Greek Last Names and Meanings: 100 Greek Surnames

What Are Common Greek Last Names and Meanings: 100 Greek Surnames

A Greek name is easily distinguishable as being, well, Greek. Not only do these names sound really cool, they also have interesting meanings. Below is a worldlastnames.com list of 100 common Greek last names and their meanings, some being very common whilst others are quite unusual, even in Greece.

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List of Popular Greek Last Names and Meanings

Listed below some of the most popular Greek Surnames and their meanings:

1. Selinofoto: Moonlight.
2. Adamos:  Son of Adam.
3. Papamichael: Son of the priest, Michael.
4. Lykaios: Wolf.
5. Andino:  Manly.
6. Manikas: The man who makes handles.
7. Galanis: Someone who has pale blue eyes.
8. Chloros:  Green.
9. Artino:  A name that was once given to someone from the city of Arta.
10. Christodoulopoulos: A descendant of Christ’s servant.
11. Balaska: This is the feminine form of Balaskas.
12. Balaskas: Masculine version of Balaska.
13. Gataki: Kitten
14. Aetós: Eagle in Greek.
15. Christoforou: A variation on the name Christophoros.
16. Ganas: Someone who works as a coppersmith.
17. Andreou: A variation on the name Andreas.
18. Gavril: This is a given name in Greek.
19. Mandrapilias: A common name in and around Sparta.
20. Danielopoulos: Son of Daniel.
21. Papatonis: This one of the cooler sounding Greek names.
22. Diamantopoulos: Son of Diamanto.
23. Servopoulos: A descendant of a Serb.
24. Angelopoulos: Comes from the name Angelos, which means angel.
25. Papazoglou: Son of the priest.
26. Diakos: Deacon.
27. Sideris: May the child grow to be as strong as iron is.
28. Dimitropoulos: Taken from the given name of Dimitrios.
29. Hatzis: A variation on the name Hatzi.
30. Laskaris: A type of soldier.
31. Matthias: Taken Greek version of Matthew.
32. Nomikos: Relating to law.
33. Pappas: Priest.
34. Samaras: Saddle maker.
35. Tsitak: God.
36. Alexandropoulos: Son of Alexandros.
37. Zika: Shorter version of the name Zikmund.
38. Vasilakis: Taken from the first name, Vasilis.
39. Angelos: Angel.
40. Savas: Sabbath.
41. Pavlides: Son of Pavlos.
42. Christoyannopoulos: Descendant of John and Christ.
43. Onasis: Lover.
44. Economos: Someone who manages a property or serves as a steward.
45. Matthiou: Son of Matthias.
46. Chronis: Time .
47. Leos: A variation of the name Leon.
48. Konstantinopolites: A person who comes from Constantinople.
49. Iraklidis: Son of Herakles.
50. German: Represents a German immigrant.
51. Doukas: Duke.
52. Moralis: Spanish last name, Morales.
53. Martinos: English surname, Martin.
54. Kouris: A person that lives in a forest.
55. Othonos: Comes from the name, Otto.
56. Papachristodoulopoulos: A descendant of the priest and a servant of Christ.
57. Remis: Taken from a medieval first name.
58. Konstantinou: Taken for first name Konstantinos.
59. Scala: Steps, ladder or wharf.
60. Yiannopoulos: Son of Yianni.
61. Thanos: Immortal.
62. Georgopoulos: This is a variation on the name Georgios.
63. Rosi: It comes from a feminine first name, Rosa.
64. Papadiamantopoulos: Someone who is a descendant of the diamond priest.
65. Ariti: Friendly .
66. Panagos: All holy.
67. Kyriakou: Cypriot .
68. Dimitriadis: Son of Dimitris.
69. Masalis: A common name in Cyprus.
70. Hatzi: Someone who has successfully finished a pilgrimage.
71. Nephus: A god’s son who will also become a god.
72. Levidis: Son of Levi.
73. Alexopoulos: A variation on the first name, Alexious.
74. Michail: Came from the name of the archangel, Michael.
75. Persopoulos:  A descendant of a Persian.
76. Filo: A variation on the name Filip.
77. Stefanopoulos: Son of Stefan.
78. Zafeiriou: Son of Zafeiris.
79. Danielos: Son of Daniel.
80. Voulgaropoulos: Descendant of a Bulgarian.
81. Theodoropoulos: Son of Theodoros.
82. Katopodis: One of the most common Greek last names.
83. Petrakis: A variation on the name Peter.
84. Michalidis: Son of Michael.
85. Diamandis: Diamonds.
86. Louis: This name comes from the first name, Louis.
87. Xiphias: Swordfish.
88. Mikos: A variation on the name, Nicholas.
89. Dukakis: Son of the Duke.
90. Pantazis: Live forever or always live.
91. Stephanopoulos: Son of Stephan.
92. Markopoulos: Son of Mark.
93. Kazan: Someone who makes cauldrons.
94. Rousopoulos: Someone of Russian descent.
95. Loukanis: A nickname for a sausage maker or a butcher because it means sausage.
96. Nikolaou: Son of Nikolaos.
97. Angelis: A variation on the name Angelos.
98. Matsouka: Bat.
99. Frangopoulos: A descendant of a Frank. The Franks were a group of people in Europe.
100. Tsaoussis: Peacock

