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Surname Azof - Meaning and Origin

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Azof: What does the surname Azof mean?

The last name Azof is a Jewish surname originating from the town of Azov in Ukraine. Azov is located near the mouth of the Don River at the Sea of Azov. It is believed that this name is derived from the Hebrew word for a “swallow” or “bird” which was used as a nickname for a person with quick movements or agility. Alternatively, it is possible that this name has its origins in the older Hebrew word “azof” meaning “strong”.

The surname Azof can be found among Jews in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, France, Israel and other countries throughout the world. In the United States, it can be found among those who have emigrated from Central and Eastern Europe. Many Israeli Americans also carry this name.

As a Jewish surname, Azof is often associated with strong close family ties and traditional values. This surname is often viewed as being of great honor by many in the Jewish community as it is seen as a symbol of courage and strength. The surname Azof can also be seen as an indication of the accomplishments made by many individuals from the Jewish community, as those who possess this name are often seen as tenacious in their pursuits.

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Azof: Where does the name Azof come from?

The last name Azof is most commonly found in the Russian-speaking countries of the former Soviet Union, particularly in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. It is an established name with roots in the Middle Ages, though the exact origin is uncertain. There is speculation that it is related to the Old Slavic word for howling, but this is mostly conjecture.

Within the Russian Federation, Eastern Slavic names are more popular in cities, while Uralic and Finno-Ugrian names are more common in rural communities. The last name Azof is mostly found in suburban and rural western parts of the Russian Federation.

Azof is a relatively rare name in most other countries. In the United States, it is most commonly found in areas with significant immigrant populations from the Russian-speaking world, like the Los Angeles area and other major cities. There are also communities of Azofs in the former Soviet republics of Georgia, Armenia, and Moldova.

The last name Azof is not especially common anywhere today, and is more likely to be an indicator of Russian roots and heritage than anything else. Nevertheless, its linguistic roots and centuries of history make it a unique and interesting surname to explore.

Variations of the surname Azof

The surname Azof has several variants in spelling and pronunciation depending on the region and time period. In some cases, its spelling may be rendered as Zof or Asof.

The variants of the name are also found in other countries, such as the Jewish Ashkenazic origins in Poland, Hungary, and the former Soviet Union, where it is spelled Zof or Asaf and pronounced the same. As a patronymic surname, it is derived from the given name Asaf.

In Western Europe, the spelling is usually variantly rendered as either Hasenfuss or Hasenfus. Hasenfuss is German for 'hare's paw', while Hasenfus is a Dutch surname meaning 'hare's foot'.

The surname can also be found in Scotland as Asof, Asoff, or Asop, although these are fairly rare, more common being the variant Aslop.

Another variant of Azof found in some parts of Europe is Zofe or Zoff. This is believed to be a corruption of Zoef, a short form of the female given name Sofie (Sophia).

Lastly, the masculine given name Azov, found mostly in Russia, is derived from the surname and is believed to mean ‘perfect’ or ‘complete’. This surname is also found as Azovskaya or Azovske in Ukraine.

Famous people with the name Azof

  • Tom Azof- Israeli judoka and three-time Olympic competitor who represented Israel in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
  • Tim Azof- musician and co-founder of the band Salad Days.
  • Lawrence Azof- Emmy-winning actor with several television movie and film credits, most notably playing Cosmo Kramer in the classic television series Seinfeld.
  • Gary Azof- American-based musician, songwriter, and composer who performed with rock bands throughout the late 1970s and 1980s as well as in musical shows on Broadway.
  • Peter Azof- professional basketball player and former member of the United States national team.
  • David Azof- award-winning filmmaker and producer who is best known for his documentary films about nature, history, and culture.
  • Jimmy Azof- American country musician and composer who is also known for his influential work on the hit television show Hee Haw.
  • Carlos Azof- Mexican soccer champion from the early 1990s who played for the Mexican national team and later for Major League Soccer team.
  • Oren Azof- Israeli actor, director, and filmmaker who starred in several Israeli films, telenovelas, and stage productions throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Richard Azof- award-winning detective novelist and screenwriter best known for his hard-boiled fiction about the Los Angeles underworld.

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