100 Portuguese Surnames Or Last Names With Meanings

Baby Tips
Portuguese Surnames Or Last Names With Meanings

Image: Shutterstock

The Portuguese language is not just spoken in Portugal but is the official language of some countries located across South America and Africa. The Portuguese family names are thus not only famous among the inhabitants of Portugal, but also in Portuguese-speaking nations of Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, and Mozambique.

Several Portuguese surnames are derived either from the occupation or the social and economic status of a person’s ancestors. The individual is usually given two surnames; one each from the father and the mother. Most often, only the father’s name is added to the personal name, and the mother name is rarely used in isolation. Words such as ‘do’ ‘dos’ and ‘da’ that mean ‘of the’ are part of the surname, and several surnames end with ‘-es.’

This MomJunction post shares a compilation of 100 Portuguese last names with their meanings and origins.

List Of Common Portuguese Surnames Or Last Names

1. Abreu

It refers to those who inhabited a place called Abreu in Minho province of Portugal. It is a common surname among Portuguese and those of Sephardic Jewish ancestral lines. Another origin could be ‘Abraao,’ which is the Portuguese form of ‘Abraham.’

2. Afonso

The Portuguese variant of ‘Alfonso’ is derived from the Visigothic Old German personal name ‘Adelfonsus’ that is a combination of the elements ‘adal’ meaning ‘noble’ and ‘funs’ meaning ‘ready.’

3. Almada

It is a toponymic name for someone who lived in a place called Almada in Portugal. The name is derived from the Arabic word ‘almadena’ meaning ‘ore mine.’

4. Almeida

It is a toponymic name for a person who lived in the town of Almeida in Portugal. Derived from the Arabic phrase ‘al maidah’, it means ‘a plateau’ or ‘table-top.’ Another origin of the name could be the Arabic phrase ‘al madina’ that means ‘the city.’

5. Alto

It is the Portuguese word for ‘tall.’ The name likely originated as a nickname for a tall man or a large man.

6. Avila

It is a variation of the Portuguese name ‘Davila.’ The name ‘Davila’ is written as ‘da vila’ or ‘d’vila’ in Portuguese and means ‘from a village’ or ‘from a town.’

7. Barbas

It is taken from the plural form of the Latin word ‘barba’ meaning ‘beard.’ The name was likely a nickname for a bearded person.

8. Barboza

It is an alternative form of the name ‘Barbosa.’ The name is a combination of the Portuguese words ‘barba,’ a type of plant and ‘-oso’ meaning ‘place rich in that plant.’ The name is thus a toponymic one.

9. Baros

It is a toponymic name for someone from any of the places called Barros in Portugal. The name ‘Barros’ comes from the Portuguese word ‘barro,’ which means ‘clay’ or ‘loam.’

10. Belo

It is the Portuguese word for ‘beautiful,’ ‘loving,’ or ‘handsome.’ The name likely began as a nickname for a handsome or beautiful person.

11. Bomba

It is the Portuguese word for ‘bomb.’ The name could be an occupational name for someone who worked with explosives or weapons. The name may have also been a nickname for someone with a short temper.

12. Borges

It is likely a toponymic name for someone from the city of Bourges in France. The name could also likely be a derivative of the Middle English element ‘burge’ meaning ‘freeman’ or ‘inhabitant of a fortified town.’

13. Braga

It is a toponymic name for someone who belongs to the city of Braga in northern Portugal. The place was a prominent city during the reign of the Roman empire.

14. Cabral

This is a toponymic name derived from the Latin word ‘capralis’ which means ‘a place of goats.’ The name ‘capralis’ comes from the Latin word ‘capra’ meaning ‘goat.’

15. Cardoso

It is derived from the word ‘Cardo,’ which is the Portuguese word for Cardoon plant, also called Artichoke Thistle. The name is likely a toponymic one referring to someone who lived close to a Cardoon plantation.

16. Castro

It is derived from the Latin element ‘castrum’ meaning ‘castle,’ ‘camp,’ or ‘fortification.’ The name likely referred to someone who lived near a castle.

17. Coelho

It is the Portuguese word for a ‘rabbit.’ This surname was likely used as a nickname or an occupational name for a seller or hunter of rabbits.

