Hungarians, also known as Magyars, are the indigenous people of Hungary, which is called Magyarorszag by the Hungarians. Their official language is Hungarian —the most widely spoken Uralic language in the world. Most Hungarian names come from this language.
The Hungarian names have family names first. Some surnames or family names are derived from professions, while others originate from non-Magyar ethnic groups. During the existence of the Austria-Hungary empire, people of non-Hungarian descent adopted Hungarian surnames. These individuals were mostly Germans, Slovaks, and Jews. While some Germans translated their names into Hungarian, some modified their original German surnames into a Hungarian form.
This post takes you through a list of the most common Hungarian surnames or last names with their meanings.
100 Popular Hungarian Surnames Or Last Names
Acs is an occupational surname for a ‘carpenter.’ Hungarian-born American architect Gabor Acs is a famous namesake.
It is derived from the Hungarian element ‘alma,’ meaning ‘apple.’ It refers to a person who sells or harvests apples.
Arany means ‘golden.’ Hungarian poet Janos Arany is a popular bearer of this surname.
The common Hungarian last name means ‘axeman.’ It is an occupational surname.
Barany means ‘lamb’ in Hungarian. It is also an occupational name for a shepherd and also used as a nickname for someone who resembles a lamb.
It is a habitational name indicating someone from Bator, a village in Hungary. This last name was of a Hungarian noble family who historically controlled the town.
Becskei refers to a person from Becske town in Hungary.
Biro means ‘judge’ in Hungarian. A popular namesake is Laszlo Biro, a Hungarian inventor who popularized ballpoint pens.
This Hungarian surname is derived from the word ‘bokor’ meaning ‘bush.’ It is a topographic name for someone who lived near bushes.
It is derived from the Hungarian element ‘bor’ meaning ‘wine.’ The surname indicates someone who makes or sells wine.
It refers to ‘titmouse bird’ in Hungarian, and was primarily a nickname.
This habitational name refers to Czech in Hungarian.
The Hungarian surname Csany refers to a noble family in the Kingdom of Hungary and first appeared in the early 14th century.
It is a nickname, originated from the Hungarian element Csonka meaning ‘mutilated.’
The Hungarian alternative of Dennis derived from Dionysus, the Thracian God of wine. The variants are Dienes, Denes, and Gyenes.
Dobos means ‘drummer’ in Hungarian. Some of the popular people with this surname are Attila Dobos, the Hungarian footballer, and Gabor Dobos, the Hungarian sprinter.
It is derived from the word Duna, the Hungarian name for the river Danube.
Erdos is derived from the Hungarian element ‘erdo,’ meaning ‘forest.’ It is an occupational name referring to ‘a forester.’
Eros is a short and popular surname in Hungary and means ‘strong.’
It is taken from the Hungarian word ‘farag,’ meaning ‘cut or carve.’ This is an occupational name for a woodcutter.
Fazekas is an occupational surname for a ‘potter’ in Hungarian.
A variant of Feher, it was originally a nickname for a person with a pale complexion or white hair. Feher is a Hungarian word for white.
The surname is taken from the Hungarian element ‘fej,’ meaning ‘head.’ It was initially used as a nickname for a stubborn person.
Fekete means ‘black in Hungarian,’ which is originally a nickname for those with dark hair or dark complexion.
It is derived from ‘Franciscus,’ the ethnic name used to describe ‘Frank,’ later known as a ‘Frenchman.’
Fodor means ‘curly or wavy’ in Hungarian, and indicates someone with curly or wavy hair.
Gabor is originally a personal name and is a Hungarian form of Gabriel, meaning ‘God is my strength.’
This Hungarian surname has multiple origins. It means ‘peak or height’ in Basque, and is also an Indian Bengali surname.
Gorog means ‘Greek’ in Hungarian, and is a common surname in Hungary.
Gulyas means ‘herdsman or tender of cows.’ It is an occupational name referring to the keeper of a herd.
Hajos means ‘boatman or sailor.’ and is likely to be an occupational name in Hungary.
It is an occupational name for a fisherman in Hungary. Halasz is derived from the element ‘hal,’ meaning ‘fish’ with an occupational suffix ‘-asz.’
It the habitational name for someone who lives near or on the hill. It is taken from the Hungarian element ‘halom,’ meaning ‘mound or small hill.’
The second most common surname in Hungary, and the most common surname in Slovakia, borne by the descendants of Hungarians. It refers to Horvat, meaning a person from Croatia.
This Hungarian last name is derived from the Old Croatian word ‘husar,’ meaning ‘robber or plunderer.’ It is the status name for a hussar, a member of the cavalry regiment.
It is taken from the old ecclesiastical name and a variant for Elias. This surname is the Hungarian form of Elijah.
It is a Hungarian word for ‘good.’ Jo has its origin in Hebrew, meaning ‘he shall increase’ and a feminine version of Joseph.
