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Surnames and Their Origins – September 2021

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PALMIERI – This surname derives from the old French first name Palmiere, which in turn derives from Palma, a nickname given during the Middle Ages to the pilgrims to the Holy Land. This surname has many families in present-day Italy. It is present in all 20 regions. It is most present in Campania and least in Val d’Aosta. Variations: Palmero, Palmiero, Palmerino, Palmarino, Palmerucci.

PALUMBO – This surname derives from the Spanish word “paloma” that, in turn became a southern Italian dialect word “palumbo,” meaning dove. It was used as a nickname for a quiet person. This surname also has many families in present-day Italy. It is present in all 20 regions. It is most present in Campania and least in Val d’Aosta. Variations: Palombo, Palomba, Palombi, Palombella, Palombino, Plumbieri, Palumberi.

PAOLUCCI – This surname derives from the first name Paolo, derived from the Latin word “Paulus,” meaning small. This surname is yet another that has many families in present-day Italy. It is present in all 20 regions. It is most present in Lazio and least in Val d’Aosta. Variations: Paolo.

PANCRAZIO – This surname derives from the first name Pancrazio, which derived from the Greek “Pankrates.” While San Pancrazio is a saint venerated in some parts of Italy, as a surname it is sparse in a few areas of Italy.

PANELLA –This surname derives from the first the word “pane,” meaning bread. It indicated the job of someone in the baking business and also derived from the medieval nickname “pane,” meaning a good person, an expression still used today by Italians. This surname is yet another that has many families in present-day Italy It is present in all 20 regions. It is most present in Lazio and least in Sardegna. Variations: Panelli, Panello, Panetti, Panetta, Panozzo, Pani, Panebianco, Pancotto.

PANTALONE – This surname derives from the first name Pantaleone of Greek origin, consisting of “panta,” meaning all and “leone,” meaning lion. It is found in only 14 regions, mostly in Abruzzo and least in Trentino-Alto Adige. Variations: Pantaleone, Pantaleoni, Pantaloni, Patalei, Pantaleo.

PANZA –This surname derives from the word “panza,” meaning belly. It is found in 19 regions, mostly in Lombardia and least in Val d’Aosta. The region that has no families registered with that surname is Molise. Variations: Panzera, Pansa, Pancia, Panzetti, Pansini, Pancini, Panzarella, Panzacchi, Panzarino, Pansera, Pansardi, Pancera, Panzuti.

PAPA –This surname derives from the word “papa” which has, according the local traditions, different meanings, father, bishop, priest. This surname has many families in present-day Italy with this surname. It is present in all 20 regions. It is most present in Campania and least in Val d’Aosta.

PARDI – This surname derives from the abbreviation of “Longobardi,” meaning Lombards. It is found in only 17 regions, mostly in Toscana and least in Sardegna. The regions where it is not present are Calapria, Puglia and Val d’Aosta.

In the October issue we’ll feature a special Italian Heritage Month special surname feature.


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