Hebrew words in Spain and Ireland

Hebrew Patronymics and Place-Names in the Iberian Peninsula and Certain Localities in the British Isles.

Dr. J. J. Pearson: THE French have a saying that "Africa commences at the Pyrenees": and certainly no country in Europe exhibits deeper traces of Hamitic and Shemitic permeation than the Iberian Peninsula. After every allowance has been made for the inevitable effects resulting from the long-continued Arabian and Moorish occupations of this region (from the beginning of the Eighth to the Fifteenth Centuries), there remain many districts of Spain - Galicia, Asturias, Santander, the Basque Provinces of Biscay, Quipuzcoa, and Alava, and Navarre, - which wholly or largely escaped the contamination of those Saracenic influences; districts in which the old Hebrew place-names of the leading natural features of the country, those of the ancient cities and towns, and the personal appellatives of the natives, still remain (with slight modification), the same as those bestowed upon them upwards of a thousand years before the camel-driving Prophet of Mecca saw the light. And these familiar designations are no mere phonetic representations of Keltic, or Gothic derivatives obtaining prior to the Arab invasions of Taric, Musa, and Abderraman-ben-Moavia, or the Moorish incursion of Yusef-ben-Taxfin: but are undoubtedly reminiscences of that Israelitish Colonization of Spain which flourished long before the periods of Keltic, Carthaginian, or Gothic penetration into that country.

The like remarks apply with equal force to the indisputably Hebrew designations which have survived the Keltic domination in the South and East of Ireland and parts in the South and extreme South-West of England. They also abound in the old Scottish kingdom of Argyll in the West of Caledonia. Considerations of space preclude more than a brief enumeration of these Hebrew derivations obtaining in Spain, Ireland and Britain.

Other authorities attribute some of these terms to the Phoenicians from Tyre.
"Many linguists believe that the name "España" (Spain) derives from Isephanim, a Phoenician word which means "land of rabbits". The Phoenicians inhabited the Iberian peninsula 3,000 years ago and founded cities which still exist such as "Malaka" ("factory"), today Malaga, and Gadir ("walled enclosure"), today Cadiz. Gades was the Latin name for Cadiz."
Victor Hurtado Oviedo in American Airlines "Nexos" Jan.-March 2002, p.22

IBERIA, the name of the country, from Ibharim ("chosen ones"): whence also the Iberus (Ebro), and the ancient designations of Ireland, Ibernie, Hibernia, Iverne, Ierne, Erin, etc.

BALEARIC ISLANDS, from Bal, Baal or Bel (the name of the false god), and Aroer, "health," "the health of Baal." From this word Baal or Bal are also derived all the Ballys, Bals, and Bels of Ireland and Bells and Bellos of Scotland.

ALGECIRAS, from Al, "the," Gaza, "strong," and Ira, "city" or "watch."

ALICANTE, from Al and Kenez, the "possession" or "nest."

ALMADEN, from Al and Medan, the "process" or "covered secret."

ALVA, from Alvah, the name of one of the Dukes of Edom, "that came of Esau" (Gen. 36:40).

ARAGON, from Arannah, "cursed," and Gozan, "pasture."

ARDATH or ARMAGH (the title of the Head-King or Overlord of Ireland), from Ard, "Commander" or "Law-giver," and Doth, "Law." Whence also Ardmag (Armagh), the "law-giving priest," Ardee, Ardglass, etc., in Ireland; Argyll (Ard and Giloh, "rejoicing" or "overturning"), Ardnacross, Ardminish, Ardbeg, Ardtalla, Ardtussa, Ardishaig, Ardnadam, Ardno, Ardlui, Ardoe, Ardrossan, Ardnamurchan, and a host of other Ards and Airds scattered throughout Ireland, Argyll and Western Hebrides.

BADAJOZ, from Beth, "a house," and Jose (Joseph), "the house of Jose."

BISCAY, Bay of, from Birsha, "evil"; hence this bay is termed Yum-Birsha, or "evil sea," by Jews everywhere to-day.

BILBOA, from Bil or Bel, "lord," and Boaz, "strength" - "Strength of Baal."

CADIZ (Gades), from Gaddi, a "troop," "host,"or "army."

CARRICK, from Gera, "pilgrimage," or Kirjath, "city of calling" or "meeting."

CARRICK-FERGUS, "the Pilgrimage or calling of Feargue."

CASHEL, Cush, "black," and El, "god." CUSHENDALL and CUSHENDEN.

DAN, popular praenomen throughout Ireland; not an abbreviation of Daniel. [From the tribe of Dan.]

DENIA, from Dan; whence also all the Danes, Dens, Denes, and Dunes in Britain.

