125 Most Common Greek Last Names Or Surnames With Meanings

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.

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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. Agelastos

This last name means ‘The one that never laughs.’

5. Alexopoulos

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

6. Andino

In Greek, this surname means ‘manly.’

7. Andrianakis

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

8. Angelopoulos

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

9. Angelos

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

10. Ariti

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

11. Artino

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

12. Athanasiou

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

13. Athinganos

This common surname means ‘gypsy’ or ‘heathen’ in Greek.

14. Bakirtzis

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

15. Bouras

This is a Latin origin name and means ‘a woolen cloth, coarse and reddish-brown with long hair’. It is an occupational surname for someone in the wool business.

16. Boukouras

This Greek last name means ‘happy’ and is of Thracian or Dacian origin.

17. Calimeris

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

18. Catarino

This surname means ‘pure.’ It is also common in Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries.

19. Chaconas

This surname is an Americanized version of Tsakonas and means ‘an inhabitant of the eastern side of Peloponnese.’

20. Chloros

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

21. Christodoulopoulos

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

22. Christoforou

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

23. Chronis

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

34. Christoyannopoulos

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

25. Cirillo

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

26. Danielopoulos

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

27. Diakos

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

28. Diamandis

This Greek name means ‘diamonds’ in Greek.

29. Dougenis

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

30. Doukas

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

31. Drakos

Drakos also means an ogre

Image: IStock

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

32. Drivas

This surname is the Greek variant of the Slavic word drvo and means ‘tree.’ It could also be a variant of Grivas.

33. Dukakis

This common Greek surname means ‘son of the duke’ or ‘little duke.’

34. 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.’

35. Elias

This Greek surname is derived from the Hebrew name Eliyahu and means ‘Lord of God’ or ‘Jehovah of God.’

36. Filo

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

37. Florakis

This Greek surname has two parts and Flor means ‘flower’ or ‘blossom’ and akis means originating from Crete.

38. Frangopoulos

It means ‘descendant of Frank.’

39. Franopoulos

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

40. 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.’

41. Galatas

This is an occupational surname for people who sell milk. Gala in Greek means ‘milk.’

42. Gataki

Gataki means ‘kitten’ in Greek.

43. Ganas

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

44. 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.

45. 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.’

46. Hasapis

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

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

47. Hatzi

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

48. 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.’

49. Hondros

This Greek surname is used as a nickname for the term ‘fat’ and is a shortened form of a surname ‘Khondros.’ Hondros is used as a prefix and is added to given names.

50. Iordanou

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

51. Iraklidis

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

52. Kallis

This surname is the shortened form of the Greek name Kallistos and means ‘best.’

53. Kallergis

This Greek surname is a combination of two Greek words, Kalon meaning ‘beautiful’ and ergon meaning ‘work’ or ‘accomplishment.’

54. Kalogeras

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

55.Kalogeropoulos

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

56. Karagiannis

This Greek last name means ‘black John.’

57. 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.

58. Katopodis

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

59. Katsaros

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

60. 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.

61. Konstantinopolites

This surname is after a popular place in Greece. People belonging from Constantinople usually have this surname.

62. Kokkinos

The Greek last name means ‘the color red.’

63. Kouris

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

64. Kyriaku

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

65. Laskaris

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

66. Lekas

This surname origins from Leka, an Albanian personal name. It means ‘Alexander.’

67. Leos

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

68. Levidis

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

69. Loukanis

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

70. Lykaios

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

71. Mallas

It means ‘trowel’ and is an occupational name for bricklayers.

72. Mandrapilias

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

73. 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.

74. Markopoulos

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

75. Marsalis

This surname means ‘little soldier’ or ‘warlike’ and is a form of the name Marcellus.

76. Masalis

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

77. Matsouka

This means ‘bat’ in Greek.

78. Matthiou

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

79. 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.’

80. Melissenos

This surname is associated with the Greek name Melissa, meaning ‘bee’ or ‘bee keeper.’

81. 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.’

82. Nanos

It is a descriptive nickname derived from the vocabulary element, ‘nanos’ meaning ‘dwarf.’

83. Nephus

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

84. Nikolaou

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

85. Nomikos

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

86. Onasis

This Greek surname means ‘lover.’

87. Orologas

This Greek surname means ‘watchmaker.’ It is an occupational surname, and the female version of the name is ‘Orologa.’

87. Othonos

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

89. Pachis

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

90. Pagonis

This Greek surname is derived from the word Pagoni, which means ‘peacock.’

91. Palimeris

This surname is derived from the Greek name Palmiere, which translates to ‘pilgrim.’

92. Panagos

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

93. Pantazis

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

protip_icon 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.

94. Papachristodoulopoulos

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

95. Papamichael

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

96. Papatonis

This Greek surname means ’a badass man.’

97. Papazoglou

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

98. Pappas

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

99. Pavlides

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

100. Persopoulos

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

101. Petrakis

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

102. Raptis

This is an occupational surname for a tailor. It is derived from the classic Greek name ‘raptein,’ which means ‘to sew.’

103. Remis

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

104. Rosi

Rosi, Greek surnames or last names

Image: IStock

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

105. Rousopoulos

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

106. Samaras

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

107. Sarris

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

108. Savas

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

109. Scala

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

110. Selinofoto

This Greek surname means ‘moonlight.’

111. Servopoulos

This Greek surname means ‘descendant of a Serb.’

112. Sgouros

It means ‘curly haired’ in medieval Greek. The name is derived from the Greek word gyros (round).’

113. 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.’

114. Stefanopoulos

This surname in Greek means ‘son of Stefan.’

115. Thanos

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

116. Theodoropoulos

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

117. Tsaoussis

Tsaoussis, Greek surnames or last names

Image: IStock

This Greek surname means ‘Peacock.’

118. Tsitak

It means ‘God.’

119. Vasilakis

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

120. Voulgaropoulos

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

121. Vouvali

In Greek, this surname means ‘buffalo.’

122. Xiphias

It means ‘swordfish.’

123. Yiannopoulos

The Greek surname means ‘son of Yianni.’

124. Zafeiriou

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

125. Zika

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

Discover More Names

When you have to choose a name for your baby, a few hundreds of names may not be just enough. Keep digging our mine of baby names until you find that one precious gem.

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.

3. Why do some Greeks have Turkish last names?

The presence of Turkish last names among some Greeks can be attributed to historical and cultural ties that have shaped the region over the centuries. Greece and Turkey share a complex history of interactions, including periods of coexistence, conflict, and population exchanges.

4. Do Greek last names end in s?

Generally, Greek family names followed a pattern where the masculine versions ended with “-s,” while the feminine versions and diminutives concluded with “-u.”

5. Are there any regional variations in Greek surnames?

There may be regional variations in Greek surnames. Greece has a long history and a diverse population, so different regions may have unique naming conventions and surnames specific to their area. These variations can be influenced by migratory patterns, ethnic groups, and cultural and linguistic factors.

6. How do Greek surnames compare to surnames in other European countries?

Unlike European countries, Greek surnames often have roots in mythology and a complex word structure. Additionally, Greek surnames often carry cultural and regional significance and reflect their clan history, unlike other European surnames.

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

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. A guide to names and naming practices;
    https://www.fbiic.gov/public/2008/nov/Naming_practice_guide_UK_2006.pdf
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