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100 Famous Brazilian Last Names: Traditional and Offbeat

Updated
Brazil is huge, and so is this list of Brazilian last names!

Few countries in the world are as gigantic and diverse as Brazil. It’s famous the world over for its beautiful rainforests, enormous cities, and incredible soccer team. With a population of over 200 million, it makes it easy to get lost in the endlessness of Brazilian last names.

Come on a journey through this gorgeous land of Brazilian surnames with Portuguese, Spanish, Indigenous, and African origins. Along the way, you’ll also discover famous namesakes, name variations, and the proper pronunciations for many cool last names.


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100 Popular Brazilian Surnames

Find out the stories behind traditional Brazilian last names you’ll always remember.

Almeida

Almedia is one of several Brazilian last names based on a place name. It refers to someone “from Almeida” in Portugal. Almeida sat at the foot of a hill since it’s associated with the Arabic “almejia,” meaning “landing place of a staircase.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Flat land
  • Pronunciation: Ael-MEY-dah
  • Variations: Almaida
  • Namesakes: Laurindo Almeida, a Brazilian guitarist and one of the creators of bossa nova. Aílton Almeida, a Brazilian footballer for F.C. Copenhagen.
  • Popularity: Almeida ranked 403rd worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, where it ranked 43rd in 2014.
Topographical, Popular

Alves

Alvez is a patronymic surname for the “son of Alvaro.” It’s also a 13th-century Scottish surname, meaning “plain by a cliff,” linked to Alves in Northern Scotland.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Scottish
  • Meaning: Son of Alvaro
  • Pronunciation: AHL-vehz
  • Variations: Alvez
  • Namesakes: Jéssika Alves, a Brazilian actress and co-host of TV Globinho. Maria Thereza Alves, a Brazilian-American artist who co-founded the Green Party of São Paulo in 1987.
  • Popularity: Alves ranked 110th worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, ranking 4th in 2014.
Patronymic, Popular

Amaral

Amaral refers to a plantation filled with grapes called “amara.” It relates to the Latin “amara,” meaning “bitter,” and represents several locations in Portugal called Amaral.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Plantation of Amares
  • Pronunciation: Ah-maa-RAHL
  • Namesakes: Dante Amaral, a Brazilian volleyball player with the Brazil men’s national volleyball team. Sérgio Amaral, the Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade from 2001 to 2003.
  • Popularity: Amaral ranked 1,552nd worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, where it ranked 141st in 2014.
Topographical, Common

Andrade

Andrade is a location in Spain, yet this surname also means “descendant of Andres,” the Spanish variant of Andrew. As the Latin “andreas,” also means “domain of the strong.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: From Andrade
  • Pronunciation: Ahn-DRAH-dey
  • Variations: Andrada, Andrado
  • Namesakes: Fabrício Andrade, a Brazilian mixed martial artist and current ONE Bantamweight World Champion. Oswald Andrade, a Brazilian poet and member of the Group of Five.
  • Popularity: Andrade ranked 454th worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, ranking 57th in 2014.
Strong, Topographical

Antunes

Antunes is a unique surname for a “son of Antonio.” It dates back to the Roman name Antonius and is very popular in Brazil today.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Son of Antonio
  • Pronunciation: Ahn-TUW-nehs
  • Variations: Antunez
  • Namesakes: Arnaldo Antunes, a Brazilian musician and member of the rock band Titãs. Vitorino Antunes, a Portuguese footballer for F.C. Paços de Ferreira.
  • Popularity: Antunes ranked 1,500th worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, where it ranked 107th in 2014.
Patronymic, Common

Aparecido

Aparecideo is one of the Brazilian surnames most common in Sao Paulo. It’s based on the Latin “appareo,” meaning “manifest,” and is made up of “ad,” meaning “towards” and “pāreō,” meaning “be visible.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Manifest
  • Pronunciation: Ah-Paar-eh-SIY-dow
  • Variations: Aparcedo
  • Namesakes: Leonardo Aparecido Moura, a Brazilian footballer for Santos. César Aparecido Rodrigues, a Brazilian footballer with the Brazilian National Team.
  • Popularity: Aparecido ranked 1,058th worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, ranking 56th in 2014.
Unique, Common

Araújo

Araújo is the name of more than one location in Spain and Portugal. It appears in the Latin “araujia sericifera,” a climbing plant with white flowers.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: From Araújo
  • Pronunciation: Ah-rah-UW-how
  • Variations: Araúxo
  • Namesakes: Taís Araújo, a Brazilian actress known for the telenovela Cobras & Lagartos (2006). Arturo Araujo, the president of El Salvador from March 1931 to December 1931.
  • Popularity: Araújo is uncommon worldwide and mostly used in Brazil, where it ranked 328th in 2014.
Topographical, Unusual

Assis

Assis derives from Assisi, indicating a “follower of Saint Francis of Assisi.” It was a name that Portuguese colonists often gave to African slaves named after a prominent Catholic figure. Assis is also a city in São Paulo, Brazil.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Italian
  • Meaning: Follower of St. Francis
  • Pronunciation: Ah-SEES
  • Variations: Assisi
  • Namesakes: Francisco Assis, a Portuguese member of the European Parliament from 2014 until 2019. João Assis, a Brazilian mixed martial artist and the 2013 ADCC Submission Grappling World Champion.
  • Popularity: Assis is rare worldwide and mainly used in Brazil, ranking 207th in 2014.
Unique, Topographical

Azevedo

Acevedo is associated with the Portuguese “azevinho,” which refers to the European holly plant. The Spanish Azevo also means “holly,” while the similar Acebedo is a place name in Castile and Leon, Spain.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Holly
  • Pronunciation: Ah-seh-VEY-dow
  • Variations: de Acevedo, Aceveda
  • Namesakes: Reinaldo Azevedo, a Brazilian columnist for the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper. Eduardo Azevedo, a Brazilian race car driver and the 2002 South American Formula Three champion.
  • Popularity: Azevedo ranked 1,843rd worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, where it ranked 49th in 2014.
Unique, Common

Bahiense

Bahiense’s exact meaning among Brazilian family names is unknown. It may be linked to the Urbanodendron Bahiense plant species, known to grow in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

  • Origin: Brazilian
  • Meaning: Unknown
  • Pronunciation: Bahi-ense
  • Variations: Baa-hee-EHN-sey
  • Popularity: Bahiense is very rare worldwide and mostly used in Brazil.
Rare, Unusual
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Barbosa

Barbosa is sometimes linked to the Spanish “barba,” for a native plant, but also denotes a person “from Barbosa.” It’s also typical as a nickname for a man with a beard in Portugal.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Bearded
  • Pronunciation: Baar-BOW-sah
  • Variations: Barbarossa
  • Namesakes: Anderson Barbosa, a Brazilian striker footballer for Sociedade Esportiva do Gama. Frederico Barbosa, a Brazilian poet who won the 2008 São Paulo Prize for Literature.
  • Popularity: Barbosa ranked 277th worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, ranking 17th in 2014.
Nicknames, Popular

