62 Last Name Meanings – mental_floss List Show (Ep. 231)

A weekly show where knowledge junkies get their fix of trivia-tastic information. This week, John looks at the meaning behind 62 last names.

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20 Responses

  1. Richard Kaskiewicz says:

    What about mine?

  2. Beggar42 says:

    In Antwerp, foundlings all get the (usually temporary) last name of De
    Kleine wich can either be translated to English as ‘the little one’ or ‘the

  3. Christian Rodriguez says:

    Yesss! Worried for a bit my name wasn’t going to be there but I’m second to

    Long live the rich and fruitful Rodriguez clan!

  4. SharOfConfusion says:

    What about MacLeod?

  5. gabriel martinez says:

    im so surprised they said my last name im glad they did both spanish and
    Chinese names too that’s good that they are crossing cultures 

  6. Skip Swiftly says:

    My surname is Swift, it dates back to the Saxons who’s archers they called
    Swifts..Probably why i was so good at archery as a kid..

  7. Catherine Dore says:

    While my surname is often associated with French goldsmiths, it is also a
    derivative of the Irish “Ó Doghair.” 

  8. hershdawgmusic says:

    My last name Shipman. It’s either german Schifman for ship builder or
    english sheepman. Language is confusing. Though I know its the german group
    because we actually did the genealogy.

  9. Far Superior says:

    I don’t know my lost name meaning, it’s French. So here is my surname,
    “Clicquennoi”. Does anyone know the meaning?

  10. Magnus Håland says:

    Since you guys focusing so much on mispronunciations now a days, Celtic is
    pronunced Keltic, not Seltic.

  11. Orson O'Sullivan says:

    Sorry John , but it Keltic no Seltic but spelt Celtic

  12. Charlie L. says:

    My last name was derived from “Lenofsky” which I was told meant lonely in
    Russian, however that was many years ago and it was from my Japanese
    teacher. Any one speak Russian?

  13. Josh Russell says:

    Wow, you actually did Russell. Now red hair or freckles anywhere in my
    family… but we are mostly Irish I think.

  14. michael benzur says:

    “cohen is hebrew for priest” you must LOVE getting hate comments don’t you
    John. not to mention the priest with 5 crosses on his shirt.

  15. Rachel Lee says:

    oh john the way you pronounce “celtic” is very wrong to my ears even though
    it’s a correct pronuncation

  16. SugarCelebi says:

    My last name is Kim…my Korean grandparents (I’m only half Korean on my
    dad’s side) also gave me an unofficial Korean name which I am unsure how to
    spell, but it translates to “Gold Pearl”. So my name is Gold Pearl Gold.

  17. royalflyness23 says:


  18. reilly gallagher says:

    no more mindblowing questions? well im gonna ask anyway

    does the british royal family have a last name? like is it Elizabeth
    (something) Queen of England, or just Queen Elizabeth?

  19. Gigia Tex says:

    Greetings from Spain!
    García is the most common surname in Spain, there are lots of bears here

  20. Jett Rink says:

    Celtic is not pronounced “Seltic”. It’s “Keltic”.