From various place names in England which mean "red cliff" in Old English.
RADEMAKER Dutch, German
From the old occupation of rademaker
which referred to a person who made raden
"wheels" (singular 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 or from Rennes, France.
Occupational name for a ràis
, the fisherman who directed the fishing. It is typical of Sicily and Sardinia and probably has Arabic origins.
Means "dweller on a narrow pass or hillside" from Old English hraca
Means "dweller in a thickly wooded area" from Latin ramus
. It could also refer to someone connected with Palm Sunday in some way (French dimanche des rameaux
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).
Means "dweller by the shore" from Finnish ranta
From the area of Genoa with a locative origin from the town of Rapallo.
RAPP (1) Swedish
Means "quick, prompt" from Swedish rapp
, one of the names adopted by soldiers in the 17th century.
Means "healthy, energetic, speedy" in Danish.
From a nickname meaning "hot head". It occurs in the northern Eifel region in Rheinland.
From Russian распутье (rasputye)
meaning "crossroads". A famous bearer was the Russian mystic Grigoriy Rasputin (1869-1916).
Means "rat", originally denoting a sly individual.
From a place name meaning "fortress town", from Gaelic rath
"fortress" and Welsh tref
Means "smith" in Finnish, mentioned in the Kalevala. There is also a town called Rautio.
From the important city of Ravenna, near Bologna, in northern Italy.
Derived from a Germanic name which 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
Means "dweller in a clearing in woodland" from Old English ried
. It is also derived from various English place names with various meanings, including "roe headland", "reeds" and "brushwood".
Occupational name for a sheriff, from Middle English reeve
REINDER Dutch, Frisian
Derived from the Frisian given name Reinder
, which is a form of the Dutch given name Reinier
is the Dutch variant of RAYNER
Ornamental name from German Reis
meaning "twig, branch".
Topographic name, derived from resa
"heather" or else from a type of barley.
Derived from Middle Low German redik
for "radish". It is therefore occupational and applied to greengrocers.
REUTER (1) German, Jewish
Means "dweller in a clearing" or "clearer of woodland" from Middle High German riute
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.
Either a topographical name derived from Old English rod
meaning "a clearing in woodland", or a locational name from any of the locations named with this word.
Means "little river" or "stream", derived from the Portuguese word ribeira
Originally indicated someone who came from the county or town of Ribe in southwest Denmark.
From Italian ricco
"curly", a nickname for someone with curly hair.
Means "home of a rich person" in French, from the elements riche
wealthy and lieu
place. The historic figure Cardinal Richelieu was named such for his family estates. Due to the Cardinal's villainous portrayal in Alexander Dumas' 'The Three Musketeers', the name Richelieu is now associated with political intrigue and ambition.
Denoted a person who hailed from one of the various places in England with that name.
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 place name meaning "ridge farm" in Old Norse.
, a word meaning "blackbird" in Hungarian.
RILEY (1) English
Originally derived from a place name meaning "rye clearing" in Old English.
RIOS Portuguese, Spanish
Originally denoted a person who lived near a river, from Portuguese and Spanish rios
From the German word ritter
meaning "rider, knight", a cognate of RYDER
Means "dweller by a river, lake" from Latin ripa
Topographic name for a person who lived on a riverbank.
From Middle English and Old French roche
meaning "rock", from Late Latin rocca
, a word which may be of Celtic origin. It indicated a person who lived near a prominent rock, or who came from a town by this name (such as Les Roches in Normandy).
Means "dweller by the oak tree or forest" from Spanish roble
which in turn was derived from Latin robur
From a nickname indicating a strong person, from the Italian word robusto
Derived from Polish rog
meaning "animal horn".
Means "rye field" in Dutch. A famous bearer was Jacob Roggeveen, the explorer who discovered Easter Island.
Means "red (haired, complexioned)" from Latin rubeus
Means "red" in relation to hair or complexion from Spanish rojo
ROMA (2) Italian
From the name of the city of Rome, Italy. It described either a person from there or someone who had been there.
From the region of Romagna, on the Adriatic coast of Italy.
ROMANO (2) Italian
Denoted someone who was from the city of Rome. People surnamed Romano also originated from Rome in Provincia de Foggia on the east coast of Italy.
Means "son of ROMAN
". This was the surname of the last dynasty of Russian tsars.
ROMERO Italian, Spanish
Derived from Roma
, Spanish and Italian name of the city of Rome. It could have originally indicated a person who was from Rome or who took a pilgrimage to Rome.
