South American names include those from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
ABREGOSpanish As a Spanish surname, it was from Spanish ábrego, which originally meant "African", from Latin africus. The vocabulary word in modern Spanish has lost this general sense and now means "south wind" (literally, "African (wind)").
ACEROSpanish From acero "steel, steelworker" (from Late Latin aciarium), an occupational name for a metal worker or an armorer.
ACHIOSpanish (Latin American) Possibly derived from the town, Achio, near Guadalajara in Mexico. The name itself is probably from the Nahuatl achio meaning "frequent".
ACUNASpanish (Latin American) Related tho the Acuna Indians of Mexico, there is also a city by the name. Popular in border areas of Mexico and Texas.
AFONSOPortuguese Old (6th century derived) Iberian surname, associated with the first dynasty and King of Portugal, Afonso Henriques. The surname was used by all the subsequent illegitimate children of that dynastic line.
AGUILERASpanish Habitational name from a location in Soria province, Spain, named Aguilera, derived from Spanish aguilera meaning "eagle's nest". A famous bearer is American singer Christina Aguilera (1980-).
ALAMEDASpanish Topographic name from alameda meaning ‘poplar grove’, a collective form of álamo meaning ‘poplar’, or a habitational name from any of the many places named with this word.
ALANÍSSpanish This indicates familial origin within the eponymous Andalusian municipality.
ALARCÓNSpanish Alarcón was a fort owned by the arabs in the Iberian Peninsula (Alarcón literally meaning 'the fort' in arabic), and the spaniards had the goal of owning it during the spanish reconquista. After 9 months of siege, Fernán Martínez de Ceballos climbed the walls of the fort using only two daggers and opened the gates from the inside allowing the castillan army to come in and conquer Alarcón... [more]
ALCÁNTARASpanish Habitational name denoting someone originally from the municipality of Alcántara in Extremadura, Spain. The name is ultimately derived from Arabic اَلْقَنْطَرَة (al-qanṭara) meaning "the bridge".
ALHAMBRASpanish Refers to the Alhambra, a palace complex located in Granada, Spain. The name itself is derived from Arabic الْحَمْرَاء (Al-Ḥamrā) meaning "the red one" or, ultimately, from Arabic أَحْمَر (ʾaḥmar) "red".
ALMANZASpanish Originally indicated a person from Almanza, a city in northern Spain. The city's name itself is derived from Arabic المنزل (al-manzil) meaning "the house".
ALMARZASpanish This indicates familial origin within either of 2 localities: the Castilian municipality of Almarza, Comarca of El Valle or the Riojan municipality of Almarza de Cameros.
ALMAZÁNSpanish Habitational name demoting someone originally from the municipality of Almazán in Castile and León, Spain. The name itself is derived from Arabic المكان المحصن (al-makān al-ḥiṣn) meaning "the fortified place" or "the stronghold".
ALMENARASpanish Almenara in Spanish is "beacon", but it is an old kind of beacon that consisted of a fire that was lit on top of the battlements to give a signal.
ALMODOVARSpanish Pedro Almodóvar Caballero (1949-) is a Spanish filmmaker, director, screenwriter, producer, and former actor who was born in Calzada de Calatrava, Spain. His films are marked by his employment of certain actors and creative personnel, complex narratives, melodrama, pop culture, popular songs, irreverent humor, strong colors, and glossy décor... [more]
ALMOGUERASpanish It indicates familial origin within the eponymous Manchego municipality.
ALMONTESpanish From a place between Huelva and Sevilla. Means "the mountain".
ALPÍZARSpanish This indicates familial origin within the eponymous locality in the Andalusian province of Huelva.
AMBRÌZSpanish " Probably a variant of Asturian-Leonese Ambres, a habitational name from a village in Asturies. Also a habitational name of Ámbriz a city in Angola, Africa, mainly of Portuguese descendants. "
APOLLOItalian, Spanish From the Greek personal name Apollo. There are several saints Apollo in the Christian Church, including an Egyptian hermit and monastic leader who died in 395 ad. The personal name derives from the name in classical mythology of the sun god, Apollo, an ancient Indo-European name, found for example in Hittite as Apulana "god of the gate" (from pula "gate", cognate with Greek pylē), therefore "protector, patron".
APONTESpanish A misdivision of Daponte. It originates from Majorca, Spain.
ARAQUISTAINBasque, Spanish ''Place of the ferns'' in Basque. It first appeared when a family arrived for the first time to a part of the Pyrenees where they where a lot of ferns. Then, that family, changed their last name to ''Araquistain'' which means ''place of the ferns'' in basque.
ARCHILASpanish Either a variant of Arcila or derived from Arabic الشَّلَّال (aš-šallāl) meaning "the waterfall".
