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
meaning "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 that 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.
From an adjectival derivative of Puglia, from Latin Apulia
, a region of southeast Italy containing the boot heel and some of the coastline of the Adriatic Sea. It is a regional name for someone from that region.
Derived from the medieval status name purkrabí
meaning "burgrave". It is derived from German Burggraf
meaning "castle count".
From Old French pourcel
"piglet", from Latin porcellus
, a derivative of porcus
"pig". This was a nickname or an occupational name for a swineherd.
Occupational name for a gunsmith or cannon maker, from Hungarian puska
meaning "gun" (from German, itself from Latin buxis
From Hungarian puszta
meaning "plain, steppe". The name was given to someone living on a plain.
, the name of towns in Hertfordshire and Surrey in England, which mean "Putta's homestead".
From Italian quattro
meaning "four" and occhi
meaning "eyes", a nickname for a person who wore glasses. It is usually found in Sicily.
From a given name that was derived from Old English cwen
meaning "queen, woman". In some occurrences it may have been a nickname.
Nickname for a quick or agile person, ultimately from Old English cwic
Anglicized form of Irish Ó Cuaig
meaning "descendant of Cuaig", a given name of unknown meaning.
Anglicized form of Irish Ó Coigligh
meaning "descendant of Coigleach", a given name meaning "untidy".
Originally from various place names in Normandy that were derived from the given name QUINTUS
From Irish Ó Caoindealbháin
, which means "descendant of Caoindealbhán", a given name meaning "comely form".
Anglicized form of Irish Ó Cuinn
meaning "descendant of CONN
From various Spanish place names derived from quiñóon
meaning "shared piece of land", derived from Latin quinque
QUINTANA Spanish, Catalan
Originally indicated someone who lived on a piece of land where the rent was a fifth of its produce, from Spanish and Catalan quintana
"fifth", from Latin quintus
Anglicized form of Irish Ó Cuirc
meaning "descendant of Corc", a given name meaning "heart".
Denoted a person from one of the various places of this name in Spain, which may derive from Galician queiroa
Derived from Hungarian rác
meaning "Rascian", a former name for Serbians who lived in the Habsburg Empire.
From various place names in England that mean "red cliff" in Old English.
From the occupation of rademaker
meaning "maker of wheels", from Dutch rad
Anglicized form of Irish Ó Rabhartaigh
meaning "descendant of Rabhartach". The given name Rabhartach
means "flood tide".
Originally denoted a person from Rayne, Essex, England (possibly from an Old English word meaning "shelter") or from Rennes, Brittany, France (from the name of the Gaulish tribe of the Redones).
Occupational name for the fisherman in charge of the boat, from Italian rais
"captain", of Arabic origin. It is typical of Sicily and Sardinia.
Originally a name for a dweller on a narrow pass or hillside, from Old English hrace
Originally denoted a person from Ralston, Scotland, which was derived from the given name RALPH
combined with Old English tun
meaning "enclosure, yard, town".
Originally indicated a person who lived in a thickly wooded area, from Latin ramus
RAMSEY Scottish, English
Means "garlic island", derived from Old English hramsa
"garlic" and eg
"island". The surname was brought to Scotland by the Norman baron Simundus de Ramsay.
From the name of homesteads in Denmark (in Viborg or Rebild municipalities).
Originally indicated a person who lived near the shore, from Finnish ranta
meaning "shore, beach".
RAPP (1) Swedish
From Swedish rapp
meaning "quick, prompt", one of the names adopted by soldiers in the 17th century.
RAPP (2) German
From Middle High German raben
meaning "raven", a nickname for a person with black hair.
Possibly from German rasch
"quick" and Kopf
From Russian распутье (rasputye)
meaning "crossroads". A famous bearer was the Russian mystic Grigoriy Rasputin (1869-1916).
From Italian ratto
meaning "rat", originally denoting a sly individual.
From a Scottish place name meaning "fortress town", from Gaelic ráth
meaning "fortress" and a Pictish word meaning "town".
From the name of the city of Ravenna in northern Italy, which is of uncertain origin, possibly Etruscan.
RAYNE English, French
Derived from a Germanic name that was short for longer names beginning with the element ragin
meaning "advice, counsel".
READ (1) English
Means "red" from Middle English read
, probably denoting a person with red hair or complexion.
READ (2) English
From Old English ryd
, an unattested form of rod
meaning "cleared land". It is also derived from various English place names with various meanings, including "roe headland", "reeds" and "brushwood".
Anglicized form of Irish Ó Ríagáin
meaning "descendant of RIAGÁN
". A famous bearer was American president Ronald Reagan (1911-2004).
Meaning unknown. The second element is probably from Old Norse berg
"mountain" (modern Danish bjerg
Occupational name derived from Middle English reeve
, Old English (ge)refa
meaning "sheriff, prefect, local official".
Means "heron" in German, a nickname for a person with long legs.
REIS German, Jewish
From Middle High German ris
meaning "twig, branch, bush", denoting a person who lived in an overgrown area. As a Jewish name it is ornamental.
From the name of the town of Rimington in Lancashire, derived from the name of the stream Riming
combined with Old English tun
meaning "enclosure, town".
Possibly derived from a variant of Spanish de rondón
meaning "unexpectedly, rashly".
Derived from Middle High German retich
, Middle Low German redik
meaning "radish", an occupational name for a grower or seller of radishes.
REY (1) English, Spanish, French, Catalan
Means "king" in Old French, Spanish and Catalan, ultimately from Latin rex
), perhaps originally denoting someone who acted like a king.
REY (2) English
Means "female roe deer" from Old English ræge
, probably denoting someone of a nervous temperament.
Topographic name derived from Old English rod
meaning "cleared land", or a locational name from any of the locations named with this word.
Means "little river, stream" in Portuguese, ultimately from Latin riparius
Originally indicated a person from the county or town of Ribe in southwestern Denmark.
From Italian riccio
meaning "curly", a nickname for someone with curly hair. It is ultimately from Latin ericius
From the name of the town of Richelieu, derived from French riche
"wealthy" and lieu
"place". The historic figure Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642), born Armand du Plessis, was so-called because he became the first Duke of Richelieu. He appears in Alexander Dumas' novel 'The Three Musketeers' (1844).
Means "judge" in German, from Middle High German rihtære
Denoted a person who hailed from one of the various places of this name in England. The places are derived from Old English geryd
"channel" or hreod
"reed" combined with leah
Means "reed field", from Dutch riet
"reed" and veld
"field". It is found mostly in the western part of the Netherlands (the Holland area).
Originally derived from a the name of a town in Lancashire, itself from Old Norse hryggr
"ridge" and býr
From the name of the Italian city of Reggio Calabria, from Latin Rhegium
, of Greek origin.
RILEY (1) English
From the name of the town of Ryley in Lancashire, derived from Old English ryge
"rye" and leah
Occupational name meaning "poet", from Middle English rime
Originally denoted a person who lived near a river, from Portuguese rios
"river", ultimately from Latin rivus
From Middle High German riter
meaning "rider, knight", a cognate of RYDER
Means "bank, shore" in Italian, from Latin ripa
, denoting one who lived by a river or a lake.
From Spanish ribera
meaning "bank, shore", from Latin riparius
Denoted a person who lived near a river, from Middle English, from Old French riviere
meaning "river", from Latin riparius