From the name of the southern Italian city of Potenza, called Potentia
in Latin, meaning "power, force".
POWER (1) English, Irish
From Old French Poier
, indicating a person who came from the town of Poix in Picardy, France.
From Italian pozzo
meaning "well, pit", derived from Latin puteus
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.
From the name of the Provence region of southern France (in Italian Provenza
). It is derived from Latin provincia
"province", a territorial division.
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.
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".
Originally from various place names in Normandy that were derived from the given name QUINTUS
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
Denoted a person from one of the various places of this name in Spain, which may derive from Galician queiroa
From various place names in England that mean "red cliff" in Old English.
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).
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".
From Russian распутье (rasputye)
meaning "crossroads". A famous bearer was the Russian mystic Grigoriy Rasputin (1869-1916).
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.
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".
Meaning unknown. The second element is probably from Old Norse berg
"mountain" (modern Danish bjerg
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".
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 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).
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
Originally denoted a person who lived near a river, from Portuguese rios
"river", ultimately from Latin rivus
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
From Middle English and Old French roche
meaning "rock", from Late Latin rocca
, a word that 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 "oak wood" from Spanish roble
"oak", ultimately from Latin robur
Originally indicated a person who lived near an oak tree or forest, from Spanish roble
"oak", from Latin robur
Means "rye field" in Dutch. A famous bearer was Jacob Roggeveen (1659-1729), the first European explorer to Easter Island.
From the region of Romagna, on the Adriatic coast of Italy. It is derived from Latin Romania
meaning "land of the Romans".
ROMANO (2) Italian
Denoted a person from the city of ROME
, either a resident or someone who visited as a pilgrim. In Calabria it was also used to designate a person from New Rome, a name for Constantinople.
From the names of places like Ronco or Ronchi, quite common in northern Italy, derived from ronco
meaning "cleared land, terraced land". It was the surname of Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (1881-1963), the pope John XXIII.
From Italian places named Ronchi, derived from ronco
meaning "cleared land, terraced land". It is most common in northern and central Italy.
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).
From the name of a town in Lancashire, derived from Old Norse rá
"roebuck" and skógr
ROSE (1) English, French, German, Jewish
Means "rose" from Middle English, Old French and Middle High German rose
, all from Latin rosa
. All denote a person of a rosy complexion or a person who lived in an area abundant with roses. As a Jewish surname it is ornamental, from Yiddish רויז (roiz)
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".
ROTHENBERG German, Jewish
From Middle High German rot
meaning "red" and berg
meaning "mountain". As a Jewish name it may be ornamental.
From Middle High German rot
"red" and schilt
"shield", or Yiddish רויט (roit)
and שילד (shild)
. The famous Rothschild family of bankers took their name from a house with a red shield on it.
From the name of the city of Rovigo in northeastern Italy near Venice. It was called Rodigium
in Latin, and is of unknown meaning.
Originally indicated a person who lived in an overgrown valley, from Old English ruh
"rough, overgrown" and boðm
ROWE (1) English
Means "row" in Middle English, indicating a dweller by a row of hedges or houses.
Originally given to a person who lived near a rowan tree or mountain ash.
Originally derived from a place name meaning "rye hill", from Old English ryge
"rye" and dun
Originally taken from an Old English place name meaning "Royse's town". The given name Royse
was a medieval variant of ROSE
Indicated a person who lived near the Rudawa, a river in Poland.
Indicated a person who lived near rushes, the grasslike plant that grows in a marsh, from Old English rysc
From the name of places in southern Scotland and northern England, derived from Old English hryðer
meaning "cattle, ox" and ford
meaning "ford, river crossing".
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
Meaning unknown, probably ending with Dutch kamp
Originally indicated a person from Saxony (German Sachsen
). The region was named for the Germanic tribe of the Saxons, ultimately derived from the Germanic word sahs
Denoted someone who lived in Sadowo, Sadowice or other places beginning with Polish sad
Originally indicated a person from Salamanca, a city in western Spain that is of unknown meaning.
From Spanish sala
meaning "hall" and Basque zahar
meaning "old". It can also refer to the town of Salazar in Burgos, Spain, which is of the same origin.
Derived from Latin salix
meaning "willow tree". The name was originally given to one who lived near a willow tree.
Occupational name for a salt worker or someone who lived bear a salt works, from Spanish salina
"salt works, salt mine", ultimately from Latin sal
SALLER (1) German
Originally denoted a person from the town of Sallern in Bavaria, possibly from a Celtic element meaning "stream".
SALLER (2) German
Denoted a person who lived by a prominent sallow tree, from Middle High German salhe
Originally denoted a person from Salzwedel, Germany, which is of Old Saxon origin meaning "salt ford".
Indicated a person from Sandford, England, which means simply "sand ford".
Derived from the name of a town in Spain, ultimately from Latin saltus
"forest, glade" and novalis
From Old English, indicated the original nearer lived on sandy ground.
Possibly from the city of Sapperton, England, derived from Old English sapere
meaning "soap maker" and tun
meaning "enclosure, yard, town".
