7 junio, 2024

The 27 Most Frequent Brazilian Surnames

Some of the brazilian surnames The most frequent are Silva, Oliveira, Sousa, Lima, Pereira, Carvalho, Almeida, Ferreira, Alves, Barbosa, Freitas, Fernandes, Ronaldo, Costa or Rocha.

Portuguese is a Romance language derived from Vulgar Latin. It arose in the middle of the 3rd century BC in the northern region of what is now Portugal. Although the Portuguese understand the Brazilians and vice versa, Brazilian Portuguese has certain differences.

Portuguese is the official language of 9 countries and currently has some 240 million speakers around the world, making it the seventh most spoken language in the world. About 200 million of these speakers are found in Brazil.

List of the most frequent Brazilian surnames

Silva: Comes from latin silva, which means jungle or forest. It is the most common surname in Brazil, it is estimated that more than 20 million inhabitants in the South American country have that surname.

-Oliveira: Its origin is related to the ancient sowers of the olive tree.

-Sousa: Originally used to identify the inhabitants near the Sousa River, located in the north of Portugal. its variants D’Sousa and De Sousaliterally mean de Sousa.

Saints: Of Christian origin, from Latin sanctuswhose meaning is literally “Holy”.

Lime: To denote the inhabitants of the vicinity of the Limia River (In Portuguese, Lime), which crosses Spain and Portugal.

Pereira: Of Portuguese origin, means «Pear tree»

Carvalho: Topographic surname, for those who lived nearby or worked with oaks.

Rodrigues: It means «Son of Rodrigo».

ferreira: From Latin ironwhich means iron. To identify blacksmiths and metal craftsmen.

Almeida: Used to denote the inhabitants of the town of Almeida, in Portugal. It also comes from Arabic al ma’idahwhich means «The plateau» or «The Hill» referring to the town of Almeida.

alves: It means «Son of Álvaro».

martins: From Latin martialis, which means “From Mars”. Referencing the Roman God of War, Mars.

Gomes: Of the proper name, Gomes. It is also a derivative of Gothic gumwhich means «Man».

barbosa: To denote the inhabitants of Barbosa, an ancient population located in Évora, Portugal.

gonçalves: It means “Son of Gonçalo”.

Araujo: To denote someone who lived near a town called Araujo. There are multiple towns and places in Portugal with this name.

Coast: To denote someone who lived near a coast or a riverbank.

rock: Del Gallego rock, which means rock or precipice. It was used to denote someone who lived in the vicinity of a cliff.

lopes: From Latin lupuswhich means Wolf.

Freitas: Means “Broken” in Portuguese. It is associated with the inhabitants of stony areas, commonly known as «Broken Earth».

mountains: To denote someone who lived on or near a mountain.

cardoso: From Latin carduswhich means thorny. To indicate that someone raised cacti or lived in an area where they were common.

Days: It means «Son of Diego».

Ribeiro: Derived from Portuguese ribeirawhich means stream of water. It was originally used to identify those who lived near a river.

Machado: From Portuguese machado, which means ax. Commonly associated with those who dealt with the felling of trees through the use of an axe.

fernandes: It means «Son of Fernando».

Teixeira: To denote who lived near Teixeira, the name of various towns throughout Portugal.


Behind the Name. (2002). Portuguese Surnames. 2017, from Behind the Name Website: Portuguese Surnames.
Family Education. (2000). Portuguese Last Names. 2017, by Sandbox Networks Website: Portuguese Last Names.
Cynthia Fujikawa Nes. (2016). Names in Brazil. 2017, from The Brazil Business Website: Names in Brazil.
Karen Keller. (2013). Portuguese For Dummies. United States: John Wiley & Sons.
Milton M. Azevedo. (2005). Portuguese: A Linguistic Introduction. UK: Cambridge University Press.
Amber Pariona. (2017). Portuguese Speaking Countries. 2017, from World Atlas Website: Portuguese Speaking Countries.
Simons, Gary F. and Charles D. Fennig. (2017). Summary by language size. 2017, from Ethnologue Summary by language size.

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