Brazilian last names are mostly of Portuguese and Spanish descent. In the 16th century, Portuguese settlers established colonies in Brazil, and thus, the country witnessed cultural assimilation of the native folks. With the blend in the traditions, Portuguese became the main spoken language of the country. People also adopted many cultural aspects of Portugal, including names and surnames. Due to this, most Brazilian family names have been inherited from Portugal and Spain. Interestingly, some Portuguese surnames are more common in Brazil than in Portugal. This post brings you a list of common Brazilian last names with their meanings and origin.
List Of Brazilian Last Names Or Surnames
The Portuguese family name Aldo is of Old German ancestry. Derived from the German ‘Adal’ which means ‘the elder one,’ it also translates to ‘noble.’ It is pronounced as aal-doh. Jose Aldo is a veteran martial artist from Brazil who is also popular in the USA.
Almeida is a common surname found in Portuguese-speaking countries, especially in Brazil. The name is a toponym, meaning it originates from a place. Almeida comes from the hamlet of Almeidain, Portugal.
Alonso is a Portuguese variant of the German surname Adalfuns, which common in Brazil. The name translates to ‘noble.’ Xabi Alonso is a former Spanish national footballer.
It is a patronymic surname derived from the father’s first name. The name means ‘Son of Alvaro.’ Alvaro is an ancient name common in Spanish and Portuguese history. Today, the surname is popular in Brazil and other South American countries. Canelo Alvares is one of the most successful boxers in the world today.
The Andrade family used to be an influential family in the late Middle Ages. Being vassals of the Galician regions, the family name got popular in Portugal and Spain and later in South America. Andrade derives from the Latin ‘Andreas,’ which roughly translates to ‘warrior.’
Andre is another variant of the Greek name Andreas, meaning ‘warrior.’ It is used both as a first name and family name among the French and Portuguese cultures around the world. Soraia Andre is a highly regarded female judo martial artist from Brazil.
Aparecido is a popular surname in Brazil, most prevalent in the Sao Paulo region. Like most Brazilian surnames, it is of Portuguese descent. It derives its meaning from the Latin ‘appareo’ meaning ‘to manifest.’ César Aparecido is a retired Brazilian footballer.
Abrantes is a major city in eastern Portugal and is said to be the origin for the topographic surname Arantes. Edson Arantes is the real name of Brazilian football legend Pelé.
The surname Barbosa comes from the Barba plant, which is found in abundance in the Galician region of Portugal. As taking up surnames from plants and trees was common in early Portuguese cultures, Barbosa became a common surname. Domingos Barbosa was an 18th-century poet and musician from Brazil who wrote under the pseudonym Lareno.
Batista, also written as Baptista, is a common Portuguese and Spanish surname, which means ‘Baptist.’ The surname was adopted by the clergy initially and traveled to Brazil among the missionaries. Eike Batista is a German entrepreneur of Brazilian descent.
Benites comes from the Latin surname Benedictus. The literal meaning of the name is ‘blessed.’ The name is popular in Spain, Portugal, and the South American nations. Rafael Benites is a football manager of Spanish descent.
Bento is derived from Latin and is related to the name Benedito. The Portuguese surname translates to ‘blessed.’ Rui Bento is a former Portuguese footballer who played in the national league.
Bernardo comes from the Greek surname Bernardakis, which translates to ‘brave bear.’ The Portuguese adopted the surname around the Middle Ages, and it later reached Brazil. The last name is also commonly found in the Philippines. A popular actress and singer holding the name is Kathryn Bernardo.
The surname Bezerra is of Hebrew ancestry, popular among the Jewish settlers in Spain and Portugal. The name translates to ‘a female calf.’ People with the Bezerra surname are found mostly in Brazil and Angola today. Eliana Bezerra is a popular singer and actress from Brazil.
The Portuguese surname Borges used to mean ‘of the town’ and later gave way to the term ‘bourgeois.’ The name used to refer to popular families that mostly indulged in white collar work. The surname is recognizable for its association with the famous Spanish writer Luis Borges.
The surname Bosco is of Latin-Italian ancestry, and it means ‘shrubs.’ It is a topographic surname for those inhabiting or working in the forest areas as woodcutters. The surname is often found among the Portuguese settlers in South American countries and the Philippines. The name is synonymous with the famous priest Don Bosco from Italy, who dedicated his life to the education of the youth around the world.
The surname Bruno is of Portuguese and Italian descent. It translates to ‘brown’ and was used as a nickname for those with physical features like brown eyes or hair. Bruno is also a common first name, and the concentration of this last name can be found mostly in Italy, Brazil, and Argentina.
