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Origin and Etymology of Italian Surnames: C‑

The list includes a possible, or accepted, etymology of many Italian surnames, beginning with "C-", as well as, where data is available, their geographical or historical origin and current distribution.

Alphabetical Index

Categories of Surnames

Cacciatore, Cacciatori
From the job of "hunter"
Calabrese, Calabresi, Calabro
Originary of the region of Calabria
Calasso
From the pre-Latin word "cala" = steep side of the mountain, that gave the name to many localities
Caldararo, Calderara
From the job of the "calderaro", craftsman making pots
Caleffi, Califfa
From the Arab word "halaf" from which derives "caliph"
Camaioni
Possibly originary from the town of Camaioni, province of Florence
Cambise, Cambisi
From the first name Cambise
Camilli, Camillo
From the first name Camillo; name given by the Romans to the young men that started the novitiatus
Campana, Campanelli
As a nickname from campana, "bell", or from a place called Campana (a municipality in the province of Cosenza)
Campetti, Campisano, Campitelli, Campitello
From the word "campo, campus" = field
Campli, Camplone, Camploni, Campoini, Campoli, Campolo, Camponi
To indicate people coming from the town of Campli, province of Teamo. The word derives from "campo, campus" = field
Candelora, Candelori, Candeloro
Connected to the "candela" (candle) as an ancient profession as maker of candles, or a nickname
Cannarsa
A nickname meaning "dry throat" jokingly given to someone who drinks excessively
Cantagalli, Cantagallo
From the name of a place (a municipality in the Province of Prato) or a nickname from the expression "singing roaster"
Capanna, Capannole, Capannoli, Capannolo, Capannule
A nickname from the word meaning "hut, cabin"
Caporale, Caporali
From a medieval profession, the caporale was a head directing and recruiting farm-laborers
Cappella, Cappelletti
A nickname from the word meaning "chapel"
Capra, Caprile, Caprioni, Capriotti
A nickname from the animal "capra" (goat)
Capuana, Capuanella, Capuanello, Capuani
Originary of Capua
Capuzza, Capuzzi, Capuzzo
A nickname from the word capo meaning "head" or "boss"
Caraceni
From the name of an ancient Italic population
Caramanici, Caramanico
From the place of Caramanico
Cardarella, Cardarelli, Cardarello, Cardella, Cardelli, Cardello, Cardini, Cardone
Possibly derived from the verb "cardare", meaning treating wool. Possibly a diminutive of Riccardo, first name Rikhard or from the ancient French name Richard
Carli, Carlomagno, Carlucci
From the first name Carlo
Carmine
From the first name Carmine
Carnevale, Carnevali
Possibly a nickname from the Latin festival of Carnival
Carofalo, Carofano
From the name and nickname Garofalo; also name of the carnation flower
Carosella, Caroselli, Carosello
From the "carosello", kind of medieval representation, and used as a nickname
Carota, Carote, Caroti
Originally a nickname possibly referring to the color of the hair (carrot)
Carriere, Carrieri, Carriero
From the job of carriere, wagon driver
Caruselli, Carusello
See Carosello
Casaletto, Casali, Casalino
From the Latin casalis, meaning small village in the countryside
Casaro, Casari
From the job casearius, cheese maker
Cassano, Cassiano, Cassiani, Cassanelli and variations
Different origins, either patronimic or from place names.
Castagna, Castagni, Castagnoli, Castagnone
Possibly a nickname from the word castagna meaning "chestnut"
Castagnaro, Castagneri
Possibly from someone who sells or roasts chestnuts
Castagneto, Castagnetti
Possibly as a place of origin, from a chestnut woods
Castaldi, Castaldini
From the Lombard "gastaldo", a kind of countdom
Castellani, Castellano
Many ethimologies are possible: someone who lived in a castle, or coming from a place called Castelli, Castello etc
Cavallari
From the job of horse breeder
Cavallo, Cavalloni
Possibly a nickname from the word "cavallo", meaning "horse"
Cecamore
A nickname meaning "blind love"
Cecco
From the first name Cecco, short name for Francesco = Francis.
Centofante, Centofanti
A nickname of medieval origin, meaning "one hundred pedestrian soldiers"
Cenzi, Cenzo
From the first name Censo, short name for Vincenzo = Vincent. This name comes from latin "Vincentius" = the winner
Cerasa, Cerasani, Ceraso, Cerasola
A nickname from the dialect word "cerasa" meaning "cherry"
Cerra, Cerretelli, Cerreti, Cerreto, Cerretti, Cerri, Cerrina, Cerrino, Cerrio, Cerrione, Cerrone, Cerroni
From "cerro" meaning steep rock, used in many names of places
Cesari
From the latin first name "Cesare" = Caesar
Cetrulla, Cetrulli, Cetrullo
Originally a nickname meaning "simple minded person"
Cherubina, Cherubini, Cherubino
From the first name Cherubino
Chiacchiarette, Chiacchiari
From the "chiacchiere" (chatting) possibly as a nickname