18. Coval

It is a toponymic name referring to someone who belonged to any of the places named ‘Coval’ in Portugal. The name comes from the Portuguese word ‘cova’ meaning ‘hollow’ or ‘pit.’

19. Cuba

It is a toponymic name for someone from any of the several places called Cuba in Portugal. The name is derived from the Latin word ‘cupa’ meaning ‘barrel.’

20. Curro

It refers to people from any of the several places by this name in Portugal and Galicia. The name likely means a ‘fold’ or a ‘graft’ in Portuguese.

21. Da Costa

It is an alternative form of Costa that means ‘coast’ in Portuguese. The name has the addition of the word ‘da’ meaning ‘of the’ or ‘from the.’ The name was a toponymic one referring to those who lived along the river bank, slope, or the seashore.

22. Da Cruz

It is derived from the name ‘Cruz’ that means ‘cross’ in Portuguese. The name has the addition of the word ‘da’ that means ‘of the’ or ‘from the.’

23. Delgado

The Portuguese word for ‘slender’ or ‘thin’ was probably used as a nickname for those with a thin physique.

24. Dos Santos

The name is a Portuguese translation of the phrase ‘of the saints.’ The name originally could have referred to those born or baptized on All Saints’ Day.

25. Diniz

The variant of the name ‘Denis,’ Diniz traces its origins to Ancient Greek and means ‘a follower of Zeus.’

26. Espindola

This surname has uncertain origin but is believed to be a toponymic name brought to Portugal by immigrants from Genoa, Italy.

27. Facundo

It is a last name derived from the personal name ‘Facundus’ that means ‘eloquent,’ ‘fluent’ or ‘talkative’ in Latin.

28. Faria

It is a toponymic name referring to someone from any of the several places called Faria in Portugal.

29. Farinha

It is the Portuguese word for ‘flour.’ This is an occupational name referring to someone who was a miller or a flour merchant.

30. Fernandes

It comes from the name ‘Fernando,’ which is a variant of the name ‘Ferdinand.’ The name ‘Ferdinand’ is a combination of Old German words ‘fardi’ meaning ‘journey’ and ‘nand’ meaning ‘brave.’

31. Ferra

It is derived from the Portuguese word ‘Ferrar’ meaning ‘to shoe,’ like to shoe a horse.

32. Ferreira

This surname refers to someone who lived near an iron mine. The name is derived from the Latin word ‘ferrum,’ which means ‘iron.’

33. Fonseca

It referes to someone who originally lived near a dry spring. The name is taken from the Latin words ‘fons’ meaning ‘spring’ or ‘well,’ and ‘siccus’ meaning ‘dry.’

34. Freitas

It is a toponymic name for those who originally belonged to a place called Freitas in Portugal. The name means ‘broken stones’ or ‘broken ground’ in Portuguese.

35. Gaia

It is a toponymic surname referring to someone from the place called Gaia, also called Vila Nova de Gaia, in Portugal.

36. Gale

It is the Portuguese word for a ‘galley’ or ‘galleon,’ which is a warship. This last name refers to someone whose occupation was that of a shipwright or a mariner.

37. Galioto

It is an altered spelling of ‘Galiote’ that means ‘pirate’ or ‘corsair’ in Portuguese.

38. Gandara

It is a toponymic surname referring to someone from any of the several places called Gandara in Portugal. The word likely means ‘barren land’ or ‘dry sandy land.’

39. Graca

It is the Portuguese word for ‘grace’ or ‘mercy.’ The name is a short form for the religious epithet ‘da Graca’ which means ‘of mercy.’

40. Guerreiro

It is the Portuguese word for a ‘warrior’ or a ‘soldier.’ The name was likely used as a nickname for a brave person or as a nickname for an aggressive person.

41. Henriques

It is a patronymic name and means ‘son of Henrique.’ The name ‘Henrique’ is the Portuguese form of the name ‘Henry,’ which comes from the Old German name ‘Heimirich’ meaning ‘home ruler.’

42. Janota

It means ‘chic,’ ‘stylish’ or something that is excessively elegant in Portuguese.

43. Jeronimo

This surname is taken from the personal name ‘Jerome’ that comes from the Old Greek name ‘Hieronymos’ meaning ‘sacred name.’

44. Joaquim

It is derived from the personal name ‘Joachim’ that comes from Hebrew and means meaning ‘granted by god.’

