Derived from the Italian given name Pace
Originally indicated a person from Padmore in England, derived from Old English padde
"toad" and mor
Originally denoted one who came from the city of Padua in Italy, from Italian Padova
, itself from Latin Patavium
, of unknown meaning.
PAGE English, French
Occupational name meaning "servant, page". It is ultimately derived (via Old French and Italian) from Greek παιδιον (paidion)
meaning "little boy".
From Italian paladino
meaning "knight, defender", from Late Latin palatinus
meaning "palace officer".
Means "pilgrim", ultimately from Latin palma
"palm tree", since pilgrims to the Holy Land often brought back palm fronds as proof of their journey.
Locative name from the town of Palmi in the Calabria region of southern Italy.
From Italian palombo
meaning "pigeon" (also "dogfish"). This form is typical of southern Italy.
PAN (2) Chinese
From Chinese 潘 (pān)
meaning "water in which rice has been rinsed", and also referring to a river that flows into the Han River.
PAPP (2) German
Nickname perhaps related to Late Latin pappare
meaning "to eat".
PAQUET (1) French
Occupational name for a firewood gatherer, from Old French pacquet
PAREDES Portuguese, Spanish
Denoted a person who lived near a wall, from Portuguese parede
and Spanish pared
meaning "wall", both derived from Latin paries
PARENT English, French
Derived from Old French parent
meaning either "notable" (from Latin pārēre
meaning "to be apparent") or "parent" (from Latin parere
meaning "to produce, to give birth").
PARISH (1) English
Originally denoted a person who came from the French city of Paris, which got its name from the ancient Celtic tribe known as the Parisii.
PARK (2) English
From Middle English park
, from Latin parricus
, of Germanic origin. This was a name for someone who worked in or lived in a park.
Means "keeper of the park" in Middle English. It is an occupational name for a person who was a gamekeeper at a medieval park.
From the city of Parma in northern Italy, the name of which is probably of Etruscan origin.
From the name of a village near Genoa in northern Italy.
From a Sicilian variant of Italian padrino
Means "son of Parsam", possibly from an Assyrian name Barsauma
Originally denoted a son of a parson, a derivative of Latin persona
PASTERNAK Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Yiddish
Means "parsnip" in various Slavic languages, ultimately from Latin pastinaca
. A famous bearer was Boris Pasternak (1890-1960), author of 'Doctor Zhivago'.
Derived from Hungarian patak
meaning "creek, brook". It was given to people who lived near a creek.
PATERNOSTER English, Italian
Occupational name for a maker of rosaries, also called paternosters. They are derived from the Latin phrase pater noster
"our Father", the opening words of the Lord's Prayer.
From the name of the city of Pavia in Lombardy, Italy. It is of unknown meaning.
PAVLOV Russian, Bulgarian
Means "son of PAVEL
". A famous bearer of this surname was the Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936), known for his discovery of the conditioned reflex.
Means "peacock" in Italian. It was originally a nickname for a proud or haughty person.
From a medieval given name or nickname derived from Latin paganus
meaning "heathen, pagan" (from an earlier sense "rural, rustic") which was given to children whose baptism had been postponed or adults who were not overly religious.
From Middle English pecok
meaning "peacock". It was originally a nickname for a proud or haughty person.
Originally indicated a dweller by a pointed hill, from Old English peac
"peak". It could also denote a person from the Peak District in Derbyshire, England.
PECK (2) English
Occupational name for a maker of pecks (vessels used as peck measures), derived from Middle English pekke
Means "sheep" in Italian, an occupational name for a shepherd.
Nickname for a thin person, derived from Old French pel
, Latin palus
meaning "stake, post" (related to English pole
From Dutch meaning "pear tree", referring to someone who lived or worked at a pear orchard.
Means "pilgrim, traveller" in Italian, ultimately from Latin peregrinus
From the name of a town near Manchester, derived from Celtic penn
meaning "hill" combined with Old English bere
meaning "barley" and tun
meaning "enclosure, yard, town".
