Syrian Jewish databases are an important information source. They tell us the adopted surname and the meanings of those names. The list below may not list every name and we will consider adding names not listed. If your family name is listed without a meaning of derivation, and you would like to submit the meaning to us, please email sarina@roffe.com.

Before using this list we recommend looking at Jeff Malka’s page on sephardicgen.org entitled Sephardic Jewish Names and Genealogy. There are also many useful links to surname lists on the page Sephardic Surnames.

 

Name Origin Meaning
Abadi Arabic To the Service of the Eternal
Aboud Arabic G-ds Servant
Abramovitz Biblical Abraham
Aboulafia; Abulafia Arabic Doctor, Pharmacist; Possessor of strength/health or well being (afia) 
Abu   Father
Ades Biblical Adam
Adjmi   Free Man
Aini   Spring; Source
Akalia   Mythical Name
Akil    
Akiva   Jewish Rabbi during the Roman occupation
Alabo   Praise
Alfassi Arabic Falconer, also locality in spain
Alfia Arabic Big Wine Bottle
Altaras   Embroiderer
Amiga Spain Friend
Amon Arabic A Good Person
Anawi Arabic A Humble Person
Ancona Italy Alcona, Italy
Ankia    
Antachi    
Antar    
Antebi Turkey Ain Teb, Turkey
Antoki    
Anzaroot    
Arav Hebrew Arab
Arditi   Burnt
Arkanji     
Ashear   To Cleanse
Ashkenazi Hebrew German
Assoulin Arabic Rocks
Atar, Attar Arabic Spice Merchant
Attia Arabic Gift, Donation
Azar Hebrew G-d Helps
Azizo   Blue
Azoulay Berber/ Spanish Blue eyes
Azrak Arabic Remembering G-d
Baghdadi Arabic From Baghdad
Bahur Hebrew A Guy, Boy
Barkat Hebrew Blessing
Barmuk    
Barnatan Hebrew Son of Nathan
Bassano Italy Bassano, Italy
Bawabeh    
Beda   White
Beeri; Bari    
Bendayan Hebrew Son of a Rabbinical Judge
Benhaim Hebrew Son of Life
Bensoussan Persian name of ancient Persian capital
Besalel Hebrew In God’s Shadow
Betesh Persian Unique
Bijou   Jewel; Gray
Bivas Spain From “Viva” meaning life 
Bracha; Baraka Hebrew Blessing
Bukai    
Cabasso Spanish Big Head
Cattan Hebrew Small, Short
Chita Hebrew Wheat
Chehebar    
Chemtob    
Chira    
Choueka; Shweky    
Cohen Hebrew Priest
Dabah   The Lock of a Door
Dahab   Gold
David Biblical King David
Dayan; Dahan Hebrew Judge; of King David descent
De Picciotto Italy Henchman of the Mafia
Deknish    
Dewan   Royal Court
Diarbakli    
Dushey Turkey Man of Virtue
Dweck Syria Vessel Maker (“Douek”= Egyptian)
Eid Lebanon From the origin of the “Habib” family
Elazar Biblical Son of Aharon
Elbaz Arabic Falconer; locality in Spain
Eliyahi Biblical Elijah the Prophet
Elli Hacohen Biblical Elli the Great Priest
Elmaleh Arabic The good or salty
Esses    
Ezon    
Faina Portugal Toil, Labor
Falack    
Farage Arabic Healer
Faur    
Farashi    
Farhi Arabic From “Farha,” meaning Joy
Faruk    
Fenan    
Franco Portuguese; Spanish; Italian Honest; Freed (from taxes or bondage) 
Gabay; Gabbai Hebrew Warden of a Synagogue;  In Talmudic era were alms collectors, in Spain:tax collectors 
Gaddah    
Gadi Biblical From the tribe of Gad
Ganani    
Gaon Hebrew A Jewish Scholar
Garmakli    
Gateno France Gatines, France
Ghazalie   Gazelle
Gindi    
Grazi Spain Thanks (to God)
Habib, Habibo. Habuba Arabic Beloved
Hacohen   the priest
Haddad Arabic Blacksmith
Hafif    
Hakim Arabic Physician or sage
Halabi Arabic from Halab
Halally    
Halevi Hebrew From the tribe of Levi
Halif Arabic, Hebrew Caliph; Slave Exchange
Hallaly   Tribe Beni-Hallal
Hamui  Arabic From Ait Hamou, Morracco ; Father- in- Law
Hanono, Hanan Hebrew Merciful; characteristic of G-d
Harari Hebrew Mountaneer; used to describe residents of Montpelier, France
Haver Hebrew Friend
Hawaja    
Hazan Hebrew Cantor
Hedaya    
Hefetz    
Hehaver    
Hemsani    
Hidary    
Hillel Hebrew Jewish Religious Leader
Horen    
Hulif    
Husney    
Jabili    
Jamus    
Jemal    
Kabbani    
Kabudi    
Kahavoff    
Kalabi    
Kalif Arabic Successor
Kantarowitz    