Barros

Barros was once given to a “dweller in a damp place,” based on the Portuguese “barro,” meaning “clay loam.” It refers to any “newly cultivated” land one lives nearby.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Damp place
  • Pronunciation: BAA-rohs
  • Variations: de Barros, Barrios
  • Namesakes: Leila Barros, a Brazilian politician, volleyball player, and winner of the 1998 volleyball Grand Prix. Pía Barros, a Chilean writer and part of the Generation of ’80.
  • Popularity: Barros ranked 851st worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, where it ranked 76th in 2014.
Topographical, Common

Benites

Benites is one of many Brazilian last names that uses an “-a” suffix instead of the Spanish “-z.” It means “the son of Benito,” the Spanish form of Benedict, meaning “blessed.” Benites is also a village near Ávila, Spain.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Son of Benito
  • Pronunciation: Beh-NIY-tehz
  • Variations: Benitez
  • Popularity: Benites is rare worldwide, primarily used in Peru, and ranked 679th in Brazil in 2014.
Patronymic, Traditional

Bezerra

Bezerra is the Portuguese word for a “female calf” and originated in Ponte de Lima. It’s also thought to be associated with Sephardi Jews living in Northern Portugal.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Heifer
  • Pronunciation: Beh-ZEHR-aa
  • Variations: Bezerro
  • Namesakes: Eliana Bezerra, a Brazilian TV host of Eliana since 2009. José Bezerra (known as Ed Benes), a Brazilian comic book artist known for the DC Comics Supergirl.
  • Popularity: Bezerra ranked 858th worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, ranking 50th in 2014.
Old, Unusual

Borges

Borges denotes a person from Borja but can mean “son of Borgo.” It’s linked with the Arabic “burdz,” meaning “tower,” and also means “of the town.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Bourgeois
  • Pronunciation: BOAR-gehs
  • Variations: Borjas
  • Namesakes: Jorge Luis Borges, an Argentine short-story writer and member of the 20th-century magic realist movement. Lô Borges, a Brazilian founding member of the group Clube da Esquina.
  • Popularity: Borges ranked 664th worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, where it ranked 49th in 2014.
Topographical, Unique

Cabral

Cabral derives from the Spanish “cabra,” meaning “goat.” Several locations in Spain and Portugal are named Cabral, meaning “place of goats,” from the Latin “capra,” meaning “goat.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Goat
  • Pronunciation: Kaa-BRAAL
  • Variations: Cabrales
  • Namesakes: Donald Reid Cabral, the President of the Dominican Republic from 1963 to 1965. Sérgio Cabral Filho, the 61st governor of Rio de Janeiro from 2007 to 2014.
  • Popularity: Cabral ranked 1,165th worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, ranking 135th in 2014.
Common, Occupational

Campos

Campos means “fields,” but refers to someone who lived among fields or one “from the town of Campos, Spain.” It’s hard to decipher which Campos is home, since over 70 towns across Spain are named after it.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Field(s)
  • Pronunciation: KAAM-pohs
  • Variations: Campo, de Campo
  • Namesakes: Bruno Campos, a Brazilian actor known for the sitcom Jesse. Edimo Ferreira Campos, a Brazilian footballer for Palmeiras.
  • Popularity: Campos ranked 390th worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, where it ranked 82nd in 2014.
Topographical, Popular

Cardoso

The Spanish town of Cardodo was called a “place where thistles grew.” “Cardo” itself means “thistle,” while the “-oso” suffix refers to the place where the plant in question grew.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Place of thistles
  • Pronunciation: Kaar-DOW-soh
  • Variations: Cardozo
  • Namesakes: Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the 34th president of Brazil from 1995 to 2002. Laura Cardoso, a Brazilian actress known for the telenovela Brilhante.
  • Popularity: Cardoso ranked 386th worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, ranking 35th in 2014.
Topographical, Unique

Carvalho

Carvalho means “oak tree” and was used for any Portuguese location with plentiful oaks. It also appears in western India because of Portuguese colonialism.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Oak
  • Pronunciation: Kaar-VAAL-ow
  • Variations: de Carvalho, Carvallo
  • Namesakes: Gracie Carvalho, a Brazilian model who appeared for Tommy Hilfiger in 2010. Luiz Fernando Carvalho, a Brazilian director known for To the Left of the Father (2001).
  • Popularity: Carvalho ranked 564th worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, where it ranked 41st in 2014.
Common, Topographical

Cerva

Cerva is one of the less common Brazilian surnames with Italian origins. “La cerva” means “the doe” in Italian, while it’s also linked to those living in the former Austro-Hungarian empire.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Italian
  • Meaning: Doe
  • Pronunciation: SEHR-vaa
  • Popularity: Cerva is very rare worldwide and mainly used in Italy.
Unusual, Uncommon
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Cesario

Cesario traveled to South American culture from the Latin personal name Caesarius, a form of Caesar. In Italian, Cesario is also associated with “caesario,” meaning “wood coppice.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Latin
  • Meaning: Of Caesar
  • Pronunciation: Seh-SAA-riy-Oh
  • Variations: Cesari, Cesare, Cesaro
  • Namesakes: Jeff Cesario, an American writer for The Larry Sanders Show. Enzo Cesario, a Chilean racing cyclist and gold medalist at the 2007 Pan American Games.
  • Popularity: Cesario is rare worldwide and primarily used in Brazil, ranking 484th in 2014.
Strong, Old

Conceição

Conceição is the Portuguese form of the Spanish word for “conception.” It refers to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, taken from María de la Concepción.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Conception
  • Pronunciation: Koh-SAEY-sauw
  • Variations: da Conceição
  • Namesakes: Cleiton Conceição, a Brazilian boxer who competed at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Ilda Conceição, the East Timorese Vice-Minister of Primary and Secondary Education from 2006 to 2007.
  • Popularity: Conceição is rare worldwide, mostly used in Mozambique, and ranked 460th in Brazil in 2014.
Unique, Traditional

Correia

Correia is a Portuguese word meaning “leather strap or belt.” It originates with the Latin “corrigere,” meaning “to straighten or to correct.” Correia was once an occupational surname for a maker or seller of leather belts and straps.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Leather strap
  • Pronunciation: Coh-RIY-ah
  • Variations: Correa
  • Namesakes: Carlos Correia, the Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau from 2015 to 2016. Larry Correia, an American fantasy writer known for his Saga of the Forgotten Warrior series.
  • Popularity: Correia ranked 698th worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, where it ranked 74th in 2014.
Rare, Occupational

Costa

A person named Costa came “from Costa, Spain” or “lived on a slope or river bank.” It derives from the Latin “costa,” meaning “side” or “flank.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Dweller on a hillside
  • Pronunciation: COHS-taa
  • Variations: Costas, de Costa
  • Namesakes: Larissa Costa, a Brazilian beauty queen who won Miss Brazil 2009. Viviane Costa, a Brazilian water polo player and bronze medalist at the 2003 Pan American Games.
  • Popularity: Costa ranked 288th worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, where it ranked 24th in 2014.
Traditional, Topographical

Cruz

Cruz denoted a person living near a “crux,” or “cross” in Latin. It might refer to a “crossroads” instead of an actual cross or a place called La Cruz.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Dweller at a cross
  • Pronunciation: CREWS
  • Variations: de la Cruz
  • Namesakes: Penélope Cruz, the only Spanish actress to win an Academy Award. Eva Cruz, a Puerto Rican volleyball player with the Puerto Rican national volleyball team.
  • Popularity: Cruz ranked 158th worldwide, is mostly used in Mexico, and ranked 101st in Brazil in 2014.
Old, Popular