Originally denoted a person who lived near a jutting rock, from Spanish peña
meaning "rock, cliff".
PENDER (1) English
From Middle English pind
"to pen up". This was an occupational name for someone who penned animals.
From Middle Dutch paender
meaning "brewer", derived from panne
meaning "pan, pot", ultimately from Latin patina
PENN (1) English
Derived from various place names which were named using the Brythonic word penn
meaning "hilltop, head".
PENN (2) English
Occupational name for a person who kept penned animals, from Old English penn
Nickname meaning "penny, coin" from Old English penning
Denoted a person who came from Penzig, the German name for Pieńsk, a town in southwest Poland. It is derived from Polish pień
meaning "stump, tree trunk".
PEREIRA Portuguese, Galician
From Portuguese and Galician pereira
meaning "pear tree", ultimately from Latin pirum
From the name of a region in southern France, possibly of Gaulish origin.
PERRY (1) English
From Old English pirige
meaning "pear tree", a derivative of peru
meaning "pear", itself from Latin pirum
. A famous bearer was Matthew Perry (1794-1858), the American naval officer who opened Japan to the West.
From the name of the city of Perugia in Umbria, Italy. It was known as Perusia
in the classical period, and it is of Etruscan origin.
From the name of the city of Pesaro, in the Marche region (Latin Pisaurum
Means "fish" in Italian, referring either to a fisherman or to a person who resembled a fish in some way.
PETIT French, Catalan, English
Means "small, little" derived from Old French and Catalan petit
. It was perhaps used for a short, small person or to denote the younger of two individuals.
From a nickname meaning "priest, cleric" from Old High German pfaffo
, from Latin papa
From Old High German pfenning
meaning "penny, coin". It was used in reference to feudal tax obligations.
PHILIPS English, Dutch
Means "son of PHILIP
". Famous bearers of this surname were Frederick Philips (1830-1900) and his son Gerard (1858-1942), the Dutch founders of the company Philips.
Means "Friday" in Polish, derived from the word piąty
Means "plaza" in Italian, indicating that the residence of the original bearer was near the town square.
From Italian pica
meaning "magpie". This probably denoted someone who was talkative or prone to stealing, although it may have described someone's unusual colouring. The Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was a famous bearer of this name.
Nickname for a short person, from Italian piccolo
From the name of a town in Yorkshire, derived from Old English Piceringas
, the name of a tribe.
Derived from Middle English pighel
meaning "small field".
From the name of the small town of Pierno in southern Italy near Potenza.
Nickname for a person who was a pilgrim, ultimately from Latin peregrinus
Name for a person who lived near a pine tree, from Italian pino
, Latin pinus
Name for a person from a town named Piotrów
, all derived from the given name PIOTR
From the name of the town of Piovene Rocchette in Veneto, Italy.
Originally given to a person who played on a pipe (a flute).
From Italian pisano
, the name for an inhabitant of the city of Pisa, Italy. The city's name is of unknown meaning.
Originally a nickname for somebody who steals grapes from vineyards. In the Genoese dialect pittà
means "to pick" and uga
means "grapes" (uva
Indicated a person who lived by a pit or hollow, from Old English pytt
. It could also indicate a person from Pitt (Hants) or Pett (East Sussex) in England.
Derived from French plat
"flat" and mont
"mountain", referring to someone who lived near a flat-topped mountain.
PLANK German, English
Means "plank", from Old French, itself from Late Latin planca
. This could have referred to a person who lived by a plank bridge over a stream, someone who was thin, or a carpenter.
Originally denoted a dweller by a swampy meadow, from Old French plascq
meanig "wet meadow".
From Old French plat
meaning "flat, thin", from Late Latin plattus
, from Greek πλατυς (platys)
meaning "wide, broad, flat". This may have been a nickname or a topographic name for someone who lived near a flat feature.
