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.
in Italian. It was originally a nickname for a proud or haughty person.
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
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
Occupational name meaning "pipe player"
in German, from Middle High German pfifen
From Old High German pfenning
meaning "penny, coin"
. It was used in reference to feudal tax obligations.
in Italian, indicating that the residence of the original bearer was near the town square.
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"
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
From the name of the town of Piovene Rocchette in Veneto, Italy.
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
Derived from French plat
"flat" and mont
"mountain", referring to someone who lived near a flat-topped mountain.
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.
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 "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.
From a diminutive of the given name PAOLO
. This name is typical of northern and central Italy.
From the name of a town in Pomerania, Poland (formerly part of Germany). In Polish it is called Połczyn.
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
PORCHER English, French
from Old French and Middle English porchier
, from Latin porcus
Designated a person who lived near a harbour, from Italian porto
, Latin portus
From the name of the southern Italian city of Potenza, called Potentia
in Latin, meaning "power, force".
Derived from Old French poule
. It was most likely used to denote a person who raised or sold poultry.
From Italian pozzo
meaning "well, pit"
, derived from Latin puteus
PRINZ German, Jewish
, used as an ornamental name by Jews or as a nickname for someone who acted in a princely manner.
From Italian profeta
. 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.
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 Italian quattro
meaning "four" and occhi
meaning "eyes", a nickname for a person who wore glasses. It is usually found in Sicily.
Occupational name for the fisherman in charge of the boat, from Italian rais "captain"
, of Arabic origin. It is typical of Sicily and Sardinia.
RAPP (2) German
From Middle High German raben
, a nickname for a person with black hair.
Possibly from German rasch
"quick" and Kopf
From Italian ratto
, originally denoting a sly individual.
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".
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.
Derived from Middle High German retich
, Middle Low German redik
, an occupational name for a grower or seller of radishes.
REY (1) English, Spanish, French, Catalan
in Old French, Spanish and Catalan, ultimately from Latin rex
), perhaps originally denoting someone who acted like a king.
From Italian riccio
, 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
in German, from Middle High German rihtære
From the name of the Italian city of Reggio Calabria, from Latin Rhegium
, of Greek origin.
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 a nickname for a strong person, from Italian robusto
"strong", from Latin robustus
"firm, solid, oaken".
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.
ROSE (1) English, French, German, Jewish
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)
Derived from a nickname for a red-haired person, from Italian rosso
, Latin russus
meaning "red". This is the most common surname in Italy.
Diminutive form of ROSSI
. A famous bearer was the Italian composer Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868).
ROTH German, Jewish
From Middle High German rot
. It was originally a nickname for a person with red hair.
From Old High German riuten
"to clear land" and bur
ROTHENBERG German, Jewish
From Middle High German rot
meaning "red" and berg
meaning "mountain". As a Jewish name it may be ornamental.
From the Italian word for a measure of weight, from southern Italian dialects, derived from Greek via Arabic.
Diminutive of ROUX
. A famous bearer was the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) whose ideas influenced the French Revolution.
Derived from Old French ros
, from Latin russus
, a nickname for a red-haired person.
From the name of the city of Rovigo in northeastern Italy near Venice. It was called Rodigium
in Latin, and is of unknown meaning.
From French roue
, ultimately from Latin rota
, an occupational name for a wheelwright.
From a dialectal variant of RUGGIERO
. It is typical of northeastern Italy, the area around Trieste.
From a nickname from Italian sabbato "Saturday"
, a name for one born on that day of the week.
Occupational name for a maker of sacks, from Italian sacco
, Latin saccus
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
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 "sallow tree"
Originally denoted a person from Salzwedel, Germany, which is of Old Saxon origin meaning "salt ford".
From Italian sanna
meaning "tusk, fang"
, a nickname for a person with a protruding tooth.
Means "all saint's day"
in Italian, a nickname for one born on that day.