Originally indicated someone from Sárköz
, a region in Hungary, derived from sár
"mud" and köz
Originally denoted a person from Sarno in Italy, named for the Sarno River (called Sarnus
From Japanese 佐 (sa)
meaning "help, aid" (repeated, indicated by the iteration mark 々
) and 木 (ki)
meaning "tree, wood".
From the name of various towns in France, derived from French sauve
"safe" and terre
From the name of the city of Savona in northern Italy, called Savo
by the Romans, of uncertain meaning.
From Dutch school
, ultimately from Latin schola
meaning "school", indicating a person who worked at or lived near a school.
Originally indicated a person from the town of Schoorl in the province of Noord-Holland in the Netherlands. It means "forest by the shore" in Dutch.
Originally indicated a person from Schötmar, Germany (now part of the city of Bad Salzuflen in North Rhine-Westphalia).
From the name of a town in southern Germany, possibly related to German Schwan
From a place name, derived from Old High German swarz
meaning "black" and ecka
meaning "edge, corner". A famous bearer of this name is actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947-).
Originally denoted someone from Sciacca, Sicily, Italy, which is of uncertain origin.
SCOTT English, Scottish
Originally given to a person from Scotland or a person who spoke Scottish Gaelic.
Denoted a person from a town by this name in Buckinghamshire, England. It is derived from that of a river combined with Old English broc
From the name of a village that meant "willow farm" in Old English.
From the name of various towns named Saint Pierre
in Normandy, all of which commemorate Saint PETER
Derived from the name of the Sepúlveda Valley in the mountains of Segovia, and was originally used to denote people from that region. It is possibly derived from Spanish sepultar
Originally indicated a person from from Sessa or Sessa Cilento, Italy (from Latin Suessa
, of uncertain meaning).
From the name of the city of Soissons in northern France, itself derived from the name of the Celtic tribe of the Suessiones.
SEYMOUR (2) English
From an English place name, derived from Old English sæ
"sea" and mere
Originally a name for someone from Sharrow, England, derived from Old English scearu
"boundary" and hoh
"point of land, heel".
SHAW (1) English
Originally given to a person who lived near a prominent thicket, from Old English sceaga
meaning "thicket, copse".
From the name of various English towns, meaning "shelf town" in Old English.
Denoted a person hailing from any of the various places called Sherborne or Sherburn in England, derived from Old English scir
"bright" and burna
"spring, fountain, stream".
Originally denoted someone who came from the city of Shiraz, located in southern Iran. The city's name is possibly of Elamite origin.
From the name of various English towns, derived from Old English sid
"wide" and halh
Originally derived from various place names in England meaning "wide island", from Old English sid
"wide" and eg
"island". Another theory holds that it comes from the name of a town in Normandy called "Saint DENIS
", though evidence for this is lacking.
Indicated a person from Siena in Italy, which was named after the Gaulish tribe of the Senones.
Originally indicated a dweller on a hill range or ridge, from Spanish sierra
"mountain range", derived from Latin serra
SINAGRA (1) Italian
Originally denoted a person from Sinagra on Sicily, possibly derived from Latin sinus
"inlet" and ager
Means "rock" in Czech, indicating that the original bearer lived near a prominent rock.
SKALICKÝ Czech, Slovak
Indicated the original bearer came from a place named Skalice
in the Czech Republic or Slovakia, derived from the Slavic root skala
From a place name, derived from Norwegian skjegg
"beard" and stad
From a place name, derived from Danish skov
"wood, forest" and gård
Originally indicated a person from Slane, County Meath, Ireland, which is derived from the given name SLÁINE
Originally a name for a person from SILESIA
, a historical region that is nowadays split between Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic.
From an unidentified place name probably meaning "smooth clearing" in Old English.
Habitational name for a person from Sniegow, Sniegowo or other places with a name derived from Polish śnieg
Usually refers to the city of Sokołów Podlaski in Poland. It may sometimes be derived from Polish sokół
SOLBERG Norwegian, Swedish
From a place name, derived from Old Norse sól
"sun" and berg
"mountain". As a Swedish name it may be ornamental.
SOLER Occitan, Catalan
Denoted a person from any of the numerous places in the area whose names derive from Occitan or Catalan soler
meaning "ground, floor".
From the names of Italian places like Somma Lombardo or Somma Vesuviana, derived from Latin summa
Originally indicated a person from Somogy, a region within Hungary. It may be derived from Hungarian som
meaning "cornel tree".
SONG Chinese, Korean
From Chinese 宋 (sòng)
referring to the Song dynasty, which ruled China from 960 to 1279.
From place names such as Soriano Calabro and Soriano nel Cimino. It is typical of southern Italy.
Derived from the town of Sorrento near Naples, called Surrentum
in Latin, of unknown meaning.
Means "grove of trees, small forest" in Spanish, ultimately from Latin saltus
From Czech suk
meaning "tree knot". This could either be a topographic name or a nickname for a stubborn person.
