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Whether you have Romanian or even Slavic roots, you might be wondering about the significance of your last name. We are going to talk about the history and practices behind Romanian surnames so you can get a clear picture of your ancestors. Plus, we have several categories of last names below, so you can see how common yours is.
Origin and History of Romanian Last Names
Romanian surnames are influenced by many cultural aspects. This includes nature, occupation, and family history. Last names in Romania differ between men and women. You can typically tell the difference based on the suffix used. Boys’ names end in a consonant while girls’ names end in “a.” Of course, this isn’t always the case.
Romanian Naming Traditions
Romanian naming conventions often add ancestral suffixes to their surnames. These are “escu,” “an,” “anu,” “aru,” and “atu.” Children in Romania take on their father’s last name unless there isn’t a patriarch, then they use their mother’s last name. The Romanians defaulted to using a patronym in the mid-19th century and combining it with one of the ancestral suffixes.
The Most Common Romanian Last Names
- Albescu - This last name is derived from the Romanian word “alb” which means “white.”
- Albu - This is another Romanian surname that means “white.” It is a variation of “Albescu.”
- Andrei - This is the Romanian form of “Andrew” and it means “brave” or “manly.”
- Bucur - This name of Romanian origin means “happiness.”
- Cazacu - This is a topographic surname for someone who lives along the Cazacu River.
- Cel Tradat - This Romanian surname means “the betrayed one.”
- Cristian - This is the Romanian form of “Christian” and it means “follower of Christ.”
- Enache - This Romanian last name is of Hebrew origin and it means “comforter.”
- Ioveanu - This last name is patronymic for “son of Ivan.”
- Luca - This Romanian surname is derived from the personal name “Luca” which means “light” or “from Lucania.”
- Mitrea - This Romanian last name is of Greek origin and it means “administrator.”
- Nicolescu - This name is patronymic for “son of Nicolae.”
Romanian Surnames Inspired by Plants, Animals, and People
- Balan - This surname is derived from a Romanian nickname for someone blond.
- Barbu - This last name is derived from the Romanian word "barbat” which means “bearded one.”
- Cojocaru - This name is derived from the Romanian word “cojoc” which means “sheepskin coat.”
- Dalca - This Romanian surname means “lightning.”
- Dragavei - This last name is derived from the Romanian name for the Curly Lock plant.
- Floarea - This Romanian last name means “flower.”
- Lupu - This name is of Romanian origin and is derived from the word “lup” which means “wolf.”
- Vulpe - This last name means “fox” in Romanian.
- Zimbrean - This surname is Romanian for “a bison.”
Occupational Romanian Surnames
- Baciu - This Romanian surname means “leader of the shepherds.”
- Ciobanu - This last name means “to the shepherd.”
- Croitoru - This Romanian occupational name means “tailor.”
- Dascalu - This surname means “teacher” in Romanian.
- Fieraru - This is an occupational surname that means “blacksmith.”
- Fischer - This Romanian surname means “fisherman.”
- Funar - This last name means “rope maker.”
- Maier - This is the short form of the Romanian word meaning "farmer. "
- Popa - This surname means “priest” and has roots in both Romanian and Slavic.
- Vacarescu - Thia family name was used for people who were in the cattle business in Romania.
- Zamfir - This is an occupational name for a jeweler.