Originally denoted a person from Sarno in Italy, named for the Sarno River (called Sarnus
Occupational name meaning "tailor"
in Italian, from Latin sartor
, from sarcire
meaning "to mend".
in German, a nickname for an embittered or cantankerous person.
Occupational name for a cobbler, from Latin sutor "sewer, cobbler"
From the name of various towns in France, derived from French sauve
"safe" and terre
From Old French savatier "shoemaker"
, derived from savate
"shoe", of uncertain ultimate origin.
From the name of the city of Savona in northern Italy, called Savo
by the Romans, of uncertain meaning.
from Italian scarpa
Nickname for a poor or miserly person, from Italian scarso "scarce, scant"
SCHENK German, Dutch
From Middle High German, Middle Dutch schenke
meaning "wine server"
(from Old High German scenken
"to pour out").
Occupational name for a cutter of cloth or a sheep-shearer, from Old High German skeran
Occupational name for a roof tiler, from Middle High German schindel
"shingle". A famous bearer was Oskar Schindler (1908-1974), who saved over a thousand Polish Jews during World War II.
Means "fencer, fencing master"
, from Old High German skirmen
meaning "to defend".
From Middle High German slinderen "to dawdle"
or Middle Low German slinden "to swallow, to eat"
Occupational name for a locksmith, derived from Old High German sloz
Occupational name derived from Middle High German smit "smith, metalworker"
, a cognate of SMITH
SCHNUR German, Jewish
From Old High German snuor
meaning "rope, cord"
, an occupational name for a maker of rope.
Originally indicated a person from Schötmar, Germany (now part of the city of Bad Salzuflen in North Rhine-Westphalia).
From Middle High German schrecken
meaning "to frighten, to scare"
SCHREIER German, Jewish
Occupational name for a town crier, from Old High German scrian
meaning "to shout, to yell".
Means "beer-porter, wine-porter"
in German, an occupational name for a carrier of wine or beer barrels.
From Middle High German schuochwürte
meaning "shoemaker, cobbler"
From the Middle High German occupational name schuochmacher
Means "scholar, student"
in German, ultimately from Latin schola
Occupational name derived from Middle High German schultheiße
meaning "mayor, judge"
Means "shoemaker, cobbler"
, from Middle High German schuoch
"shoe" and suter
, from Latin sutor
Means "watchman, guard"
from Middle High German schützen
From the name of a town in southern Germany, possibly related to German Schwan
SCHWARZ German, Jewish
in German, from Old High German swarz
. It originally described a person with black hair or a dark complexion.
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-).
Occupational name for a blacksmith, literally meaning "swing hammer"
Originally denoted someone from Sciacca, Sicily, Italy, which is of uncertain origin.
From Sicilian sciarra
meaning "quarrel, dispute"
, originally a nickname for a quarrelsome person.
SEGAL (2) French
Occupational name for a grower or seller of rye, from Old French, from Latin secale "rye"
From Italian segreto
, a nickname for a confidant.
SENFT (1) German
Occupational name for a mustard seller, from German Senf "mustard"
SENFT (2) German
Nickname for a helpful, kind person, from Old High German semfti
meaning "soft, accommodating"
SERGEANT English, French
Occupational name derived from Old French sergent
, ultimately from Latin servire
From a nickname derived from Italian serpe "serpent, reptile"
Originally indicated a person from from Sessa or Sessa Cilento, Italy (from Latin Suessa
, of uncertain meaning).
Nickname for a curly-haired person, from Greek σγουρός (sgouros)
SIEGEL (1) German
Occupational name for a maker of seals or signet rings, ultimately from Latin sigillum
SIEGEL (2) German
Derived from the diminutive of Germanic given names beginning with the element sigu
Indicated a person from Siena in Italy, which was named after the Gaulish tribe of the Senones.
SINAGRA (1) Italian
Originally denoted a person from Sinagra on Sicily, possibly derived from Latin sinus
"inlet" and ager
SITZ (1) German
Derived from a given name beginning with the Germanic element sigu