NairIndian, Malayalam From Nair, the name of a group of Hindu castes concentrated in the Indian state of Kerala. The origin of the word itself is somewhat disputed. Some believe it is derived from nayaka, an honorific meaning "leader of the people", while another theory suggests that is is derived from the Sanskrit नाग (nāgá) "snake, serpent" (a reference to the practice of snake worship)... [more]
NaraJapanese This surname is used as 楢, 奈良 or 那良 with 楢 (shuu, yuu, nara) meaning "oak", 奈 (dai, na, nai, ikan, karanashi) meaning "Nara, what?", 那 (na, da, nani, nanzo, ikan) meaning "what?" and 良 (ryou, i.i, -i.i, yo.i, -yo.i, ra) meaning "good, pleasing, skilled."... [more]
NarrGerman Nickname for a foolish or silly person, from Middle High German narr ‘fool’, ‘jester’.
NastGerman Topographic name for someone who lived in a thickly wooded area, or a metonymic occupational name for a woodcutter, from Middle High German nast meaning "branch", a regional variant of ast, resulting from the misdivision of forms such as ein ast meaning "a branch".
NeinGerman Unexplained. Perhaps from a short form of a Germanic personal name formed with an element cognate with Old High German niuwi meaning "new".
NejiJapanese (Rare) This surname is used as 子師, combining 子 (shi, su, tsu, ko, -ko, ne) meaning "child, sign of the rat (1st sign of Chinese zodiac)" with 師 (shi, su, nara.u, moromoro) meaning "army, exemplar, expert, master, model, teacher, war."
NeksEstonian Neks is an Estonian surname possibly derived from "nekrut" meaning "recruit" and "conscript".
NiesGerman German: from a reduced form of the personal name Dionys (see Dennis), which was stressed on the last syllable; this was a popular personal name as a result of the influence of the French Saint Denis... [more]
NoarEnglish This surname is thought to be derived from nore which could mean "shore, cliff." This could denote that someone might have lived in a shore or cliff. It may also be used as a surname for someone who lived in the now 'diminished' village of Nore in Surrey.
NoceItalian Topographic name for someone who lived where nut trees grew, from noce "nut" (Latin nux, genitive nucis).
NockCeltic, English Dweller at the oak tree; originally spelt as "Noake" evolved into "Nock".
NodaJapanese Combination of the kanji 野 (no, "area, field, hidden part of a structure; wild, rustic") and 田 (ta, "rice paddy, field"). A famous bearer of this surname is Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (野田 佳彦; b. 1957).
NoirFrench Means "black" in French, originally used in Northern France as an ethnic nickname for someone from Southern France, Spain, Italy or North Africa. It also may have been used for someone who wore dark clothing or for someone who had an occupation during the night or was associated with the night.
NolfGerman, Dutch From a short form of the personal name Arnolf, composed of the Germanic elements arn 'eagle' + wulf 'wolf'. Dutch: from a reduced form of Nodolf, derived from the personal name Odolf by transfer of the final -n in a preceding personal name such as Jan, Simoen
NoonEnglish Either (i) from a medieval nickname for someone of a sunny disposition (noon being the sunniest part of the day); or (ii) from Irish Gaelic Ó Nuadháin "descendant of Nuadhán", a personal name based on Nuadha, the name of various Celtic gods (cf... [more]
NoviItalian Derived from Italian novello and ultimately derived from Latin novellus meaning "new". "Novi" also means "new" in several Slavic languages.
NovoGalician, Portuguese Nickname from Portuguese and Galician novo ‘new’, ‘young’ (Latin novus). The word was also occasionally used in the Middle Ages as a personal name, particularly for a child born after the death of a sibling, and this may also be a source of the surname.
NurmEstonian Nurm is an Estonian surname meaning "lea" and "meadow" and "pasture".
NussGerman from Middle High German nuz ‘nut’, hence a metonymic occupational name for a gatherer and seller of nuts, or a nickname for a man thought to resemble a nut in some way
NuteAnglo-Saxon, English Derived from the given name Cnute. Alternatively, it may be of nickname origin, from the Old English word hnutu, which meant brown, and would have been given to someone with a brown complexion.
