Liguria Last Names

In the Liguria area, there are many common surnames such as Parodi, Pedemonte, Bruzzone, Bacigalupo, Dellepiane and other surnames that are common to the North West of Italy. There is also a significant presence of surnames from the south of Italy due to internal migration in the twentieth century.

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In an analysis of surnames derived from nicknames, one example is Bacigalupo (derived from the verb bacigare which means "to tease, bother or hit") most probably given to an annoying person or a gossip (the complete sense is "one who could even annoy a wolf"). In the same vein and with a similar meaning, we have the surnames Pittaluga and Sciaccaluga which means "one who crushes grapes", used again to indicate an annoying person.

Other names associated to nicknames, in particular to indicate physical characteristics are Traverso (meaning both "cross-eyed" and "stocky/crooked"), Ricci ("curly") and the local variants on that including Risso, Calcagno ("heel") and Caviglia ("ankle"), Ferrando (meaning "grey iron", originally used to indicate the colour of a horses' mantle).

Amongst the surnames deriving from first names, in Liguria we have Oliveri and Olivieri (from the name Oliviero, very common in the past), Ottonello (short for the germanic name Oddo) and even Delfino ("dolphin", half way between a persons' name and nickname from the occupation of many people along the coastline).

Amongst the surnames deriving from crafts, we can include Cànepa (from "hemp" referring to the profession of a rope maker), Barbieri and Barberis (obviously originating from the barbers profession), Boero ("cow herdsman") and also Pastorino, Ferraro and Ferraris ("blacksmith"), Molinari ("miller"). Not tied to a profession but noble titles, we have the surnames Conte, Vassallo, Marchese, Patrone, Potestà.

The most common surname in Liguria is Parodi, which could derive from the town Parodi Ligure or Litta Parodi. More typical of the North West of the Liguria, are names tied to locations such as Massa, Villa, Valle ("valley"), Torre ("tower"), Serra ("greenhouse") and Costa (indicating the mountain slopes and the coastline).

As in Piedmont, in Liguria the single form prevails with the final ending in -o and in -e such are the cases with Pesce ("fish"), Delfino ("dolphin"), Ferrando, Carbone ("coal"), Pastorino, Calcagno...

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