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Surname Azov - Meaning and Origin

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Azov: What does the surname Azov mean?

The last name Azov is of Jewish origin and is derived from the Hebrew word "azov," which means strength or power. Historically, the name was used to describe someone of strong character or a leader. It is also sometimes spelled Azoff, Asoff or Asov.

Azov is a very common name among Ashkenazi Jews, who are believed to have introduced the surname to Eastern and Central Europe during the Middle Ages. The name then spread westwards through Europe, likely due to the diaspora of Jewish families. Indeed, Jewish immigrants from the Russian Empire brought the name to the United States during the 19th century.

The surname may also have originated from the Russian city of Azov, which is located near the Crimean peninsula on the Sea of Azov. This city has a rich Jewish history and there are many records of Jews living there since the 1500s.

Today, the name Azov is most popular in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, though there are traces of it in other parts of the world. As a Jewish name, it has become an important part of Jewish identity and has been kept alive through generations of Jewish families.

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Azov: Where does the name Azov come from?

The surname Azov is most commonly found among people of Russian and Jewish descent, as it is derived from the name of an ancient Russian city that now lies on the coast of the Azov Sea. Today, the surname Azov is predominantly found in Russia and the former Soviet Union, especially Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and Lithuania. It is also common among Russian Jews, many of whom emigrated from those countries and elsewhere in Eastern Europe over the past century.

Within Russia itself, the surname Azov is most common in the oblasts (political divisions) of Stavropol Krai, Krasnodarsky Krai, Saratov Oblast, and Chelyabinsk Oblast. It is found in slightly lesser numbers in the oblasts of Kaliningrad Oblast, Novosibirsk Oblast, Kursk Oblast, and Tomsk Oblast. As the Azov Sea forms part of both the borders of Ukraine and Russia, the surname Azov is also common among the populations of southeastern Ukraine and the Russian-controlled Crimea.

Out of Russia, Ukraine, and the former Soviet Union, the surname Azov is also present in lesser numbers in countries all around the world, particularly in Europe (the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands), North America (the United States and Canada), and Australia. It is likely that many of the people bearing this surname in those countries are descended from immigrants who brought it with them from Russia and the former Soviet Union.

Variations of the surname Azov

The surname Azov is of ancient Hebrew origin, and is found in several languages. Variants of the surname include the Hebrew versions of Azovski, Azowski, Azofsky, Azovitz, Azovskis, and Azovitzky, as well as the Russian forms of Azova, Azov, Assaf, and Assav.

In Jewish societies, the surname is often passed down matrilineally, so it is not uncommon to see the surname spelled with many different variations.

In America, members of Jewish families with the surname Azov or its variants may be seen spelled Sears, Scher or Shar. This is due to a linguistic adaptation in which a family with the surname Azofsky chose to change their name to a transliteration of the English word ‘sher’, which translates to ‘lion’.

A common spelling of Azofsky in the UK is Asafsky. This spelling originates from the Galician village of Wegrow in Poland. There is also the Polish surname of Azowski, and in rare cases, the surname is written Astovsky.

In Spain, the surname Azofsky is found as Asaf as well as Assaf. It is also found as Assif in Portugal.

Finally, the surname Azov is also found in Greece as Azoff.

In total, there are over 100 variations of the surname Azov. This is a testament to the strength of the culture and language of those who originally bore this name. No matter the spelling, this surname is indicative of a family’s Jewish heritage that remains a proud part of many Jewish people’s past and present.

Famous people with the name Azov

  • Alexander Azov: Russian-born, Israeli footballer.
  • Sergei Azov: Russian actor and producer.
  • Irina Azovskaya: Russian ballroom dancer.
  • Natalia Azovskaya: Russian synchronized swimmer.
  • Natalya Azovskaya: Russian ice dancer.
  • Anatoly Azov: Russian politician.
  • Yevgeny Azov: Soviet and Russian author.
  • Pavel Azov: Russian mixed martial artist.
  • Vadim Azov: Russian film director and cinematographer.
  • Mikhail Azov: Russian writer and journalist.
  • Sergey Azov: Russian volleyball player.
  • Vera Azov: Russian-born stage and film actress.
  • Emil Azov: Soviet and Russian geologist and geochemist.
  • Ilya Azov: Russian MMA fighter.
  • Nadezhda Azov: Russian ice hockey player.
  • Tanya Azov: Russian swimmer.
  • Aleksei Azov: Russian biathlete.
  • Dmitri Azov: Russian-born rock musician.
  • Roman Azov: Russian politician.
  • Yevgeny Azov: Russian ice hockey player.

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