List of family name Prefixes

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Author:Laxman Burdak, IIFS (Retd.), Jaipur

Family name Prefixes are a clue for family name etymology and can sometimes determine the ethnic origin of a person. This is a partial list of Prefixes.

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A

B

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C

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D

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  • Da- (Italian) "from, of"; (Portuguese) "from the". Here the is a feminine singular object.
  • Dahl-, Dal- (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian) "valley"
  • De- (Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese) "of"; indicates region of origin, often a sign of nobility; in Spanish-speaking countries a married woman will sometimes append her name with "de XXXX" where "XXXX" is her husband's last name; (Dutch) "the"
  • Degli- (Italian) "of the". Here the is a masculine plural object starting with either 'sp', 'sc', 'ps', 'z', 'gn' or 'st'.
  • Dele-, Del- Southern French and Occitan, equivalent of Du-
  • Della- (Italian) "of the". Here the is a feminine singular object.
  • Der- (Western Armenian) "son/daughter of a priest"; (German) "the" (masculine nominative), "of the" (feminine genitive)
  • Di- (Italian, Spanish) "son of"
  • Dos- (Portuguese) "from the, of the". Here the is a masculine plurar object.
  • Du- (French) "of the". Here, 'the' is a masculine object, as 'de la' would be feminine and 'des' would be plural.

E

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F

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  • Fleisch- (German) "meat"
  • Fitz- (Irish, from Norman French) "son of", from Latin "filius", "son" (mistakenly thought to mean illegitimate son based on its use for certain illegitimate sons of English kings)
  • Fors- (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian) "rapids"

G

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  • Gott- (German) "God"
  • Griff- (Welsh, English) "griffin"

H

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I

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  • Ibn (Arabic) another form of "bin" in names, e.g. ibn Sina, Also used in Hebrew prior to 1300 BCE

J

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K

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  • Kauf- (German) "trade" or "barter"
  • Kil- (English, Irish, Scottish) "son of" "servant of" or "devotee of"
  • Koop- (Dutch) "trade" or "barter"
  • Kvarn- (Swedish) "mill"

L

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M

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  • Mac/Mhic/Mic- (Irish, Scottish and Manx Gaelic) "son," cognate of English fitz (Mic' is plural; Mhic is genitive); Anglicised Mac, Mc, and (rarely) M; 'Mc' is sometimes written Mc (with a superscript 'c'). Contrary to popular belief, all three English forms of the prefix are used in English translations of Irish and Scottish surnames (e.g. Mac na Mhara > McNamara; Mac Aoidh > McKay).
  • Mir- (Persian, Azeri, short form of the Arabic word Amir امیر) "commander", "prince"

N

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O

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  • O/Ua/Ui'- (Irish, Scottish and Manx Gaelic) "grandson of", "descendant of"
  • Öfver- (Swedish) "upper", "over" (archaic spelling)
  • Ost- (German), öst-, öster- (Swedish), øst- (Danish, Norwegian) "east"
  • Över- (Swedish) "upper", "over" Also has a Turkish meaning "praiser"
  • Öz - (Turkish) "pure"

P

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Q

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  • Quarn- (Swedish) "mill" (archaic spelling)

R

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S

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T

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  • Ter- (Dutch) "at the"
  • Ter- (Eastern Armenian) "son/daughter of a Priest"
  • Tre- (Cornish) "farm of"
  • Türk- (Turkish) "Turkish" (e.g. Türkkaya, Türköne, Türker)

U

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V

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W

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X

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Y

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Z

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See also


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