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Origin and Etymology of Italian surnames: Letter "A"

Surnames starting with:

ABBA, ABBATE, ABATE, ABATI

ABRAMI: Patronimic, from the first name Abramo, of Hebrew origin.

ACARDI, ACCARDI, ACCARDO : From the German origine akhard, consisting of aki (wound) or agi (fear) and hart (hard) as a nickname for a strong warrior.

ACCIARI, ACCIARO, ACCIAROLI: From the profession of steel worker or axe maker.

ACCORSI, ACCORSO, ACCURSIO, ACCURSO: From the Latin verb "adcurro" meaning come in defence or help.

ACERBI, ACERBIS, ACERBO: From "acerbus", meaning "cruel" or "too early" (of a premature infant). In the Middle Ages it was common to say "acerba sorte" to mean a cruel destiny.

ACQUA, ACQUARONE, ACQUATI : Connected to a name of place containing the word "acqua" (water) or to the ancient job of water carrier (vaticale).

ACQUAVIVA: Possibly from the name of a place where a water spring was present (ex. Acquaviva Collecroce)

ADAMI, ADAMO, ADAMOLI, ADAMELLI, ADAMOLLI, ADEMOLLO (click here for more information)

ADDARIO: Patronimic, from the name Dario = that who owns goodness

ADDAZIO: Patronimic, from the name Dazio, connected to the cult of San Dazio, an martyr in Africa

AFFERRANTE: Patronimic, from the first name Ferrante

AGNELLO, AGNELLI, AGNELLUTI, AGNELLUTTI: Patronimic, from a first name common in the Middle Ages

AGOSTI, AGOSTINELLI, AGOSTINI, AGOSTINONE: Patronimic, from the imperial attribute "Augustus" = favored by good omens, or possibly also connected to a birth in August

AGUZZI, AGUZZO: From an ancient Roman cognomen, "Acutus"

AIALA, AJALA: Typical Sicilian surname, possibly of Spanish or Arabic origin (ayal= deer)

AIELLO, AJELLO : From the Latin word agellum = small field.

AIOLFI, AIOLFO: Patronimic, from the German name Agilulfo agi (awe) and wolf, meaning someone feared like a wolf.

AIRALDI, AIROLDI, AIROLDO, ARALDI, ARALDO, ARIOLDI, ARIOLDO : Patronimic, from the German name Ariovaldo consisting of haria (army) and waldan (to lead), meaning "that who leads the army".

ALAMANNI: From the nickname "alemannus", of German origin.

ALBANESE, ALBANESI: Originary from Albania. Since the 15th century many colonies of people from Albania moved to Abruzzi, Molise, Apulia, Calabria, Sicily.

ALBANI, ALBANO : Toponimic, from many names of places in Italy (Alba, Albano)

ALBERTAZZI, ALBERTI, ALBERTINI, ALBERTOLLI, ALBERTONI: From the German first name Alberto, deriving from Adalberto = famous for nobility

ALBERANI, ALBERI, ALBERO, ALBERONI, ARBORE, ARBORETO: From the Latin word "arbor" = tree, connected possibly to a job as woodcutter.

ALBERICI, ALBERIGHI, ALBRICI, ALBRISIO, ALBRIZIO: Patronimic, from the Gothic name Alberico, consisting of albhi (elf) and rix (lord) meaning Lord of the elfs.

ALBERTA, ALBERTARIO, ALBERTAZZI, ALBERTI, ALBERTO, ALIBERTI, ALIBERTO: Patronimic, from the German name Adalberto consisting of athala (nobility) and berth (brightness).

ALBINI, ALBINO, ALBINONI: Possibly from the nickname "albinus", person with light skin and white hair.

ALBRIZIO and variations

ALDEBRANDI, ALDOBRANDI, ALDOBRANDO, ALDOVRANDO, ALTEBRANDI, ALTEBRANDO, ALTOBRANDI, ALTOBRANDO : Patronimic, from the German name Aldobrando consisting of alda (wise) or alt (old) and branda (sward).

ALEMAGNA, ALEMANI, ALEMANNI : See Alamanni

ALESSANDRI, ALESSANDRINI, ALESSANDRINO, ALESSANDRO, ALESSANDRONE : From the name Alessandro (Alexander). It became popular because of the Romance (XII century) about Alexander the Great

ALFANO, ALFANI

ALFERO, ALFIERE, ALFIERI, ALLIERI, ALLIERO, AUFERIO: Possible origins: patronimic, from the German Adalferio consisting ofi athala (nobility) and faran (travel); or Arabic from al faris (knight) or al faras (horse).