Bueno is of Hebrew origin and translates to mean ‘good.’ It is a common Spanish, and Portuguese surname found across the world. Brazilian Maria Bueno was a champion tennis player who won 19 Grand Slam titles and is the only female tennis player from South America to win Wimbledon.
Caetano is of Italian ancestry, which later got adopted by the Portuguese. Its Latin translation renders it the meaning ‘from Caieta,’ which is the city Gaeta in Greece today. The Portuguese started adopting the name in honor of St. Gaetano during the 15th century and the colonial era. Hence, the surname found a new home in Brazil.
Caldeira in Portuguese refers to the ‘kettle’ and ‘hot bath.’ The surname was adopted among the makers of cooking vessels and metal workers. Amir Caldeira is a famous Brazilian physicist known for his research in quantum mechanics.
Camargo is a village locality in northern Spain, where this geographical surname first appeared. Through the Portuguese and Spanish inquisitions, the name became a staple in Brazil. Marina Camargo is a visual artist from Brazil and is known for her unique perspectives in photography.
Candido is popular both as a first name and surname. It is popular in Brazil and the Philippines. In Brazil, it is one of the top 100 surnames found across the nation. Antonio Candido was a well-known writer, professor, and literary critic from Brazil and considered one of the foremost scholars of Portuguese literature.
Cardoso, also spelled as Cordozo, is a Portuguese surname that emerged from the Galician region. Bruno Cardoso is a Brazilian football goalkeeper who plays international football in the North American soccer league.
Carneiro in Portuguese dialects means ‘sheep’ and was adopted as an occupational name among the shepherds and sheep traders. The surname was more popular in the northern mountainous regions of Portugal. Today, Carneirois found mainly in Brazil and ranks as the 93rd most common surname in the country.
Carvalho, alternately spelled also as Carballo and Carbajal, is a popular surname in Brazil. It is of Portuguese origin and means ‘oak.’ The early Portuguese used to adopt names of trees and animals as their last names.
Castro is an old and well-respected family name of Spanish heritage. It is said to have originated in a place named Castrothe, which happens to be the name of many local hamlets in Spain. The name translates to ‘castle’ in Latin. The surname is synonymous with the Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.
Cesar is the Portuguese equivalent of Caesar, popular for the historical figure Julius Caesar. The name originated from the Latin dialects and was historically used as a title by Roman emperors. In Greek, the name translates to ‘the hairy one.’ In Brazil, it is a common surname and is also spelled as Cezar. Julio Cesar is a former professional footballer from Brazil.
Derived from the Roman Caesar, Cesarioit is both a surname and a first name. Found in several countries with Spanish and Portuguese heritage, it is more frequently found in Brazil in present times. The name had been used to address kings and royalties in the past.
Chaves or Chavez in old Portuguese dialects meant ‘keys.’ The name used to be an occupational surname, being associated with those who delved into the business of making keys and locks. Julio Cesar Chaves is a former professional boxer from Mexico and is considered one of the all-time best pugilists in the sport’s history.
Coelho in Latin means ‘rabbit’ and is a common Brazilian surname of Portuguese descent. A notable person bearing the surname is Paulo Coelho, who is well-known for his bestselling book ‘The Alchemist.’
The word Colares in Portuguese indicates the neck area or the ‘collarbone’ and is used to mean ‘necklace.’ The surname is a variant of the Anglo-Saxon name Nicholas. Today families with the surname Colares are most abundant in Brazil and Argentina.
Colombo derives from the Latin Columbus meaning ‘dove.’ As the dove was considered a holy symbol among the Catholics, the name was adopted by many as their last name. The name grew in popularity among the Portuguese and later spread to Brazil and other Portuguese colonies.
The family name Cordeiro emerged from the Galician region of Portugal. Cordeiro in Latin meant ‘young sheep’ and was used as an occupational name among the sheepherders and traders. Cordeiro is also a municipality in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiros.
Correa in old Latin meant ‘rein’ or a ‘belt.’ The word was used to refer to fastening of any sort. The last name is said to have been adopted by the lacemakers as an occupational name. Correa is also said to be of Noble heritage, related to Paio Correa, a lord in the early 12th century. Caroline Correa is a talented Brazilian actress.
Cortes is a variant of the Spanish variant Cortez. The name has its roots in ancient French and used to mean ‘courteous.’ A popular namesake is a professional footballer Bruno Cortez from Brazil.
Costa is derived from Latin and translates to ‘coast.’ The surname is found among the Italians, Portuguese, and Spanish. During the era of colonization, the surname spread across the world, especially in South America.
