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Thread: Most frequent surnames

  1. #81
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Some examples of typical Hungarian surnames:

    1. Geografical origin
    Budai (from Buda)
    Szegedi (from Szeged)
    Kassai (from Kassa, today Košice in Slovakia)
    Hernádi (from Hernád - a river)
    Tátrai (Tatras - the mountains)
    etc.

    2. From personal names
    Péterfi (son of Peter)
    Pálfi (son of Paul)
    Jánossi < Jánosfi (son of John)
    Andrássi < Andrásfi (son of Andreas)
    etc.

    (In the above examples, for historical reasons, we find often -y instead of -i: Pálffy, Kassay, Adrássy etc.)

    3. Ethnonyms
    Német (German)
    Orosz (Russian)
    Olasz (Italian)
    Lengyel (Polish)
    Tóth (Slovak, but former also other Slavs)
    Oláh (Romanian)
    etc.

    4. Nicknames
    Kövér (thick)
    Nagy (big)
    Kis (small)
    Sas (eagle)
    Szép (nice)

    Veres (red)
    Fekete (Black)
    Barna (brown)
    Fehér (white)
    Szőke (blond)
    (I don't know any yellow, green or blue ...)

    5. Occupation
    Szabó (tailor)
    Varga (shoemaker)
    Juhász (shepherd)
    Kovács (smith)
    Halász (fisherman)
    etc.

    There are also some not very frequent, but "interseting" surnames like:
    Bornemisza (drinks-not-wine; see "El Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza" in Madrid)
    Verespej (red-horse)
    Nagykiserős (big-little-strong)
    etc.

  2. #82
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by swift View Post
    Yo habría jurado que Pérez era un nombre hebreo.
    I've always heard the explanation already provided: son of Pedro, and this latter coming from the Latin name Petrus (stone, piedra), perhaps given by the very Jesus Christ to Simon Petrus, the first Pope.

    However, what I've heard, though don't know how much accurate, is that many toponymycal surnames were chosen by the Jews, who were forced to decide between to abandon the country or to adopt Christianity, in order to comply with that moment's requirements on the matter of Christian names.

  3. #83
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by Fernando View Post
    No. Pérez or Peres are found among Sephardi Jews (as an example, Simon Peres) but (as far as I know), not in Askenazi Jews since it is an Iberian surname whose origin is the same as Martínez, Gómez, etc.
    Shimon Peres, born Szymon Perski, in Višnieva, nowadays Belarus. He has had an Ashkenazi education.
    Në e di, ma thuaj! Gli intolleranti possono rendermi intollerante...

  4. #84
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    My mistake. According to this source, the change of Perski in Peres was done to hebraize the name. Anyhow, I still doubt why someone would be called 'bearded vulture'. I copy a Wiki explanation.

    http://theochem.weizmann.ac.il/~coma...raelinames.txt
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bearded_Vulture

    Anyhow, Perez, Peres and variations are common Sephardic surnames. This page derives it from the Bible. Anyhow, I find 'Perez' in English Bibles and 'Fares' in Spanish Bibles, so it is still doubtful to me if nowadays 'Perez/Peres' Israelites (those who have not changed its last surname, as Shimon) are 'Perezites' or Iberian Sephardics who, simpler, held one of the most common Spanish/Portuguese surnames.
    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/12697183/Sephardic-Surnames
    Only a Spanish speaker. If you need an exact translation, wait for better opinions.

  5. #85
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by Hulalessar View Post
    Can anyone explain why Brown, Green, White, Black and Grey are common surnames but Red, Yellow and Blue are not?
    When I was younger, there was an athlete--a baseball player, I think--whose name was Vida Blue. This was in USA, but I don't know the athlete's background. I recognize vida as life, and a number of baseball players were of Latin American background.

    I don't know of any others named Blue.

  6. #86
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by mirx View Post
    México, and I assume all other Spanish-speaking countries, have surnames deriving from personal names, such as:
    Martinez = Son of Martin.
    Fernandez = Son of Ferdinand
    Perez = Son of Peter.

    These would be the commonest surnames.

    Family names derived from occupations are also quite popular.

    Herrera : Blacksmith
    Pescador: Fisherman.
    Molina : Miller
    Zapatero: Shoemaker

    My mind is tired so I presume a lot of occupation-related names are escaping me.
    Yes, you forgot the most popular Spanish surname is García, which is used by 1300000 people in Spain alone.

  7. #87
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank78 View Post
    In Germany most surnames derived from occupations.