It is the occupational name for ‘shepherd’ in Hungarian. It is derived from the elements ‘juh,’ meaning ‘sheep’ and occupational suffix ‘-asz.’
Kadar means ‘cooper or barrel maker’ in Hungarian. It is an occupational name and also has Slavic origin.
Kalmar is an occupational name for ‘shopkeeper or merchant’,’ and it also has a Germanic origin.
Kardos means ‘sword,’ and is an occupational surname indicating sword makers, soldiers, or one with a pugnacious nature.
Katona means ‘soldier’ in Hungarian and is likely to be an occupational surname.
It is derived from the Hungarian word ‘kerek,’ meaning ‘wheel.’ This is an occupational name for a maker of wheels.
This common surname is derived from the Hungarian element ‘kis,’ meaning ‘small.’ It is usually used as a nickname for a person of small stature. Some popular bearers of this surname are Tamas Pal Kiss, the Hungarian racing driver, and Zoltan Kiss, the Hungarian football player.
It is an occupational name for someone who makes garlands, and is derived from Hungarian ‘koszoru,’ meaning ‘garland or wreath.’
It is a Hungarian word for ‘horn’ and also has its origin in the Turkish language, meaning ‘wolf.’
Lakatos means ‘locksmith’ in Hungarian and is of Romance origin.
Lantos is from the Hungarian word ‘lant,’ meaning ‘lute.’ It refers to ‘minstrel, bard or lutist.’
It is an ethnic name for a Pole and is also used to refer to Polish speakers and those who inhabited Poland.
This Hungarian last name is derived from the given name, Lukacs, an equivalent of Lucas.
Magyar means ‘Hungarian,’ and is most often given to those who live in the rural regions of Hungary.
This is a habitational name for someone living in the Hungarian village named ‘Meggyesfalva.’ It means ‘cherry village’ derived from ‘meggy,’ meaning ‘cherry and ‘falu,’ meaning ‘village.’
It means ‘butcher’ in Hungarian and an occupational name. Meszaros is taken from the Slavic loanword ‘meszar,’ which is derived from ‘meso,’ meaning ‘meat.’
The most common Hungarian surname, and is from a nickname meaning ‘big or great’ referring to one’s characteristics.
Nemes means ‘noble or gentle’ in Hungarian. It is a nickname for an honorable or distinguished-looking person.
It is the name of a local river and indicates someone from Nitra, a city of Slovakia (formerly in Hungary).
Olah refers to ‘Romanian’ in Hungarian. and is from old Slavic ‘volhu,’ meaning ‘Romance speaker.’
It is a nickname for a big or strong man and is taken from Hungarian ‘oles,’ meaning ‘well-built or strong.’
Ori is a habitational name for someone living in any place named Or in Hungary.
It is derived from the Hungarian element ‘patak,’ meaning ‘creek or brook.’ This toponymic name indicates someone who is living near a creek.
This Hungarian last name indicates someone from Pest, which is one of the towns that was joined to form Budapest.
Puskas is an occupational name for a cannon maker or gunsmith. It is taken from Hungarian ‘puska,’ meaning ‘gun.’
It is from the Hungarian element ‘puszta’ meaning ‘plain.’ This is usually given to someone inhabiting a plain.
This is derived from the Hungarian word ‘rac,’ meaning ‘Rascian.’ It is the former name for Serbians who were living in the Habsburg Empire.
It indicates someone from Sarkoz, a region in Hungary, and is derived from elements ‘sar,’ meaning ‘mud’ and ‘koz,’ meaning ‘margin or lane.’
It is taken from the Hungarian ‘Szereda,’ which is an old secular personal name. It is also a well-established name in Russia.
It is an occupational name for a piper or fife player, and is taken from the Hungarian word ‘sip,’ meaning ‘whistle or pipe.’
Solyom means ‘hawk or falcon’ in Hungarian, and was primarily a nickname.
The name was originally given to beer brewers, and is derived from Hungarian ‘sor,’ meaning ‘beer.’
It is a metonymic occupational name for salt producer or seller, and derived from Hungarian ‘so’ meaning ‘salt.’
Szarka means ‘magpie’ in Hungarian, and is used as a euphemistic term for a thief.
It denotes a person of Szekely ancestry. They are a population of Hungarians who live in central Romania.
It means ‘cart or wagon’ in Hungarian, and is an occupational surname given for cartmen.
This Hungarian last name is derived from the elements ‘szil,’ meaning ‘elm’ and ‘agy,’ meaning ‘bed.’ It is a habitational name for someone from the region of Szilagyi in Hungary.
It is derived from the Hungarian word ‘szombat,’ meaning ‘Saturday.’
It is an occupational surname for a furrier in Hungarian.
Takacs is an occupational surname given to a weaver.