Cunha

Cunha refers to many places in Spain and Portugal, which adds to the meanings around the name. It’s associated with Cuinha, meaning “kitchen,” and is also considered a Portuguese form of the Jewish Cohen.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Kitchen
  • Pronunciation: CUWN-yaa
  • Namesakes: Arthur Cunha, a Brazilian footballer for Arema. Eduardo Cunha, the President of the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil from 2015 to 2016.
  • Popularity: Cunha ranked 1,559th worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, ranking 123rd in 2014.
Unusual, Common

Couto

Couto’s origin dates back to feudal times in Portugal when it referred to a “game reservation” or “feudal land.” This land was typically sectioned off and solely used for hunting.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Feudal land
  • Pronunciation: COH-toh
  • Variations: Coutos
  • Namesakes: André Couto, a Portuguese race car driver who won the 2000 F3 Grand Prix. Fernando Couto, a Portuguese footballer for the Portugal national team.
  • Popularity: Couto is rare worldwide and primarily used in Brazil, where it ranked 286th in 2014.
Topographical, Old

Dantas

Dantas uses the Spanish and Portuguese “da,” meaning “from (a location).” In this case, the place name is Antas in Portugal and Galicia.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: From Dantas
  • Pronunciation: DAHN-tahs
  • Namesakes: Damiris Dantas, a Brazilian basketball player and bronze medalist at the 2011 Under-19 World Championships. Ivonete Dantas, a member of the federal senate of Brazil from 2011 to 2015.
  • Popularity: Dantas is uncommon worldwide and mostly used in Brazil, ranking 102nd in 2014.
Topographical, Unique

Da Silva

Da Silva comes from the Latin “silva,” meaning “forest” or “woodland.” It refers to any place filled with a forest, thicket, or wooded area.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Of the forest
  • Pronunciation: Daa-SIHL-vaa
  • Variations: De Silva, Silva, Silveira
  • Namesakes: Fernando Ramos da Silva, a Brazilian actor known for Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco (1981). Benedita da Silva, the first female Afro-Brazilian governor of Rio de Janeiro.
  • Popularity: Da Silva ranked 36th worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, where it ranked number one in 2014.
Popular, Traditional

Delgado

Delgago is a nickname for a “thin person” based on the Portuguese “delgado,” meaning “slender.” It first appeared as the Latin “delicatus,” meaning “dainty” or “delicate.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Slender, thin
  • Pronunciation: Del-GAA-doh
  • Variations: Delgadillo
  • Namesakes: Álvaro Delgado, a Mexican journalist for El Nacional. María Chiquinquirá Delgado, a Venezuelan TV co-host of Mira Quien Baila.
  • Popularity: Delgado ranked 395th worldwide, is primarily used in Mexico, and ranked 14th in Ecuador in 2014.
Nicknames, Traditional
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Dias

Dias refers to a “son of Diogo” (or Diego), both Spanish and Portuguese variants of Jacob. It’s also somewhat common in the former Portuguese colony called Goa in India.

  • Origin: Brazilian
  • Meaning: Son of Diego
  • Pronunciation: DEE-ahz
  • Variations: Diaz
  • Namesakes: Virna Dias, a Brazilian volleyball player and bronze medalist at the 1996 Summer Olympics. André Dias, a Brazilian footballer for São Paulo.
  • Popularity: Dias ranked 291st worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, ranking 26th in 2014.
Patronymic, Popular

Domingos

Domingos can refer to a “son of Domingo,” but is best recognized as the Spanish and Portuguese word for “Sunday.” It originated with the Latin “dominus,” meaning “lord,” to denote “the Lord’s day.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Sunday
  • Pronunciation: Doh-MIHNG-ows
  • Variations: Dominguez, Domingo
  • Popularity: Domingos ranked 585th worldwide, is mainly used in Angola, and ranked 110th in Brazil in 2014.
Patronymic, Unique

Dos Santos

Dos Santos means “of the saints,” when referring to All Saints Day. It also relates to the Latin “sanctus,” meaning “holy one” or “sacred place.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Of the saints
  • Pronunciation: Dohs-SAAN-tows
  • Variations: Santo, Santos
  • Namesakes: Nelson Pereira dos Santos, a Brazilian film director known for Vidas Secas (1963). Junior dos Santos, a Brazilian mixed martial artist who competed in the Heavyweight division of Eagle FC.
  • Popularity: Dos Santos ranked 71st worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, where it ranked 2nd in 2014.
Traditional, Popular

Duarte

Duarte is a cool Portuguese form of Edward or Eduardo, meaning “property guardian.” It’s also the name of a province in The Dominican Republic.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Descendent of Duarte
  • Pronunciation: DWAHR-teay
  • Variations: Dewart
  • Namesakes: Cláudio Duarte, a Brazilian sports commentator at RBS TV. Lima Duarte, a Brazilian actor appearing in the telenovela O Bem-Amado.
  • Popularity: Duarte ranked 494th worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, ranking 71st in 2014.
Patronymic, Common

Faria

Faria is the name of Portuguese locations in Braga and Aveiro. It’s also an Italian surname based on the Greek “pharias,” from “pharos,” meaning “beacon lighthouse.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: From Faria
  • Pronunciation: FAA-riy-Ah
  • Namesakes: Fábio Faria, the Brazilian Minister of Communications from 2020 to 2022. Walter Faria, a Brazilian businessman who owns Grupo Petrópolis, Brazil’s second-largest-selling beer.
  • Popularity: Faria ranked 1,810th worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, which ranked 169th in 2014.
Topographical, Unique

Fernandes

Fernandes means “son of Ferdinand” in Spanish, with Ferdinand meaning “bold voyager.” It’s made up of the Spanish “faro,” meaning “journey,” and “nano,” meaning “brave.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Son of Ferdinand
  • Pronunciation: Fer-NAEN-dehs
  • Variations: Fernandez
  • Namesakes: Flávia Fernandes, a Brazilian water polo player and bronze medalist at the 2003 Pan American Games. Mário Fernandes, a Russian footballer for Zenit Saint Petersburg.
  • Popularity: Fernandes ranked 236th worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, ranking 23rd in 2014.
Patronymic, Old

Ferreira

Ferreira was first given to a person who lived or worked near or at an iron forge. It comes from the Latin “ferraria,” meaning “forge iron works.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Ironworks
  • Pronunciation: Feh-RAER-ah
  • Variations: Ferreiro, Ferraria
  • Namesakes: Gabriel Costa, the 10th prime minister of São Tomé and Príncipe from 2012 to 2014. Alexandre Ferreira, a Brazilian mixed martial artist for the UFC.
  • Popularity: Ferreira ranked 103rd worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, where it ranked
Popular, Topographical

Fonseca

Fonseca is a surname that denotes a “dweller near a dry well or dry spring.” The Spanish town of Fonseca means “dry spring” and is composed of “fuente,” meaning “fountain,” and “seca,” meaning “dry.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Dry well
  • Pronunciation: Fohn-SEH-kaa
  • Variations: Fonsêca
  • Namesakes: Carlos Fonseca, a Brazilian boxer who competed at the 1980 Summer Olympics. Manuel da Fonseca, the first President of Brazil from 1889 to 1891.
  • Popularity: Fonseca ranked 941st worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, ranking 113th in 2014.
Topographic, Unique

