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DICTIONARY OF
BULGARIAN JEWISH SURNAMES

Revised and enlarged edition (2012)
Prepared by Mathilde Tagger



Introduction

A DICTIONARY OF THE JEWISH SURNAMES IN BULGARIA
Mathilde A. Tagger

  The Jewish surnames found in the ex-Ottoman Empire, or more precisely in the Balkans, have not been the topic of any comprehensive published research. The three exceptions are: the booklet of Asher Moissis1 on the names of the Jews of Greece that is far from being complete and the Sephardic Onomasticon by Baruh Pinto2 on Turkish Jews in which the author tends too much to find a nonexistent Hebrew root. In 1967, Isaac Moskona3 published a long article in the Bulgarian Annual Publication of the Social Cultural and Educational Association of the Jews in the People?s Republic of Bulgaria. This was the first attempt to cover all the Jewish surnames of this community that numbered about 50,000 souls in 1939. Isaac Moskona compiled a list of 509 different surnames based on three sources dating from 1895 to 1967 and gave a meaning for less than half of them.
  The present research covers 798 surnames. The additional ones were mainly found in the collective passports of Bulgarian Jews when they immigrated to Israel from October 1948 to June 1949. Microfilms of these passports are part of the collection of the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People in Jerusalem.

  Each wave of migration to Bulgaria brought its own group of surnames to the country although each one included Hebrew names. The Dictionary Bibliography
Arditti, Benjamin. Yehudei Bulgaria - Kehilat Shumla. Tel Aviv, 1969.(Hebrew) (Jews of Bulgaria ? [Shumla] Shumen community).
Bible.
Bulgaria. Encyclopedia of the Jewish Diaspora, vol.X. Tel Aviv,1967. 1018p. 2° (Hebrew).
Covo, Joseph. Toldot Yehudei Ruschuk. Tel Aviv, 2002. (Hebrew) [The History of the Jews of Ruschuk, Bulgaria] (Includes a list of surnames found in Ruschuk.)
Covo, Joseph. The Shumen Jewish community. Jerusalem. Sharsheret HaDorot: Vol.16, No.4, 2000. (Includes List of surnames of Jewish burials).
Dalven, Rachel. The Names of the Janina Jews. New York, The Sephardic Scholar, Series 3: 9-23, 1977-1978.
El Khayat. Le livre des Prénoms du Monde Arabe. Casablanca, Eddif, 1999.(French)
Even Shoshan. Hamilon Hahadash; Musaf: yalkut shemot pratiim. Jerusalem, Kiriat Sefer, 1970.(Hebrew)[ The New Dictionary; Supplement: Compilation of Given Names)
France. La Poste. Code Postal. Paris, 1996. 771p.
Franco, Moise. Origine des Noms des Israélites de Turquie. In: Histoire des Israélites de l?Empire Ottoman. Paris, Dularcher, 1899. p.284-285. (French)
Galante, Abraham. Histoire des Juifs de Turquie. Istanbul, 1940. 9v. (French)
Gruenwald, Mordechai. Algo di la istoriya di la comunidad israelita di Vidin. Sofia, 1894. (Judeo-Spanish ? Rashi letters). [On the history of the Jewish community of Vidin].
Hanks, Patrik & Flavia Hodges. A dictionary of First Names. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1994.
Herz, Laurent. Dictionnaire étymologique de noms de famille français d?origine étrangère et régionale. Paris, L?Harmattan, 1997. (French)
Kaganoff, Benzion C. A Dictonary of Jewish Names & Their History. New York, Jason Aronson, 1996.
Keshales, Haim. Korot yehudei bulgaria. Tel Aviv, Davar, 1969. 5v. (Hebrew) [The History of the Jews of Bulgaria]
Laredo, Abraham. Les noms des Juifs du Maroc. Madrid, Instituto Arias Montana, 1978. (French)