ARENCIBIASpanish Castilianized combination of the basque words of aranz meaning "thorn"; "hawthorn" + ibi meaning "ford" + a (basque article suffix); meaning someone living by a thorny ford. A "ford" is a body of water shallow enough to walk through; In this context topographically referring to a some places in Spain
ARMENIAItalian, Catalan, Spanish, Portuguese Ethnic name or regional name for someone from Armenia or who had connections with Armenia. This surname is derived from the feminine form of Armenio, which is ultimately from Greek Αρμένιος (Armenios) meaning "Armenian"... [more]
ARMENTEROSSpanish Habitational name from either of two places called Armenteros, in the provinces of Ávila and Salamanca, from the plural of armenatero meaning ‘cowherd’, from Latin armenta ‘herd(s)’.
ARMIJOSpanish Derived from the Spanish adjetive "armigero", meaning "one who bears arms". First found in the Northern Region of Spain in Cantabria. Alternate spellings include: Armijos, Armigo, and Armija.
AVENASpanish, Italian A traditionally Spanish and Italian occupational surname for a "grain grower or merchant", or the Italian habitation surname for Avena, Calabria. Means "oats". From the Latin avēna meaning 'oats, wild oats, straw'.
AZUAJE-FIDALGOPortuguese (Rare), Spanish, Italian Fidalgo from Galician and Portuguese filho de algo — equivalent to "nobleman", but sometimes literally translated into English as "son of somebody" or "son of some (important family)"—is a traditional title of Portuguese nobility that refers to a member of the titled or untitled nobility... [more]
BADILLOSpanish Topographic name from a diminutive of vado ‘ford’ (Latin vadum) or a habitational name from either of two places named with this word: Valillo de la Guarena in Zamora province or Vadillo de al Sierra in Ávila.
BALLONSpanish Theoretically it could be a variant of vallón, from valle ‘valley’, but neither form is attested as a vocabulary word or as a place name element. Alternatively, it could be a Castilian spelling of Catalan Batlló, Balló, nicknames from diminutives of batlle ‘dancing’.English: variant spelling of Balon.
BARCELONACatalan, Spanish Habitational name from Barcelona, the principal city of Catalonia. The place name is of uncertain, certainly pre-Roman, origin. The settlement was established by the Carthaginians, and according to tradition it was named for the Carthaginian ruling house of Barca; the Latin form was Barcino or Barcilo.
BÁRCENASSpanish This indicates familial origin within the eponymous neighborhood of the Castilian municipality of Espinosa de los Monteros.
BARRERASpanish, Catalan Either a topographic name for someone who lived near a gate or fence, from Spanish and Catalan barrera meaning "barrier", or a topographic name for someone who lived by a clay pit, from Spanish barrero, derived from the Spanish word barro meaning "mud, clay".
BARRIOSSpanish Habitational name from any of the numerous places named with Spanish barrio "outlying suburb (especially an impoverished one), slum", from Arabic barr "suburb, dependent village". It may also be a topographic name for someone originating from a barrio.
BETETASpanish This indicates familial origin within the eponymous Manchego municipality.
BETHENCOURTFrench, English, Portuguese (Rare) BETTENCOURT and Bethencourt are originally place-names in Northern France. The place-name element -court (courtyard, courtyard of a farm, farm) is typical of the French provinces, where the Frankish settlements formed an important part of the local population... [more]
BETTENCOURTFrench, English, Portuguese (Rare) Bettencourt and BETHENCOURT are originally place-names in Northern France. The place-name element -court (courtyard, courtyard of a farm, farm) is typical of the French provinces, where the Frankish settlements formed an important part of the local population... [more]
BEZOSSpanish From bezo meaning "thick lips" in Spanish, referring to a person with blubber or thick lips.
BITENCOURTPortuguese (Brazilian), French (Rare), English BITENCOURT, derives from Bittencourt, Bettencourt and Bethencourt; They are originally place-names in Northern France. The place-name element -court (courtyard, courtyard of a farm, farm) is typical of the French provinces, where the Frankish settlements formed an important part of the local population... [more]
BRAVOSpanish, Portuguese From a Spanish and Portuguese nickname for a fierce or violent man (from Spanish and Portuguese bravo "fierce, violent"). This surname was borne by Charles Bravo (1845-1876), a British lawyer and possible murder victim.
BUENAVENTURASpanish Spanish: from the personal name Buenaventura meaning ‘good fortune’, bestowed as an omen name or with specific reference to the Italian bishop and theologian St Bonaventura (canonized in the 14th century).
BUENDÍASpanish Probably a habitational name from Buendía in Cuenca province, Spain.
BUENOSpanish generally an approving (or ironic) nickname, from Spanish bueno ‘good’.
BUITRAGOSpanish This indicates familial origin within either of 2 eponymous municipalities: the Castilian one in El Campo de Gómara or the Manchego municipality of Buitrago del Lozoya in Sierra Norte, Comunidad de Madrid.