It is a patronymic surname derived from the personal name Tamas, a Hungarian form of Thomas.
Tar is derived from the Hungarian element ‘tar,’ meaning ‘bald.’
The habitational surname denoting someone from either of two places named Tard in Somogy and Borsod countries.
It is a Hungarian word for a tanner or cobbler. This is an occupational surname.
Timko is a pet form of the ecclesiastical name Timot, which is a reduced form of Latin Tymotheus.
Tot is an ethnic name for ‘Slovak’ or ‘Slovene’ and is from the Hungarian tot. Toth is its variant form.
This is a nickname or an occupational name for a hunter of wild game. It is derived from Hungarian ‘vad,’ meaning ‘wild.’
It is a derivative of vam meaning ‘customs.’ This Hungarian last name refers to a ‘custom officer.’
This Hungarian surname is from a pet form of the given name Ivan, which is a Slavic form of John.
This occupational surname is taken from the Hungarian element ‘varga,’ meaning ‘shoemaker’ or ‘cobbler.’
This is a habitational name for someone who lived in the place called Vari in Bekes or Bereg county in Hungary.
It is taken from the Hungarian word ‘vas’ meaning ‘iron,’ and refers to a worker in iron, or a vendor of iron goods.
Vastag was originally a nickname used in Hungary, and it means ‘stout or thick.’
This is a topographic name for someone who lives at the end of a village, derived from Hungarian ‘veg’ meaning ‘end.’
Vereb means ‘sparrow,’ and is originally a nickname for someone who resembles a bird.
Vida is a patronymic surname derived from the ecclesiastical name ‘vid,’ taken from Latin ‘vitus.’ It means ‘life.’
It is the Hungarian word for ‘cheerful or happy.’ Vig was used as a nickname for a funny or happy person.
Virag means ‘flower’ in Hungarian. This surname was initially used as a nickname.
It refers to someone with a red face or hair and has Hungarian origin.
It is a habitational surname denoting someone from the city of Senta in Serbia. It was formerly a part of Hungary and was called Zenta.
It means ‘son of Zoltan,’ which is related to the Turkish sultan meaning ‘sultan or king.’ This surname is derived from the 10th-century Hungarian ruler, who was known as Zsolt.
Zsoldos means ‘mercenary’ and has its origin in Hungarian.
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 Hungarians use middle names?
Most names have a family name and then the given name. Middle names are usually not a part of Hungarian names. Even compounded initials are not a part of the traditional naming style.
2. How do Hungarians name their children?
The first names could be inspired by moral values, mythology, or religious meanings. The surnames could be patrilineal.
3. What are the differences between surnames in Hungary and other countries?
There is not much of a difference as Hungarian surnames too, like other country surnames, are connected to their native language and history. Hungarian surnames are also based on professions, geographic location and lineage or ancestry.
4. How have Hungarian surnames evolved over the years?
Hungarian surnames were originally based on profession and occupation. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Hungary’s population was made up of migrants of various nationalities, including Jewish, German, and Slovakian. The majority of non-natives translated their original surname into Hungarian, although some Germans preserved their original surnames, resulting in a surname mix in Hungary.
5. What is the significance of the suffix “-i” in Hungarian surnames?
In Hungary, the suffix ‘-i,’ interchangeable with ‘-y,’ denotes ‘from’ or ‘of’ a place. For instance, the habitational surname Bathori or Bathory refers to a person from the Hungarian village of Bator.
6. Are there particular patterns associated with Hungarian surnames?
Hungarian surnames often follow a specific pattern that provide clues about their origin or meaning. For instance, surnames with the suffix ‘-fi’ or ‘fy’ means ‘son of.’ So, the last name Zoltanfi means the son of Zoltan. Similarly, surnames based on occupations reveal the occupation of their ancestor.
7. How can I research my Hungarian surname?
You can gather information on Hungarian surnames from your older relatives and native Hungarians. You can check out online databases and genealogy websites to find out more about the history of your surname. You can also visit Hungarian libraries and archives, which house historical records and materials pertaining to Hungarian surnames.
These Hungarian last names or surnames represent the history of the country. These traditional names have been in usage for centuries and carry a legacy. Most of these last names are occupational and hence represent the livelihood of the communities that were common through the ages. You may have also noticed that Hungarian last names have diverse origins. Hence, these names also give a glimpse into the history of Europe. With their profound meanings, we are sure that these Hungarian names would have inspired you to learn more about the country and its people.
Infographic: Hungarian Surnames Or Last Names
Somebody said it right, “You can know a lot about a person by their name.” If you want to know and explore Hungary from the comfort of your home, start with the people’s surnames that reflect their family history and background. Go ahead and share this infographic with friends who would love to know the different last names of the country.
Discover the fascinating history and meanings behind Hungarian last names. Learn about the origins and unique stories behind each name.