Monday, March 12, 2012

Presidential Surnames & their Meaning

AGUINALDO. The surname Aguinaldo is a common Filipino and Mexican family name that is a comparatively recent formation from the personal name Aguinaldo. The term “aguinaldo” is a Spanish reference to a Christmas or sometimes a New Year gift.

In some parts of the South Americas, the word is also associated with a gift and with an own musical sort of Christmas.

AQUINO. Aquino is a Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian surname that is from a personal name bestowed in honor of the great theologian St. Thomas Aquinas, which in the original Italian is Tommaso d’Aquino. As a surname, it is mostly a habitational name, designating the carrier as “one coming from a place called Aquino”.

ARROYO. A Spanish habitational last name from any of numerous places named with arroyo, which is translated as “watercourse”, or “irrigation channel”. The word arroyo is a word of pre-Roman origin. Other definitions for Arroyo include “an intermittent river, river which is full only after rain, chasm, cleft, clough, clove, gap, gorge, gulch”.

EJERCITO. Ejercito is, as a general rule, not a very common Hispanic last name. It is not even fairly common in the Philippines. Ejercito is, in its widest sense, the name given to the institution in charge with the defense and the military attack of the state. Ejercito is Spanish for “army”.

GARCIA. GARCIA is a Spanish and Portuguese patronymic, normally found in medieval records in the Latin form Garsea, and may well be of pre-Roman origin, perhaps akin to the Basque (h)artz, which means “bear”. It may also have been derived from Hortza, Artza, or Hartze. In the Germanic language, Garcia could be translated as “a prince with a wonderful view”. Its variations include Gassía, Gacía, Gacías, Garsés, Gaciot, Gació, Gassías, and Gasía.

LAUREL. Laurel is a topographic name for someone who lived by a laurel tree, derived from the Spanish laurel (in Latin laurus), or a habitational name from Laurel in the Canary Islands. The laurel tree is a Mediterranean evergreen tree (Laurus nobilis) having aromatic, simple leaves and small blackish berries. Also called bay, bay laurel, and sweet bay. A wreath of laurel was conferred as a mark of honor in ancient times upon poets, heroes, and victors in athletic contests.

MACAPAGAL. The Macapagal surname is an indigenous Filipino surname derived from the Kapangpangan word makapagal, which means “tiring”. It may also be a descriptive last name, which may describe the ancestors of the Macapagals as someone who "exhausted the enemy".

MAGSAYSAY. Magsaysay is an indigenous Filipino last name that is taken from the Tagalog word magsaysay, which means to “tell” or “narrate”.

MARCOS. The surname Marcos is a Spanish and Portuguese patronymic, meaning “son of or descendant of Marcos”. Marcus was an old Roman name, of uncertain (possibly non-Italic) etymology; it may have some connection with the name of the war god Mars. It means “borderland” or a “fenced-off land”.

OSMEÑA. The Osmeña surname existed in the city of Cebu as early as the early the late 1700’s, and some have theorized that it is most probably, but not definitely, of Muslim origin, most probably derived from either OSMAN or USMAN, the Turkish, Indian, or Persian form of the Arabic Uthmān. UTHMAN means "baby bustard" in Arabic. A bustard is a bird similar to a crane.

QUEZON. Quezon is of unclear origin, but perhaps may be a variation of the indigenous Chinese Filipino surname Quizon (Quison), which comes from the Chinese names Cui and Son. Thus, the surname here is Cui, which is associated with “men of famous Prime Ministers”.

QUIRINO. The patronymic family name is derived from the Spanish personal name Quirino (in turn from Latin Quirinus). In Roman mythology, the name Quirinus was possibly derived from the Sabine word quiris, meaning "spear". Quirinus was a Sabine and Roman god who was later identified with the war god Mars.

RAMOS. The surname Ramos is a Portuguese and Spanish habitational name from any of the towns called Ramos, situated in Portugal and Spain. It is derived from the Spanish word ramos, the plural of ramo, meaning “branch”, in turn from the Latin ramus. As a surname it is descriptive of someone who lived in a thickly wooded area.

ROXAS. Roxas is a variant of the Spanish surname Rojas, which is a newer variation of Roxas. It is a habitational name from places in Burgos or Lugo (Galicia) named Rojas, derived from the Spanish word rojo, which means “red”.
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