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SOURCE: Given Name
OTHER FORMS: Barzillai
Meaning & History
Thought by some to be a patronymic surname meaning "son of Zilai", but this is actually incorrect. The surname actually derives from Barzillai, the name of a character from the Talmud. His name meant "man of iron" or "iron-hearted", derived from Hebrew barzel "iron". Notable bearers of this surname include Israeli politician Yisrael Barzilai (1913-1970) and American-Israeli scholar Gad Barzilai (b. 1958).