Cruz in old Latin meant ‘cross’ and became a religious name adopted by many across Portugal and Spain. The name has been first recorded in the Iberian peninsula of Spain, from where it is thought to have spread out. Some other variants of this surname are Krus and Cruise. The name readily brings Penelope Cruz to our minds, who happen to be a talented actress.
Dantas is a popular surname in Brazil that often ranks among the top 100 common surnames. It is of Portuguese origin and was used as a topographic name for those hailing from the Antas region. Tiago Dantas is a Portuguese professional footballer.
Delgado, in Portuguese, translates to ‘thin’ or ‘slender.’ Commonly used as a nickname for a thin person, this name is borne by more than 23,000 people in Brazil. Carlos Delgado is a famous Puerto Rican baseball player.
Diaz is a Spanish patronymic name taken Diego. Although the term ‘Diaz’ is derived from the Latin word ‘dies,’ which translates to ‘days,’ it is believed to have traces of Jewish origin. Alex Dias Ribeiro is a former racing driver from Brazil.
Domingos is the Portuguese variant of the English name ‘Dominick.’ It was passed on as a family name from the first name ‘Domingo.’ Domingo Alzugaray was a Brazilian actor and journalist.
The name Fagundes has a Portuguese origin that means a person who speaks a lot. With more than 121,000 people bearing this name, Brazil witnesses its highest occurrence. It is also often used as a patronymic name which means ‘son of Fagundo.’ Antonio Fagundes is a famous Brazilian actor.
Felicio is highly common in the Sao Paulo commune of Brazil. As a first name and a surname, Felicio is of Latin origin and it means ‘fortunate.’ Christano Felicio is a professional basketball player from Brazil and plays for the Chicago Bulls team.
Felipe originated from the Spanish name ‘Philip,’ which can be rooted back to the Greek adjective Philippos. It translates to ‘horse whisperer.’ Felipe and Filipe are both used in Brazil. Felipe was used as the title by the rulers of Spain, from Felipe I in the late 1400s to Felipe VI, the present-day monarch.
Fermino, along with its spelling variant Firmino, means ‘firm’ or ‘steadfast’ in Portuguese. It traces its origin to Italian roots. It is a patronymic name, meaning the name has been passed on from the father’s first name.
Fernandes is derived from the Portuguese and Spanish name Fernando. The patronymic name is the 18th common surname in Brazil. Baltasar Fernandes is one of the early Portuguese explorer who explored many areas of Brazil.
It was customary for people in ancient Spain and Portugal to take the topographic family name Ferreira when they settled in places with iron mines. Ferreira in Latin translates to ‘iron mine.’ Abigail Izquierdo Ferreira was a Brazilian actress, singer, and director.
In Portuguese, Figueira translates to ‘fig tree.’ Around the 10th century when the Jewish people were facing prosecution in Spain and Portugal, many adopted this name to blend in with the locals. Figueira is a common surname in Brazil, accounting to one in 6000 of the population.
Mostly prevalent in Brazil, the name Figueiredo, in Old Portuguese, translates to ‘Son of Figuera.’ Figueiredo also means ‘Fig Orchard.’ According to a survey in 2005, one in every 1400 people carries the surname Figueiredo in Brazil.
The family name Firmino means ‘firm and steadfast.’ It is also the first name and has several variants, including Fermino, common in Brazil. Roberto Firmino is a Brazilian footballer.
The name Fonseca has been used to refer to places where springs dry up during the summer months. In Latin, it roughly translates to ‘dry well.’ As such, it is a habitational name adopted by inhabitants of the region.
The name Fontana is ranked 670th in Brazil, with an occurrence of one in every 11860. In Latin, Fontana translates to fountain. It is a topographical surname given to people who lived near a spring.
Fortes can mean both ‘strong’ and ‘fortress’ in Portuguese. It is a family name and is used in Brazil more than anywhere else in the world. The name has its origins in the Norman kingdom eras and later spread across western Europe and Brazil.
The name Freire has been derived from the Latin word ‘frigere,’ which means ‘to cook by frying.’ It is an occupational name given to those in the frying profession. Every one person in 1198 in Brazil is named Freires.
Freitas can be traced to have Portuguese and Galician origin. It means ‘broken stones.’ The name was given to people who resided near a patch of stony ground. Sometimes, it was also taken by the people living in places named Freitas.
The use of the name Furtado can be found in Brazil more than anywhere else in the world. Furtado translates to ‘stolen’ or ‘illegitimate’ in Portuguese. Celso Furtado was an influential Brazilian economist.
The name Gabriel is of Hebrew heritage, referring to the archangel in the New Testament. The name has been adopted both as a first name and a family among the devout. Today, Gabriel is a common surname among Spanish and Portuguese descendants around the world. Juan Gabriel was a popular Mexican folk and pop singer.
