Posted by: coastcontact | July 10, 2010

Are Spanish Names that end in EZ Jewish?

An intriguing reply to this post originally written on October 7, 2010 has been provided by Vanessa Aspillaga. Check it out!

This question seems to be a recurring search question to this blog.  I have never met any Jew who had a name ending with EZ.  There are probably some somewhere.  After all Jews seem to be everywhere.  The attack in Mumbai, India on Nov 24, 2008 included an attack on a Chabad facility.  Which begs the question, what is the purpose of a Jewish facility in India?

In answer to the title question I have searched the internet to find an answer.  I found nothing except one person asking if there was any truth to the theory.



  1. This is from ‘Wikipedia’. The ‘z’ particle either substitutes for ‘s’, or stands for ‘son of’.

    identity and descent

    h. (son of): A man named like his father, might append the lower-case suffix h. (denoting hijo, son) to his surname, thus distinguishing himself, Juan Valdéz Marcos, h., from his father, Juan Valdéz Marcos; the English analogue is “Jr.” (son).

    –ez: Spanish surnames ending in -ez originated as patronymics denoting “the son of” — Fernández (son of Fernando), González (son of Gonzalo), — yet not every such surname was patronymic, because, in parts of Andalusia, the Spanish-language letters z and s are pronounced alike. In Hispano American Spanish, the -ez spellings of Chávez (Hugo Chávez) and Cortez (Alberto Cortez) are not patronymic surnames, because the Iberian Spanish spelling is with -es, as in the names of Manuel Chaves González and Hernán Cortés.

    * Álvarez – Álvar, Álvaro
    * Antúnez – Antón, Antonio
    * Benéitez, Benítez – Benito
    * Díaz, Díez – Diego
    * Domínguez – Domingo
    * Enríquez – Enrique
    * Estévez – Esteve, Estevo, Esteban
    * Fernández – Fernando
    * Giménez, Gamiño, Jiménez, Ximénez – Gimeno, Jimeno, Ximeno
    * González – Gonzalo
    * Hernández – Hernando
    * López – Lope
    * Márquez – Marco, Marcos

    * Méndez – Mendo
    * Míguez, Miguélez – Miguel
    * Martínez – Martín
    * Núñez – Nuño
    * Peláez – Pelayo
    * Pérez – Pero (Pedro)
    * Rodríguez – Rodrigo
    * Ruiz – Ruy (Roy)
    * Ramírez – Ramiro
    * Sánchez – Sancho
    * Suárez – Suero
    * Velázquez – Velasco

  2. If you can understand Spanish, the following link is a youtube vid that talks about Jewish last names. This video claims that surnames ending in “ez” are the last names of Jews forced to convert. They changed and/or created new surnames fro themselves.

    The vid claims that Spanish surnames ending in “ez” were created by the converted Jews and originate from the first and last letters of the Hebrew word “ERETZ” which means “land” or “country.” This was done so that the descendants would ultimately not forget their Jewish origins.

  3. To be completely clear, what is claimed in the vid is that many Jews in Spain and Portugal were either forced out, forced to convert, or killed. The vid claims that Spanish Jews who were forced to convert to Catholicism were either given new surnames, or in the case of the question at hand, created new surnames for themselves.

    The vid claims that Latinos with surnames that are the names of cities in Spain, are of Jewish origin (ex. Barcelona, Segovia, Toledo) Latino surnames that denote a trade (ex. Jabonero, Zapatero) are usually of Jewish origin as well. And regarding the question posted above, surnames ending in “ez” are also of Jewish origin.

    Yes, Quent is right, surnames like “Hernandez” mean “son of Hernando,” but the vid also claims that the suffix “ez” was created purposefully. That some Jews who were forced to convert, purposefully created that suffix by taking the first and last letters of the Hebrew word “ERETZ,” which means “land” or “country,” and refers to the land of “YISRAEL.” This is said to mean that they belong to Israel or Yisrael. This was done so that it would serve as an indicator, or marker, of the family’s Jewish origins for their descendants, in case identity was lost in the Jewish diaspora.

    *** The Spanish surname “Suarez” is said to mean “Salvación de Israel” or “Salvation of Israel.”

    Other Spanish surnames said to be of Jewish origin are:
    “Santa Cruz”

    To reiterate, I am no expert, I had heard these claims before, and came across this vid on youtube, and thought I would share.