Derived from the Dutch given name Romein
, which comes from Romanus
ROMILLY English, French
Originally denoted a person who came from any of the various places in northern France called Romilly or Remilly, or from Romiley in England.
Variant of VAN ROMPA
. Of all the known surnames that are derived from VAN ROMPAEY
, Rompa is the commonest in the Netherlands; there are only a handful of known bearers in Flanders (Belgium).
Locative surname, from the names of places like Ronco or Ronchi, quite common in northern Italy. It was the surname of Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (1881-1963), pope Giovanni XXIII, one of the most the popular popes of the Roman Catholic Church of the last century.
Locative surname coming from a place called Ronco. It is common in northern and central Italy.
Literally means "red field", from Dutch rood
"red" and akker
"field". The surname comes from the word rooiakker
, which was a name for a field that had a reddish colour or for a field that was barren.
From the Dutch word roos
Means "rose field" from Dutch roos
"rose" and veld
"field". This was the surname of American presidents Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945).
ROSA Italian, Catalan
Means "rose" from Latin rosa
, perhaps denoting a person who lived where roses grew or had a rosy complexion.
Means "rosary" from Portuguese rosario
. This name was often given to people born on the day of the festival of Our Lady of the Rosary.
ROSE (1) English, French, German, Scottish, Jewish
Means "rose" from the Middle English, Old French and Middle High German rose
. All denote a person of a rosy complexion or a person who lived in an area abundant with roses. It is also found derived from the Yiddish royz
, which always referred to the flower.
ROSS English, Scottish
From various place names (such as the region of Ross in northern Scotland) which are derived from Scottish Gaelic ros
meaning "promontory, headland".
Derived from a nickname for a red-haired person, from Italian rosso
, Latin russus
Diminutive form of ROSSI
. A famous bearer was the Italian composer Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868).
ROTH German, Jewish
From Middle High German rot
meaning "red". It was originally a nickname for a person with red hair.
From Middle High German roten
"to clear land" and bur
ROTHSCHILD German, Jewish
Means "red shield, sign" from German rot
"red" and German or Yiddish s(c)hild
"sign, shield". The surname originally came from a family who took their name from a house with a red shield or sign on it. It has since been adopted by unrelated Jews.
Derived from a nickname indicating an old measure. The word rotolu
comes from southern Italian dialects, and is derived from the Arabic or Greek language.
Means "son of the fat person" from the Middle English and Old French rond, rund
Diminutive of ROUX
. A famous bearer was the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) whose ideas influenced the French Revolution.
Derived from old French rous
"red", most likely a nickname for a red-haired person.
Means "dweller in the overgrown valley" from Old English ruh
"rough, overgrown" and boðm
ROWE English, Scottish, Irish
Means "dweller by a row of hedges or houses" from Middle English row
. Some examples of the name are derived from the medieval name Row
, which is either a variant of ROLLO
Given to a person who lived near a rowan tree or mountain ash.
Originally derived from the medieval given name Royse
, a variant of ROSE
Originally derived from a place name meaning "rye hill", from Old English ryge
"rye" and dun
From the Old French verb, which comes from roye
meaning "to furrow with little irrigation trenches". In the Ardennes Mountains it means "to ret or steep flax".
Originally derived from a place name meaning "rye hill" from Old English ryge
"rye" and hyll
Originally taken from an Old English place name meaning "Royse's town". The given name Royse
was a medieval variant of ROSE
From Chinese 阮 (ruǎn)
which refers to a type of musical instrument, similar to a lute.
Nickname for a person with red hair, from Latin rubeus
Indicated a person who lived near the Rudawa, a river in Poland.
Refers to a rush
, the grasslike plant that grows in a marsh.
From a Norman French nickname which meant "little red one", perhaps originally describing a person with red hair.
From a medieval nickname for a rustic man living in the country.
Originally taken by families who lived near the town of Rutherford in Scotland. It means "cattle ford" in Old English. The name dates back to the 13th century.
From a dialectal variant of RUGGERO
. It is typical of northeastern Italy, the area around Trieste.
Occupational surname for a mounted forest officer, from Old English ridere
Topographic name. It could be a misdivision of the Middle English phrases atter ye
meaning "at the island" or atter eye
meaning "at the river". In some cases it merely indicated a person who lived where rye was grown or worked with rye (from Old English ryge
Means "those who farmed rye", from Dutch kamp