LANE (2) French
Derived from a French word meaning "wool", designating one who worked in the wool trade.
Means "point (of a lance)" in French, possibly a nickname for a soldier.
From the name of the town of Laterza near Taranto in Apulia. It is typical of southern Italy.
From the name of the town of Laurito, near Salerno in the area of Naples.
Means "the vineyard" in French, referring to a person who lived close to a vineyard, or was from the town of Lavigny.
Means "the road, the lane" in French, a name for someone who lived close to a road.
Nickname for a handsome person, from French le
"the" and beau
Means "the white", from French blanc
"white". The name referred to a person who was pale or whose hair was blond.
Originally indicated a person from Lecce, southern Italy. The town was known as Licea
in Latin, earlier Lupiae
From French écuyer
meaning "squire, shield-bearer".
Occupational name meaning "blacksmith" in Old French, derived from Latin faber
From Middle High German lehenman
meaning "vassal, liege man".
From Old High German loh
meaning "meadow, clearing".
Referred to one who lived on a hillside, from Middle High German lite
Either from Leitzkau
, the name of a town in Saxony-Anhalt, or from a diminutive of the given name Leutz
, a variant of LUTZ
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.
Derived from the place name Leymieux
, a town in the Rhône-Alpes region of France.
From a nickname meaning "springtime" in German.
From Locatello, a town in Lombardy, northern Italy, near the city of Bergamo.
Originally indicated someone who came from the Lombardy region of northern Italy, which was named for the Lombards, a Germanic tribe who invaded in the 6th century.
From an Italian form of Lusatia
, a region of eastern Germany.
LYON (1) English, French
Originally denoted a person from the city of Lyon in central France, originally Latin Lugdunum
, of Gaulish origin meaning "hill fort of LUGUS
". It could also denote a person from the small town of Lyons-la-Forêt in Normandy.
Means "left-handed" in Italian, derived from Latin mancus
MANDEL German, Yiddish
Means "almond" in German, an occupational name for a grower or seller, or a topographic name for a person who lived near an almond tree. As a Jewish name it is ornamental.
Originally indicated a person from Manfredonia, Italy. The city was named for the 13th-century King Manfred
MANN German, English
From a nickname meaning "man". This may have originally been given in order to distinguish the bearer from a younger person with the same name.
From the name of the city of Mantua in Lombardy, northern Italy (Mantova
From the name of the Marche region in Italy, derived from Late Latin marca
meaning "borderland". It was the real surname of the American boxer Rocky Marciano (1923-1969), who was born Rocco Marchegiano.
From the Italian title marchese
meaning "marquis". It was probably a nickname for a person who behaved like a marquis or worked in the household of a marquis.
Means "marble" in Italian, possibly indicating a person who lived near a quarry or one who worked with marble.
From Old High German marka
"border, boundary" and wart
"protector". This was an occupational name for a border guard.
MARTEL (2) French, English
Nickname for a smith, derived from Old French martel
"hammer", ultimately from Late Latin martellus
Occupational name meaning "wall builder" in German.
From a nickname meaning "mouse", from Old High German mus
From a nickname (perhaps occupational) meaning "maul, mallet" in Italian.
Originally denoted a person from the German town of Meissen, which is probably of Slavic origin.
From the name of a German town, possibly meaning "mill stream".
MENDEL (2) German
Derived from a diminutive of the given name MEINO
. A famous bearer was Gregor Mendel (1822-1884), a Czech monk and scientist who did experiments in genetics.
MERLO Italian, Spanish
Means "blackbird", ultimately from Latin merula
. The blackbird is a symbol of a naive person.
From the name of the Sicilian city of Messina, founded by Greek colonists. The city was named after the Greek city Μεσσηνη (Messene)
Occupational name for a person who made knives, from Middle High German messer
Occupational name for a sexton or churchwarden, from Old High German mesinari
METZ (1) German
Occupational name for maker of knives, from Middle High German metze
MEYER (1) German
From Middle High German meier
meaning "bailiff, administrator", derived from Latin maior
meaning "greater". Later it also denoted a tenant farmer. The spellings Meier
are more common in northern Germany while Maier
are more common in southern Germany.
From the town of Modugno, in Apulia in southern Italy. It is the surname of the Italian actor and singer Domenico Modugno (1928-1994).
From Italian mondatore
meaning "weeder". This was an occupational name for someone who kept fields clear of weeds.
Derived from either of the given names HAMON
. A famous bearer was the French impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926).
