100 Most Common Greek Last Names Or Surnames With Meanings

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Greek surnames or last names came into existence in the 15th century. These names can help in identifying the ancestry of an individual. Greek surnames have different roots, origins, and histories of development. Most surnames were influenced by family names or paternal and maternal names. However, many Greek surnames have also originated from the father’s first names.

Naming Traditions In Greece

The surnames or last names in Greece are often indicators of the origin of the individual. There are many instances where the last name is modified but yet implies their origin. An example is the last name ‘Demetriou,’ which can be traced back to someone whose surname was originally ‘Demetrios.’

For women, the surnames change to a feminine version of the original masculine surname.

Greek last names also feature distinct suffixes. One can learn the place of origin and probably family history through the suffix alone. For example, ‘–akis’ refers to a person from Crete, ‘–ellis’ means the person likely came from Dodecanese islands, ‘–opoulos’ for a man coming from the Peloponnese peninsula, ‘-idis’ denotes the person is a ‘descendant of’ someone. The ‘-iadis’ suffix belongs to people from Messinia or Lakonia while ‘-oudas’ is for people from North Greece (Macedonia).

Prefixes of a surname could tell you about the origin of the person too while also telling something about a physical attribute or a profession. For instance, a surname beginning with ‘Kara’ implies that it belongs to someone in the East or Asia Minor as ‘kara’ refers to ‘black’ in the Turkish language. The prefix ‘konto’ means ‘short,’ and ‘papa’ means ‘someone who descended from priests.’ Greek surnames are thus interesting to know as they say a lot about Greek ancestry and tradition.

List Of Common And Ancient Greek Last Names

1. Adamos

In Greek, this surname means ‘the son of Adam.’

2. Aetós

Aetós, Greek surnames or last names

Image: iStock

This surname means ’eagle’ in Greek.

3. Agathangelou

This is a patronymic name given to the people who likely descended from the historical figure named Agathangelos.

4. Alexopoulos

It is derived from the personal name Alexios and the patronymic ending poulos.

5. Andino

In Greek, this surname means ‘manly.’

6. Andrianakis

This last name is derived from the name Andreas with a suffix, -akis. It is commonly found in the Australian Greek communities.

7. Angelopoulos

This name is derived from Angelos, shortened from Evangelos with the patronymic ending ‘poulos.’

8. Angelos

This surname is a commonly used one and means ’Angel’ in Greek.

9. Ariti

In Greek, Ariti means someone who is approachable, friendly, or generous.

10. Artino

Artino is a habitational name given to someone who belonged to the city of Arta.

11. Athanasiou

This name is derived from the personal name Athanasios, which means ‘immortal,‘ and it has the suffix ‘ou’ from the Cypriot genitive.

12. Bakirtzis

This is a Greek last name derived from a Turkish word, which means ’coppersmith.’

13. Calimeris

This Greek surname originated from the greeting ‘Kalimera,’ which means ‘Good morning.’

14. Chloros

This is another commonly used Greek surname, which refers to the color green.

15. Christodoulopoulos

It means a ‘descendant of Christ’s servant.’

16. Christoforou

A variation of the name Christophoros, which means one who is ’bearing Christ.’

17. Chronis

It is derived from ‘Chronos’ – ‘time’ or ‘year’ in Greek.

18. Christoyannopoulos

This ancient name means the ‘descendant of John and Christ.’

19. Cirillo

This is a Greek surname, from an Italian origin. The name means ’lordly’ or ‘masterful.’

20. Danielopoulos

This Greek surname means ‘son of Daniel.’  Daniel itself means ‘God is my judge.’

21. Diakos

It means ‘deacon’ in Greek.  Deacon is a member of the clergy.

22. Diamandis

This Greek name means ‘diamonds’ in Greek.

23. Dougenis

Dougenis is derived from the words ‘doulos’ meaning ‘slave’ or ‘servant’ and ‘genes’ meaning ‘being born.’

24. Doukas

Doukas is a Medieval Greek surname derived from ‘doukas’ meaning ‘duke’ or a ‘lord.’

25. Drakos

Drakos also means an ogre

Image: iStock

This name comes from the Greek word Drakon, which means a ‘dragon’ or an ‘ogre.’

26. Economos

This is an occupational surname given to a steward or anyone who manages a property.  The surname is derived from the Greek word ‘oikonomos,’ which means ‘steward.’

27. Filo

This is a Greek form of a personal name Filip, which means ‘friend of the horses.’

28. Frangopoulos

It is means ‘descendant of Frank.’

29. Franopoulos

It is related to the name Frangopoulos means ‘descendant of a Frank’ in Greek.