    1. Schmidt/Schmitt/Schmid/Schmit/etc. (blacksmith)
    2. Meyer/Mayer/Meier/Maier/etc. (a tenant or a civil servant)
    3. Müller (miller)
    4. Schneider (tailor)
    5. Fischer (fisherman)
    6. Weber (weaver)
    7. Wagner (wainwright)
    There are regional differences though - see here.

    Austria by the way differs significantly; the most common ones in Austria are (source):
    1. Gruber
    2. Huber
    3. Bauer

    Such lists also are problematic as of many names there exist varieties which are too different to be listed as "variants", like "Huber, Humer, Hueber, Huemer" - they all, essentially, mean a "farmer owing a >hube<" = a defined size of arable land = a farmer of a certain size. This is a very common name in both Austria and Bavaria - but exists in a broad variety of spellings.
    "An esoteric may claim more nonsense in 5 minutes than a scientist may be able to disprove in his entire life." Vince Ebert, about fighting sciolism.

  8. #88
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Here in Brittany, all the French surnames are used of course. But there are also specifically Breton ones which include:

    Le Men (stone, as in menhir, a standing-stone)
    Le Coat (wood, compare the Welsh coed)
    Le Bihan (small)
    Le Braz (large)
    Le Calvez (bald)
    Le Dantec (toothy)

    An interesting name, widespread in my locality, is Aurégan, derived from two Irish settlers call O'Reagan.

  9. #89
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by Hulalessar View Post
    Can anyone explain why Brown, Green, White, Black and Grey are common surnames but Red, Yellow and Blue are not?
    Because there are a lot of people whose ancestors lived on a village green, or else had brown, white, black or grey hair. Not many had red hair, and they were nicknamed Redhead (here in France LeRoux).

    But yellow and blue hair are rather rarer...

  10. #90
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Bradford View Post
    Because there are a lot of people whose ancestors lived on a village green, or else had brown, white, black or grey hair. Not many had red hair, and they were nicknamed Redhead (here in France LeRoux).

    But yellow and blue hair are rather rarer...
    Or maybe the opposite is true: in Great Brittain, many people have red or "reddish" hair, so such a surname would not be distinctive enaugh. Surnames like Rosso (Italian), Veres/Vörös (Hungarian), Roth (German) ... are not rare at all.

    In Hungarian there is also Szőke, that is blond.

  11. #91
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    In Spanish Rojo (red), Blanco (white), Rubio (blonde) Moreno (brown-haired or dark-skinned) or Cano (grey-haired) are common.

    Verde (green) only in Valverde (Green Valley) or Villaverde (Green Town). Amarillo (yellow) is very uncommon. Azul (Blue) is unknown to me as a surname.

    So, I agree with Keith's explanation.
    Only a Spanish speaker. If you need an exact translation, wait for better opinions.

  12. #92
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    In Italy color surnames are referred to hair, but also to escutcheon.
    Giallo (yellow) is part of Giallombardo surname, but this form probably derives from Gian (name) Lombardo (surname).
    Blue surnames – at least in the sound – are Ciano (toponym), and Celestini (monastic order).
    In Sardinia there are Ruju (red) and Nieddu (black).
    Në e di, ma thuaj! Gli intolleranti possono rendermi intollerante...

  13. #93
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by federicoft View Post
    According to this site, these are the 20 most common surnames in Italy.

    1. Rossi
    2. Russo
    3. Ferrari
    4. Esposito
    5. Bianchi
    6. Romano
    7. Colombo
    8. Ricci
    9. Marino
    10. Greco
    11. Bruno
    12. Gallo
    13. Conti
    14. De Luca
    15. Costa
    16. Giordano
    17. Mancini
    18. Rizzo
    19. Lombardi
    20. Moretti

    The first two mean "redhead", with Russo being specifically Southern Italian. Ferrari means "smith". The other surnames refer to geographical locations (Romani - from Rome; Greco - Greek; Lombardi - Lombard), phisical features (Ricci and Rizzo - curly hair; Mancini - left-handed; Bruno - dark-haired) or derive from Latin names (Marino, Colombo, De Luca).
    The names ending in '-i', aren't they comosed of place names added a an adjectival formant (Lombardi from Lombardy, Ferrari from Ferrara)?

  14. #94
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    From Ferrara, the surname could be Ferraresi
    Në e di, ma thuaj! Gli intolleranti possono rendermi intollerante...