Although the origin of the name Garcia is uncertain, its Latin form ‘Garsea’ was found in many medieval records. It is quite a common name in Brazil, with more than 400,000 people being named Garcia. Luis Garcia is a famous former Spanish professional football player.
Geraldo has a German origin from the name Gerhard, meaning ‘strong.’ The name is known to have originated from the Tuscany region and later spread to Italy and Portugal. The surname is seen mostly in Brazil and Angola.
Gimenes is a family name prevalent mainly in Brazil. With more than 42,000 people bearing this name, it has become a common surname in Brazil. Believed to have originated from Brazil, Gimenes is also used in other parts of the world.
It is believed to have come from the people who settled in the western side of the Black Sea around the 3rd century CE. Gomes is derived from ‘Guma,’ which means man. Today, one in every 74 people in Brazil has the surname Gomes.
Gonzalez is a common surname found among the Hispanic community and ranks among the top five in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries. The name has its origin in the early German community, the Visigoths, and it means ‘warrior’. Over time, the name also got the meaning ‘Son of Gonzalo, making it a patronymic name.
Gouvea was taken by the inhabitant of a Portuguese town named Gouveia. Currently, Gouvea is most commonly used in Brazil, with more than 20,000 people bearing the name. Murilo Gouvea is a professional baseball player from Brazil.
Guerra is a Portuguese surname fairly popular in Brazil. It was used as a nickname for soldiers as Guerra, which means ‘war.’ Rogelio Guerra was a famous Mexican actor.
Guerreiro is a name from Portuguese and Galitian origin. In Portuguese, Guerreiro means ‘warrior.’ People used this as a nickname for the valiant soldiers. David Pedrosa Guerreiro is a professional Portuguese footballer.
A Portuguese variant for the English name ‘William’, Guilherme can be traced back to have originated from the German name ‘Wilhelm,’ which means a ‘resolute protector’. It is a masculine name. Guilherme Berenguer is a Brazilian TV actor.
‘Guimarães’ is a city in northern Portugal whose inhabitants took it as their surname. In present times, Guimarães is popular in Brazil, with one out of 684 people having the name. Manuel Guimarães was a Portuguese filmmaker.
Henriques is a common patronymic surname of Iberian origin. It means ‘Son of Henrique.’ It’s English and Spanish equivalents are ‘Henry’ and ‘Enrique,’ respectively. It is a Portuguese name borne by over 29,000 people in Brazil. Afonso Henriques was the first king of Portugal.
Hernandes, similar to the Spanish Hernandez, is of Hebrew ancestry. The name gained in popularity during the late 15th century and used to mean ‘Son of Hernan.’ Though mostly populated in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking South American nations, Brazil also has a fair share of Hernandes families.
Inacio is another popular Portuguese surname that is found commonly in Brazil. Inacio is also spelled as Ignacio and used as a first name, too. Luiz Inacio is the former President of Brazil who served from 2003 to 2010.
Jacinto is a Portuguese name for the Hyacinth flower. The surname was adopted to honor the respected St. Hyacinth, who was a Roman martyr. Jacinto is a rare surname today, and more families with this name are found in Brazil compared to Portugal.
Probably one of the well-recognized Biblical names, Jesus had been adopted as a family name among the devotees. The Portuguese are known as the ones who adopted the name as a family name early on. A popular figure bearing this surname would be Gabriel Jesus, a professional footballer from Brazil who plays in the English club Manchester City.
Jorge is the Portuguese equivalent of the Greek name Georgios, meaning ‘earth tiller’ or a ‘farmer.’ The occupational name was adopted among the Portuguese and has been documented since the early sixth century. It is more popular as a first name.
Jose is a popular first name and also a family name among some. The name is of Hebrew origin and accommodates the Portuguese and Spanish pronunciation for the name Joseph.
Lacerda is the Portuguese equivalent for the Spanish name ‘La cerda.’ It is quite common everywhere to give nicknames to a person based on their looks. ‘La cerda’ means ‘the lock of hair’ and was used as a nickname for anyone with a hairy back or chest.
Lara is a popular surname and a first name across the world. This Portuguese surname is of Hispanic origin and means ‘from Lares,’ wherein Lares referring to the home of Gods. Brian Lara is considered one of the most accomplished cricketers and he hails from the West Indies.
Believed to be of Latin origin, Lemos is a Portuguese habitational name acquired by people residing in a place named ‘Lemos’ from Lugo province, Galicia. Currently, this name is frequently found in Brazil.
Lima refers to a type of metal in Latin, whereas in Spanish, it means a place of lime trees. In Portuguese, Lima is a topographical surname for the people who lived on the banks of the river of the same name. Adriana Lima is a famous Brazilian model.
