View Message

[Surname] Meaning of Kontaris
What's the meaning of the greek last name Kontaris?
vote up1vote down


Kontós = "small",
Kontári means a lance or light spear. Could either of these be relevant?
vote up1vote down
Yeah, I'd thought Kontaris might come from the root "kontòs" (small, short) too, plus Kontos is also a Greek last name - in a way it corresponds to the English last name Short.
Is it possible that the suffix -aris has a patronimic/matronimic sense? Or maybe it's just a pet form of Kontos? I noticed this suffix is quite common in Greek last names, also in the ones coming from personal names (Giannaris, Markaris, Vasilaris, etc).
vote up1vote down
Those surnames from given names do make a strong case for -aris being a patronymic ending. It doesn't get mentioned in any listing of Greek surname endings - -opoulos, -ides/-iades, etc. Could it have been overlooked?
Kontaris would then be something like "son of Shorty"!
vote up1vote down
Yeah, that's what I thought too!
I guess the suffix -aris has really been overlooked in the listings of Greek surname endings, maybe it's just because it is less common than some other popular endings like -opoulos, -ides/-iades, -ou, etc. For example, other Greek surnames are Kontopoulos, Kontides, Kontou, etc, all of them meaning "son of Shorty" in a way.
Thanks for your help, Jim!
vote up1vote down