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Updated May 25, 2022

If you are looking to find out more about your Persian, Iranian, Muslim, or even Arabic heritage, take a look at these lists of surnames. Iran was once the country of Persia, and if you are Persian or have Persian ancestors, you may find your last name here.

History of Persian Surnames

Persian is an Iranian language that is sometimes referred to as Farsi. The country of Iran was called Persia before 1935 and the Persian people called it Iran long before the rest of the world. It is common for people to use Iranian, Persian, and Farsi interchangeably. Many names in Iran are derived from Arabic, which is why most of their surnames have that origin. This is because of the Muslim conquest of Persia (the Arab conquest of Iran).

Persian Naming Practices

Before 1919, the Persian people didn’t have surnames. Of course, this changed when Reza Shah came into power and made it mandatory. Since then, the most popular surname in Iran is Ahmadi.

Common Persian Surnames and Meanings

  1. Ahmad - This Persian name is of Arabic origin and it means “highly praised.”
  2. Behnam - This last name is Persian and Iranian. It means “honorable.”
  3. Gul - This is a common surname that is sometimes seen as a personal name. It means “rose” in Persian and Turkish.
  4. Hasan/Hassan - This is a Muslim name that means “good” or “handsome” in Arabic.
  5. Khan - This surname is used as a title for a military man or someone of royalty. It is of Turkic and Mongolian origin but popular in Persia (modern Iran).
  6. Masoumi - This Persian or Farsi name is common in both Iran and Persia. It means “innocence.”
  7. Mehri - This name of Persian origin is derived from the Persian word “Mehr.” It means “lovable.”
  8. Mir - This surname is popular in several countries including Pakistan and India. It is of Persian origin and a variant of the Arabic name “Amir” and means “prince.”
  9. Mirza - This is another version of the Persian surname “Mir.” It means “royal prince.”
  10. Rashidi - This last name is of Arabic origin and it is also a masculine personal name. It means “thinker” or “wise man.”
  11. Reza - This name is of both Persian and Iranian origin. It means “to be pleased” and is also the Persian form of the Arabic word “Rida.”
  12. Shah - This last name was given as a title to kings and emperors in Western Persia, which is known today as the country of Iran.

Unique Persian Surnames

  1. Ahmadi - This is a Muslim Arabic family name that means “descended from Ahmad.”
  2. Bukhari - Bukhara is a Persian-speaking city located in Uzbekistan. “Bukhari” is a Muslim habitational surname for someone who resides in Bukhara.
  3. Ghasemi - This is a Persian and Iranian last name that is derived from the given name “Ghasem.” It means “one who distributes.”
  4. Haji - This is an Arabic surname and first name. It means “one who has completed the Hajj to Mecca.”
  5. Kazemi - This is an Arabic name used for followers of Musa al-Kazim. It means “one who controls his anger.”
  6. Latifi - This is a Persian and Muslim surname that means “gentle” or “kind.”
  7. Madani - This Muslim name comes from the Arabic term for a follower of Madaniyya. It means “urban” or “civilized.”
  8. Rouhani - The meaning of this last name is “spiritual” or “cleric” in Persian.
  9. Sattari - In Persian Farsi, this name means “one who veils or conceals.”
  10. Turan - This is an area in Central Asia. It means “land of the Tur” in Persian and was used for people who lived there.
  11. Zadeh - This last name is most often used as a patronymic suffix and it means “son of.” It is derived from the Persian word for “son” which is “Zada.”
  12. Zaman - This surname is derived from an Arabic Muslim personal name that means “time.”

Stefanie Miller

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