BULGARIAItalian, Spanish Originally an ethnic name or regional name for someone from Bulgaria or a nickname for someone who had visited or traded with Bulgaria, which is named after the Turkic tribe of the Bulgars, itself possibly from a Turkic root meaning "mixed".
CABABASpanish Spanish (Cabaña) and Portuguese: habitational name from a place named with Spanish cabaña ‘hut’, ‘cabin’ (Late Latin capanna , a word of Celtic or Germanic origin).
CABALLEROSpanish Occupational name from caballero "knight, soldier, horseman" (from Late Latin caballarius "mounted soldier").
CABALLOSpanish, Spanish (Latin American) Derived from the Spanish word cabello, ultimately derived from the Latin word caballus, meaning "horse". This denoted someone who worked in a farm that took care of horses, or someone who had personality traits attributed to a horse, such as energetic behaviour.
CABAÑASpanish, Portuguese Habitational name from a place named with Spanish cabaña ‘hut’, ‘cabin’ (Late Latin capanna, a word of Celtic or Germanic origin).
CABAÑASSpanish, Portuguese Habitational name from a place named with Spanish cabaña or Portuguese cabanha ‘hut’, ‘cabin’.
CALDERASpanish Derived from Spanish caldera meaning "basin, crater, hollow", ultimately from Latin caldarium or caldaria both meaning "hot bath, cooking pot". The word also denotes a depression in volcanoes, and it is commonly used as an element for surnames denoting streams or mountains.
CALDERÓNSpanish Occupational name for a tinker or a seller or maker of kettles from Vulgar Latin *caldaria meaning "cauldron". Alternately, it may be a habitational name for someone from any of various locations named Calderón or a topographic name from Spanish caldera meaning "crater, basin".
CALEROSpanish Metonymic occupational name for a burner or seller of lime, from calero ‘lime’.
CAMACHOSpanish, Portuguese From the ancient European camb, meaning twisted or disfigured, denoting to someone with visible physical abnormalities, but could possibly also refer to residents of a particularly gnarly tract of land.
CAMARGOSpanish Habitational name for someone from a place in Andalusia called Camargo.
CAMINOSpanish Derived from the Spanish word for "path", or "walkway". This could have been used to denote a person who lived near a path, or one who built paths for a living.
CAMPUSSpanish Derived from the Latin word campus, meaning "field". It denoted someone who either lived in a field or worked in one.
CANABRAVABrazilian Cana is the short form of 'cana de açucar' that means "sugar cane", and Brava is the feminine form of 'bravo' that means "angry". There is a municipality in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, called Canabrava do Norte, and according to oral tradition, the origin of the name is due to the disease and subsequent death of some animals after eating a plantation of sugar cane.
CANCIOSpanish A name for a person who first held the position of Chancellor.
CANGUSSUBrazilian The surname Cangussu has its origins in the Tupi-Guarani language and is a variation of Akangu’su, which means 'Jaguar'.
CANIZALESSpanish (Latin American) This surname came from around the beginnings of 1800 in south regions of Colombia where sugar cane was cultivated. It's a variation of Cañizales, that literally means "sugar cane fields".
CANOMANUELSpanish The first part of this surname is possibly derived from Spanish cano "hoary, white-haired, grey-haired". The second part is derived from the given name MANUEL... [more]
CARBAJALSpanish, Judeo-Spanish Probably a habitational name demoting someone originally from any of the multiple locations called Carbajal in León, Asturias, or Zamora in Spain. Alternatively, it may be of pre-Roman origin from the word carbalio meaning "oak", denoting someone who either lived near an oak tree or who was like an oak tree in some way.... [more]
CARBONEROSpanish Famous bearers are Carlos Carbonero, a Colombian footballer who plays as a midfielder for Sampdoria on loan from Fénix and Sara Carbonero, a Spanish sports journalist.
CARCELÉNSpanish This indicates familial origin within the eponymous Manchego municipality.
CÁRDENASSpanish Habitational name from places in the provinces of Almería and Logroño named Cárdenas, from the feminine plural of cárdeno "blue, bluish purple" (Late Latin cardinus, from carduus "thistle")... [more]
CARDENETESpanish This indicates familial origin within the eponymous Manchego municipality.
CARRERASpanish, Italian Spanish: topographic name for someone living by a main road, carrera ‘thoroughfare’, originally a road passable by vehicles as well as pedestrians (Late Latin carraria (via), a derivative of carrum ‘cart’), or a habitational name from any of various places named with this word.... [more]
CASCALHOPortuguese (?) What I know about this surname is that it came from Alentejo, a region in Portugal countryside. The eldest Cascalho I know lived in Évora (city in this province) so I assume the name born there...
CASILLASSpanish From any of various places called Casillas or Las Casillas, from the plural of casilla, a diminutive of Casa. ... [more]