  4. Factually, all Hispanic names ending in “ez” or “es” are those that were given to Muslims who were forced to convert to Christianity when Muslim-ruled Spain (711-1492) fell to the Christians and the infamous Spanish Inquisitiions were enacted. To make certain that they were watched and did not revert back to Islamic practices they were all given the names of males with “ez” attached to the end of those names, such as Sancho > Sanchez, Fernando > Fernandez, et alia. Thus every family whose name ends with “ez” were once Muslim families in Spain. Their number is unfathomable and incalculable. I am Yousef Salem in Sunnyvale, California.

  5. While the claim that the suffixes “e” “z” ending in Hispanic names may be family names of Jewish or even Muslim origins going to back to pre-columbus Spain, we should be cautious of overgeneralization. Vanessa and Yousef, commenting above, may both be right. Jews and Muslims were aplenty in Spain before they were expelled or killed. Those who remained were forced to convert.

    My maternal grandmother’s maiden surname was Hernandez before she marrried my grandfather, making it likely that her background may be Jewish or Muslim, or perhaps both. This doesn’t mean, however, that all of my grandmother’s ancestors were Jewish or Muslims.

    I have reason to believe, as her grandson, that I have Jewish and Moorish ancestry. As a second-generation Puerto Rican, I haven been confused for everything under the son, most especially as a Jew. Letting my beard grow gives a strong impression of looking Jewish. But things can get complicated, since I have some ancestry of indigenous and African blood. Once the native Indians of Puerto Rico succumbed to deadly diseases brought by the Spaniards, slaves were brought in from Sub-Sahara Africa.

    • Albert Ramos is correct when he said that he may have both Muslim and Jewish heritage because when Muslims ruled Spain (711-1492) they married Muslim, Christian and Jewish women since Islam only permits Muslim men to marry among those three groups since their prophets also received divine revelation from God. They could not marry Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, etc. Growing a beard is far more common among Arabs than Jews but men of other faiths also grow them. Again, Spanish scholars agree that all Hispanic names ending in “ez” were formerly Muslims who were forced to convert of be tortured and killed during the infamous Spanish Inquisitions. Not so for Jews since they were not the ruling authority in Spain. Nonetheless, those of us who are of good will and have compassion for others and stand firm for justice and equality are truly brothers and sisters to each other. The Quran tells us that God created us into different tribes and nations so we would come to know each other (not to despise or harm each other) and that the best among us are the most pious. The Harvard University Law School Library posted this verse from the Quran on its main wall: “O you who have believe, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever knowing of what you do.” Surat An Nisa 4: 135. The Quran also tells us that Muslims, Christians, and Jews are among the “people of the book” since their prophets received divine revelations from God so that verse applies to all of them. By the way, 30 percent of the Spanish language derived from Arabic and I urge readers to search “contributions of muslims to civilization” on the Internet. You will be amazed. The Dark Ages applied only to Europe and the rest of the world.
      Yousef Salem in Sunnyvale, California

      • I am sorry but you are wrong
        Spanish only borrowed a few words from Arabic to name things they didn’t have in architecture and other technical stuff that are mostly outdated
        Lmao 30% hahahhahaha rigggght
        You are so stupid please, stop this ignorance
        I feel sorry for people who read this and think it’s true
        Spanish is a Latin language that is almost mutually intelligible with Italian
        In fact there are many words derived from native American languages for names of fruits such as tomato, potato etc
        There is very little foreign influence in Spanish, it is a largely LATIN language. In fact it evolved the least from latin after Italian and you can tell that obviously from the way Spanish sounds and looks LOL
        you are reallly delusional I feel sorry for you
        Btw the Muslims were ruling southern Spain, in the norther part there were Christian kingdoms notably the kingdom of Castile which is where castellano aka spanish came from and this language developed independently from vulgar Latin with no external influences, it only adopted some loanwords after it conquered new territories ie Muslim land, the Americas, the caribbeans, the philippines ( where the word tornado came from) but these loan words are in no way overwhelmingly influential!!!!!!!!!!!