Limeira is a habitational surname for many people who resided in ‘Limeira,’ a city in the eastern part of the Sao Paulo state in Brazil. Gabriel de Paulo Limeira is a famous Brazilian football player.
Lucas is a habitational name for the people who lived in the Lucania region of southern Italy. In fact, Lucas translates to ‘man from Lucania’ in Latin. The name Lucania is said to have taken from a word that means ‘bright’ or ‘shining.’ Nick Lucas was an American jazz guitarist and singer.
Luiz is the Portuguese and Spanish variant of the name Louis. In Spanish, Luiz means ‘famous warrior.’ The highest occurrence of the name, Luiz, can be found in Brazil.
Lustosa is of mixed origin, Portuguese and native Brazilian dialects. The name takes the Latin ‘Lusto,’ which means ‘ desirable’ of ‘attractive,’ and adds to it the common ‘osa’ suffix. Matheus Lustosa is a popular Mexican actor from Brazil.
The name Macedo can be rooted back to Galician origin. It is a surname taken by the people inhabiting a village named Macedo in the Lugo province, Galicia. In Portuguese, Macedo is a topographic name that means ‘apple grove.’
Macena is an old and rare Portuguese family name whose overall numbers have dwindled. The name meant ‘thanks’ and was used as a religious name to thank the Gods. Felipe de Souza Macena is a popular Brazilian footballer.
The occurrence of the name Machado is more frequent in Brazil than anywhere else in the world. Machado means ‘an axe,’ and it is an occupational family name of Spanish and Portuguese origin. Cristian Machado is a Brazilian heavy metal singer.
Madureira is of Portuguese origin that later became more popular in Brazil and Angola, Portuguese colonies. The Madureira family name has a count of more than 15,000 and is more popular in the Rio region.
Maia is a topographic surname taken by the inhabitants of a place named ‘Maia.’ The name Maia can be traced back to Portuguese origin. Currently, more than 189,000 people in Brazil bear this name. Cesar Maia is a Brazilian politician who was elected thrice as the mayor of Rio de Janeiro.
Marcon is a surname found in the Bahia region of Brazil. This family name is derived from the German origin name Marco, meaning ‘brave.’ The name, after getting adopted by the Portuguese, reached Brazil through merchants and traders.
Maria is the Latin variant of the Biblical name Mariam. It is the feminine form of Marius and translates to ‘star of the sea.’ As the Portuguese were a devout country, adopting names from the New Testament as last names were customary, and Maria is one of such names.
The Portuguese name Marinho derives from the English equivalent marine, indicating the water. The name was used by the seaside dwellers who often took part in voyages across the seas. As expected from adventure seekers, the Marinho namesakes were among the early Portuguese settlers in Brazil.
Marques is a patronymic name, meaning ‘son of Marcos’ in Portuguese. The suffix ‘es’ in the name means ‘son of.’ In Spain, it was also used as an occupational nickname for the servants of a Marquis. Pedro Marques is a professional Portuguese football player.
Masvidal is a family name known to have Catalan origins. It is a mix of two names, ‘Mas’ and ‘Vidal.’ ‘Mas’ refers to a house surrounded by farmlands and forests that is generally made apart from a village. ‘Vidal’ is a common Catalan surname. So basically, it referred to the owner of the ‘mas.’ Paul Masvidal is an American musician.
Mattos is a Portuguese toponymic surname adopted by the inhabiting people of a place in Lamego, Portugal. The close variant of the name, ‘Matos,’ is also used by many. Andre Matos is a famous Brazilian musician.
The surname Melo was adopted by the residents of the Portuguese town Merlo. Over the centuries, various Melo descendants made a good name and owned estates spread across Portugal. Later, they also became successful merchants, settled in Brazil, and prospered. Melo in Portuguese means a ‘blackbird.’
Mendes is a patronymic name and means ‘son of Mendo.’ The surname Mendes or Mendez, is thought to have originated from the Galician region, which spans part of Spain and Portugal. Eva Mendes happens to be a successful Hollywood actress from Miami, Florida.
Mendonca is a popular Portuguese surname, originated from the Baque region of Spain. Mendonca is a conjoined word, combining ‘mendi’ meaning mountains and ‘otz’ for snow. The name is a variant of the Spanish Mendonza and is often associated with royalty.
Miranda is a cross-cultural family name found in cultures ranging from the Galician regions of Portugal and Spain to the Italian and the Swiss. In Latin, Miranda translates to ‘worthy’ or ‘admirable.’ Jose Miranda, popularly known as Zito, was a well-known footballer from Brazil who represented the country in the Football World Cup 1958 and 1962.