Fontes

Fontes represents many place names in Spain and Portugal and is taken from “fonte,” meaning “fount” or “spring.” Fontes is a town located in Santa Marta de Penaguião, Portugal.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Spring
  • Pronunciation: FAWN-tehs
  • Variations: Fondes
  • Namesakes: Flavia Fontes, a Brazilian-American filmmaker known for Forbidden Wedding. Wayne Fontes, an American football coach for the Detroit Lions.
  • Popularity: Fontes is rare worldwide and primarily used in Brazil, where it ranked 329th in 2014.
Topographical, Traditional

Freitas

Freitas is based on the Latin “fracta,” meaning “broken.” It refers to the rough terrain or stony ground where someone may have lived nearby.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Broken stones
  • Pronunciation: FRAY-tahs
  • Variations: Frietas, Freites
  • Namesakes: Acelino Freitas, a Brazilian boxer and the WBO super featherweight champion from 1992 to 2004. Miguel Freitas, a Portuguese racing driver who competed in the 2006 Mégane Trophy Eurocup.
  • Popularity: Freitas ranked 964th worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, ranking 73rd in 2014.
Topographical, Unusual
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Garcia

Garcia was firstly given to any “descendant of Garcia,” the Spanish variation of Gerald, meaning “spear.” Gerald itself is based on the Germanic Girard, meaning “brave spear,” and is popular in numerous Spanish-speaking countries.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Descendent of Garcia
  • Pronunciation: Gahr-SIY-ah
  • Variations: Garsea
  • Namesakes: Léa Garcia, a Brazilian actress known for Black Orpheus (1959). Rebecca Garcia, a representative in the 54th Chamber of Deputies of Brazil from 2011 to 2014.
  • Popularity: Garcia ranked 47th worldwide, is mainly used in Mexico, and ranked 67th in Brazil in 2014.
Patronymic, Popular

Goettems

Goettems is one of the rarest Brazilian family names and can be traced back to Saarland, Germany. Most of the Goettems around today reside near Rio Grande do Sul in São Leopoldo.

  • Origin: Brazilian, German
  • Meaning: Unknown
  • Pronunciation: GOUW-eh-Tehms
  • Variations: Goedems;
  • Popularity: Goettems is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Brazil.
Unusual, Rare

Gomes

Gomes more commonly appears as Gomez outside of Brazil and Portugal and is a nickname for Joao or John. It originated from the Visigothic “guma,” meaning “man.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Man
  • Pronunciation: GOH-Mehz
  • Variations: Gomez
  • Namesakes: Bruno Gomes, a Brazilian footballer for Nacional. Anthony Gomes, a Canadian musician known for the 1998 album Blues in Technicolor.
  • Popularity: Gomes ranked 150th worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, where it ranked 10th in 2014.
Popular, Traditional

Gonçalves

Gonçalves means “descendant of Gonçalo,” a male given name meaning “battle” or “war.” It has German origins composed of “gunthi,” meaning “combat,” and “vus,” meaning warrior.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Descendent of the warrior man
  • Pronunciation: Goan-SAHL-vehs
  • Namesakes: Khalid Gonçalves, an American actor known for the play Mercury: The Afterlife and Times of a Rock God. Vasco Gonçalves, the 104th Prime Minister of Portugal from 1974 to 1975.
  • Popularity: Gonçalves ranked 703rd worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, ranking 78th in 2014.
Patronymic, Strong

Gouveia

Gouveia is a village in the Portuguese province of Beira Baixa. It first appeared as the Latin Gaudela and Goudela and is not an everyday name.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: From Gouveia
  • Pronunciation: Gow-VEAY-ah
  • Variations: Gouveias
  • Namesakes: Antônio Gouveia, a Brazilian former volleyball player who competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics. Tala Gouveia, an English actress known for the series McDonald & Dodds since 2020.
  • Popularity: Gouvea is rare worldwide and primarily used in Brazil, where it ranked 349th in 2014.
Topographical, Unusual

Guimarães

Guimarães is a city in northern Portugal located in Braga. It’s said to be linked to an old Germanic first name but is typically found whenever Portuguese colonists settled.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: City in Portugal
  • Pronunciation: Giy-MAA-raez
  • Namesakes: Agberto Guimarães, a Brazilian runner and gold medalist at the 1983 Pan American Games. Natália Guimarães, a Brazilian model, crowned Miss Brazil 2007.
  • Popularity: Guimarães is rare worldwide, mostly used in Angola, and ranked 603rd in Brazil in 2014.
Topographical, Unique

Jacinto

Jacinto is named after the Hyacinth flower and sometimes appears as Jacinta, a name for women to enjoy. In Greek mythology, Hyacinthus was a Spartan prince known as a beautiful boy.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Hyacinth
  • Pronunciation: Zhah-SIYN-tow
  • Namesakes: Andreia Jacinto, a Portuguese for Real Sociedad. Ramón Jacinto, a Filipino TV personality who founded the radio station DZRJ.
  • Popularity: Jacinto is rare worldwide, mainly used in Angola, and ranked 796th in Brazil in 2014.
Strong, Popular

Jatobá

Jatobá is the common name given to the Hymenaea courbaril tree. It grows in the Caribbean and Central and South America. The Jatobá River also runs through eastern Brazil.

  • Origin: Brazilian
  • Meaning: Type of tree
  • Pronunciation: Zhaa-TOH-baa
  • Namesakes: Carlos Jatobá, a Brazilian footballer for Atlético Paranaense. Carlos Jatobá, a Brazilian footballer for Politehnica Iași.
  • Popularity: Jatobá is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Brazil.
Topographical, Indigenous

Jesús

Jesús represents the Latin form of the Greek Iēsous, taken from the Hebrew name Yeshua. Named for Jesus Christ, it’s an example of religious Brazilian last names that have lasted centuries.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Jesus
  • Pronunciation: ZHIY-sus
  • Variations: De Jesús
  • Namesakes: Jorge Jesus, a Portuguese football manager of Al Hilal. Juan Jesus, a Brazilian footballer for Napoli.
  • Popularity: Jesús is rare worldwide, mostly used in Portugal, and ranked 825th in Brazil in 2014.
Old, Common

Kayano

Kayano means “plain” and “simple” in Spanish, but also is a Japanese surname meaning “plains” or “field.” Brazil currently has the biggest population of Japanese immigrants and their descendents, totaling 1.5 million people.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Japanese
  • Meaning: Plain
  • Pronunciation: Kaey-AH-noh
  • Namesakes: Ai Kayano, a Japanese voice actress appearing in the 2011 series, Guilty Crown. Kayano Gonbei, a Japanese samurai who took part in the 18th-century Boshin War.
  • Popularity: Kayano is rare worldwide and mainly used in Japan.
Unusual, Rare
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Leite

Leite is the Portuguese word for “milk” that’s also used for someone with a “pale complexion.” It’s related to the German Aleit(e), a name for girls based on Adelheid.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Milk
  • Pronunciation: LEIY-teh
  • Variations: Leete
  • Namesakes: Cláudia Leite, a Brazilian singer for the group Babado Novo. Eduardo Leite, the governor of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul since 2023.
  • Popularity: Leite ranked 1,042nd worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, ranking 63rd in 2014.
Unusual, Common

Lima

Lima indicates someone “from Lima,” also known as “a place of lime trees.” When based on the Latin “lima,” it means “metal file.” In Portugal, someone named Lima lived on the banks of the Lima River.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: From Lima
  • Pronunciation: LEE-maa
  • Namesakes: Adriana Lima, a Brazilian model and Victoria’s Secret Angel from 1999 to 2018. Maurício Lima, a Brazilian volleyball player and gold medalist at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Lima ranked 281st worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, where it ranked 21st in 2014.
Traditional, Popular

Livramento

Livramento’s only meanings include “release” or “liberation.” It otherwise means “freedom” and is included in four place names – three in Brazil and one in Portugal.