Kanza    
Kanza    
Kashani    
Kassin    
Katan; Cattan Hebrew Small, short
Kawas    
Kazez    
Khalousi, Khalousa    
Khasky    
Khawaja Turkey Lord
Khibzu    
Kibrit   Match
Kikia    
Korda     
Koss    
Kuchri    
Kurdi   From Kurdish Lineage (Iran)
Kurz    
Labaton Spanish Small wolf
Laboz    
Laham Scandinavia Place of or by the barn
Lahmi Biblical Bethlehem; “Full of food” (bread)
Laniado Spanish Hairy
Levi, Levy Biblical From the tribe of Levi; Priest
Lheb Hebrew Heart
Lisbona Portugal The city of Lisbon, Portugal
Lopes; Lopes Spanish Wolf’s son
Lugassi Arabic From town of Lugas in Oviedo, Spain
Maaravi Hebrew Occidental, Western
Madeb    
Mahalelel    
Maleh Hebrew Angel; Salt dealer
Malkishuva    
Mamiye    
Manidiba    
Manobla    
Mansour Arabic From Mansura, Egypt; Winner
Marcus Spain Plural of “Marco” (measuring weight)
Mari Spain “Marinero,” sailor
Marsia    
Mashta    
Maslaton    
Matalon   Toulon, France
Matzliah Hebrew Fortunate
MeElli    
MeElli Hacohen Biblical From Eli the Priest
Mehana    
Meliho    
Menaged Aleppo Opposed to Chassidim
Menashe Biblical Joseph’s son, tribe of Israel
Midamesek Hebrew From Damascus
Mishan; Mishania    
Missry, Misrie, Masri, Massry; Mosseri, Masria Hebrew Egyptian
Mizrahi Hebrew Eastern (Jews of Eastern Mediterranean)
Mizreb Berber White
Mograbi    
Mohadeb    
Molho Hebrew From the Hebrew word “Melekh,” king
Moreno Spain Brown
Morsia    
Moussafi    
Mussan Arabic From “Musa,” or Moses, meaning “Drawn from the water”
Naftali Biblical From the tribe of Naftali
Nagame    
Nagar, Najar Spain  
Nahum Hebrew Comforted, Benevolent
Nakash    
Naono Spanish Naon, Spain
Nasi Hebrew From “Nassich” – Prince
Nassir Arabic Savior, Victory
Nehmad, Neuhmade Hebrew Benevolent
Nissim Hebrew Miracles
Orfali Turkey Ourfa, Turkey
Ovadia Hebrew Servant of God
Pardos Portugal, Spain Brown; From Pardo in Spain
Paredes, Paradece Hebrew Orchard
Perez Biblical Grandson of Jacob
Picciotto Italy Young Man
Pinhas Biblical Priest from Sefer Bamidbar
Pinto Spain A spot; name of a town near Madrid
Raful Hebrew G-d cures
Rahamin Hebrew From “Rahamim”- mercy, compassion
Rawak    
Reuben Biblical Son of Jacob
Ribi, Rabih Hebrew Rabbi
Roffe Hebrew Physicial, Healer
Roza Spain Rose
Saada Arabic Good Fortune
Saal   One who works in a manor house
Sabagi    
Sabat Hebrew From Shabbetai (Turkish Rabbi who claimed to be Messiah)
Sabbagh Arabic Painter
Sademo    
Safdeye; Safdieh    
Safra Arabic Yellow, Safron
Saka    
Salomon Biblical King Solomon
Salem Berber (Biblical) King Solomon
Sardar    
Sardell    
Sasson, Sassoon Hebrew Joy, Merriment
Sayegh Arabic Jew
Schemalo    
Seadia Hebrew God has helped
Segri    
Seruya, Serouya Biblical; Spanish David’s Sister; From Serrulla’ Huesca, Spain
Shabbot Hebrew Sabbath
Shabetai   Turkish rabbi who claimed to be Messiah
Shacalo    
Shakra    
Shalom Hebrew Peace
Shamah Arabic Shame, Damascus
Shamash Hebrew Caretaker of synagogue
Shamie Arabic Shame, Damascus
Shamosh Hebrew Attendant of synagogue
Sharabati    
Shaul Biblical; Arabic Biblical King; The desired
Shayo Biblical The prophet Isaiah
Shehada    
Shimshon Biblical One of the judges of the Jews
Shomer Hebrew Vigilante
Shrem    
Shriti    
Silvera Italy Arbusto bush
Sisro Biblical Guard in the Book of Judges
Sitt    
Smeke    
Stambouli    
Sultan Arabic Ruler
Sushi    
Sutton    
Swed; Soued    
Tabah Arabic; Hebrew Taba, Egypt; A cook
Tabash, Tabache, Tabush    
Tawil Arabic Tall
Tayah Biblical Tobias
Tebele    
Terzi Arabic Egyptian tailor
Teubal    
Totah Arabic; German From Tuta, mullberry tree; free man
Yakar Arabic /Hebrew Precious
Yassefe Biblical Son of Jacob
Yarhi France From Lunel, France
Yedid Hebrew Friend
Yenni Hebrew; Turkish My Wine; New, Young
Yihye Hebrew He will live
Zafrani  Persian Saffron seller
Zaki Arabic Pure, Chaste
Zalta    
Zayat; Zalayat Arabic Olive
Zeytounie; Zeytunie Spain Olive Tree
Zonana