The common surname Monte is found among the Portuguese, Spanish, and French. The name derives from French, where it means ‘mountain.’ The name must sound familiar to many, thanks to the food and beverage company Del Monte popular in the USA.
Morales in Old Portuguese was used to refer to both mulberries and blackberries. The surname was adopted by families who indulged in the cultivation of these fruits near the orchard areas of Galicia. It also has an alternate meaning ‘son of Moral.’ Evo Morales is the former Bolivian president.
Moreira in Portuguese means ‘mulberry tree’ and it was common to have many small hamlets named Moreira in the early days. Eventually, the name was adopted as a habitational name among the dwellers, making Moreira a common last name.
Mota is the Portuguese word for ‘moat,’ which used to be stronghold in the early days. As such the habitational Mota surname was adopted among many soldiers and dwellers of the area. Agostinho Mota was a highly acclaimed painter and teacher from Brazil.
The name Mourais of the Portuguese town and was adopted among the inhabitants in the early days. This habitational surname was passed on through and finally traveled to other nations where the Portuguese set up colonies, Brazil being one of the major colonies. Confucio Moura is a popular Brazilian politician.
Muniz is a patronymic name, which takes the name of the father as a family name for coming generations. Muniz in Portuguese means ‘Son of Muno.’ Carlos Muniz is a world-famous baseball player.
Nascimento was originally a name given to children born on Christmas day. The Portuguese name originates from the Latin ‘nasci,’ meaning birth, and translates to ‘born on a holy day.’ The name also got accepted as a family name and became popular in Brazil. Alexandra de Nascimento is a handball player who plays for the Brazilian national team.
Nunes from Portuguese origins translates to ‘Son of Nuno.’ The patronymic name is also popular in Spanish culture, where it is usually spelled as Nunez. Amanda Nunes is a Brazilian mixed martial artist who competes in the US soils.
The family name Oliveira consists of nearly 3%of the Brazilian population, and it is the fourth most popular surname. The name used to refer to the olive tree and was adopted as the custom among Portuguese people. Fernanda Oliveira is a famous ballet dancer who hails from Brazil.
Ortega is a Spanish origin last name that was later adopted by the Portuguese as well. Today, the name is too familiar in most countries with past colonial ties to Portugal, like Brazil and the Philippines. Brian Ortega is a Mexican athlete who competes as a mixed martial arts fighter in the USA.
Ortiz in Spanish used to mean ‘Son of Orti’ and as such is a patronymic surname. The name is derived from the Latin ‘forti’ meaning ‘fortune.’ Maria Ortiz is an early 17th-century hero figure of Brazil who is famed to have defended Brazil from the Dutch invasion.
In Portuguese, Paz translates to mean ‘peace.’ The name was adopted by the Catholics as peace was a constant theme of Christ’s teachings. Paz or da Paz is a recurring surname found in Brazil and the Philippines. Barbara Paz is a famous actress and producer from Brazil.
The Pedreira surname has Spanish ancestry. It is of the earliest hereditary surnames found in Spain and later spread to Portugal. It used to refer to places with quarries and, as such, is a topographic name.
Pedro is the Portuguese variant of the name Peter derived from the Greek Petros meaning ‘rock.’ It is used both as a first name and a family name. In Brazilian history, Pedro has been used as a title for the ruler who oversaw the Portuguese affairs in Brazil.
Pedrosa is a habitational name acquired by the people living in numerous places named ‘Pedrosa.’ It means ‘stoney.’ The occurrence of this surname is found in Brazil more than anywhere else. Dani Pedrosa is a Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle racer.
The name Pena is derived from the Spanish word ‘Pena,’ which means ‘rock’ or ‘cliff.’ Acquiring habitational names were common back in the day, and Pena was adopted as a surname by the people who lived near a cliff or rocky land. The origin place of this name is in Galicia, Spain. Elizabeth Pena was a famous American actress.
‘Pereira’, in Portuguese, translates to ‘pear tree.’ Apart from being a toponym, the name Pareira, is also a habitational name acquired by people living in numerous places named ‘Pareira’ in both Portuguese and Galacian provinces. This family name is common in Brazil and is borne by almost 5,594,000 Brazilians. Lina Pareira is a famous Brazilian singer, actor, and screenwriter.
Peres means ‘litigant’ in the Hungarian language. It is a Sephardic surname used widely in Spain and Portugal. Peres is a patronym taken from the father’s given name ‘Pedro.’ The English variant of the name is Peter. Cristiana Peres is a famous Brazilian actress.