Nickname for a bald person, from Slovene pleša
meaning "bald patch".
Possibly from the name of a field where cattle fodder was grown, from German Bletsch
Possibly derived from French palourde
, a type of a shellfish.
Means "one who sits behind" in Czech, an equivalent to Zahradník
mainly used in the region of Moravia.
Means "hillock, small hill" in Italian, a derivative of Latin podium
meaning "balcony, platform".
Means "pear tree" in French, originally a nickname for someone who lived close to such a tree.
Means "Pole, person from Poland" in Czech.
From a diminutive of the given name PAOLO
. This name is typical of northern and central Italy.
Derived from Czech polo
"one half" and lán
, a medieval Czech measure of land (approximately 18 hectares). The name denoted someone who owned this much land.
From the name of a town in Pomerania, Poland (formerly part of Germany). In Polish it is called Połczyn.
Originally referred to one who lived near a pond.
PONTECORVO Italian, Jewish
From the name of a town in central Italy, home to an old Jewish community. The town's name is derived from Italian ponte
"bridge" and curvo
From Old English pol
meaning "pool", referring to a person who lived by a small body of water.
From a nickname which originally designated a person who played the part of the pope in a play or pageant. Otherwise the name could be used as a nickname for a man with a solemn, austere, or pious appearance. It is derived from Latin papa
, ultimately from Greek παππας (pappas)
PORCHER English, French
Means "swineherd" from Old French and Middle English porchier
, from Latin porcus
PORRAS Spanish, Catalan
From a nickname meaning "club" in Spanish and Catalan, ultimately from Latin porrum
Occupational name meaning "doorkeeper", ultimately from Old French porte
"door", from Latin porta
Designated a person who lived near a harbour, from Italian porto
, Latin portus
Nickname for a person in a hurry, from Czech pospíšit
From the name of the southern Italian city of Potenza, called Potentia
in Latin, meaning "power, force".
Occupational name for a potter, one who makes earthen vessels.
Occupational name, either for an apothecary, from Old French potecaire
, or a seller of stew, from Old French potagier
Derived from Old French poule
meaning "chicken". It was most likely used to denote a person who raised or sold poultry.
Occupational name for a person who kept animals, from Old English pund
POWER (1) English, Irish
From Old French Poier
, indicating a person who came from the town of Poix in Picardy, France.
POWER (2) English
From Middle English povre
meaning "poor", via Old French from Latin pauper
. It could have been a nickname for someone who had no money or a miser.
From Italian pozzo
meaning "well, pit", derived from Latin puteus
From Old English prætt
meaning "trick, prank". This was a nickname for a trickster.
From the name of various English places meaning "priest's cottage" in Old English.
Originally derived from various place names meaning "priest town" in Old English.
PRETORIUS Southern African, Afrikaans
From Latin praetor
meaning "leader". This name was adopted in the 17th century by Wesselius Praetorius as a Latin translation of his previous surname Schulte
. It is now common in South Africa.
From a nickname meaning "dark" in Spanish, referring to a person with dark hair or skin.
Means "son of the prince", the term prince would have denoted someone who acted in a regal manner.
PRINZ German, Jewish
Means "prince", used as an ornamental name by Jews or as a nickname for someone who acted in a princely manner.
Means "walk, wander, stroll" in Czech. This was an occupational name for a travelling tradesman.
From Italian profeta
meaning "prophet". It probably came from a nickname indicating a person who wanted to predict the future. It is typical of southern Italy.
From a nickname meaning "showy, pompous", derived from an old southern German word meaning "toad".
Derived from Old French preu
meaning "valiant, brave".
From the name of the Provence region of southern France (in Italian Provenza
). It is derived from Latin provincia
"province", a territorial division.
Originally belonged to one who was a prior (a religious official), or one who worked for a prior.
Means "door, gate", a topographic name for a person who lived near the gates of the town.