      • No, silly you, I am 100% correct and all that I can wrote can be verified. Your insults prove your refusal to be civil so I shall not bother with a lengthy response. It is one of those elements in the multivariate psychological patterns of human behavior: if one cannot adequately or sufficiently convince others then one resorts to lies and insults. Catholic Spanish scholars, yes scholars, have written and lectured extensively on what I wrote so are they, too, stupid liars? I have also spoken on this issue as a guest speaker at forums, radio and television talk shows, and have written numerous articles as well. You may want to watch the third segment of James Burke’s BBC series “The Day the Universe Changed” on YouTube to learn about some of the marvelous contributions that Musilms in Spain made to civilization that took Europe out of its Dark Ages before you deny them again. Did you seacrh “muslim contributions to civilization” on the Internet? They include physics, optics, architecture, mathematics, engineering, astronomy, philosophy, music, the origin of separation of dishes at meals with a sweet to freshen the palate afterwards, rhyming poetry, rhythmic music, dentistry, surgery, anatomy, paper, exotic ceramic tiles and other arts, and yes, pasta, that the world is round, and on and on… Are those lies? Who gave us Algebra, geometry, and the numbers that we use today? Are they not known as “Arabic numerals? Oh, watch this:
        I can spend hours on this topic but why bother when minds like your block the truth? John Keats wrote that beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all we know on earth and all we need to know. Moderator, kindly resign me from this post. I thought that this was a place for those who seek truth and yearn for knowledge but since silly persons mar that effort I choose to be removed from any further commentary. Fare thee well.
        Yousef Salem…my real name and not a pseudonym.

  6. I am sorry you are wrong
    Muslims were killed during the inquisitions, the inquisition was created to exterminate Muslims who had converted to Christianity in the first place
    Spanish names that end in EZ are patronymic tradition with visigothic origin and it is common in Germanic languages
    You should read about it
    And Salvador means the saviour
    It has nothing to do with Muslims or Jews
    Gosh to be honest ive heard so much claims from Muslims and Jews, that this is Jewish that is Jewish or that person is Muslim bla bla bla seriously get over it

  7. I am amazed by European stupidity – the moors were in Southern Spain for over 800 years, and nothing happened to these European , they continue to be Europeans and all the moors , and Jewis were kicked out , and the European has no lineage genetically and what so ever with the moors or the Jewish , like if the moors soldiers when invited Spain brought women with them…Right keep on lying to yourselves ….wake up and take a look at yourselves …Spare people the agony of your ignorance and go check out your DNA and figure out who you are…, specially if you are fom southern Spain, Cecilia , Malta , Portugal ….

  8. By the way ; he use of Son of to give a surnames is Moors tradition inherited from Arabs, so yes “Ez” is probably converts of Jewish heritage and “Es” is a convert from Muslim heritage – Some the people with “Es”, Hispanic in North America have reverted to Islam as they have explained one time on TV, they said we didn’t convert to Islam, but, we have reverted as we were Muslims originally….

  9. @Sillymem, you are a racist bro, I visited southern Spain, and it seems to me that between 7 century and 1492 there is no Spanish History but Muslims and Jewish…Can not mask history, it matters to us as humans to know the truth and to keep it alive …there is no Shame in that …Today southern Spain is so beautiful and it’s all that Arabesque Architecture and not European…… And the moors contributed immensely to the European renaissance …as simple periodic table , can not imagine us doing chemistry without…and computer can work with Logarithm, Algorithm , astronomy, numbers , algebra and much more …,please spare us the agony your ignorance and o read and learn…..bigotry , racism train has left long ago and got lost on is way…keep it like that !

  10. I know that Spain had the pagans.than came the Jews that was for some 500 yrs.then some. Became Christian s then some 600 yrs latter.some people became Muslim.and now Muslim still killing each other for century. The Qumran the best seller for Arabs has many of them killing anyone that disagrees.

    • There is a reason why we have so many books in our libraries and so much information on the Internet that very sadly fewer and fewer people are making use of thus the ignorqance that prevails with some posters here regarding the topic at hand. I wrote a lengthy reply in a Word doc but I cannot copy ‘n’ paste it here and do not want to rewrite it. Recall the saying by Derek Bok that if you think education is expensive try ignorance? Also consider this from Stephen Hawking: “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” Hmmm. I see that here with some of you. Ciao!