ALFONSETTI, ALFONSI, ALFONSO, ALFONSONI, ALFONZO: From the first name Alfonso.

ALINARI, ALINERI, ALINEI, ALIERI: Patronimic, from the Frankish Alinarioconsisting of alian (power) and haria (army).

ALLEVI, ALLIEVI, ALLEVA : From a first name used in the Middle Ages and early Christian period as "Diotallevi" menaing "may God raise you" given in good omen, sometimes to orphaned children.

AIUTO, AIUTI: From a first name used in the Middle Ages and early Christian period as "Diotaiuti" menaing "may God help you" given in good omen, sometimes to orphaned children.

ALIPERTI, ALIVERTI: From the German first name Alberto, deriving from Adalberto = famous for nobility

ALOIA, ALOJA : Patronimic, from the dialect version ov the name Eligio, used in Apulia and Campania.

ALOISA, ALOISE, ALOISI, ALOISIO, ALVISE, ALVISIO : Patronimic, from the ancient German name Lodovico, changed into Aloysius

ALONZI: From the Spanish first name Alonso

ALTAMURA: Toponimic, from the town of Altamura (BAri).

ALVISA, ALVISO, ALVISI: From the first name Aloisio (Luigi) from the ancient French name "Loois" o "Luois" deriving from the German first name Lodovico

AMADEI, AMADEO, AMEDALI, AMEDEI, AMODEO, AMADINI, AMODIO, AMADUCCI: Patronimic, from the Latin name Amadeus, that who loves God

AMANTEA, AMANTIA: From the locality of Amantea, region of Basilicata

AMANZA: From the Latin first name "Mantius" or from the Calabrese dialect word "manzu" meaning "mansueto" "tame"

AMATA, AMATO, AMATUCCI, AMATULLI: From the Latin Amatus = loved by God

AMBROGETTI, AMBROGI, AMBROGIO, AMBROSETTI, AMBROSIN, AMBROSIO: From the first name Ambrogio, with its many variants has spread throughout the peninsula due to the cult of St. Ambrose in Milan. Derived from the Latin personal name Ambrosius, which in its turn derives from the Greek word Ambròsios = immortal.

AMEGLIO, AMELI, AMELIO, AMELLI, AMELLIO: Two possible etymologies: from the Latin Amelius originating from an Etruscan name, or from the Amali, a powerful Goth tribe

AMICI: From the first name Amico, deriving from the Latin word "amicus" = friend

AMMASSARI: Surname derived from the job of the "massaro", boss of farmers

AMORELLI, AMORESE, AMORETTI, AMORI, AMOROSO: One possible derivation is from the nickname given at times to children born out of wedlock: child of love

ANASTASI, ANASTASIO: Patronimic, from the Greek name Anastasios.

ANCILOTTO: From Lancellotti; it derives from the name of Lancelot, knight of the Round Table, name diffused in 13th century

ANDREA, ANDRE', ANDREANI, ANDREASI, ANDREATTA, ANDREAZZA, ANDREAZZI, ANDREI, ANDREINI, ANDRENACCI, ANDREOTTI, ANDREOLETTI, ANDREOLI, ANDREONI, ANDRETTI, ANDREUTTI, ANDRIANI, ANDRICH: From the first name Andrea, deriving from the Greek name Andreas, transformation of the Greek word "aner" = man

ANELLI, ANELLO, ANIELLI, ANIELLO : From the word "anello" = ring, or from "agnellus" meaning lamb.

ANGELETTI, ANGELI, ANGELINI, ANGELO, ANGELONE, ANGELONI, ANGIOLINI, ANGIOLO: Patronimic, from the first name Angelo

ANNIBALE, ANNIBALI, ANNIBALDI, ANNIBALLO, ANNIBALLI: Patronimic, from the first name Annibale, derived from the Punic (Phoenician) Hannibal.

ANNUNCIO, ANNUNZIA, ANNUNZIATA, ANNUNZIATO, ANNUNZIO: Patronimic, from the name Annunzio, diminutive of Annunziato that comes from the female name Annunziata. It is a Christian name deriving from Maria Santissima Annunziata

ANSALDI, ANSALDO: Patronimic, from the Lombard first name Ansoaldo.

ANSELMI, ANSELMO, ANZELMI, ANZELMO : Patronimic, from the Lombard first name Anselmo consisting of ans (god) ed helm (helmet), meaning God's helmet, or defender.

