From Finnish aalto
. A famous bearer was Finnish architect Alvar Aalto (1898-1976).
From Italian acerbo
meaning "bitter, harsh, severe"
Perhaps a nickname for a punctual or fast person, from Italian adesso
meaning "now, at this moment"
From Latin affinis
meaning "neighbouring, kindred"
From Italian agnello
(ultimately from Latin agnus
), denoting a pious or timid person.
From Latin Agnus Dei
meaning "lamb of God"
. This was a nickname for someone who was particularly religious or someone who wore this symbol.
From Turkish ak
"white" and soy
From an Italian nickname derived from allegro
meaning "quick, lively"
in Hungarian. A famous bearer of the name was Hungarian poet János Arany (1817-1882).
From Italian armato
meaning "armed, armoured, equipped"
Means "strong arm"
from Middle English. Tradition holds that the family is descended from Siward, an 11th-century Earl of Northumbria. Famous bearers of this name include the Americans Louis Armstrong (1901-1971), a jazz musician, and Neil Armstrong (1930-2012), an astronaut who was the first person to walk on the moon.
in Dutch, originally describing a person who wore a beard.
BACHCHAN Indian, Hindi
From Hindi बच्चा (bachcha)
, a word of Persian origin. This surname was adopted by the Indian poet Harivansh Rai Srivastava (1907-2003).
From Middle High German bër "bear"
or ber "boar"
. This was originally a nickname for a strong or brave person.
BAINES (2) English
From a nickname derived from Old English ban "bones"
, probably for a thin person.
From Middle English bal
, Old English beall
. This was either a nickname for a rotund or bald person, or a topographic name for someone who lived near a ball-shaped feature.
Probably derived from a Middle English word meaning "strife"
, originally given to a quarrelsome person.
Meaning uncertain, possibly derived from the Germanic word baro "man, warrior, servant"
Originally a nickname for a short person, from Latin bassus "thick, low"
Originally indicated a person from Bátor, a village in Hungary, which might be of Turkic origin meaning "hero". This was the surname of a Hungarian noble family who historically controlled the town. One of the family members, Stephen Báthory, became the king of Poland in the 16th century.
From a nickname for a combative person. In some cases it may come from the name of English places called Battle
, so named because they were sites of battles.
BECK (3) English
From a nickname for a person with a big nose, from Middle English beke
From a Middle English version of Old French bel chiere
meaning "beautiful face"
. It later came to refer to a person who had a cheerful and pleasant temperament.
Means "son of Bellando"
, from a medieval given name derived from Latin bellandus
meaning "which is to be fought".
BELLO Spanish, Italian
in Spanish and Italian, originally a nickname for an attractive person.
From a nickname derived from Italian bello
"beautiful, fair" and uomo
Means "son of Benenato"
, a given name derived from Latin bene
"good, well" and natus
BEST (1) English
Derived from Middle English beste
, an occupational name for a keeper of animals or a nickname for someone who acted like a beast. A famous bearer of this surname was soccer legend George Best (1946-2005).
From Italian bianco
, originally given to a person who was white-haired or extremely pale.
BIEBER German, Jewish
From Middle High German biber
, possibly a nickname for a hard worker.
Means "fair-haired, blond"
in Italian. This name was borne by the American swimmer Matt Biondi (1965-).
From Old French bis
meaning "drab, dingy"
, a nickname for someone who looked drab.
in French. The name referred to a person who was pale, or whose hair was blond.
in Spanish. The name most likely referred to a person who was pale or had blond hair.
in German, most likely used to refer to a person who wore blue clothes.
Possibly an adaptation of French beurre fin
meaning "good butter"
Nickname for a wine drinker, from Old French boi
"to drink" and vin
Derived from Old French bon fils
meaning "good son"
From Old French bonne heure
meaning "good time"
From Middle English boneire "kind, courteous"
, derived from Norman French bon aire
From northern Middle English boni
meaning "pretty, attractive"
From nickname derived from the Piedmontese dialect word borgno
. This was the real surname of American actor Ernest Borgnine (1917-2012).
From a nickname derived from Dutch borst "chest"
Derived from an Italian nickname meaning "bull, ox"
From Irish Ó Baoighill
meaning "descendant of Baoigheall"
. The meaning of the given name Baoigheall
is uncertain, but it is thought to be connected to Irish geall
Anglicized form of the Irish name Ó Brádaigh
meaning "descendant of BRÁDACH"
Anglicized form of Irish Ó Braoin
meaning "descendant of Braon"
, a byname meaning "rain, moisture, drop".
From Old High German breit
"broad" and bart
"beard", originally a nickname for someone with a full beard.