Pinto is a Castilian name of Portuguese origin, and either means ‘painted’ (from Latin ‘pictus’) or ‘shaded.’ The surname was initially used as a nickname for a painter or the one who had a scar or a blemish. At present times, the highest numbers of people named Pinto are residing in Brazil. Carlos Mota Pinto was a Portuguese politician.
Pires is a close variant of the name ‘Peres.’ It is a patronymic name, meaning ‘son of Pedro’. The Spanish equivalent for the name is ‘Perez.’ Nowadays, it is a common surname in Portugal and Brazil. Cleo Pires is a famous Brazilian actress.
Pontes is the Portuguese and Galician equivalent of the English name ‘Pont.’ It is a habitational name derived from various places in Portugal named ‘Ponte.’ The term ‘Ponte’ translates to ‘bridges.’ Laura Ponte is a Spanish model.
During colonial times, the Portuguese immigrants to Brazil took their surname from the cities they came. Porto means ‘harbor’ in Portuguese. That’s why, although being a Portuguese habitational name, Porto is more frequent in Brazil than anywhere else.
Querino is of Italian origin and was first documented in the Calabria province close to Sicily. Being of merchant occupation, the name spread throughout Spain and Portuguese, and later to Brazil. Manuel Querino is a prominent Brazilian art historian.
Ramires is a Portuguese patronymic surname, meaning ‘son of Ramiro.’ The Spanish variant of the name is ‘Ramirez.’ It can also be traced back to have Visigothic origin. Presently, the name is common in Brazil.
Ramos translates to ‘bouquets of flower’ in both Portuguese and Spanish. Ramos happens to be the 20th most popular Hispanic surname around the world. Sergio Ramos is probably one of the most well-known footballers from Spain.
The surname Reis is of German descent. The word used to refer to ‘overgrown shrubs’ and as a last name by the loggers and woodcutters. However, it gained more popularity among the Portuguese and later spread to Brazil. As for a namesake, Nando Reis is a rockstar figure in Brazil who is known to write catchy rock and punk music popular among the youth.
Ribas originates from the Latin Ripa, which meant ‘river banks.’ This topographical name was adopted among the riverside and seaside dwellers. Other variants of the surname are Rivas and Riba. In present times, the name is found in Brazil, Portugal, and Spain.
Ribiero is a common surname in Portugal and Brazil. The name in Portuguese used to mean ‘riverside creek’ and referred to the wine-making areas of Galicia. Another variant of the name is Riveiro. Éverton Ribeiro is a professional footballer who plays in the Brazilian national team.
Ricardo is the Portuguese variant of the English Richard. The name derives from old Germanic dialects and means ‘powerful ruler.’ It is more popular as a first name, though it exists as a family name too in Brazil. Ricardo surname is also popular in the USA, a good example being James Ricardo, the filmmaker.
Rocha in the Portuguese language means ‘rock’ or ‘boulder.’ The name got popular as a topographic name with people from rocky and mountainous regions adopting the name. Other variants are Rochela and Roche. Glauber Rocha happens to be a popular Brazilian filmmaker.
Romano is a Portuguese derivative from the Latin Romanus, used to refer to those who lived in Rome. As Rome was the seat of the Pope along with the Catholic dignitaries, the surname was adopted by masses with zest. The surname is found in many Portuguese-speaking nations like Brazil and Sri Lanka. Fabrizio Romano is a famous sports journalist from Italy.
The Romero name was originally a nickname used for Roman travelers during the Byzantine era. It was used as an equivalent to ‘pilgrim.’ Over the centuries, Romero became one of the most popular Hispanic surnames, common among the Spanish and the Portuguese. Sergio Romero is the goalkeeper of the Argentinean national football team.
‘Rosa’ as it may be easily guessed, means ‘Rose.’ It can be traced back to have multiple origins. Some took it as a surname from their occupation of cultivating roses, while others got the name from living in places where roses grew. Rosa is also a common first name for females. Aaron Isaac Rosa is a former American mixed martial artist.
The name Ruiz can be traced to the Germanic name ‘Hrodric,’ which means ‘famous ruler.’ It is also a patronymic name taken from Ruy (short for Rodrigo), meaning ‘son of Roderick.’ More than 26,000 people in Brazil have this surname currently.
It was quite common in Spain for a person to carry their father’s name as a surname. Sanchez is one such patronymic name, which means ‘son of Sancto.’ Sancto is a common medieval given name, originated from the Latin term ‘sanctus,’ which meant ‘sanctified.’ Diego Sanchez is a famous American mixed martial artist.
The surname Santana is common in Brazil. It is a habitational surname taken by the residents of places named Santana in Spain. The name can be rooted back to Galician origin. Carlos Santana is a famous Mexican-American Guitarist.