Chiavaroli
From the job of key maker
Chimenti, Chimienti
From the first name Clemente, deriving from the latin word "clemens" = clement, indulgent
Chiodelli, Chiodi, Chiodini, Chiodo, Chiodoni
From the Italian word "chiodo" meaning "nail" in connection to a job (carpenter or blacksmith) or referring to excessive thinness
Chiorri, Chiorrini
From the first name Melchiorre, deriving from the juish name Melkior, composed by "melek" = king and "or" = light
Chiumenti
From the first name Clemente, deriving from the latin word "clemens" = clement, indulgent
Ciana
From first name Luciano
Ciaramella
From the musical instrument meaning bagpipes
Ciarlarielli, Ciarlariello
From the verb "ciarlare" meaning chatting too much
Ciavatta, Ciavattella
From a dialect word meaning "slippers" possibly connected to a job (cobbler) or as a nickname for someone dressed very casually
Ciccarelli, Ciccarese, Cicchello, Cicchetto, Cicchi, Cicchinello, Cicchini, Cicchito, Cicconi, Ciccotto, Cichelli
From the diminutive name Cicco, a variation of Cecco (Francesco)
Ciccio
A nickname possibly referring to a fat person
Ciccotosto
From Cicco and "tosto" (=hard character)
Cinzio, Cinzo
From the female first name Cinzia; this name derives from the place where Apollus and his sister Artemis (named Cynthus and Cynthia) were born: the Cinto Mountain in the Delus Island
Cipolletta, Cipolletti, Cipolletto, Cipolli, Cipollone
From "cipolla" (onion) possibly a nickname
Cipriani, Cipriano
Originary of Cyprus
Cirelli, Cirello, Cirone, Cironi, Cirino
From the first name Ciro
Cirillo
From the first name Cirillus
Cirullo, Cirulli
Possibly from Ciro
Ciuffetelli
A nickname from "ciuffo", a band of hair on the forehead
Ciurco
From the first name Giorgio, deriving from the Greek word "gheorgos" = farmer
Clemente, Clementini, Clementoni, Clementucci, Clemenza, Clemenzi
From the first name Clemente, deriving from the latin word "clemens" = clement, indulgent
Cocca, Cocchi, Cocco
From the first name or nickname Cocco, meaning "egg" or "dear person"
Coccia
From the word "head" referring as a nickname to someone stubborn or with a big head or with a great intelligence
Cola, Colacicco, Colagiovanni, Colaiacovo, Colaianni, Colaiemma, Colaiocco, Colaiuda, Colajanni, Colalillo, Colandrea, Colangelo, Colantonio, Colantuoni, Colapietro, Colasanta, Colasante, Colasanti, Colasanto, Colaucci, Colaussi, Colavita, Colavito, Colella, Coletta, Coletti
From the first name Cola, short name for Nicola, and all its compounds
Colombani, Colombera, Colombini, Colombo, Colombrino
From the word "colombo" (=dove). Colombo is the most common surname in Lombardy, where it seems to derive from the painting of a dove on the walls of churches where infants were abandoned.
Colonna, Colonnese
From the word "column", also a very ancient Roman family
Colucci
From Cola, diminutive of Nicola
Compagna, Compagni, Compagnini, Compagno, Compagnoni, Compagnucci
From a word meaning companion
Connestabile, Contestabile, Contestabili
Meaning constable, was a medieval title of honor similar to minister
Consorte, Consorti
From a Latin word meaning "associate"
Conte, Conti, Contiello
From the word "conte", meaning count, as someone probably working for the count.
Cordesco, Cordisco
Possibly connected to sheep raising, being the "cordesco" a kind of lamb
Cornacchia, Cornacchione, Cornacchioni
From the bird "raven" possibly a nickname for an unpleasant voice
Corneli, Cornelia, Cornelio
From the first name Cornelio
Corra', Corradeachi, Corradino, Corrado, Corradone
From the first name Corrado
Corsellini, Corsello, Corsetti, Corsini, Corso
Possibly originary of Corsica
Corvetto, Corvi
From the word "corvo" meaning raven, as a nickname.
Cosenza
From the city of Cosenza.
Costante, Costantini, Costanzi, Costanzo
From the first name Costante and its variations
Crescentino, Crescenza, Crescenzo
From the first name Crescenzo, deriving from the latin verb "crescere" = to grow up
Crisante, Crisanti, Crisanto
From the first name Grisanto or Crisanto, deriving from the Greek word "Chrysanthos" = gold flower
Criscio, Crisci
From the first name Crescenzo, deriving from the latin verb "crescere" = to grow up
Cristofani, Cristofaro, Cristoferi, Cristofoli, Cristofori
From the first name Cristoforo, deriving from the latin "Christoforus" = who carries Christ
Croce, Crocetti, Croci, Crociani
In origin a first name given to the people belonging to the Christian religion
Crognale, Crognali
From the Latin word "corneolus", the name of cornel plant.
Crognaleto
Originary of Crognaleto, province of Teramo
Crosara, Crosato, Crose, Crosetto, Crosio, Cruciato
From Croce, name given to the people belonging to the Christian religion
Cuorvo
See Corvo
Curradi, Currado
See Corrado
Curti, Curto
From the adjective "corto", short; used as a nickname to indicate a short person.