45. Judice

The occupational name refers to someone who worked as a ‘judge.’ The word ‘Judice’ likely originated from Latin and means ‘judge’ or ‘to judge.’

46. Junior

The name comes from the Latin word ‘Junior’ that means ‘younger’ or ‘the young one.’

47. Lacerda

It is derived from the Portuguese phrase ‘la cerda’ meaning ‘the locks of hair.’ This name was likely used as a nickname for those with long or thick hair, or with hairy chest or back.

48. Lage

It is a toponymic name for someone from any of the several places called Lage in Portugal. The word likely means ‘slab of stone’ or ‘flat rock’ in Portuguese and Galician.

49. Lapa

It is a toponymic name for someone from any of the several places called Lapa in Portugal. The word ‘Lapa’ likely means ‘cavern’ in Portuguese.

50. Leite

It is the Portuguese word for ‘milk.’ This Portuguese last name was likely used as a nickname for someone with a pale complexion.

51. Lessa

It is the altered spelling for Leca, which is the name of various places in Portugal.

52. Lima

It is a toponymic surname for those who inhabited a region close along the banks of river Lima in Portugal.

53. Lomba

It is a toponymic name for someone from any of the places called Lomba in Portugal. The name ‘Lomba’ refers to a ‘mountain ridge’ in Portuguese. The name could also have been a reference to someone who lived by a mountain ridge.

54. Lopes

It is a patronymic name that means ‘son of Lope.’ The name ‘Lope’ comes from the Latin word ‘lupus,’ which means ‘wolf.’

55. Loureiro

It is comes from the Portuguese word ‘loureiro,’ which refers to the Laurel Tree. The name is a toponymic one referring to someone who lived by laurel trees.

56. Louro

It is the Portuguese word for ‘blonde.’ This surname would have originally referred to those with blonde or light chestnut hair.

57. Lucio

It is a patronymic form of the Latin personal name ‘Lucius’ that is derived from the Latin element ‘lux’ meaning ‘light.’

58. Machado

It is the Portuguese word for an ‘axe’ or a ‘hatchet.’ It is an occupational name for someone who made or used hatchets.

59. Madeira

It is the Portuguese word for ‘wood’ or ‘timber.’ This surname refers to someone whose occupation was carpentry.

60. Magalhaes

The toponymic name refers to someone from any of the places named Magalhaes in Portugal.

61. Magro

The Portuguese word for ‘thin’ was likely used as a nickname for those who have thin and lean personality.

62. Mata

The Portuguese word for ‘woods,’ ‘thicket,’ or ‘forest’ is a toponymic one that likely referred to those who lived along the forest.

63. Medeiros

The name refers to someone who is from any of the several places named ‘Medeiros’ in Portugal. The name means ‘haystack’ or a ‘stack of sheaves’ in Portuguese.

64. Naves

It is a toponymic name for someone who came from any of the several places called Naves in Portugal.

65. Nazario

Derived from the Latin name ‘Nazarius’, it means ‘of Nazareth.’ Nazareth is a city in Israel.

66. Nobriga

It is an altered form of ‘Nobrega,’ which is the name of several places in Portugal.

67. Nora

The toponymic name refers to someone from a place called ‘Nora’ in Portugal.

68. Noronha

It is derived from the name ‘Norona’ that comes from the name ‘Norena.’ The name ‘Norena’ is a toponymic one and refers to those who originally belonged to the town of Norena in Spain.

69. Novo

The Portuguese word for ‘new,’ Novo could have been used as a nickname, eventually transforming into a surname.

70. Oliveira

The toponymic name refers to those from any of the several places named Oliveira in Portugal. The word ‘Oliveira’ in Portuguese means ‘olive tree.’

71. Orta

It is derived from the Portuguese word ‘Horta’ that means ‘kitchen garden’ or a ‘vegetable garden.’

72. Pao

The Portuguese word for ‘bread,’ Pao is an occupational name referring to someone whose occupation was baking.

73. Paredes

It is the plural of the Portuguese word ‘parede’ that means ‘wall.’ The name could have been a toponymic one referring to someone who lived by a wall.

74. Paula

The feminine form of the name ‘Paul’ comes from the Latin word ‘paulus’ meaning ‘little,’ ‘small,’ or ‘humble.’