  15. #95
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by alinapopi View Post
    Hola,

    En rumano tenemos / In Romanian we have:

    - Popescu; (from Pop I suppose)
    - Ionescu; (Ion)
    - Georgescu; (George)
    - Marinescu; (Marin)
    - Teodorescu... (Teodor)

    Los apellidos más comunes acaban en -escu y suelen formarse a raíz de nombres de pila.

    Saludos.
    I understand that -escu surnames were originally patronymics: Teodorescu = son of Teodor

  16. #96
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Polish most popular surnames:

    Nowak new man (a newly settled farmer in the village), 0,53% of population
    Kowalski kowal: smith, Kowalski may come from a village name Kowale
    Wiśniewski wiśnia: cherry, probably toponymic
    Wójcik patronymic, a village mayor’s son (wójt from ger. Voigt)
    Kowalczyk patronymic, a smith’s son
    Kamiński kamień: stone, probably toponymic
    Lewandowski allegedly from Levant
    Zieliński zielony: green, probably toponymic
    Szymański Szymon: Simon, patronymic or toponymic (from Szymany village)
    Woźniak patronymic, a coachman’s or cartwright’s son
    Dąbrowski dąbrowa: a birch forest, toponymic
    Kozłowski probably toponymic (from Kozłowo village) koza: goat
    Jankowski patronymic, Jan’s son
    Mazur toponymic, from Mazowsze (Mazovia)
    Wojciechowski patronymic, Wojciech’s son
    Kwiatkowski kwiat: flower, probably toponymic (from Kwiatkowo village)
    Krawczyk patronymic, a taylor’s son
    Kaczmarek patronymic, an innkeeper’s son
    Piotrowski patronymic (Piotr’s son) or toponymic (from Piotrowo village)
    Grabowski grab: hornbeam tree, probably toponymic (from Grabowo village), 0,15 % of population

  17. #97
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Jamin View Post
    The names ending in '-i', aren't they comosed of place names added a an adjectival formant (Lombardi from Lombardy, Ferrari from Ferrara)?
    No, there is no suffix or adjectival formant -i in Italian for place names. As far as I know, this -i comes from the Latin genitive endings, e.g. Martin's son: Martini filius > Martini, or the Count's son: Comitis filius > Conti.

    The most frequent endigs for place names are -ese, -ano, -ino: Romano, Torinese, Fiorentino, Milanese...

    We often find Ferraresi (like in the Pizzi's example), Milanesi ... instead of Ferrarese, Milanese ... It would be intersting to know why we have -i instead of -e in these cases. Maybe Ferraresi was originally the son of Ferrarese ... but don't know.

  18. #98
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Penso che Ferraresi, Milanesi deriva dal fatto di nominare un gruppo di persone usando il plurale. Spesso questi cognomi si trovano maggiormente in luoghi diversi dalla località che rappresentano, perché era facile individuare un forsestiero o un gruppo di forestieri con il nome della località di origine, anziché scervellarsi per inventare un nuovo appellativo.
    Così, il cognome "Siciliano" lo trovi molto di più fuori dalla sicilia che in sicilia.

  19. #99
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by infinite sadness View Post
    Penso che Ferraresi, Milanesi deriva dal fatto di nominare un gruppo di persone usando il plurale...
    Non penso, per due motivi:

    1. Non mi pare logico un cognome in plurale (parliamo dei tempi quando i cognomi "nascono" quindi ancora si capiva bene il loro significato). Il plurale potrebbe essere logico con le preposizioni di, de, da, per esempio "Giovanni de Milanesi" (cioè quello dal gruppo dei milanesi), ma non credo che sia questo il caso tipico.

    2. La terminazione -i nei cognomi italiani è molto diffusa e questo non solamente nel caso d'origine geografica o toponimica. Vedi p.e. Bassi, Rossi, Belluzzi, Bellucci, Grandi, Fini, Pizzi, Berlusconi (!) ...

    Tutto sommato, secondo me è più probabile che si tratti d'una certa "generalizzazione" spontanea della desinenza -i sotto l'influenza dei cognomi in -i che derivano del nome del padre (una volta difusissimi in tutta la "Romània").

  20. #100
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    Re: Most frequent surnames

    Quote Originally Posted by francisgranada View Post
    Fini, Pizzi, Berlusconi (!) ...
    Anche se il mio è un nickname, preferirei avere altri vicini...
    Në e di, ma thuaj! Gli intolleranti possono rendermi intollerante...

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