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Surnames and Their Origins

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FEBO — This surname derives from the first name Febo, which derived from the Greek adjective “phoibòs,” meaning shining used for Apollo. It appears in the vital statistics records in 14 of Italy’s 20 regions, most being registered in Abruzzo. Variations: FEBBO.

FEDERICI — This surname derives from the first name Federico, which derived from the ancient German name Frithurik, composing of “frithu,” meaning peace, friendship and “rikja,” meaning lord, prince. It is a very common surname present in 19 of the 20 regions with the only exception being Molise. As far as the remaining regions the surname is most present in Lazio and least in Val D’Aosta. Variations: FEDERICO, FEDERIGI, FEDERZONI, FEDRIZZI.

FEGATELLO — This surname derives from the word “fegato,” meaning liver, given to someone that used to cook the liver or used as a nickname to indicate a brave person. Research indicates that this surname is most uncommon. The idea that cooks specializing in preparing liver were far and few between may be the reason there are so few present-day families with this surname. Variations: FEGATILLA, FEGATILLI, FEGATILLO.

FEI — This surname derives from the first name Feo, which is a short name for Maffeo, which derived from Matteo. It has a presence in 14 of the 20 regions. Of the 14 where the surname is recorded, Tuscany has the largest number of Fei families. Puglia and Abruzzo are tied for last place.

FELICE — This surname derives from the word of Latin origin “felix,” meaning happy. It has a presence in all 20 regions. It is most prevalent in Sicily. Three regions are tied for last place Umbria, Val D’Aosta and Basilicata. Variations: FELICI, FELICIANI, FELICIONI.

FELLA — This surname derives from the medieval adjective “fello,” meaning cruel or also sad, probably used as a nickname. It appears in the vital statistics records in 16 of the 20 regions. Of the 16 regions, Lazio has the surname present in numbers above the other 15. Variations: FELLI, FELLO.

FENOCCHIO — This surname derives from the word “finocchio,” meaning fennel. In ancient times it was a nickname to indicate places where fennel grew, or was the job of someone who picked the vegetable. As a present-day surname it is registered with vital statistics in 16 regions with Abruzzo having the highest number of Finocchio families and Sardegna the least. Variations: FENOGLIO, FENOGLIETTO.

FEOLA — This surname derives from the first name Feo, which is a short name for Maffeo, which derived from Matteo. It is present in 19 of the 20 regions. The only region that has no families registered with its vital statistics bureau is Basilcata. It is most prevalent in Campania. Variations: FEOLI.

FERA — This surname derives from the female Latin adjective “fera,” meaning terrible, cruel or brave. It can be found in 19 regions. The sole region that doesn’t show a presence is Umbria. The region with the largest number of Fera families is Calabria. Variations: FERELLA, FERELLE, FERLA.

FERRAI — This surname derives from the job “ferraro,” meaning blacksmith. It has a very small presence. It is only present in 9 regions. Sardegna is where it is most prevalent.

FERRANTE — This surname derives from the ancient adjective “ferrante,” which means the red or the iron-gray color of the horse. It is present in all 20 regions of Italy. It is most prevalent in Campania and least on vital statistic records of the Val D’Aosta region. Variations: FERRANTELLI, FERRANTELLO, FERRANTI, FERRANTIN, FERRANTINO.

FERRARA — This surname derives from the name of the town of Ferrara. It is quite common and found in all 20 regions. Like the Ferrante surname, it is most prevalent in the Campania region and least found in the Val D’Aosta. Variations: FERRARESE, FERRARESI.

FERRARO — This surname derives from the job “ferraro,” meaning blacksmith. It is found in all 20 regions and is most prevalent in the Campania region and least found in the Val D’Aosta region. Variations: FERRARI, FERRARIO, FERRELI, FERRERI, FERRERO.

FERRIGHI — This surname derives from the first name Federico, derived from the ancient German name Frithurik, composing of “frithu,” meaning peace, friendship and “rikja,” meaning lord or prince. Its presence is scarce, and found close to the regions that border Austria.

FIDANZA — This surname derives from the word “fi danza,” meaning faith, trust and guarantee. It is a surname found in all 20 regions, but sparsely. No one region has large numbers of families with this surname, but Abruzzo is where it is most prevalent. Calabria and Sardegna are the two regions with the least presence of the surname. Variations: FIDANZI, FIDANZO.

FILIPPONE — This surname derives from the first name Filippo. It is found in 18 regions. Friuli-Venezia-Giulia and Sardegna have no record of this surname in their vital statistics files. Sicily and Calabria are where the surname most appears. Umbria is where it is most scarce. Variations: FILIPPI.

FINOCCHIARO — This surname derives from the word “finocchio,” meaning fennel, ancient nicknames to indicate places where the fennels grow up or the job of someone that picks up said vegetable. It is considered to be a Sicilian surname by many, given that Sicily has an extremely large number of families with that surname. The remaining 17 regions that have this surname registered in their vital statistics records have hardly any presence. Molise and the Val D’Aosta have no families with that surname in their regions. Variations: FINOCCHIETTI, FINOCCHIO, FINOCCHI.

FIORILLO — This surname derives from the word “fi ore,” meaning flower. It is used as a name of good wishes. It has a presence in all 20 regions, mostly in Campania and least in the Val D’Aosta. Variations: FIORITO, FLORA’, FIORE.

FLAMMIA — This surname derives from the word “fiamma,” meaning flame. It was probably used as a nickname for someone who worked with fi re or to a person with red hair. The surname is found in 17 regions, but sparsely. Campania is the region where it is most prevalent. Variations: FLAMMINA, FLAMMINI, FLAMMINO.

FLAVIANI — This surname derives the first name Flavio, deriving from the Roman family name Flavius that comes from the Latin adjective “flavus,” meaning blond. It is only present in 12 regions. Abruzzo and Lazio are tied with the surname’s largest presence, while Ligura and Calabria are the regions with the least number of families with this surname. Variations: FLAVII.

jmcbride
Author: jmcbride

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