• WordNet 3.6
    • n surname the name used to identify the members of a family (as distinguished from each member's given name)
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The "O" when used as a prefix in Irish surnames means "descendant of."
    • Surname A name or appellation which is added to, or over and above, the baptismal or Christian name, and becomes a family name.
    • Surname An appellation added to the original name; an agnomen. "My surname , Coriolanus."
    • v. t Surname To name or call by an appellation added to the original name; to give a surname to. "Another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.""And Simon he surnamed Peter."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The most common Spanish surname is Garcia.
    • n surname An additional name, frequently descriptive, as in Harold Harefoot; specifically, a name or appellation added to the baptismal or Christian name, and becoming a family name. See to-name. English surnames originally designated occupation, estate, place of residence, or some particular thing or event that related to the person. Thus, William Rufus. or red; Edmund Ironsides; Robert Smith, or the smith; William Turner. Many surnames are formed by adding the word son to the name of the father; thus, from Thomas the son of William we have Thomas Williamson. Surnames as family names were unknown before the middle of the eleventh century, except in rare cases where a family “established a fund for the deliverance of the souls of certain ancestors (Christian names specified) from purgatory.” (Encyc. Brit., X. 144.) The use of surnames made slow progress, and was not entirely established till after the thirteenth century.
    • surname To name or call by an additional name; give a surname to. See name.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The most common surname in Sweden is Johansson.
    • n Surname sur′nām a name over and above the Christian name: the family name
    • v.t Surname to call by a surname
    • ***


  • William Butler Yeats
    “The creations of a great writer are little more than the moods and passions of his own heart, given surnames and Christian names, and sent to walk the earth.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Pref. sur + name,; really a substitution for OE. sournoun, from F. surnom,. See Sur-, and Noun Name


In literature:

William Tuktusna comes from the South, and possesses both Christian name and surname, which is unusual for an Eskimo.
"With the Harmony to Labrador" by Benjamin La Trobe
In the absence of the father, the male relatives of the same surname assumed the guardianship of the young.
"Myths and Legends of China" by E. T. C. Werner
The superstitious Leon, surnamed the Philosopher, sat then upon the throne.
"The Empire of Russia" by John S. C. Abbott
Surnames are rare in Iceland, and such as exist are mostly of foreign origin.
"Influences of Geographic Environment" by Ellen Churchill Semple
In 1466 he died, leaving three sons, Galeazzo, Duke of Milan, the Cardinal Ascanio, and Lodovico, surnamed Il Moro.
"Renaissance in Italy, Volume 1 (of 7)" by John Addington Symonds
Khusru I, surnamed Naushirvan, or (more correctly) Anushirvan, reigned from A.D. 531 to 579.
"Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official" by William Sleeman
The child was christened Ishmael Worth, thus receiving both given and surname at the altar.
"Ishmael" by Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth
Substitute, however, your city for your surname.
"The City of Delight" by Elizabeth Miller
It is Ulysses Virginia Lee, and in addition, the surname Smith.
"American Missionary, Volume 43, No. 3, March, 1889" by Various
The word has descended to our own times in the surname of the family Shipster.
"Notes and Queries, Number 16, February 16, 1850" by Various

In poetry:

For in the night, unseen, a single warrior,
In sombre harness mailed,
Dreaded of man, and surnamed the Destroyer,
The rampart wall has scaled.
"The Warden Of The Cinque Ports. (Birds Of Passage. Flight The First)" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
In vain for cash Miss A being sought
Was to the Court of Conscience brought.
The plaintiff thus the fair pursued,
In C's surname Miss A was sued.
"A.B.C." by William Hutton
Tell me, I pray you, what surname
To Pallas fair, of martial fame,
In Egypt first was given:
And say what Roman prince, through fear
Of suffering by a death severe,
To suicide was driven.
"Enigma XXVII." by Elizabeth Hitchener
To ring out thy great frame, if I had skill,
The E'cho thereof should our Iland fill.
So consonant's thy vertue to thy wit,
And so thy outward feature graceth it,
That my Muse may one sillable adde well
Unto thy Surname, and call thee Le-bell.
"To Sir Robert Bell" by Ralph Knevet

In news:

They share a surname, they are all blues royalty, but there are many differences between B.B, Freddie and Albert King.
Kogelo is the ancestral village of his father - and the birthplace of the Obama surname.
Man auctioned off surname for one year.
An e-mail message received on Sept 10 from the book's author, Hugh Thomson, pointed out that his surname is not Thompson.
French tourist Juilette, who did not give her surname, sits on her luggage at the Jorge Newbery Airport in Buenos Aires after her flight to Uruguay was canceled because of an ash cloud from Chile's Peyuhue volcano.
They may share a surname, but as we explain, they are very different people.
Free Smashburgers today to people with surname Burger ( via Smashburger).
After all, Void would be a pretty uncommon surname.
Jessica, 56, and Monica, 22, use the stage name "The Sexxxtons" and refuse to give out their real surnames.
Hilary Swank is truly living up to her surname.
For all of my life I've had this long Dutch surname to tote around.
Free Burgers Today for People with Surname Burger at 10 NJ Restaurants.
In honor of National Cheeseburger Day, ten Smashburger restaurants in Northern Jersey are offering free Smashburgers to anyone with the surname Burger today Sept 18.
Alexandra, Angela, Angelica, Elizabeth, Emily, Isabella, Madeline and Vi all share the same surname.
Winning bidder pays $45,500 to change surname to "".

In science:

The term “LMC complexity” was composed by its authors from the initials of their surnames: Lòpez-Ruiz, Mancini, and Calbet .
Defining Complexity: A Commentary to a paper by Charles H. Bennett
The difficult part of this study is obtaining a useful list of names to feed to the algorithm. I have taken all the unique names plus first initial contributing two or more items to the ADS for authors whose surname starts with A, B or C.
Citation measures and impact within astronomy
In China, 7.4% of the population carries the surname Li, 7.2% Wang, and 6.8% Zhang (Nature 439, 125), and given that the number of graduate students from China (and India) in the US is now back up more or less to normal (Blumenthal 2006), you may want to rethink how you alphabetize your class lists.
Astrophysics in 2006
We have, however, been privately advised by a Nanjing colleague who carries the name that Wang in English conceals two very different Chinese characters, one of which is a good deal less common as a surname than the other.
Astrophysics in 2006
The code is composed by the surname first letter of the 3 first authors plus the final 2 digit s of the publication years.
YouASTRO: a web-based bibliography management system with distributed comments and rating features for SAO/NASA ADS papers