Jewish Surnames: Common Prefixes and Suffixes

By Schelly Talalay Dardashti Premium
Jews often adapted the naming conventions of the local population, so surnames may give you a clue to an ancestor’s origins. Use our chart to decode common suffixes and prefixes.
-son, -sohn son of (Ashkenazi)
ben- son of (Hebrew)
ibn- son of (Arabic)
-abi, -abu father of (Hebrew, Arabic)
-zadeh father of (Iranian)
-ian, -nia son of (Iranian)
-chi occupational suffix (Iranian)
-i geographical locator (Iranian)
-vitch son of (Slavic, Russian)