      • Yousef, you are clearly ignorant of the history that is Muslims in Spain during the 7th-11th century. Read all about it then you may reply with some knowledge. Muslims did horrific things to the people of the Iberian Peninsula. Muslims made slaves of all the non Muslims. Have you read that? No, because I am sure you only read your side of history and that history is still whining like a little baby because ya’ll were booted out.

      • Me ignorant? It has been my lifelong quest to learn the history of Islamic influence in this now wicked world whose wretched mentality is proven by your own lack of knowledge and your misinformation and diatribe. My favorite sayings: “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance” (Derek Bok), and your mind can fit into a peanut shell and there would still be room for the peanuts (YS). Any honest Spanish scholar can verify my statements. Methinks you mistook the actions of Muslims that you described to the evil actions of the Christian Christopher Columbus, the Christian crusades; the Christian Spanish Inquisitions after the Muslim rule of Spain fell back to them. Or, perhaps, Christian Serb and Croat war criminals in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Christians in Azerbaijan, Christians in Bulgaria who killed Muslims for refusing to change to Christian names, or Christians Mussolini and Hitler, or Christians who decimated Iraq and Afghanistan under the Christian elder and younger George Bush, the zionist Jewish war criminals in Occupied Palestine (aka “israel”) largely funded by our US tax dollars and their impunity vouchsafed by Christian and Jews in the US and worldwide through political and ink ‘n’ air media propaganda, and the list is literally endless. Go online and search “contributions by muslins to civilization” then take a few courses on how to tell the truth and discern truth from lies. BYW, it was the 8th – 15th (711-1492) century, not 7th – 11th as you claim. You do not even give your real name.

  11. This exposition is most revealing of feelings of personal injury and insecurity. Although the content of this discussion is fascinating and noteworthy, the study of human origins ultimately reveals that all the races of humankind are more alike genetically than a single troupe of pan troglodytes (chimpanzees). We are more alike than different. Perhaps this is why we don’t live in peace- we are fighting for the same resources, the same need to feel adulation. Can we not agree that each culture is magnificent and imperfect?

    I have had a lot of practice reconciling two cultures at odds with each other in the modern day. My father was Jewish and sought to marry a German after he lost his whole family save one brother in the concentration camps, and my mother, raised German Calvinist, sought to marry a Jew to do what little she could do to mend the terrific rift that had formed between her people and Jews. Call me “conscience”, but I exist only because two people with reason to hate each other purposely put this aside in the name of one species, humankind. I am all people, as are you. Rejoice.

    • Does it really matter at the end of the day? This started with “ez” Jewish yeah or neh and ended with our friend Youself with Muslim did this Muslim did that, hahaha funny how man kind works!!! But at the end of the day as human being we all have a choice to do good or evil. Yes I’m sure the Muslim have done good in the past just as everyone else has. Americans brought the Internet into the world, the Irish brought Guiness, I love Guiness:) the Germans great knives and the list goes on. Yes there has been wrongs done by all of man kind no matter where they came from but ok where’s it gonna stop??? When will we ever get the clue?? All we do at the end of the day is to help make tomorrow easier for the next generation. So where ever it may have come from I applaud you Christian, Jew or Muslim. Now I see what the apostle Paul meant when he said “don’t waste your time in silly debate of genealogies” this friendly conversation on wether ez is Jewish or not started heating some heads and a finger pointing battle!!! Like really??!??!?!?! But either way who ever wants truth will find it Jesus promise that. But the bible also say that to some the truth will not enter because their heart has been harden and that is very sad. GOD bless you all and I be praying for you all that the truth your seeking you may find.

      • So why do Muslims have a hard on and are Hellbent on exterminating all the Jews. It’s in your book because I read it after someone told me about it that trees tell the Muslims to come and kill that Jew that’s hiding behind the tree.

        There was also a survey taken in over 20
        Countries with Muslim majority asking them if the world would be better off if all the Jews were exterminated. Over 80% of Muslims who took the survey said yes. the person who did the interview was English and was in shock. Are you supposed or are you going to deny it as well as the Quoran tells believers to no believers it’s ok to lie if it helps the spread of Islam.

  12. Just to clarify one thing: the Jewish and Arab cultures and languages evolved in exactly the same region, during the same time, and share many, many features, including religious and linguistic traditions. Just consider “Sholom Aleichem” and “Salaam Alaikum”, or Said ibn Saud versus David ben Gurion, with ibn and ben both meaning “son of”.