  • Origin: Brazilian
  • Meaning: Release
  • Pronunciation: Leeva-raa-MEHN-tow
  • Variations: De Livramento
  • Namesakes: Valentino Livramento, an English footballer for Newcastle United.
  • Popularity: Livramento is rare worldwide, mainly used in Brazil, and ranked 80th in Cape Verde in 2014.
Unusual, Uncommon

Lopes

Lopes means “son of the wolf” in Portuguese, deriving from the Latin “lupus.” It also means “son of Lopo” and appears as Lupo in Italian and Lupu in Romanian.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Son of the wolf
  • Pronunciation: LOW-pehz
  • Variations: Lopez
  • Namesakes: Adriane Lopes, the mayor of Campo Grande, Brazil since 2022. Ana Paula Lopes, a Portuguese-Canadian entrepreneur, ranked one of The 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada in 2013.
  • Popularity: Lopes ranked 252nd worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, ranking 20th in 2014.
Popular, Patronymic

Lustosa

Lustosa originates with the Latin “lusto,” meaning “desirable” or “attractive.” It’s paired with the Spanish and Portuguese “-osa” suffix given to a woman.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Attractive woman
  • Pronunciation: Luw-STOW-zha
  • Variations: Lustósa
  • Namesakes: Matheus Lustosa, a Brazilian actor known for Z4 (2018).
  • Popularity: Lustosa is rare worldwide and mostly used in Brazil, where it ranked 727th in 2014.
Nicknames, Unique

Machado

Machado dates back to the 2nd-century and means “axe” or “hatchet.” It’s both an occupational name and a nickname based on the Portuguese “machar,” meaning “to cut.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Axe
  • Pronunciation: Maa-SHAH-dow
  • Variations: Machados
  • Namesakes: Cristian Machado, a Brazilian-American member of the band Lions at the Gate. Luis Alberto Machado, the Secretary of the Presidency from 1969 to 1974.
  • Popularity: Machado ranked 453rd worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, ranking 45th in 2014.
Old, Occupational

Maciel

Maciel is one of the less common Brazilian surnames from Portugal with French origins. It comes from “macieira,” meaning “apple tree,” and is also a Polish name based on Maciej (Matthew).

  • Origin: Brazilian, French
  • Meaning: Apple tree
  • Pronunciation: Maa-siy-EHL
  • Namesakes: Maciel Santos, a Brazilian boccia player and gold medalist at the 2012 Summer Paralympics. Lucas Maciel, a Brazilian footballer for the New England Revolution.
  • Popularity: Maciel ranked 1,499th worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, where it ranked 103rd in 2014.
Topographical, Common

Magalhães

Magalhães is linked to the Celtic “magal,” meaning “the great,” and is a place name in Portugal. It may be linked to Sephardic Jewish communities on the Iberian peninsula and is a Portuguese version of Magellan.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Celtic
  • Meaning: The great
  • Pronunciation: Maa-gahl-YAESH
  • Variations: Magalhaes
  • Namesakes: Antônio Carlos Magalhães, a three-time governor of Bahia, Brazil. Marcos Magalhães, a Brazilian short film director known for the 1986 animated film Planet Earth.
  • Popularity: Magalhães is rare worldwide, mostly used in Angola, and ranked 194th in Portugal in 2014.
Strong, Unusual

Martins

Martins indicates “the son of Martin,” based on the Latin boy’s name Martinus. Its original root is Mars, the name of the Roman god of fertility and war.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Son of Martin
  • Pronunciation: MAAR-tiynz
  • Variations: Martin
  • Namesakes: Caroline Martins, a Brazilian handball player for Fredrikstad BK. Franklin Martins, the press secretary for Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
  • Popularity: Martins ranked 225th worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, ranking 16th in 2014.
Patronymic, Popular

Masvidal

Masvidal’s origins are in Catalonia, Spain, and refer to a “mas,” or house located in a rural area outside a village. Masvidal is also the term for the owner of said house.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Rural house owner
  • Pronunciation: MAHS-vih-Daal
  • Namesakes: Paul Masvidal, an American musician who founded the band Cynic. Jorge Masvidal, an American mixed martial artist who won the symbolic UFC “BMF” Championship belt.
  • Popularity: Masvidal is very rare worldwide and primarily used in Spain.
Rare, Topographical
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Matarazzo

Matarazzo is the name of several places located in Spain and Portugal. It uses the Spanish “mata,” meaning “forest,” and is also an Italian name based on “matarazzu,” meaning “mattress.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Italian
  • Meaning: Forest
  • Pronunciation: Maa-taa-RAH-zoh
  • Variations: Materazzo
  • Namesakes: Heather Matarazzo, an American actress known for Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995). Andrea Matarazzo, the Brazilian City Councillor of São Paulo from 2013 to 2017.
  • Popularity: Matarazzo is rare worldwide and mostly used in Italy.
Uncommon, Topographical

Melo

Melo derives from the Portuguese “melro,” meaning “blackbird,” from the Latin “meulus.” It’s also used for someone from the town of Melo and is an Italian short form for names ending in “-melo.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Blackbird
  • Pronunciation: MEAY-low
  • Variations: de Melo
  • Namesakes: Daniel Melo, a Brazilian tennis player who won the 2001 Brazil Open doubles title. Andrés Granier Melo, the Governor of Tabasco, Mexico from 2007 to 2015.
  • Popularity: Melo ranked 1,007th worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, where it ranked 96th in 2014.
Unique, Common

Mendes

Mendes is meant for the “son of Mendo” or “son of Mendel.” These names come from the medieval Menendo and the Visigothic Hermenegildo, meaning “complete sacrifice.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Son of Mendo
  • Pronunciation: MEHN-dez
  • Variations: Mendez
  • Namesakes: Eva Mendes, an American actress known for Training Day (2001). Sérgio Mendes, a Brazilian musician with the band Brasil ’66.
  • Popularity: Mendes ranked 380th worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, ranking 37th in 2014.
Patronymic, Traditional

Miranda

Other than a name for a Latina woman, Miranda was given to someone from places called Miranda in Spain and Portugal. It’s based on the Spanish “mirar,” meaning “to look.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Worthy of admiration
  • Pronunciation: Mih-RAAN-daa
  • Variations: de Miranda, Mirandas
  • Namesakes: Leandro Miranda, the current Brazilian head coach for Boavista. Marcos Miranda, a Brazilian chess player and the 1974 Brazilian Chess Champion.
  • Popularity: Miranda ranked 324th worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, where it ranked 65th in 2014.
Nicknames, Topographical