DON (Spanish title), and DUN (a court), from DAN. Hence Llandun (London), Dundrum, Duncannon, Dundee, Dunstaffnage, Dunedin (Edinbro'), - "Court of Edwin." "The O'Connor Don."

DUBLIN (anc. Eblana), from Abilene, region occupied by Dan in N. Palestine.

DURANGO, from Durah, "abode," and Anah, "sorrow," "Abode of Sorrow."

ZEARGUS, or FEARGUS (Fergus), from Zarah (son of Judah, and twin brother of Perez), "brightness" or "glory," and Gaza, "stronghold," "The strength or glory of Zarah" (the First Coloniser of Iberia).

GIL (popular Spanish surname), from Giloh, "rejoicing," or Keilah, "one that divides"; whence also Kells, and all the Kils, Kellis, Kellys, and Ghylls in Ireland, Scotland, and North of England.

GITANO (Gipsy), Gittit, "winepress," and Anah, "poor" - "a poor winepress" - mendicant.

HI or HY ("the Island"), Hy (Iona), HII-I-YUM ("Islands of the Sea"), Britain.

HUELVA, from Hul, "expecting," or "looking for," and Ivah, "fraud" - "an eye to the main chance."

HUESCA, from Hul, and Eshcol, "bunch of grapes" "In search of vines."

IAGO, JAGO, IACO (Spanish praenomens), from Jacob; whence also our "James," "Jack," and "Jock."

INEZ, from Inah (Sanscrit and Heb.), "a light," "glory," "splendour."

IRUN, from Araun, "Ark," or Haran, "an enclosed place "; ARUNJUEZ, from the foregoing and Gesh, "a vale" - "the enclosure in the valley."

JUAN, and JUANITA, JOHANNA, feminine forms of Johanan, "the grace or favour of God."

KENMARE, KENMUIR, from Kenez, "possession," and Mara, "bitter," or Merom, "elevation."

KINTYRE, from Kenez, and Tyur or Tyre, "rock" "rocky possession."

LISBON (Alisboa), Al, "the," Ishbi, "one," or "a man," and Boaz, "strength," "The Place of the strong one"; Lisburn, Lismore, Lisle.

An email correspondent writes:
Macbeth does not mean "son of the house" (machir beth) in Hebrew, but "son of life" (mac beatha) in Gaelic. Neither was it originally a patronymic, but a Christian name, and its best-known recipient, King Macbeth of Scotland, used it as such. There is, of course, much shared heritage in the Indo-European language group. But not everything boils down to Phoenician.

MAC, MAG, MUCK, from Machir, "elder son"; Mag. "priest," or "great"; and Mushi, "one who takes away"; Mac Alpin, "Son of the face"; MacBeth, "Son of the house"; Maghera, Magheramorne, Muckross, Muck (Island of).

MALAGA, from Melek, "a King," and Gaza, "stronghold."

MALCOLM, from Malcham, "their king"; Melchi, "my king"; Malchus, "king," or "kingdom." (Zeph. 1:5).

PAU, from Pau, name of city of Edom (Gen. 36:39).

PEREZ, the name of Zarah's twin-brother: one of the most common appellatives in the Iberian Peninsula.

ROSS, from Rosh, "head," or "top"; Kinross, Portrush.

SARAGOSSA (Zaragoza), Zara and Gaza, "Stronghold of Zarah." Not a corruption of Caesarea Augusta.

SETABUL (Portugal), Seta, "a princess," and Bul (Baal), or "changeable," i.e. "Princess of Baal."

SEGUBTO (Sagunto), Segub, "fortified," and Toi, "wanderers," "Fortress of the Wanderers." Perhaps the oldest city in Europe! [Perhaps because Europe was previously too cold to be inhabited, but was warming up.]

SALAMANCA, from Salem, "peace," and Manaen, "a comforter."

SEGOVIA, from Segub, "fortified," or" raised."

SORIA, Sorek, "vine bearing yellow grapes."

TERUEL, from Terah, "breath," and El, "God," "Breath of the Lord."

TARIFA (whence our word "Tariff"), from Zarephath, a "crucible" - for smelting metals.

XERES, from Zeresh, "the dispersed inheritance."

ZAMORA, from Samaria (in Heb. Shomeron), "his guard," or "his throne."

And it is more than probable that all the Zalas, Zaras, Zeras, Geres, Zunes, Zus, and Seras of the Peninsula are also of the same Shemitic or Hebrew derivation.

By Dr. J. J. Pearson, Note 16 in "Tamar Tephi: or The Maid of Destiny. The Great Romance of the Royal House of Britain." JOHN DUNHAM-MASSEY, A.M.Inst.C.E. WITH NOTES BY JOHN J. PEARSON. Second and Revised Edition. London: THE COVENANT PUBLISHING CO, LTD. 1924.

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