    I’m not sure I buy the stuff about the EZ ending being a Jewish naming custom in the Iberia, but the notion of it being patronymic seems to make sense.

    And Yousef, yes, the Arab culture was at its very height of brilliance and vigor during the Arab Golden Age, during the very same time Europe was descending into a Dark Age. But, just as things were turning around in Europe with the High Middle Ages and Renaissance, the Arab Muslim world was plunged into its own Dark Age with the sack of Baghdad by the Mongols and internally too, as politicization of religious considerations led to taqheed (imitation) instead of rational independent thought (ijtihad). No doubt, though, as to the immense contributions of the Islamic Golden Age to Western Civilization as a whole.

  13. I wish that 100 years from now there will be no countries , no borders, no religions, no races, no ethnicities —– only people living free in peace and harmony.

    • I think we can all agree that conformity has led us to believe that there is a right and wrong. But in essence, it someone else’s story. That’s why it’s called HIS-TORY. In those time it was up to the conqueror’s to decide on what culture would be save for history and what was unacceptable (destroy). What is truth when we have been propagated to the conformity of our new founding fathers (USA). You lose they Win. A propaganda at its finest toxifying the minds of the son’s of the holy land. May God bless The United States Of America.

  14. I am Jewish and my last name is Brez.

    • Are you of Spanish decent or now living in Spain?

      • “Brez” is not derived from a Spanish first or last name, so, sorry, it is not applicable to this forum. Forgive me for repeated what I had posted earlier but many may not have gone back to the beginning and read them. BTW, I was the second poster here with subsequent posts that followed. I have been named stupid, ignorant and a liar here but that was to be expected and I forgive all that made such denigrating remarks against me Again and yet again, Hispanic names ending in “ez” or “es” were MUSLIMS, MUSLIMS, MUSLIMS, not Jews. The suffix means “son of” in Spanish but not in the biological sense but rather “you are now one of us, like it or not!” It was their way of keeping track of the Muslims who were forced to convert to Catholicism and we know the infamy of the Spanish Inquisitions for which a pope offered an apology to Jews but not to Muslims who suffered most. Muslims ruled Spain from 711-1492 thus the disdain of Catholics was against Muslims, even to the present. It seems that certain Jews are always on he ready to claim that they were the victims of such ordeals and it is as if they have cornered the market on persecution, discrimination, and human tragedy. They, too, were persecuted in Spain but it was Muslims that rescued them with Muslims and took Jews to Muslim countries where they were given safe haven and we see their appreciation by what Jews have been doing to Palestinians for over 70 years, and what they did to Lebanon and its people as well. They are known as the Sephardic Jews who dressed as Arabs, spoke Arabic, had Arab weddings, and they along with Christians were given equal rights and were protected by Muslims. They lived and co-existed in absolute peace and harmony among themselves. This explains why there were so many Jews that lived in so many Muslim countries and some had official government positions. So close were Muslims and Jews in that era that a Jew was the personal physical that attended to the Great Salahudeen who won back Jerusalem from marauding Christian Crusaders. He guaranteed the right of all peoples of all faiths to practice their religion with pout persecution of any kind. True they had to pay a low tax but Muslims had to pay a much higher zakat and non-Muslims were protected and did not have to fight in wars waged against Muslims by others. Anyone rejecting my writing here is either uninformed (my euphemism for “ignorant”) or an anti-Muslim. There it is, folks! Oh, go online and type “contributions of muslims to civilization” and be in awe! Medicine, dentistry, astronomy, physics, philosophy, architecture, hydraulics, geometry, mathematics, algebra, the Arabic Numeral System we use today, paper in its true form, first hospitals with music played from afar to soothe the infirmed, and dental facilities, surgery, anatomy, first book on medicine that was used throughout Europe for 600 years, rhythmic music, rhyming poetry, different courses at meals with a sweet to freshen the palate, many of the spices we use today, the introduction of coffee by a YEMENI goatherd, not Ethiopian as falsely claimed, the first university that still exists in Cairo, Egypt, and the first one in Europe as well, and the list goes on and on… and all from Muslims. So, for and against me, I bid ye all my greetings of Salaam.

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