9 junio, 2024

The 100 most common Greek surnames and their meanings

The greek surnames show the roots of one of the most influential civilizations in history. The Greek onomastics, although it presents local variations, follows constant patterns that facilitate its understanding.

One of the most popular ways to form family names is the use of the genitive, in this case represented by the suffix –or at the end of the father’s proper name. Other local suffixes such as the popular –opoulos either –idias (‘son of’).

The pattern of assigning surnames in Greece presents variations in the case of women. Generally, they used their father’s surname in the genitive case (ending in –or) and when she married, she automatically changed to her husband’s.

Since 1983, Greek law instituted that a woman’s surname would not change automatically or obligatorily upon marriage, but rather it would be a personal choice.

The Greeks often make use of three elements in their full name. The first is your given or proper name, followed by your father’s name, and lastly your father’s last name or family name.

List of Greek surnames

–Adamopoulos (Αδαμοπουλος)

This Greek surname is derived from Adam, the Greek form of Adam (‘man’), in conjunction with the patronymic suffix -opoules (which translates as ‘son of’).

– Alexiou (Αλεξιου)

It means ‘of Alexios’, with which it enters the category of patronymic. Combines the masculine given name Alexios (‘protector’ or ‘defender’) with the Greek genitive suffix –or which translates as ‘of’ and has greater roots in Cyprus.

– Alexopoulos (Αλεξοπουλος)

In this Greek surname the name Alexios (‘defender’) is also added, but in this case with the suffix -opoules (‘son of’), which enjoys popularity throughout the Greek territory.

– Anagnostopoulos (Αναγνωστοπουλος)

It arose from the union of the word anagnostes (‘lector’, also used for the faithful who read during Christian masses or religious services), with the patronymic suffix -opoules (‘son of’).

– Anagnostou (Αναγνωστου)

It is also based on the Greek word anagnostes (meaning ‘reader’), together with the genitive suffix –or. Thus, the translation of this surname is ‘of Anagnostes’ or ‘of the reader’.

– Anastasiadis (Αναστασιαδης)

It is a Greek surname derived from the proper name Anastasios (which comes from the word ‘resurrection’ or anastasis). In this case, the patronymic is formed with the suffix –yadis (‘son of’ or ‘descendant of’).

– Anastasiou (Αναστασιου)

It translates as ‘of Anastasios’, that is, it falls into the category of patronymics. It arises from the Greek word anastasis which means ‘resurrection’, which is why it is considered a Christian name.

– Anastasopoulos (Αναστασοπουλος)

In this case the surname is translated as ‘son of Anastasio’, (a name that comes from the term ‘resurrection’ which in Greek is anastasis).

– Angelis (Αγγελης)

This surname is derived from the proper name Angelos (‘angel’ or ‘messenger’) and the suffix it uses is –he iscommon in the area of ​​Türkiye where it denotes possession or origin.

– Angelopoulos (Αγγελοπουλος)

It is a patronymic that means ‘son of Angel’ in Spanish and arises from the union of the Greek name Angelos with the suffix –opoulos.

– Antoniadis (Αντωνιαδης)

It translates as ‘son of Antonio’, because it uses the patronymic –yadis. It is derived from the Greek form Antonios, a masculine given name with Etruscan roots that can mean ‘the one who flourishes’ or ‘the one who faces his enemies’.

– Antoniou (Αντωνιου)

Join the name Antonios with the genitive suffix –orso it means ‘son of Antonio’.

– Antonopoulos (Αντωνοπουλος)

It is another of the patronymic forms of the masculine proper name Antonios, in which the Greek patronymic suffix –opoulos. That is why the meaning of this surname is ‘son of Antonio’.

– Apostolidis (Αποστολιδης)

This surname is a patronymic derivative of the name Apostolos (‘apostle’); to this name was added the suffix –idiscommon throughout Greece and meaning ‘descendant of’.

– Apostolopoulos (Αποστολοπουλος)

It translates as ‘son of Apostolos’ or ‘son of the apostle’, and is a Greek patronymic surname.

– Apostolou (Αποστολου)

It comes from the name Apostolos, along with the genitive suffix –or. Thus, the meaning of this surname is ‘de Apostolos’.

– Arvanitis (Αρβανιτης)

This Greek surname translates as ‘of Albania’, since it joined the word used for an Albanian dialect (arvanite) with the suffix –tis (‘de’, referring to the origin of the individual).

–Athanasiou (Αθανασιου)

It is a patronymic surname meaning ‘of Athanasios’; a Greek name that is interpreted as ‘immortal’.

–Athanasopoulos (Αθανασοπουλος)

This is another patronymic form derived from the name Athanasios, which in this case means ‘descendant of the immortal’ (since it uses the suffix –opoulos).

– Charalampidis (Χαραλαμπιδης)

This is a patronymic surname that comes from the proper name Charalampos (‘the one who shines with happiness’), which arises from the union of the terms charas What does «happiness» mean? lampo ‘splendor’. In this case, for the formation of the last name, the suffix –idis (‘son of’).

– Christodoulou (Χριστοδουλου)

Means ‘son of Christ’s servant’ in Spanish. Since it uses the genitive suffix –orwith the proper name Christodoulos.

