Sardinian Last Names

Sardinia (Sardegna in Italian) is the region where the top 10 last names make up almost 10% of the population (in Piemonte and the Venice area, the top 10 make up only 2%, whilst in Campania it makes up 5%) and you need less than 100 last names to make up a third of the total population of the island.

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Another particularity of Sardian last names is that they are not amongst the most common in the rest of Italy because they have maintained a Latin influence rather than Italian dialects, ending mostly in -s and -u.

Some examples of this are Solinas and Porcu and surnames which are related to ethnic adjectives such as Romano which corrisponds to Romanu, Pisano to Pisanu, Lucchese to Lucchesu.

A lot of popular family names derive from nicknames such as Sanna ("fang"), Mereu ("brunette"), Pinna ("nostril"), Spanu ("redhead"), Virdis ("olive skin tone"), Manca ("left handed"), Canu ("white haired"), Nieddu ("black"), Pintus ("painted") and others related to agricultural work and farming Piras ("pear"), Melis ("apple"), Mura ("mulberry"), Murtas ("blueberry"), Floris ("flower"), Vacca ("cow"), Meloni ("melons"), Mele ("honey"), Fenu ("hay"), Puddu ("chicken"), Boi ("ox"), Usai (type of "garlic").

However, more distinctive are those associated to a physical appearance or behaviour Pilloni ("bird"), Cadeddu ("puppy"), Lodde ("fox"), Piga ("magpie").