NuttEstonian Nutt is an Estonian surname meaning "nut" and also "crying" or "weeping".
NüüdEstonian Nüüd is an Estonian surname meaning "now" or "at present".
OdomEnglish Medieval nickname for someone who had climbed the social ladder by marrying the daughter of a prominent figure in the local community, from Middle English odam ‘son-in-law’ (Old English aðum).
OlahHungarian Oláh (Olah) is a Hungarian surname that means Vlach/Romanian. A similar word is Olasz, meaning "Italian".Hungarian (Oláh): ethnic name from Hungarian oláh ‘Romanian’, old form volách, from vlach ‘Italian’, ‘speaker of a Romance language’.
OrsiItalian Patronymic or plural form of Orso. It may also be an Italianized form of Slovenian Uršic, metronymic from the female personal name Urša, short form of Uršula (Latin Ursula), or a patronymic from the male personal name Urh, Slovenian vernacular form of Ulrik, German Udalrich
OtteGerman Otte was given to someone who lived in Bavaria, where the name came from humble beginnings but gained a significant reputation for its contribution to the emerging medieval society. The name Otte evolved from the Old German personal name Ott, a name of Emperors, made famous by Otto the Great (912-973), Holy Roman emperor.
PachGerman Pach is an occupational hereditary surname for a baker in Old German. Pach is also a German local name for someone who lived by a stream, which was originally derived from the German word "bach" which means stream... [more]
PettEnglish The name Pett has a history dating as far back as the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It was a name for a person who was referred to as Peat. The surname Pett was originally derived from the Old English word which meant a spoiled or pampered child.
PicaItalian, Catalan Nickname for a gossipy or garrulous person, from the central-southern Italian word pica ‘magpie’. Compare Picazo.Catalan: habitational name from any of the numerous places called Pica.Catalan: from either pica ‘pointed object’ (weapon, etc.) or a derivative of picar ‘to prick’.
PikeEnglish, Irish English: topographic name for someone who lived by a hill with a sharp point, from Old English pic ‘point’, ‘hill’, which was a relatively common place name element.... [more]
PikkEstonian Pikk is an Estonian surname meaning "long" and "tall".
PillEstonian Pill is an Estonian surname meaning "musical instrument".
PiltEstonian Pilt is an Estonian surname meaning "picture" and "painting".
PindEstonian Pind is an Estonian surname meaning "surface" and "area".
PineEnglish Originally denoted a person who lived near a pine forest or who sold pine firs for a living.
PingChinese Ping is the Mandarin pinyin romanization of the Chinese surname written 平 in Chinese character.
PinkEnglish, German Nickname, possibly for a small person, from Middle English pink penkg ‘minnow’ (Old English pinc).English (southeastern): variant of Pinch .Variant spelling of German Pinck, an indirect occupational name for a blacksmith, an onomatopoeic word imitating the sound of hammering which was perceived as pink(e)pank... [more]
PinkEstonian Pink is an Estonian surname meaning "bench" and "garden seat".
PinnEnglish, German Derived from Middle English pin and Middle Low German pinne, both meaning "peg" or "pin". This was an occupational name from a maker of these things. The German name can in some cases be an occupational name for a shoemaker.
PinnEnglish (British) A topographic or habitational name from a place named with Middle English pinne, meaning "hill" (Old English penn).
PisaItalian Habitational name from the city of Pisa in Tuscany. The city was probably founded by Greek colonists, but before coming under Roman control it was in the hands of the Etruscans, who probably gave it its name... [more]
PitaSpanish Spanish and Portuguese: from Spanish, Portuguese pita ‘chicken’ or in some cases possibly from the plant pita ‘pita’, ‘American aloe’, presumably a topographic name.
PlumEnglish, German, Jewish English and North German: from Middle English plum(b)e, Middle Low German plum(e) ‘plum’, hence a topographic name for someone who lived by a plum tree, or a metonymic occupational name for a fruit grower... [more]