75. Pereira

The ornamental name means ‘pear tree’ in Portuguese. It could also have been an occupational one for someone who worked as a merchant of pears or fruits.

76. Pestana

It is the Portuguese word for ‘eyelash.’ The name might have been a nickname for someone with thick or long eyelashes.

77. Pimenta

The Portuguese word for ‘chili’ or ‘red pepper,’ it is likely an occupational name for someone who sold or grew peppers.

78. Pinheiro

The name means ‘pine tree’ in Portuguese, and might have referred to someone who lived along a pine forest.

79. Pinho

It is a toponymic name for someone from any of the several places called Pinho in Portugal. The word means ‘pine’ or ‘pine wood’ in Portuguese.

80. Quintal

It is the Portuguese word for ‘backyard’ or a ‘vegetable garden.’ The name could have been a toponymic one.

81. Ribeiro

Meaning a ‘brook’ or a ‘stream’ in Portuguese, the toponymic name might refer to someone who originally resided next to a brook.

82. Rios

The toponymic name means ‘rivers’ in Portuguese

83. Rocha

The toponymic name is the Portuguese word for ‘rock.’

84. Santa

This is a toponymic name probably referring to those who belonged to any of the several places called Santa in Portugal. The word means ‘a female saint’ in Portuguese.

85. Sarmento

It refers to ‘vine shoot’ in Portuguese. The name was likely a nickname for those who were tall and thin.

86. Sequeira

It is a toponymic name for someone from any of the places called Sequeira in Portugal. The name likely means ‘arid land’ in Portuguese.

87. Sereno

It means ‘serene’ or ‘calm’ in Portuguese. The name would have originally been a nickname.

88. Sousa

It a toponymic name for those who lived along the Sousa river in Portugal. The name of the river is derived from the Latin element ‘saxa’ meaning ‘rocks,’ probably referring to the several rocks or pebbles present on the riverbed.

89. Souto

It refers to ‘small wood’ or ‘grove’ in Portuguese. The name denotes a family line that lived along the groves.

90. Texeira

This is a variant spelling of ‘Teixeira’ that is derived from the Portuguese word ‘teixo’ meaning ‘yew tree.’ The name is a toponymic name referring to someone who lived near a plantation of yew trees.

91. Trindade

It means ‘trinity’ in Portuguese. This surname is also a religious personal name and was given to someone born or baptized during the Holy Trinity feast.

92. Troia

The toponymic name probably refers to those who originally belonged to a place called Troia in Portugal.

93. Vala

It is a toponymic name for an ancestral line that likely hailed from any of the places named Vala in Portugal.

94. Vara

It means ‘rod’ or ‘stick’ in Portuguese. The name could have been a nickname for a thin person. The name could also have referred to someone, like an officer, responsible for checking measurements.

95. Veiga

It is a toponymic name for someone from any of the places called Veiga in Portugal. The name likely means ‘meadow’ in Portuguese.

96. Vela

It is a toponymic name for someone from any of the places called Vela in Portugal.

97. Veloso

Meaning ‘hairy’ or ‘fleecy,’ the name might have likely been used as a nickname for a hairy person.

98. Vento

It is the Portuguese word for ‘wind’ and is also the name of some places in Portugal.

99. Villela

The toponymic name comes from the word ‘Vilela,’ which is the name of several places in Portugal. The name ‘Vilela’ is a diminutive form ‘vila’ meaning a ‘farm’ or ‘estate.’

100. Xavier

The toponymic surname is derived from a Basque word ‘Etxeberria’ meaning ‘the new house.’

Several Portuguese migrated to various parts of the world and carried their surnames along. These surnames trace their roots to Portugal, but many of them also have Spanish, Latin, and Galician origins. It gives us a fascinating glimpse into the geographical spread of the names and the ancestors who originally had these names.

Do you know any more interesting and unique Portuguese surnames? Do share them with us in the comment section below.

Was this information helpful?
Comments are moderated by MomJunction editorial team to remove any personal, abusive, promotional, provocative or irrelevant observations. We may also remove the hyperlinks within comments.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Melatonin: Is it safe for babies?
Children’s song lyrics: Down by the Bay
Baby poop color: Causes and when to see a doctor
Fun Indoor Activities for Kids Over the Holiday Break
Children’s song lyrics: Five Little Monkeys

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *