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Surnames in Calabria, Italy

Calabria region The lists of surnames were derived from the white pages of the 1990's for the recent lists, and from sources as indexes of births, "numerazioni", catasti onciari, parish records for previous centuries.

Surnames in the Provinces of Calabria

Common Surnames

The surnames recorded in the "tip of the boot", but common as well throughout southern Italy, are Bruno, Ferraro, De Luca, Esposito, Gallo, Gentile, Giordano, Mancuso, Marino, Pugliese, Rizzo, Russo.

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Features of Surnames in Calabria

Apart from pan-Italian surnames, a peculiar feature of some typical Calabrese surnames is a final accented vowel as in Calabrò, Aricò ("farmer"), Sgrò ("curly hair"), Nisticò ("fasting"), Spanò ("bald") e Praticò ("fatherly"); Cannistrà, Criserà e Barillà; Cutrì, Pennestrì, Putortì, Franzè.

Surnames of non-Italian Origin

Some common surnames in Calabria are connected to the historical presence of other cultures:
  • of Greek origin, such as Greco, or connected to the Greek ending -iti and -oti as Minniti, Scopelliti, Misiti, Politi, Ascioti, Geracioti, Rotiroti; Laganò (from lacanas, "orchard farmer");
  • of Byzanthine ascendency as Romeo derived from the medieval Byzantine name Romeo: Byzantines defined themselves as "Romioi" that is Romans and their traces in Sicily and Calabria are innumerable;
  • from the Arabic such as Modafferi (from the Saracen name Mudaffar), Morabito (from the Arabic word murabit, the one who preaches Islam on the street, a "holy man"), Mammone;
  • Northern, as Talarico (possibly from the apheresis of the Ostrogoth name "Atalarico"), Arcuri (possibly from the Languebard Arculf, or from the Latin arcarius meaning treasurer or tax collector, though a more likely origin is from the Greek "arkouda" = bear).