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Surnames and Their Origins – January 2022

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PASSARELLI – This surname derives from the surname of a noble family from France. It is also said to be derived from a dialect word meaning strainer. It is registered in 17 of Italy’s 20 regions. It is mostly found in Calabria and least in Sardinia. Variations: Passarello.

PASSERINI – This surname derives from the Italian word for sparrow, “passero.” It is registered in Italy as a common surname. It is registered in 19 of Italy’s 20 regions. It is mostly found in Lombardia and least in Molise. The lone hold-out is Basilicata. Variations: Passeri.

PASSTORE – This surname derives from the Italian word for shepherd “pastore.” It is very popular given that many present-day families with that surname had ancestors that were shepherds. It is registered in all of Italy 20 regions. It is mostly found in Puglia and least in Sardinia. Variations: Pastori, Pastorelli, Pastrello, Pastorini.

PATRICELLI – This surname derives from the first name Patrizio, derived from the Latin “patricius,” meaning of elevated social level. It is registered in only 14 of Italy’s 20 regions. Of those regions, it is mostly found in Campania. Variations: Patricello, Patricella.

PAVONE – This surname derives from the Italian word “pavone,” meaning peacock or a vain person. It is very common and found in all 20 regions. It is most prevalent in Sicily and least in the Aosta Valley and Umbria. Variations: Pavoni, Paone, Pavonessa, Paonessa.

PEDICONE – This surname is from Italian word “piede,” meaning foot. The dialect word “pedencaune” means the part of the cut tree left. It is not common, as it only appears in 11 of Italy’s 20 regions. Most prevalent in Abruzzo.

PELIGNI – This surname derives from the name of the pre-roman population of Peligni that lived in the Sulmona area in Abruzzo. It is rare and found only in and around Sulmona.

PELLEGRINI – This surname is from Italian word “Pellegrino,” meaning pilgrim. It is a very common surname that is present in all 20 regions. It is most common in Tuscany and least in the Aosta Valley. No doubt, the ancestors of these families were known for their pilgrimages to various religious shrines and devotion to their patron saint or the Virgin Mary. Variations: Pellerino, Pellerini, Pellegrinelli, Pellegrinetti, Pellegrineschi.

PELLICCIA – This surname is from Italian word “pelliccia,” meaning fur, which is used to indicate the job of the person. Therefore, the modern-day Pellicia family probably had ancestors in the fur business. The surname is present in all 20 regions, mostly in Campania. Variations: Pellicciotta, Pellicci, Pellizza, Pellizza, Pelizzi, Pelliccioni, Pellicciari, Pellizzoni, Pellizzari, Pelisseri.

PELOSI – This surname is from the Italian nickname “peloso” meaning someone who has long hair or barb. This tells us the modern day families with this surname might be descended from the “barbarian” raiders that brought down the Roman Empire. It is a popular surname present in all 20 regions. It is most prevalent in Lombardia and least in the Aosta Valley. Variations: Pelusi, Pelos, Pelosini, Pelosin, Peluso.

In the February issue, look for a special Valentine-themed surname feature.


You can research your surname on these two websites:
surnames.behindthename.com/names/usage/italian/
cognomix.it/mappe-dei-cognomi-italiani