Originally denoted someone from French towns by this name in Aisne or Yonne, both derived from the Latin name Suciacum
Originally indicated someone who lived near the River Sousa in Portugal, possibly derived from Latin salsus
"salty" or saxa
Name for a person who lived near the southern gate of a town or in a town named Southgate, from Old English suþ
From the name of the town of Spalding in Lincolnshire, derived from the Anglo-Saxon tribe of the Spaldingas.
SPIJKER (1) Dutch
Denoted a dweller by or worker at a granary, from Dutch spijker
Denoted a person who lived near thorn bushes, from Italian spina
"thorn, spine", from Latin.
Means "sharp" in German, indicating the original bearer lived near a pointed hill.
Northern Italian name derived from Latin stabulum
From the name of the English city of Stafford, Staffordshire, derived from Old English stæð
meaning "wharf, landing place" and ford
meaning "ford, river crossing".
Originally indicated a person from Staindrop, County Durham, England, derived from Old English stæner
meaning "stony ground" and hop
Originally denoted a person from Étampes near Paris. It was called Stampae
in Latin, but the ultimate origin is uncertain.
Derived from various English place names meaning "stone ford" in Old English.
From various place names meaning "stone clearing" in Old English. A notable bearer was the British-American explorer and journalist Sir Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904).
From one of the many places named Stanton or Staunton in England, derived from Old English stan
meaning "stone" and tun
meaning "enclosure, town".
Originally indicated a person from Stairaird, an estate in Scotland.
From the name of a village in the English county of Cheshire, derived from Old English stæð
meaning "wharf, landing place" and ham
STEIN German, Jewish
From Old High German stein
meaning "stone". It might indicate the original bearer lived near a prominent stone or worked as a stonecutter. As a Jewish name it is ornamental.
Means "stone man" in German, used as a habitational name for a person who lived near a prominent stone or an occupational name for a stone worker.
Derived from city of Stirling, which is itself of unknown meaning.
Name for a dweller by a stump of a large tree, from Middle Low German stubbe
Derived from the name of the town of Stilo in southern Italy. It is possibly derived from Greek στυλος (stylos)
meaning "column, pillar".
Name for a person who lived near a prominent stone or worked with stone, derived from Old English stan
Originally denoted someone from Storstrand farm in Norway, derived from stor
meaning "big" and strand
STRAND Norwegian, Swedish, Danish
From Old Norse strǫnd
meaning "beach, sea shore". It was originally given to someone who lived on or near the sea.
Habitational name for a person who lived in a place called Street, for example in Somerset. It is derived from Old English stræt
meaning "Roman road", from Latin strata
From the name of a town in Cumbria, derived from Old English stirc
"calf, young bullock" and land
From Old English strod
meaning "marshy ground overgrown with brushwood".
From an English place name derived from Old English strod
meaning "marshy ground overgrown with brushwood" and wíc
meaning "village, town".
Nickname for a short person or a topographic name someone who lived near a prominent stump, from Middle High German stumpf
Locational name for one who lived near a steep hill, from Old English stigol
"stile, set of steps".
Toponymic name from German places named Sulzbach meaning "salty stream", derived from Old High German sulza
"salty water" and bah
Originally indicated the bearer was from a town of this name, derived from Old English sumor
"summer" and feld
Regional name for a person who came from the former county by this name in Scotland. It is derived from Old Norse suðr
"south" and land
"land", because it was south of the Norse colony of Orkney.
From various English place names meaning "south town".
From Japanese 鈴 (suzu)
meaning "bell" and 木 (ki)
meaning "tree, wood". This is the second most common surname in Japan.
From the place name Swinglehurst
in the Forest of Bowland in central Lancashire, derived from Old English swin
"swine, pig", hyll
"hill" and hyrst
Denoted one from the region of Szilágy in Hungary, derived from Hungarian szil
meaning "elm" and ágy
Derived from Polish Szwed
meaning "Swede, person from Sweden".
Means "(dweller in the) back", probably denoting someone who lived in a remote area, from Finnish taka
Means "dweller in the rice fields", from Japanese 田 (ta)
meaning "field, rice paddy" and 中 (naka)
From Chinese 唐 (táng)
referring to the Tang dynasty, which ruled China from 618 to 907.
Originally indicated a person from a place named Tange in northern Germany.
Locational name that originally designated a person who came from Taranto, a city in southeast Italy, which was originally called Ταρας (Taras)
by Greek colonists. A famous bearer of this name is the American director Quentin Tarantino (1963-).
From Middle English at asche
meaning "at the ash tree".
From the name of the town of Tatham in Lancashire, itself from the Old English given name TATA
combined with ham
meaning "home, settlement".
Originally indicated a person from a town by this name, derived from the Old English given name TATA
combined with tun
meaning "enclosure, yard, town".
From the place name Taverna, common in different parts of Italy. It means "inn, tavern" in Italian.
Indicated a person from the Iranian city of Tehran, of unknown meaning.
TER AVEST Dutch
Means "at the edge, eave" indicating a person who lived at the edge of a forest or under a covered shelter.
Originally a name for a person from Terrazas in the Spanish city of Burgos, a place name meaning "terraces".
From any of the various places in England called Thornley
, meaning "thorn clearing" in Old English.
From any of the various places in England by this name, meaning "thorn town" in Old English.