The name Santiago is derived from the Spanish words ‘santo’ and ‘Yago,’ which mean ‘saint’ and ‘James,’ respectively. It is a family name taken by the people living in a place where the church was dedicated to Saint James. Herman Santiago was a rock and roll singer who composed the song ‘Why do fools fall in love.’
Santos in old Spanish translates to ‘saint.’ The name is of Christian origin and was adopted among the Parish families. The Santos family name is common in Brazil and happens to be the second most common surname, followed by Silva.
The Brazilia surname Senna is of Portuguese origin and is said to have been adopted in honor of St. Catherine of Siena. The name is highly popular and was borne by one of the most famous hero figures in Brazil, namely Ayrton Senna, the F1 racer who won multiple Grand Prix.
Serra is a popular surname among the Portuguese and Spanish. The name derives from Latin, meaning ‘mountain range.’ The name was adopted as a habitational name for families from hilly regions of Portugal and later spread in Brazil during colonial rule.
Silva in Latin means ‘forest’ and is the last name of Portuguese heritage. Silva happens to be the most popular surname in Brazil and accounts for around 10% of the Brazilian population. The surname is common in all Portuguese conquered colonies including Philippines and Sri Lanka.
Simon is an old Norse origin surname that also saw popularity among the Portuguese. The name roughly translates to ‘victory’ and is a popular first name as well. Carlos Simon is a popular sports journalist from Brazil who has also refereed international football matches.
Sousa is the third most popular surname in Brazil, with around 5% of the total population holding the name. The name has its origins from the Sousa river in Portugal, and the noble to have first adopted the surname was Egas Gomes de Sousa.
Tavares or the Spanish Tavarez was a surname commonly adopted by the Sephardic Jews settled in Portugal. Fernanda Tavares is a famous celebrity and supermodel from Brazil.
In Portuguese, Teixo refers to the ‘yew tree.’ It was common among the Portuguese to adopt names from trees and landscapes as their family names. The Texeira surname became more popular in Brazil eventually. Alex Texeira is a young Brazilian footballer who played for the Vasco da Gama football club.
Teodoro is Portuguese for Theodore, which is of Greek origin. Theodore means ‘God’s gift’ and is considered to be a respectful family name. Lourdes Teodoro is a well-regarded Brazilian poet, artist, and litterateur.
In Latin, Torres translates to ‘tower.’ The name was adopted by the Portuguese as a habitational name by those dwelling near towers and castles. Surprisingly, Torres is a popular surname in Brazil and Spain, and happens to be the 50th most popular surname in the USA. The name is synonymous with Portuguese footballer Fernando Torres.
Vargas is a topographical name, adopted by dwellers living along the coastal towns of west Portugal. The name translates to ‘steep slope’. The surname was first documented for the knight Ivan de Vargas of Madrid in the year 1083. Today, the Vargas surname is mostly found in Mexico and other South American nations like Brazil.
It is a Portuguese surname that has its origins from the Tower of Vasconcelos, located in Northern Portugal. The Vasconcelo family adopted the surname when becoming the official rulers of the region. Today, the highest numbers of Vasconcelo sreside in Brazil.
Commonly used as a variant of the Spanish name ‘Vasquez’, this surname is currently found to be used in Brazil more than anywhere else. It is believed to have originated from different roots. One being a patronymic surname, meaning ‘son of Vasco’ and the other being a habitational surname for people residing in the Basque provinces of Spain.
Verissimo is the Portuguese version of the Roman Latin name ‘Varissimus,’ which means ‘true.’ It is a male name and is most common in Brazil with over 36000 people bearing it. Lucas Verissimo is a Brazilian central defender who plays for the Portuguese football club Benfica.
The name Vicente is used both as a first name and as a surname. The name when used as a surname indicated a rich and ancient ancestry. Vicente is the Spanish and Portuguese version of the Latin personal name ‘Vincent,’ which means ‘conquering.’ Fernando Vicente is a professional Spanish tennis coach.
The Viegas surname is of Visigothic origin. The Visigoths were a group of people who lived in many parts of Germany from the 5thto the 8thcentury. The surname became more popular among the Portuguese over time and spread to Brazil. Fernanda Viegas is an accomplished Brazilian scientist who works in the field of information visualization.
Brazilian culture is diverse, and so are Brazilian last names or surnames. Most of these names are of Portuguese and Spanish origin, which came into existence due to the assimilation of cultures during the colonial era. If you are a Brazilian, reading through these last names and knowing their meanings can help you understand your descent and how your country has evolved over the years. Learning about your ancestors is a nostalgic experience that allows you to connect your identity to those of your ancestors who left a glorious past for you to discover!