30. Galanis

This is a Greek surname for someone who has ‘pale blue eyes.’ The surname originates from ‘galanos,’ the Greek word for ‘pale blue’ or ‘azure.’

31. Gataki

Gataki means ‘kitten’ in Greek.

32. Ganas

It is an occupational Greek surname for those who work as coppersmiths.

33. German

This surname is given to people from Germany. Usually given to actual immigrants from Germany or for people who had business connections with German-speaking lands.

34. Giorgaina

It means ‘wife of Georgios.’ In early modern Greece, a married woman’s surname was usually a combination of her husband’s name and the suffix ‘-aina.’

35. Hasapis

It is derived from the Greek word ‘chasapi’ that means ‘butcher.’

Did you know?
Papadopoulos is another unique Greek last name, which means ‘son of a priest.’

36. Hatzi

A Greek annotation of Hajj, which means a ‘person who has completed a pilgrimage.’

37. Hatzis

Hatzis is a modern version of the Khatzi’s, which in Greek means a ’pilgrim to Jerusalem.’ The surname is related to the Greek surname ‘Hatzi.’

38. Iordanou

This name originates from the Jordan River’s name in Hebrew. It means to ‘descend’ or ‘flow down.’

39. Iraklidis

This name refers to the ‘son of Herakles.’ Herakles (also known as Hercules) means ‘glory/pride of the Goddess Hera.’

40. Karras

It means a ‘carter’ or ‘cart driver’ since the Greek root word for the surname is ‘Karo’ (cart). Karras is thus an occupational Greek last name.

41. Kalogeropoulos

This surname in Greek means ‘son of the monk’. It is derived from the Greek term kalogeros, which means ‘monk’ or ‘friar.’

42. Katopodis

In Greek, this word means ‘down’ or ‘below.’ This surname refers to ‘the guy who ran away.’

43. Katsaros

Katsaros is a name given to a person with curly hair in Greek. The word itself means ‘curly.’

44. Kazan

Kazan is a reduced form of Kazandis, which means ‘people who make cauldrons.’ It is an occupational surname given to people who make cauldrons or use a cauldron for the distillation of ouzo or raki –  both alcoholic beverages.

45. Kokkinos

The Greek last name means ‘the color red.’

46. Kalogeras

This Greek last name is derived from ‘kalogeros,’ which means monk.

47. Karagiannis

This Greek last name means ‘black John.’

48. Kouris

In Greek, Kouris means ‘someone who lived in a forest.’

49. Kyriaku

It is a Greek surname, meaning ‘of the Lord.’

50. Laskaris

In Greek, Laskaris means ‘a kind of soldier.’

51. Leos

This surname is derived from Leon, which means ‘Lion.’

52. Levidis

This Greek name means ‘son of Levi.’ Levi means ‘joined’ or ‘attached,’ and the word originates from Hebrew.

53. Loukanis

This surname originates from the Greek word ‘loukanika’ meaning sausages. Loukanis is an occupational surname given to a butcher or a sausage maker.

54. Lykaios

This surname comes from the Greek word ‘Lykos,’ which means wolf.

55. Mandrapilias

It means ‘made of stone’ or ‘stonewall.’ This surname is common in the region of Sparta in Greece.

56. Manikas

It is derived from the Greek word ‘maniki’ meaning a ‘handle’ or a ‘sleeve.’ It is an occupational name given to people who make handles.

57. Markopoulos

This Greek surname means ’son of Mark.’ Mark is an ancient name meaning ‘consecrated to the god Mars’ or the ‘god of war.’

58. Masalis

A Greek surname of unknown origin and most common in the country of Cyprus.

59. Matsouka

This means ‘bat’ in Greek.

60. Matthiou

The name refers to the ‘son of Matthias.’ Matthias means the ‘gift of god.’

61. Metaxas

Metaxas is derived from 'metaxi'

Image: iStock

This name is derived from the Greek word, metaxi, which means ‘silk’ or ‘a person who deals in silk.’

62. Moralis

Moralis is a Greek form of the Spanish surname ‘Morales.’ It is likely to be derived from the Spanish word ‘moreras,’ that stands for ‘mulberry trees.’

63. Nephus

Nephus in Greek means ‘a God’s son who will also become a God.’

64. Nikolaou

Nikolaou means the ‘son of Nikolaos.’ Nikolaos means ‘victory of people’ in Greek.

65. Nomikos

In Greek, ‘Nomikos’ means ‘relating to law’ or ‘legal.’

66. Onasis

This Greek surname means ‘lover.’

