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Family name etymology

Family Name Etymology Note: Family names are also called surnames.

In many languages, family names are the last part of a person's name. In CJK languages, they are usually the first part.


  • Boyer: when German, can be a modification of "Bauer," farmer.
  • MacLachlan: Gaelic, "son of Norway." Variously spelled.
  • Moreau: From dark or black horse. [1] (http://www.vitalog.net) has the etymology as "French, derived from the nickname for the dark-skinned man, perhaps a Moor."
  • Spector: From the Russian Spectorski, meaning inspector. Jews who registered as inspectors with the Russian or Ukraine governments received a favored status with respect to travel, although those who collected taxes were generally resented in the stetls (Jewish ghettos).

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