–Christopoulos (Χριστοπουλος)

It comes from the proper name Christos (‘useful’, ‘good’ or ‘helpful’) which, together with the suffix –opoulosforms a Greek surname that translates as ‘descendant of Christos’.

– Diamantis (Διαμαντης)

It arises from the union of the word diamondalong with the suffix –tis. This family name can be interpreted as ‘diamond’; referring to someone who came from a place where there was a diamond mine or who was very strong or indestructible.

– Diamantopoulos (Διαμαντοπουλος)

may derive from the word diamond or the surname Diamantis, but in this case with the suffix –opoulos meaning ‘descendant of Diamantis’.

– Dimitrakopoulos (Δημητρακοπουλος)

It comes from the diminutive form Dimitrakis (from Dimitris, which translates as ‘devotee to Demeter’). This attached to the suffix –opoulos means ‘descendant of Dimitrakis’.

– Dimitriadis (Δημητριαδης)

It translates as ‘son of Dimitris’ or ‘son of Dimitrios’, some of the Greek forms of the masculine given name meaning ‘holy to Demeter’, the goddess of grain and food.

– Dimitriou (Δημητριου)

This surname means ‘of Dimitris’ or ‘of Dimitrios’, it uses the suffix –or of great popularity in the Greek language for the formation of patronymics.

– Dimitropoulos (Δημητροπουλος)

It is also derived from the male given name Dimitris, in this case accompanied by –opoulosso the full translation is ‘descendant of Dimitris’.

– Dimopoulos (Δημοπουλος)

It comes from the proper name Dimos and the suffix –opoulos; this can have two origins, one of them is a diminutive of Dimitrios, the other is a deformation of ‘demos‘, a word that translates as ‘people’.

– Dimou (Δημου)

It is another surname linked to the proper name Dimos that is formed in union with the genitive suffix –or (‘of’).

– Eleutheriadis (Ελευθεριαδης)

This surname comes from the Greek masculine name Eleutherios, which translates as ‘liberator’, together with the suffix –yadis it takes the meaning ‘son of the liberator’ or ‘son of Eleuterio’.

– Floros (Φλωρος)

Also transliterated as Phloros and is derived from the word khloros which is interpreted as ‘green’ (root of words like chlorophyll).

– Photiadis (Φωτιαδης)

It comes from the name Photio, which in turn derives from the word photo, which means ‘fire’ or light. Also, it has the suffix –yadisConsequently, the meaning of this Greek surname is ‘son of fire’.

– Fotopoulos (Φωτοπουλος)

Its literal meaning is ‘descendant of Photio’, although it can be interpreted as ‘descendant of fire’ or ‘descendant of light’.

–Galanis (Γαλανης)

This last name means ‘blue’ and was assigned as a nickname to people with light blue eyes.

– Georgakopoulos (Γεωργακοπουλος)

It translates as ‘son of Georgakis’, by joining said surname with the suffix –opoulos. In turn, this masculine name or surname has its origin in Georgios (which means ‘farmer’).

– Georgiadis (Γεωργιαδης)

It is another patronymic form of the Greek name Georgios (‘worker of the land’ or ‘farmer’), which is formed by adding the suffix –yadis (‘son of’).

– Georgiou (Γεωργιου)

This surname literally means ‘of Georgio’, in this case the patronymic suffix –or.

– Georgopoulos (Γεωργοπουλος)

It also follows from the Greek proper name Georgios, which when joined with the suffix –opoulos (‘descendant of’) becomes patronymic.

– Giannakopoulos (Γιαννακοπουλος)

This Greek surname is formed with the local variant of the name Juan, which is Giannis. Then the diminutive –here and finally this joins with the patronymic –opoulos (‘descendant of’).

– Giannopoulos (Γιαννοπουλος)

It also means ‘descendant of Giannis’ or ‘son of Giannis’, in this case without using the diminutive form of the proper name.

–Iliopoulos (Ηλιοπουλος)

It means ‘son of Ilio’, a name of Greek origin that derives from the word helioswhose meaning in Spanish is ‘sun’.

– Ioannidis (Ιωαννιδης)

This patronymic surname means ‘son of Ioannis’, a name with the same root as Giannis (John), which is interpreted as ‘God is favourable’.

– Ioannou (Ιωαννου)

It is a patronymic that also arises from the proper name Juan in one of its Greek variants, which together with the genitive –or means ‘of Ioannis’.

– Kanellopoulos (Κανελλοπουλος)

This surname translates as ‘son of Kanellos’, a proper name meaning ‘cinnamon’ (the spice).

– Karagiannis (Καραγιαννης)

This last name mixes the Turkish word kara (‘dark’ or ‘black’) and the Greek name Giannis (John), so it can be translated as ‘John the dark-skinned’ or ‘John the black’.

–Karalis (Καραλης)

It can have several origins, one is from the Turkish word kara (‘black’) and the suffix –lils (which means ‘of’), with what would be ‘of black’. It can also be interpreted as ‘Ali the black’. Another possibility is that an individual came from the Karla population in Greece.

– Katsaros (Κατσαρος)

The meaning of this surname is ‘curly’ and it was assigned as a nickname to people who had curly or curly hair.


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