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Judeo-Latin (also Judæo-Latin), La‘az, or Ebraico-Latino is a presumed Jewish language used by Roman Jews, scattered across the Roman Empire, especially those on the Italian Peninsula and in Transalpine Gaul.

"Lo`ez" (לועז) is Hebrew for "foreign language" ("non-Hebrew language"), and in the Middle Ages, it started to refer to Latin or Romance languages.

It is believed that Judeo-Latin is the predecessor of all the Judeo-Romance languages.[1]


Few records exist of Judeo-Latin. Leo Levi found some Hebraisms in a few epigraphs in Italy.[2]

Other possible source are loanwords in other languages, like in Sardinian cenabura [ken'abura] 'Friday' (from Latin cena pura) and caputanni, 'September', a literal translation of Rosh Hashanah.

Judeo-Latin likely influenced not only the Judeo-Romance languages, but also the Yiddish and Rotwelsch languages through its posited daughter languages, Judeo-Italian, Shuadit and Zarphatic.

Related languages[edit]

The historical relationships of the various Judeo-Romance languages are subject to debate and are only tenuously demonstrable at best:


  1. ^ *Blondheim, D. S. 1927. Poèmes judéo-français du Moyen Age. Paris: Champion
    • WEINREICH, Max (1956). The Jewish languages of Romance stock and their relation to earliest Yiddish. RPh 9: 403-428.
  2. ^ Leo Levi, "Ricerca di epigrafia ebraica nell'Italia meridionale," La Rassegna mensile di Israel, vol. 28 (1962), pp. 152-153