Moreira

Moreira has roots in Galicia, Spain, and is the name for towns located in Lugo, Tuy, and Compostela. It’s associated with the Spanish “morera,” meaning “mulberry tree,” for places known for them.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Mulberry Tree
  • Pronunciation: Mow-RAEY-ah
  • Variations: Moreiro
  • Namesakes: Airto Moreira, a Brazilian jazz drummer with the ensemble Quarteto Novo. Leonardo Fernandes Moreira, a Brazilian member of the Legislative Assembly of Minas Gerais from 2003 to 2011.
  • Popularity: Moreira ranked 369th worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, ranking 30th in 2014.
Popular, Topographical

Moura

Moura is a city in Portugal known for the legend of a Moorish princess. Moor refers to the predominantly Muslim people of North Africa who settled in southern Spain.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Moor
  • Pronunciation: MAOR-ah
  • Variations: Mauro
  • Namesakes: Confúcio Moura, the governor of Rondônia, Brazil, from 2011 to 2018. Mayana Moura, a Brazilian actress known for Time and the Wind (2013).
  • Popularity: Moura ranked 1,413th worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, where it ranked 88th in 2014.
Old, Common

Nascimento

Nascimento means “birth” in Portuguese, in addition to “nativity.” It’s also a unique given name for a baby born on Christmas Day.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Birth
  • Pronunciation: NAA-siy-MYehn-toh
  • Variations: Do Nascimento
  • Namesakes: Emanuel Nascimento, a Brazilian swimmer who competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics. Norton Nascimento, a Brazilian actor appearing in Carlota Joaquina, Princess of Brazil (1995).
  • Popularity: Nascimento ranked 571st worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, ranking 38th in 2014.
Unusual, Unique

Nogueira

Nogueira is a form of Nogales, from the Latin “nucalis,” meaning “walnut tree.” It’s the name for places in Portugal and Galicia known for their abundance of walnut trees.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Walnut tree
  • Pronunciation: Now-GUIY-raa
  • Variations: Noguera, Noguero
  • Namesakes: Paulinho Nogueira, a Brazilian guitarist known for designing the craviola guitar. Lucas Nogueira, a Brazilian basketball player with the Atlanta Hawks.
  • Popularity: Nogueira ranked 1,050th worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, where it ranked 62nd in 2014.
Common, Topographical

Nunes

Nunes means “son of Nuno” in Portuguese and may also derive from the Latin “nonus,” meaning “ninth.” When taken from “nunnus,” it means “grandfather,” and from “nonnus,” it means “squire.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Son of Nuno
  • Pronunciation: NUW-nehs
  • Variations: Nuñez
  • Namesakes: Lygia Bojunga Nunes, a Brazilian children’s book author who won the 1982 Hans Christian Andersen Medal. Valmir Nunes, a Brazilian runner who currently holds the South American and Brazilian Ultramarathon records.
  • Popularity: Nunes ranked 398th worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, ranking 31st in 2014.
Patronymic, Traditional

Oliveira

There are several places in Portugal and Galicia called Oliveira, meaning “olive grove.” It originated with the Latin “olivarius,” from “oliva,” meaning “olive.” Oliveira may be a Sephardic-Jewish surname used during the Portuguese Inquisition for Catholic converts.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Olive grove
  • Pronunciation: Oh-liy-VAEY-raa
  • Variations: de Oliveira
  • Namesakes: Christianne Oliveira, a Brazilian actress known for the series Night and Day (2001 to 2003). Fernanda Oliveira, a Brazilian lead principal ballet dancer with the English National Ballet.
  • Popularity: Oliveira ranked 196th worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, where it ranked 12th in 2014.
Popular, Topographical
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Ortega

More than one village is named Ortega in the Spanish areas of Burgos, La Coruna, and Jaen. It comes from the Spanish “ortiga,” meaning “nettles,” for places known to have many.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Nettles
  • Pronunciation: Ohr-TAEY-gaa
  • Variations: de Ortega, Ortego
  • Namesakes: José Ortega, the President of Nicaragua since 2007. José Ortega, a Spanish boxer who competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Ortega ranked 385th worldwide, is primarily used in Mexico, and ranked 20th in Puerto Rico in 2014.
Traditional, Popular

Palmeira

Palmeira is one of the indigenous Brazilian family names made up of “palma,” meaning “palm,” and “eira,” meaning “tree names.” Palmeira is a municipality in the State of Paraná, plus the name of three additional municipalities in Brazil.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Palm tree
  • Pronunciation: Paal-MEE-rah
  • Variations: Palmera, Palmeiras
  • Popularity: Palmeira is rare worldwide and mostly used in Brazil, where it ranked 581st in 2014.
Unique, Indigenous

Parahyba

Parahyba (spelled Paraiba) is the name of a state in northeastern Brazil. It’s known for its portion of coastal land and local agriculture.

  • Origin: Brazilian
  • Meaning: Brazilian place name
  • Pronunciation: Pah-RAEY-baa
  • Variations: Paraiba
  • Popularity: Parahyba is very rare worldwide and mainly used in Brazil.
Rare, Indigenous

Pereira

Pereira is the name of a few villages located in Spanish towns near Orense, Lugo, Compostela, Tuy, and Mondonedo. It comes from “pera,” meaning “pear tree.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Pear tree
  • Pronunciation: Peh-RAEY-raa
  • Variations: Pereyra, Perera
  • Namesakes: Julio César Pereyra, the mayor of Florencio Varela, Argentina, since 2003. James Pereira, a Brazilian boxer and bronze medalist at the 2003 Pan American Games.
  • Popularity: Pereira ranked 90th worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, ranking 3rd in 2014.
Popular, Old

Peres

Like the Spanish Pérez, Peres means “descendent of Pedro,” a form of Peter sometimes appearing as Pero. Pero existed in ancient Greece with the same meaning as Peter — “rock.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Son of Pedro
  • Pronunciation: PEH-rez
  • Variations: Pérez
  • Namesakes: Waldir Peres, a Brazilian footballer for the Brazil national team. Sonia Peres, the first lady of Israel from 2007 to 2011.
  • Popularity: Peres is rare worldwide and mostly used in Brazil, where it ranked 224th in 2014.
Common, Patronymic

Pinheiro

Because Pinheiro means “pine tree,” it was naturally given to someone living near a pine forest. It’s also the name of a river and a district in São Paulo and other locations in Brazil.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Pine tree
  • Pronunciation: Pin-YEHR-ow
  • Variations: Piñero
  • Namesakes: Nuno Pinheiro, a Portuguese volleyballer for S.L. Benfica. Helô Pinheiro, a Brazilian model who inspired the 1962 song The Girl from Ipanema.
  • Popularity: Pinheiro ranked 830th worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, ranking 52nd in 2014.
Topographical, Common

Pinto

Pinto is a nickname meaning “colorful” and “painted.” It also means “chick” and comes from the Latin “pinctus.” Pinto can refer to a “lively or restless person.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Colorful
  • Pronunciation: PIHN-toh
  • Variations: La Pinto
  • Namesakes: John Pinto, an American member of the New Mexico Senate from 1977 to 2019. Dirceu Pinto, a Brazilian Paralympic boccia player and gold medalist at the 2012 Paralympics.
  • Popularity: Pinto ranked 391st worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, where it ranked 58th in 2014.
Nicknames, Unique

Pires

Like Peres, Pires is a unique spelling of the Spanish Pérez, meaning “son of Pedro (Peter).” It’s also sometimes a unique English form of Pierce.