ANTENUCCI, ANTENUCCIA, ANTENUCCIO, ANTOGNAZZI, ANTOGNOZZI, ANTONA, ANTONACCI, ANTONAZZI, ANTONAZZO, ANTONELLI, ANTONI, ANTONIANI, ANTONIAZZI, ANTONICELLI, ANTONINI, ANTONINO, ANTONIOLI, ANTONIOLO, ANTONIONE, ANTONIONI, ANTONIOTTI, ANTONIOTTO, ANTONIOZZI: From the first name Antonio and its derivations Antonuccio, Antonello

ANTINORI: Patronimic, from the Greek first name Antinore.

ANTOCI: Possibly toponimic, meaning from Antiochia.

ANTOLA, ANTOLINI, ANTOLINO: Either toponimic, from the area of Mount Antola in Liguria, or a patronimic derived from a diminutive form of the name Antonio.

ANSOVINI, ANSOVINO, ANZOVINI, ANZOVINO : Patronimic, from the Lombard name Ansovino, consisting of ans (god) e win (friend).

APOLLONI, APOLLONIO, APPOLLONIO, APPOLLONI: From the first name Apollonio

APUGLIESE: It derives from the name of the Puglia region; it means inhabitant of Puglia

AQUILA, AQUILI: Originary of Aquila, capital city of Abruzzo, or nickname connected to the bird (eagle)

ARCANGELA ARCANGELO ARCANGIOLO: From the first name Arcangelo; it derives from the Greek word "archangelos" = leader of Angels

ARCAINI, ARCARI, ARCARINI, ARCARO: From the name of a job, arcaro being a craftsman who made wooden container for bread (arca) or for valuables

ARCIERI

ARCELLAIO, ARCELLAI, ARCELLI, ARCELLONE, ARCELLONI: Probably derived from the craft of bow-maker.

ARMENTI, ARMENTO: Possibly connected to sheep raising, being armento a flock

ARDEMAGNI, ARDEMANI, ARDEMANNI : From the german name Ardemanno consisting of hard (strong) and mann (man)

ARDIGO’: Probably from the German name Ardigo, derived from hard (strong).

ARDINI, ARDINO, ARDOVINI, ARDOVINO, ARDUINI, ARDUINO: Patronimic, from the German Hardwin, Arduino, consisting of hard (strong) e win (friend).

ARDIZZI, ARDIZZONE, ARDIZZONI: Patronimic, from the German name Arditio (coming from hard).

ARENA, ARENI: Toponimic, from "arena" meaning sandy land.

ARMAGNI, ARMANI, ARMANINI, ARMANNI, ARMANNO, ARMANO: All derived from Arimanni ("free men"), a noble class of the Lombard people.

ARMELLI, ARMELLINI, ARMELLONI: Either toponimic or from the latin word armilla (bracelet).

ASCANIO: From the first name Ascanio

ARPINI, ARPINO: Toponimic, from the town of Arpino in Lazio

ARRIGHI, ARRIGO, ARRIGONE, ARRIGONI : Toponic, from the Gothic name Heimrich consisting of Heim (homeland) and rich (king)

ASTORE, ASTORI : From the name of the bird (goshawk) used by hunters in the Middle ages, possibly derived from aprofession of bird trainer or a physical/psychological trait.

ASCENSA, ASCENSO, ASCENZA, ASCENZO: From the first name Ascenso; it is a name connected to the Christian devotion to the Christ "Ascension"

ASTOLFI, ASTOLFO, ASTOLFONI: From the first name Astolfo, of German origin

ATANASI, ATANASIO, ATTANASI, ATTANASIO: Patronimic, from the Greec name Athanasios meaning immortal.

ATTILIO: From the Etruscan first name Attilio

AUGUSTONI: See AGOSTINI

AULERIO, AULO: From the first name Aulo

AURA: From the first name Auro

AUREGLI, AURELI, AURELIO: From the first name Aurelius, of Latin origin

AURINO, AURIZIO, AURO: From the first name Auro

AURORA : Origin unknown, possibly metronimic (derived from a mother's name), or from a coatofarms representing a rising sun, or a nickname of good omen.

AVALDI, AVALLI, AVALLONE : Possibly toponimic from an Italic "abel" or Celtic "aval" (apple) (see the mythical Avalon)

AVOGADRO, AVOGADRI, AVOGARI, AVOGARO: Probably derived from the profession of "avvocato", lawyer

AZZALI, AZZARI: Probably derived from the profession of steel maker, or maker of axes (aza = axe)

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