Levy, Paul. Les noms des Israélites de France. Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1960. (French)
Loeb, I. Liste nominative des Juifs de Barcelone. Paris. Revue des Etudes Juives, 1882, 4:57-77. (French) [List of names of Barcelona Jews].
Matsas, Joseph. Ta Onomata ton Evraion Sta Jannina. Athens, 1955. (Greek) [The names of the Jews in Ioannina]
Mezan, Saul. Les Juifs espagnols en Bulgarie. Sofia, 1925. (French)
Moissis, Asher. Les Noms des Juifs de Grèce. Gordes, France, 1990. (French)
Moskona, Isaac M. ?Za proizkhoda na familnite imena na belgarskite evrei?. Sofia. Obshtestvena kulturno prosvetna organizatsiya na evreite v narodna republika Bulgariya. Godishnik, 1, 1967. pp.111-137. (Bulgarian) [On the origin of the family names of the Bulgarian Jews. Educational and Cultural Organization of the Jews in the Popular Republic of Bulgaria , Annual no.1, 1967.]
Nehama, Joseph. L?histoire des Israélites de Salonique. Thessaloniki, 1930-1978. 7v. (French)
Pinto, Baruh. The Sephardic Onomasticon; An Ethymological Research on Sephardic Family Names of the Jews Living in Turkey. Istanbul, Gozlem, 2004.
Rosanes, Shlomo. Divre yemei yisrael betogarma al pi mekorot rishonim. Tel Aviv, Dvir, 1930. 4v. (Hebrew) [History of the Jews in the Ottoman Empire according to primary sources]
Schaerf, Samuele. I Cognomi degli Ebrei d?Italia. Firenze, Casa Editrice ?Israel?, 1925. (Italian) [The Names of the Jews of Italy].
Sebag, Paul. Les noms des Juifs de Tunisie. Paris, L?Harmattan, 2002. (French)
Sefarad, A bi-annual review published by the Arias Montano Institute in Madrid from 1941 to 2007.
Sror, S. Les noms des Juifs du Comtat du 16e au 18e siècle. Revue des Etudes Juives, 1997, 156:305-372. [Names of the Jews in the Comtat from the 16th to the 18th cent.].
Steinschneider, M. An introduction to the Arabic literature of Jews; Chap. 14: Family names. Philadelphia. Jewish Quarterly Review, 1898, 10: 119-138, 513-540 + 1899, 11: 115-149, 305-343, 480-489, 585-625.
Tadjer, Abraham. Notas istorikas sovre los djudios de Bulgaria i la komunita de Sofia. Sofia, Nadejda 1930. (Judeo-Spanish- Rashi script) [Historical Notes on the Jews of Bulgaria and the Community of Sofia]
Tagger, Mathilde. The Jews of Bulgaria ? Their Surnames as a Miror of their History in: Demsky editor, Pleasant are Their Names - Jewish Names in the Sephardi Diaspora. Bethesda, Md, University of Marylan. ( in print [2010]).
Tagger, Mathilde. Jewish Bulgarian Casualties in WW 1 and Balkans Wars http://www.sephardicgen.com/databases/BulgariaCasualtiesSrchFrm.html
Tagger, Mathilde. List of Jews Born in Bulgaria Deported from France 1942-1944. http://www.sephardicgen.com/databases/BulgariaDeporteesSrchFrm.html
Tamir, Vicky. Bulgaria her Jews; the History of a Dubious Symbiosis. New York, Hermon for Yeshiva University Press, 1979.
Tidjani, Dina. Dictionnaire des Prénoms Arabes. Rabat, 1997. (French)
Toledano, Joseph. Une histoire de familles; Les noms Juifs d?Afrique du Nord. Jerusalem, 1999. (French)
Vroonen, Eugene. Les noms de personnes en Orient et spécialement en Egypte. Le Caire, Le Scribe Egyptien, 1946. (French)
Zaimov, Yordan. Bulgarski Imennik. Sofia, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1994. (Bulgarian) [Dictionary of Bulgarian (given) names]
1 For details see the bibliography
2 Idem
3 Idem
4 See the three dictionaries of Alexander Beider published by Avotaynu


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