  • Origin: Brazilian
  • Meaning: Son of Pedro
  • Pronunciation: PIY-rehs
  • Variations: Peres
  • Namesakes: Cleo Pires, a Brazilian actress appearing in the series Memorial de Maria Moura (1984). Pedro Pires, the president of Cape Verde from 2001 to 2011.
  • Popularity: Pires ranked 896th worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, ranking 66th in 2014.
Patronymic, Unique

Pitanga

Pitanga is a rare indigenous word for a “cherry” native to Brazil. When Europeans arrived in modern-day Brazil, there were already 250 tribes, including the Tupi-Guarani Indians. Pitanga is the name of a town in Paraná, Brazil.

  • Origin: Brazilian
  • Meaning: Brazilian cherry
  • Pronunciation: Pih-TAANG-ah
  • Variations: Pitangui
  • Namesakes: Camila Pitanga, a Brazilian actress known for Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury (2013).
  • Popularity: Pitanga is very rare worldwide and mainly used in Brazil.
Indigenous, Rare

Queiroz

Queiroz derives from the Portuguese “queiró,” meaning “heather,” to describe places on the Iberian peninsula. Other forms of Queroiz are also found in ancient Greece, where it means “stronger” or “stone.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Heather
  • Pronunciation: KHEE-roys
  • Namesakes: Agnelo Queiroz, the Governor of the Federal District of Brazil from 2011 to 2014. Francisca Queiroz, a Brazilian actress known for the series A Lei e o Crime.
  • Popularity: Queiroz is uncommon worldwide and primarily used in Brazil, where it ranked 127th in 2014.
Old, Unusual
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Ramone

Ramone is based on the Spanish first name Raimundo, made up of the Germanic “ragin,” meaning “advice,” and “mund,” meaning “protector.” It’s also the French feminine spelling for Ramon.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Counsel protector
  • Pronunciation: Raa-MOUWN
  • Variations: Ramon
  • Namesakes: Phil Ramone, a South African-American record producer who co-founded A & R Recording in 1958. Michael Ramone, the minority leader of the Delaware House of Representatives since 2023.
  • Popularity: Ramone is very rare worldwide and mostly used in Lesotho, ranking 412th in 2014.
Strong, Rare

Reis

Reis means “descendant of Riso” in German and dates back to the Middle Ages. It’s best known for meaning “king” and was also the name of Brazil’s currency until 1942.

  • Origin: Brazilian, German
  • Meaning: Kings
  • Pronunciation: REAYS
  • Variations: Reiss, Reisse
  • Namesakes: Nando Reis, a Brazilian singer with the rock band Titãs. António Reis, a Portuguese director known for The School of Reis style.
  • Popularity: Reis ranked 1,006th worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, where it ranked 80th in 2014.
Common, Unique

Ribeiro

Ribeiro means “small creek” or “by the river” in Portuguese. It literally means “stream” to denote someone who lived near a stream.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Small creek
  • Pronunciation: Rih-BAER-oh
  • Variations: Ribero
  • Namesakes: André Ribeiro, a Brazilian racing driver for CART from 1995 to 1998. Laís Ribeiro, a Brazilian model and a Victoria’s Secret Angel.
  • Popularity: Ribeiro ranked 231st worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, ranking 13th in 2014.
Popular, Topographical

Rocha

Rocha means “rock” or “boulder” in Portuguese, plus “land cleaned of weeds.” It was a surname given to someone living near a rocky place. Rocha is also a city in southeast Uruguay.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Boulder
  • Pronunciation: ROW-shaa
  • Variations: Roche, De la Rocha
  • Namesakes: Antônio Cavilhas Rocha, a Brazilian chess player and two-time Brazilian Chess Championship winner. Roberto Carlos, a Brazilian footballer for Real Madrid.
  • Popularity: Rocha ranked 421st worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, where it ranked 46th in 2014.
Unique, Popular

Rodrigues

Rodrigues (like the Spanish Rodriguez) is the Portuguese variant of Roderick, meaning “famous ruler.” It also denotes a “son of Rodrigo,” the diminutive for Rodrigues.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Son of Rodrigo
  • Pronunciation: Rod-RIY-gehz
  • Variations: Rodriguez
  • Namesakes: Nelson Rodrigues, a Brazilian playwright known for the 1943 play Vestido de Noiva (The Wedding Dress). Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, the Portuguese President of the Assembly of the Republic from 2015 to 2022.
  • Popularity: Rodrigues ranked 129th worldwide and is mainly used in Brazil, ranking 6th in 2014.
Patronymic, Popular

Romero

Romero began as a nickname for “Romans,” traveling as pilgrims from west to east toward the holy land. It literally means “a pilgrim” or “one who visits a shrine.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Spanish
  • Meaning: Roman
  • Pronunciation: Roh-MAER-oh
  • Variations: Romera
  • Namesakes: George A. Romero, an American-Canadian filmmaker known for Night of the Living Dead (1968). Roberto Romero, an Argentine businessman who founded the El Tribuno newspaper.
  • Popularity: Romero ranked 210th worldwide, is primarily used in Mexico, and ranked 11th in Argentina in 2014.
Nicknames, Popular

Santana

Santana was given to those living in various locales in Spain and Portugal called Santana or Santa Ana. It refers to St. Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary, as a Catholic surname.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Holy
  • Pronunciation: Saan-TAAN-ah
  • Namesakes: Alencar Santana, the Brazilian minority leader of the Chamber of Deputies since 2022. Suso Santana, a Spanish footballer for CD Tenerife.
  • Popularity: Santana ranked 433rd worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, where it ranked 47th in 2014.
Old, Traditional

Sardinha

Sardinha is the Portuguese word for “sardine” and was an occupational surname for a sardine seller. It may have also been a nickname for someone resembling a sardine in some strange way!