Source 

So let’s look at the etymology of some of the most common Greek surnames:

Paleologos: From the mtgn.rim.paleiologo, I say, I talk about ancient-old things. Last name of the last dynasty of Byzantium. A very common surname today, mainly due to the use of “Paleologos” as a baptismal font.

Vassilopoulos: Quite a common surname, with an obvious origin from the baptismal Basil, with the also common way of forming a surname with the suffix -opoulos.

Economou: Very common Greek surname, mainly due to the meaning of the word economist as an ecclesiastical official, clergyman, responsible mainly for the financial management of a church or monastery.

Papadopoulos: Son or descendant of the pope (papadopedi), perhaps the most popular name in Greece along with the suffix -opoulos.

Karagiannis: Compound name from Turkish word kara = black, dark plus the baptismal name John.

Konstantopoulos: Son or descendant of Konstantinos. Constantine comes from the Latin Constantinus.

Angelopoulos: Patronymic surname derived from the baptismal name Angelos plus the suffix -opoulos.

Rigas: From the modern Greek king, the king (medieval king) in a popular way. It comes from the Hellenistic rix, causal king, which comes from the Latin rex.

Hatzis: Common prefix in many Greek adjectives (Hatzinikolaou, Hatzidimitriou, Hatzopoulos, Hatzidis, Hatzidakis etc.). According to Triantaphyllides: A weak prepositional word that is always followed by the conjunction (-) and entered before baptismal or family names as an honorary title to state that an Orthodox Christian visited the Holy Land as a pilgrim.

Voudouris: A surname which has the same principle as Boudouris, comes from the vernacular / dialectal word voudouris (boudouris) which means short and fat man. The word comes from the Turkish bodur, with the same meaning.

Michas: This is an Albanian variant of the name Michael-Michalis. In Greek-speaking populations the derogatory variant of the name was usually “Michos”.

Perdikaris: Professional surname, from the noun perdikaris (formerly perdikarios), from the noun perdika (<arch. Perdix) and the suffix denoting profession -aris (<elnst. -Arios). In other words, he is the partridge hunter, or the trader of his hunt. As a surname quite common in Greece since ancient times.

Ancient Greek Surnames – History

Interestingly, the ancient Greeks themselves did not have surnames as we know them to be today. The names they did have, would give an indication of their origin or the tribes that they came from, but not an actual family surname like we have today. Most names came from the names of places, a given nickname or the occupation of the individual. For example, Loukanis, meaning a sausage maker or a butcher, because Loukanis means sausage.

In ancient Greece, Elite families did have a stable last name, but again, they were either patronymics (a name derived from the name of a father or ancestor) or nicknames.

Commonly, Greek last names are derived by adding “Son of” to the end of the fathers name. Again, this indicates origin of the individual. Married women, however, were not identified by their father name, but rather the name of their husband.

Conclusively, there aren’t really specific ancient Greek surnames, as surnames were made common a lot later in Greek history.

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