From Irish Ó Braonáin
meaning "descendant of Braonán"
, a byname meaning "rain, moisture, drop" (with a diminutive suffix).
Derived from Old English brocc
, ultimately of Celtic origin.
Possibly a nickname derived from Middle English bole "fraud, deceit"
Derived from Old French bon cuer
meaning "good heart"
From the medieval Italian given name Buonarroto
meaning "good increase". This was the surname of the Renaissance painter and sculptor Michelangelo (1475-1564).
in Spanish, used as a nickname for a person with a large amount of hair.
Means "crooked nose"
from Gaelic cam
"crooked" and sròn
From a Gaelic nickname cam béul
meaning "wry or crooked mouth"
. The surname was later represented in Latin documents as de bello campo
meaning "of the fair field".
CAPELLO (1) Italian
From Late Latin cappa
meaning "cloak, cape, hood"
. This was a name for one who made or wore cloaks.
CAPELLO (2) Italian
Nickname for a thin person, from Italian capello
meaning "a hair"
, ultimately derived from Latin capillus
Occupational name meaning "captain"
in Italian, ultimately from Latin caput
From a nickname for a person with dark features, from Italian carbone
Originally denoted someone from San Pietro di Caridà, a town in Calabria. The town's name may be derived from Greek χαρις (charis)
meaning "grace, kindness".
CARMAN (2) English
From an Old Norse byname derived from karlmann
meaning "male, man"
From an Italian nickname meaning "carnival"
, perhaps given to a festive person.
Means "close-cropped hair"
in Italian, also having the secondary sense "boy, young man".
From Irish Ó Caiside
meaning "descendant of Caiside"
is a given name meaning "curly haired".
From a diminutive of the Old French word chape
meaning "cloak, hood"
. The name referred to a person who made, sold or often wore cloaks.
Derived from a diminutive form of French charbon "charcoal"
, a nickname for a person with black hair or a dark complexion.
From a nickname derived from French chevalier
, itself from cheval
meaning "horse", ultimately from Latin caballus
in Khmer, from Sanskrit जय (jaya)
From a medieval English byname meaning "lump"
Anglicized form of Irish Ó Cuidighthigh
meaning "descendant of CUIDIGHTHEACH"
. A famous bearer was the American frontiersman and showman Buffalo Bill Cody (1846-1917).
From the Portuguese word for "rabbit"
, either a nickname or an occupational name referring to a hunter or seller of rabbits.
From a place name, itself derived from Old French chalenge
meaning "disputed" and Middle English wode
Anglicized form of Irish Ó Conghalaigh
, which means "descendant of Conghalach"
is a nickname meaning "valiant".
Nickname derived from Italian corvo
Means "quiet, shy, coy"
from Middle English coi
Nickname for a courteous person from Old French curteis
From the Old English given name Deora
meaning "dear, beloved".
DELGADO Spanish, Portuguese
in Spanish and Portuguese, ultimately from Latin delicatus
meaning "delicate, tender, charming".
Anglicized form of Irish Ó Díomasaigh
meaning "descendant of Díomasach"
, a given name meaning "proud".
DEVIN (2) English
Nickname for a person who acted divinely, from Old French devin
"divine", ultimately from Latin.
DE WITTE Dutch
Means "the white"
in Dutch, a nickname for a person with white hair.
From the Irish Ó Dochartaigh
meaning "descendant of Dochartach"
. The byname Dochartach
Nickname for a lazy person, derived from the past participle of the Czech verb doležat "to lie down"
Derived from the Old Norse byname Draki
or the Old English byname Draca
both meaning "dragon"
, both via Latin from Greek δρακων (drakon)
meaning "dragon, serpent".
Means "right, straight"
in French, a nickname for an upright person.
From the noble title, which was originally from Latin dux
"leader". It was a nickname for a person who behaved like a duke, or who worked in a duke's household.
Derived from Middle High German dunst "haze"
DURAND French, English
From Old French durant
, ultimately from Latin durans
. This was a nickname for a stubborn person.
From Old Norse eldr
, modern Swedish eld
, meaning "fire"
Derived from Old English ealdra
, used to distinguish two people who had the same name.
From Spanish espinoso
, ultimately from Latin spinosus
, a derivative of spina
meaning "thorn, spine".
in Italian and denoted a child who was rescued after being abandoned by its parents.
Derived from Middle English feare
meaning "friend, comrade"
in Hungarian, originally referring to a person with white hair or complexion.
Derived from Hungarian fej
, originally a nickname applied to a stubborn person.
in Hungarian, originally a nickname for a person with dark hair or a dark complexion.