67. Othonos

It is a Greek surname derived from Otto, meaning ’wealth’ or ‘fortune.’

68. Pachis

Pachis means ‘fat’ or ‘thick’ in Greek.

69. Panagos

It is an ancient Greek surname meaning ‘all holy.’

70. Pantazis

Pantazis is a Greek surname which means ‘always live’ or ‘live forever.’

Did you know?
Derived from Peter, Petrou is also a popular Greek surname. Greek-born British computer scientist Maria Petrou (1953–2012) was a famous bearer of this last name.

71. Papachristodoulopoulos

This ancient Greek surname refers to someone who is a ‘descendant of the Priest and Servant of Christ.’

72. Papamichael

Papamichael means the ‘son of a priest named Michael.’

73. Papatonis

This Greek surname means ’a badass man.’

74. Papazoglou

Another common Greek surname meaning ’son of the Priest.’

75. Pappas

Pappas is derived from ‘Papas,’ which means ‘Priest’ in Greek.

76. Pavlides

This Greek surname means ‘son of Pavlos.’ Pavlos is a Greek form of Paul.

77. Persopoulos

This is an ancient Greek surname which means ’descendant of a Persian.’

78. Petrakis

This surname is derived from ‘Petros,’ a Greek version of Peter.

79. Remis

This surname originates from ‘Remigius’ a Greek name prevalent during the medieval period.

80. Rosi

Rosi, Greek surnames or last names

Image: iStock

A Greek surname derived from Rosa, which means ‘the flower rose.’

81. Rousopoulos

This Greek surname means and is used for ‘Russian descendants.’

82. Samaras

This Greek surname means a ‘saddler’ or a ‘saddle maker.’

83. Sarris

It means ‘blonde’ or ‘fair-headed.’ This Greek surname has a Turkish origin.

84. Savas

It originates from ‘Sabbas,’ which is the Greek version of the holy ‘Sabbath.’ The word ‘Sabbath’ also refers to the day ‘Saturday.’

85. Scala

This surname in Greek means ‘ladder’ or ‘steps’ or ‘stairway.’

86. Selinofoto

This Greek surname means ‘moonlight.’

87. Servopoulos

This Greek surname means ‘descendant of a Serb.’

88. Sideris

The surname has its origin in the Greek word ‘sidero’ that means ‘iron.’ The surname refers to a wishful phrase ‘may the child grow up to be as strong as iron.’

89. Stefanopoulos

This surname in Greek means ‘son of Stefan.’

90. Thanos

It is the short form of the Greek name ‘Athanasios,’ which means ‘immortal.’

91. Theodoropoulos

This means ‘son of Theodoros.’ Theodoros is the Greek word for the phrase ‘god-given’ or ‘god’s gift.’

92. Tsaoussis

Tsaoussis, Greek surnames or last names

Image: iStock

This Greek surname means ‘Peacock.’

93. Tsitak

It means ‘God.’

94. Vasilakis

This surname is derived from ‘Vasilikos’ – the Greek word for ‘Basil.’

95. Voulgaropoulos

In Greek, ‘Voulgaros’ means ‘Bulgarian.’ Voulgaropoulos thus refers to the ‘descendant of a Bulgarian.’

96. Vouvali

In Greek, this surname means ‘buffalo.’

97. Xiphias

It means ‘swordfish.’

98. Yiannopoulos

The Greek surname means ‘son of Yianni.’

99. Zafeiriou

‘Zafeiri’ is the Greek name for the gemstone ’sapphire.’ When used as a surname, it means ‘son of Zafeiris.’

100. Zika

‘Zika’ is derived from the wishful Greek phrase ‘na zissis’ that means ‘to live’ or ‘may he live.’

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do Greeks put their last name first?

Greek names do not mention the last name first. The first names are followed by family names (1).

2. Why do Greeks have long surnames?

Greek names use many distinct suffixes for easy identification of an individual. The addition of these suffixes may increase the length of the surname based on the length of the root word.

All Greek surnames or last names have a distinct origin and meaning related to Greek history. Unlike many other nations, Greek naming customs allow for converting surnames to a feminine version of the original masculine surname and always include different suffixes. Studying Greece and Greek mythology has long been a topic of curiosity, and learning about these Greek surnames can help you have a deeper grasp of their people and culture.

Infographic: Greek Last Names

Greek surnames are usually inspired by Greek ancestral roots and culture. The infographic below has a compilation of a few famous Greek last names along with their meanings. While some names remained unmodified, some are modified in modern times but still withhold the significance of the original.

greek last names [infographic]
Illustration: MomJunction Design Team


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