Means "mountain" in Italian, indicating a person who lived on or near one.
From the Italian medieval given name Morando
Locative name derived from Italian places such as Morra De Sanctis, Campania, or Morra del Villar, Piedmont.
From a diminutive of Italian mosca
meaning "housefly", perhaps originally a nickname for an annoying person.
Name for someone who lived near a peat bog, from Middle High German mos
From various names of places around Italy. It is derived from a Gaulish word meaning "hill".
From the town of Muggia in northeastern Italy near the Slovenian border. It was called Muglae
German equivalent of MILLER
, derived from Middle High German mülnære
Occupational name for a wall builder, from Italian murare
meaning "to wall up".
NAGEL German, Dutch
Means "nail" in German and Dutch, an occupational name for a carpenter or nailsmith.
Originally denoted a person from the town of Naggio in Lombardy, Italy.
Nickname for someone with a prominent nose, from Italian naso
Possibly from Italian neccio
, a type of flat bread.
Nickname derived from Italian negro
"black", used to refer to someone with dark hair or dark skin.
From the town of Nepi in central Italy, which is of uncertain origin.
From Italian nero
"black", indicating a person with a dark complexion or dark hair.
Possibly a nickname for an innkeeper, from archaic Milanese nervètt
, a local meal prepared from a calf.
From the name of the town of Nervi in Liguria, northwestern Italy.
From the name of towns such as Nespoli and Nespoledo, derived from Italian nespola
meaning "medlar (tree)".
From the names of various French towns meaning "new town".
From the name of the town of Nicastro in Calabria, southern Italy.
From the Italian word nicchio
meaning "shell", possibly a nickname for people related to the sea.
From the name of the town Nicolosi on Sicily, itself named for Saint Nicholas.
From Sardinian nieddu
meaning "black", derived from Latin niger
Means "son of Niso", an Italian form of the mythological name NISUS
From the name of the Italian town of Nizzola near Modena.
NOEL French, English
Either from the given name NOËL
, or else derived directly from Old French noel
"Christmas" and given to a person who had a particular connection with the holiday.
From the name of the town of Nusco in Campania, southern Italy.
Occupational name for a clerk, derived from Latin notarius
From Old High German obar
meaning "above, upper", indicating a person from the uppermost end of a village or the top of a house.
Means "oil hill" from Middle High German öl
"oil" and berg
From Middle High German oem
meaning "maternal uncle".
Originally indicated a person from Oppenheim, Germany, perhaps meaning "marshy home".
From a nickname meaning "little bear" in Italian, from Latin ursus
Originally a name designating a person from Ursel (now Oberursel) in Hesse, Germany.
Derived from the Italian given name Pace
Originally denoted one who came from the city of Padua in Italy, from Italian Padova
, itself from Latin Patavium
, of unknown meaning.
PAGE English, French
Occupational name meaning "servant, page". It is ultimately derived (via Old French and Italian) from Greek παιδιον (paidion)
meaning "little boy".
From Italian paladino
meaning "knight, defender", from Late Latin palatinus
meaning "palace officer".
Locative name from the town of Palmi in the Calabria region of southern Italy.
From Italian palombo
meaning "pigeon" (also "dogfish"). This form is typical of southern Italy.
PAPP (2) German
Nickname perhaps related to Late Latin pappare
meaning "to eat".
PAQUET (1) French
Occupational name for a firewood gatherer, from Old French pacquet
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").
From the city of Parma in northern Italy, the name of which is probably of Etruscan origin.
From the name of a village near Genoa in northern Italy.
PATERNOSTER English, Italian
Occupational name for a maker of rosaries, also called paternosters. They are derived from the Latin phrase pater noster
"our Father", the opening words of the Lord's Prayer.
From the name of the city of Pavia in Lombardy, Italy. It is of unknown meaning.
Means "peacock" in Italian. It was originally a nickname for a proud or haughty person.
Means "sheep" in Italian, an occupational name for a shepherd.
Means "pilgrim, traveller" in Italian, ultimately from Latin peregrinus
From the name of a region in southern France, possibly of Gaulish origin.
From the name of the city of Perugia in Umbria, Italy. It was known as Perusia
in the classical period, and it is of Etruscan origin.
From the name of the city of Pesaro, in the Marche region (Latin Pisaurum
Means "fish" in Italian, referring either to a fisherman or to a person who resembled a fish in some way.
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 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.
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 the small town of Pierno in southern Italy near Potenza.
Name for a person who lived near a pine tree, from Italian pino
, Latin pinus