Originally indicated a person from the town of Fermo in the Marche region of Italy, originally called Firmum
in Latin meaning "strong, steady, firm".
From Hungarian fodor
meaning "curly, wavy"
, referring to a person with curly or wavy hair.
From Irish Ó Foghladha
meaning "descendant of Foghlaidh"
. The byname Foghlaidh
meant "pirate, marauder, plunderer".
From the name of the animal. It was originally a nickname for a person with red hair or a crafty person.
in German, probably referring to someone outside the feudal system.
in Portuguese, a name for one who lived on broken, stony ground.
FREUD German, Jewish
in German, a nickname for a cheerful person. A famous bearer was the psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939).
From Middle High German vriunt
, modern German Freund
From Swedish frisk "healthy"
, which was derived from the Middle Low German word vrisch
"fresh, young, frisky".
From a nickname derived from Middle High German vrom
meaning "noble, honourable"
FROST English, German
From Old English and Old High German meaning "frost"
, a nickname for a person who had a cold personality or a white beard.
From a nickname meaning "(sovereign) prince"
in German. The word fürst
itself is derived from Old High German furisto
Derived from old French gagnon "guard dog"
. The name most likely originated as a nickname for an aggressive or cruel person.
GALLO Italian, Spanish
, ultimately from Latin gallus
. This was a nickname for a proud person.
From a nickname, from a southern variant of the Italian word garofano
in Italian, originally a nickname for an agile person.
in German, a nickname for a greedy person.
From the old Italian given name Bonagiunta
(derived from bono
"good" and aggiunto
Derived from Polish gomółka
, a type of round cheese, ultimately from an old Polish word meaning "round".
From a nickname meaning "good"
, referring to a kindly person.
GRIFFIN (2) English
Nickname from the mythological beast with body of a lion with head and wings of an eagle. It is ultimately from Greek γρυψ (gryps)
From the Tuscan word gronchio
meaning "numb, bent"
. This is an Italian regional surname typical of Tuscany. A famous bearer was the Italian president Giovanni Gronchi (1887-1978).
Means "thick, fat, big"
in French, from Late Latin grossus
, possibly of Germanic origin.
From Old High German groz
meaning "tall, big"
Means "son of a snake"
from the Bosnian word guja
Nickname for a big person, from Middle English golias
meaning "giant" (ultimately from GOLIATH
, the Philistine warrior who was slain by David in the Old Testament).
Derived from Middle High German guot
meaning "good" and muot
meaning "mind, spirit". It was a nickname for an optimistic person.
From a diminutive of the medieval byname Hake
, which was of Old Norse origin and meant "hook".
Means "son of the pilgrim"
from Bulgarian хаджия (hadzhiya)
meaning "pilgrim", ultimately derived from Arabic حجّي (hajji)
From a nickname meaning "wild, untamed, worn"
, from Old French, ultimately from a Germanic root.
From a nickname for a proud or pugnacious person, from Old High German hano
meaning "rooster, cock"
From Middle English hed
, from Old English heafod
. It may have referred to a person who had a peculiar head, who lived near the head of a river or valley, or who served as the village headman.
From Dutch heer "lord, master"
, a nickname for a person who acted like a lord or who worked for a lord.
From Irish Ó hIfearnáin
meaning "descendant of Ifearnán"
. The byname Ifearnán
means "little demon".
Derived from Middle High German herze
, a nickname for a big-hearted person.
From a German title meaning "duke"
, a nickname for a person who either acted like a duke or worked in a duke's household.
From a nickname meaning "tallest"
in Middle English. It is most common in the southwest of England in the county of Devon.
HIRSCH (1) German
Means "deer, hart"
in German. This was a nickname for a person who resembled a deer in some way, or who raised or hunted deer.
From a nickname for a person with an oddly-shaped head, derived from Czech hlava "head"
From Irish Ó hÓgáin
meaning "descendant of Ógán"
. The given name Ógán
is a diminutive of óg
Possibly from Spanish holgar "to rest, to enjoy oneself"
Occupational name for an acrobat or a nickname for someone who was nervous or restless. A famous bearer was the American actor Dennis Hopper (1936-2010).
in Czech, perhaps used to denote someone who worked for a count or acted like a count.
From Chinese 胡 (hú)
meaning "beard, whiskers, recklessly, wildly, barbarian"
HUMMEL (2) German, Dutch
Nickname for a busy person, from Middle Low German and Middle Dutch hommel
, Middle High German hummel
, all meaning "bee"
From the name of a town in Cheshire. The final element is Old English leah
"woodland, clearing", while the first element might be hux
"insult, scorn". A famous bearer was the British author Aldous Huxley (1894-1963).