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Sardine
  • Pronunciation: Saar-DEEN-yha
  • Variations: Sardiñha
  • Namesakes: António Sardinha, a Portuguese writer, part of the Integralismo Lusitano movement. Richard Sardinha, an American artist known for his work on At Lovecraft’s Grave.
  • Popularity: Sardinha is rare worldwide, mainly used in Angola, and ranked 871st in Brazil in 2014.
Occupational, Nicknames

Sena

Sena is a place name in Spain known as a “passing place” to indicate frequent travelers. In Greek, Sena is also a girl’s nickname for Selena, while Sena Huesca is a town in Spain.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Spanish
  • Meaning: From Sena
  • Pronunciation: SEY-naa
  • Variations: Senna
  • Namesakes: Suzanne Sena, an American news anchor for Fox News. Dominic Sena, an American director known for Kalifornia (1993).
  • Popularity: Sena is uncommon worldwide and primarily used in Brazil, ranking 2023rd in 2014.
Topographical, Common

Silva

Silva is one of the most popular Brazilian last names and is linked to the number one surname, Da Silva. It means “thicket of briars” or “woods” and was used for a “dweller in, or by, the woods.” Silva is the number one surname in Portugal.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Woods
  • Pronunciation: SIYL-vaa
  • Variations: Da Silva, De Silva
  • Namesakes: Douglas Silva, a Brazilian actor known for City of God (2002). Aníbal Cavaco Silva, the 19th President of Portugal from 2006 to 2016.
  • Popularity: Silva ranked 100th worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, ranking 7th in 2014.
Traditional, Popular
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Siqueira

Sequeira is a topographical name also meaning “sterile land.” It’s meant for someone living in or “coming from Sequeira.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Dry land
  • Pronunciation: Sih-KEY-raa
  • Variations: Sequeira, Siqueiro
  • Namesakes: Guilherme Siqueira, a Brazilian footballer for Granada. Luciano Siqueira, a Brazilian footballer for Chievo Verona.
  • Popularity: Siqueira is uncommon worldwide and mainly used in Brazil, where it ranked 108th in 2014.
Topographical, Unique

Soares

Suares derives from the medieval first name Sueiro, from the Latin “suarius,” meaning “swineherd.” It’s a Portuguese and Galician version of Suárez, also meaning “son of Soeiro.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Swineherd
  • Pronunciation: SWAA-rehs
  • Variations: Soars
  • Namesakes: António Pinto Soares, the head of state of Costa Rica from Sep. 11 to 27, 1842. Ilka Soares, a Brazilian actress known for Iracema (1949).
  • Popularity: Soares ranked 266th worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, ranking 15th in 2014.
Popular, Occupational

Sousa

Sousa indicates someone “from Sousa or Souza,” meaning “salty place.” There are multiple towns and a river called Sousa in Portugal, so there are plenty of Sousas to call home.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Salty place
  • Pronunciation: SUW-saa
  • Variations: Souza, de Sousa
  • Namesakes: Frederico Sousa, a Portuguese rugby union player for Direito. Charles Sousa, a Canadian member of Parliament since 2022.
  • Popularity: Sousa ranked 581st worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, where it ranked 44th in 2014.
Unusual, Popular

Suassuna

Suassuna is one of a few native names of Brazil. Its meaning is unknown, perhaps because Suassuna was used just 15 times outside Brazil in 2014.

  • Origin: Brazilian
  • Meaning: Unknown
  • Pronunciation: Swaa-SOO-naa
  • Namesakes: João Suassuna, the Brazilian President of Paraíba from 1924 to 1929. Ariano Suassuna, a Brazilian playwright known for Auto da Compadecida (1955).
  • Popularity: Suassuna is very rare worldwide and mainly used in Brazil.
Indigenous, Rare

Tavares

Tavares comes from the Latin “taberna,” meaning “inn.” It’s one of the oldest family names in Portugal and is also associated with the Hebrew “tav,” meaning “truth.” Tavares is one of many Brazilian surnames first used by Sephardic Jews.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Tavern
  • Pronunciation: Taa-VAAR-ehs
  • Variations: Tavárez
  • Namesakes: Fernanda Tavares, a Brazilian model appearing in Cosmopolitan. Jimmy Tavares, a French actor appearing in My Life on Ice (2003).
  • Popularity: Tavares ranked 812th worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, ranking 64th in 2014.
Common, Old

Teixeira

Teixeira means “one who comes from Teixeira,” also known as the “place of yew trees.” It appears as Teijeira in Castilian and is based on the Galician “teixo,” meaning “yew tree.”

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Yew tree
  • Pronunciation: Tae-SHAEY-raa
  • Variations: Texeira
  • Namesakes: Mark Teixeira, an American baseball player for the Texas Rangers. Thalissa Teixeira, a British-Brazilian actress known for the miniseries Trigonometry (2019).
  • Popularity: Teixeira ranked 476th worldwide and is primarily used in Brazil, where it ranked 39th in 2014.
Topographical, Unique

Torres

Torres indicates a “dweller at or near a tower or spire” or “one who came from Torres.” It originated as the Latin “turris,” meaning “tower,” and is the name of many places in Spain and Portugal.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Towers
  • Pronunciation: TOH-rehz
  • Variations: Torre, de Torres
  • Namesakes: Fernando Torres, a Brazilian actor known for Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985). Juan José Torres, the 50th President of Bolivia from 1970 to 1971.
  • Popularity: Torres ranked 154th worldwide, is mostly used in Mexico, and ranked 138th in Brazil in 2014.
Old, Popular

Verissimo

Verissimo is also a Portuguese first name meaning “most true,” from the Latin “verus.” It’s famous because of the Christian martyr Saint Verissimus and is the name of a Brazilian municipality and a river.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Most true
  • Pronunciation: Veh-rih-SIY-mow
  • Variations: Verissmo
  • Namesakes: Érico Verissimo, an Brazilian writer known for Clarissa (1933). Azumir Veríssimo, a Brazilian footballer for FC Porto.
  • Popularity: Verissimo is rare worldwide and mainly used in Brazil, ranking 429th in 2014.
Unique, Uncommon

Viegas

Viegas is a patronymic surname meaning “son of Egas,” an ancient Visigothic name. It’s associated with the Arabic “ben,” meaning “son,” and medieval Egas.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Son of Egas
  • Pronunciation: Vee-EHY-gaas
  • Variations: Veigas
  • Namesakes: Manuela Viegas, a Portuguese director and part of The School of Reis film tradition. José Viegas, the Brazilian Ambassador to Russia from 2001 to 2002.
  • Popularity: Viegas is rare worldwide, primarily used in Angola, and ranked 533rd in Brazil in 2014.
Patronymic, Old

Vieira

Vieira means “scallop” in Portuguese, from the Latin “conchula veneria,” meaning “shell of Venus.” Vieira is the name of several places in Portugal and Galicia where people named Vieira originally lived.

  • Origin: Brazilian, Portuguese
  • Meaning: Scallop
  • Pronunciation: Vee-EHY-raa
  • Variations: Viero
  • Namesakes: Meredith Vieira, an American moderator for The View (1997 to 2006). Luís Filipe Vieira, the 33rd President of Portuguese sports club S.L. Benfica from 2003 to 2021.
  • Popularity: Vieira ranked 310th worldwide and is mostly used in Brazil, where it ranked 18th in 2014.
Popular, Traditional
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Brazilian Last Names FAQs

How Do Brazilian Last Names Work?

Brazilians typically use two surnames, the first from their mother and the second from their father. When women marry, they often drop their mother’s surname and replace it with their husband’s. Sometimes, two Brazilian last names are joined with “e,” meaning “and,” but this doesn’t occur 100% of the time.

When you add on the traditional Portuguese middle name, some Brazilians have a grand total of four names.

What Are Three Typical Family Names in Brazil?

The top three Brazilian last names include da Silva, dos Santos, and Pereira. Da Silva means “of the forest” in Portuguese, while dos Santos is given to a baby born on All Saints Day. Pereira denotes a “pear tree” from Galician Spain and Portugal. Silva, on its own, is also incredibly popular in Brazil, as are many surnames with Portuguese origins.

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About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.
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