Either from the given name JANVIER
or the French word janvier
, perhaps indicating a person who was baptized in that month.
Possibly derived from the old Breton name Iarnogon
meaning "iron famous".
in Polish. It may have originally been given to a person who resembled a hedgehog in some way.
in German, from Middle High German junc
From a nickname derived from German kahl
From Middle High German keiser
, originally a nickname applied to someone who acted kingly. The title ultimately derives from the Roman name CAESAR
From Hungarian kard
. It could have been applied to soldiers, sword makers, or one with a pugnacious nature.
Possibly derived from the old Slavic word kazati
meaning "to order, to command"
in Greek, referring to a person with curly hair.
From Old English cene
meaning "bold, brave"
From an English place name meaning "Cenel's island", from the Old English name Cenel
"fierce" in combination with eg
Derived from Middle English kempe
meaning "champion, warrior"
From a nickname meaning "young goat, kid"
in Middle English, of Old Norse origin.
Means "small stick"
, from Polish kij
From Old English cyning "king"
, originally a nickname for someone who either acted in a kingly manner or who worked for or was otherwise associated with a king.
Possibly from Middle Dutch cloet
meaning "lump, ball"
. In some cases this was a nickname for an oafish person. In other cases it may have been a name for someone who lived near a sign that had a globe on it.
Derived from German Klausner
, Middle High German klosenære
Originally a nickname for a noisy or disruptive person, derived from Old German knellen "to make noise, to cause a disturbance"
in Ukrainian, a nickname for a proud person.
Possibly from archaic Finnish korho
meaning "deaf, hard of hearing"
From Middle High German krus
, originally a nickname for a person with curly hair.
in German, perhaps a nickname for a person with a crab-like walk.
in Polish. The name referred to one who acted like a king or was connected in some way with a king's household.
KRON German, Swedish
From German Krone
and Swedish krona
(from Latin corona
), perhaps a nickname for one who worked in a royal household.
Nickname for a crippled person or someone who walked with a cane, from Middle High German krücke
in Czech, a nickname for someone with curly hair.
Possibly from Polish kum "godfather, friend"
or komięga "raft, barge"
in Czech. It was most likely used to denote a person known for having a bad mood.
Means "the point (of a lance)"
in French, possibly a nickname for a soldier.
From a nickname for a person who took big steps, from Finnish laukka
meaning "canter, gallop"
Nickname for a handsome person, from French le
"the" and beau
Means "the mayor"
in French. It was a title given to a town official, or else a nickname for someone who was pompous and officious.
Occupational name for an official who was equipped with a ceremonial staff, or a nickname for a tall person.
MAC NIADH Irish
Means "son of Niadh"
in Irish. The given name Niadh
in Italian, derived from Latin mancus
From a nickname (perhaps occupational) meaning "maul, mallet"
From Gaelic Mac Leòid
meaning "son of Leod"
, a given name derived from Old Norse ljótr
Anglicized form of the Irish Ó Maolagáin
meaning "descendant of Maolagán"
, a given name derived from maol
meaning "bald" or "tonsured".
From the Italian medieval given name Morando
From a diminutive of Italian mosca
, perhaps originally a nickname for an annoying person.
in Sardinian, perhaps a nickname for someone who pickled foods.
Possibly from a nickname meaning "the one who had to"
, from the past participle of the verb muset
meaning "must" (of Germanic origin).
Nickname for someone with a prominent nose, from Italian naso "nose"
in Czech, from the verb navrátit
"to return", perhaps used to denote a person who came home following a long absence.
From the Italian word nicchio
, possibly a nickname for people related to the sea.
Ó CNÁIMHÍN Irish
Means "descendant of Cnámh"
being a nickname meaning "bone".
From Irish Ó hAnnagáin
, which means "descendant of Annagán"
. The given name Annagán
was a diminutive of Annadh
Ó RODAGH Irish
Means "descendant of Rodach"
in Irish. The given name Rodach
is derived from from Irish rod
meaning "spirited, furious".
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").
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.
Nickname for a thin person, derived from Old French pel
, Latin palus
meaning "stake, post"
(related to English pole
Means "pilgrim, traveller"
in Italian, ultimately from Latin peregrinus
Nickname meaning "penny, coin"
from Old English penning
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 Old High German pfenning
meaning "penny, coin"
. It was used in reference to feudal tax obligations.
From Italian pica
. 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 "small"
Originally a nickname for somebody who steals grapes from vineyards. In the Genoese dialect pittà
means "to pick" and uga
means "grapes" (uva
PLANK German, English
, 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.
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"