Surnames originated when it was difficult to identify or differentiate people only by their first names. They represented families and lineages. Surnames were based on family businesses, occupations, faith, geographical locations, topographic areas, and cultures. The last names are passed on down through generations only for the convenience of memory and pronunciation.
This post brings you some common last names that start with M from around the world.
Common Last Names Starting With M, In Different Origins
Italian Last Names That Start With M
A name of Greek origin, Macri, is the noun version of the adjective “makròs,” which represents a massive person.
This Arabic derived Italian name means liberated.
This Italian topographic name means thicket or scrub.
This Italian surname means millstone.
The famous Italian surname Maggio comes from the same Italian word that denotes the month of May.
The roots of this name link back to Marogani, a French family who moved to Italy in the 16th century.
Malatesta is a combination of two words. “Mala” means bad and “testa” means character. The word is also Italian slang for a stubborn person.
Italians have strong family ties, and this surname is a derivation of the word “mamma,” meaning mother. Carlo Mammarella is a famous Italian footballer.
A surname of Italian origin and popular in Italy, Mancini is derived from the adjective Mancino. It refers to a left-handed
With Latin roots, the surname Manzi is derived from the first name Mantius. It is also derived from the Italian word Manzo, which means ‘steer’. Manzi is an occupational name for one who raised steers.
A derivative of the Latin nickname “Marianus,” Mariani is Mariano’s plural or patronymic version.
Massarini is a descriptive Italian surname that comes from the word “massaro.” It refers to a person who is the owner of lands.
With Old Italian roots, Morgante was a giant in a poem-novel by Italian author Luigi Pulci. The surname is based on the character of Morgante. According to Old French, Morgant is also an adjective, meaning proud or scornful.
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American Last Names That Start With M
Mabins is the last name of English origin. It finds roots in the Welsh name Mabon, which refers to a child. This name is also considered a variant of the Scottish name Maben.
Also spelled as McCall, this surname of Scottish and Irish origin comes from a Gaelic word that refers to “the battle chief’s son.” Carl McCall was a famous U.S. politician born in 1935.
MacNeil is a surname of European origin. It is a derivative of the personal name Niall, which denotes a champion.
Mathieson is the source of the last name Maddison, a name with English roots. It refers to Matthew’s son.
The Old Gaelic word “Mael Coluimb” finds its anglicized version in the surname Malcolm. This name is of European origin.
With Scottish and English roots, this popular occupational last name belongs to medieval times. It refers to a man who takes care of horses.
Martin is a name of European roots. The names found prominence in the fourth century with a famous saint called Martin of Tours.
The anglicized version of the Gaelic name Mac Dhamhnuill, McDonald is a popular last name of Scottish origin.
Morgan is a surname of Old Welsh origin and a derivative of the personal name ‘Morcant.’
A family name of European origin, Murphy refers to “Murchadh’s descendant.”
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Scottish Last Names Starting With M
Obtained from the given name Mack, the surname Maack means “charming” or “delightful” in Scottish and refers to the “greatest” in Latin.
Macmaster is a Scottish surname, which means son of a master.
With probable roots in Scotland and Ireland, this last name is an Anglicized version of the Gaelic word ‘Mag Uidhir,’ meaning “Odhar’s son.” Maguire means “sallow.”
Macfee is a Scottish name, which means charming.
McAllister is a surname from Ireland and Scotland. It finds its roots in the Gaelic given name Mac Alasdair. It refers to Alasdair’s son.
From Northern Ireland and the Scottish Galloway, the surname McCartney is an Anglicized variant of the Gaelic name Mac Artaine, which means “Artan’s son.”
Mackenzie is a family name of Scottish origin. It is an Anglicized variant of the Gaelic name Mac Coinnich, a patronymic version of Coinneach denoting someone handsome.
The surname with roots in Scotland remains popular to date. It is a derivative of the personal given name Paul.
Melvin is the Scottish variant of Melville or of the French last name de Maleuin or Melwin. It is an Anglicized form of a Gaelic word, meaning ‘gentle chieftain.’
The occupational name finds its emergence in English and Scottish culture. The name represents a miller or one who works at the mill or takes care of a mill.
A variant of Monroe, Munroe is an Irish and Scottish surname. It is derived from the Gaelic name Rothach, which refers to a man from River Roe.
One of the common Scottish surnames, Murray means, “settlements in the sea.”
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Spanish Last Names Starting With M
The Spanish habitational surname is a derivative of the Late Latin word matricale ‘matrix’ referring to a womb or a river bed.
Maese is a Dutch patronymic name derived from the Spanish word ‘maes.’ It refers to a maestro or master, a teacher.
A habitational name from a Spanish village by the name of Magaláns, Magallanes is a common surname.
Majano means a ‘heap of stones’ usually used as a boundary. This Spanish topographic last could also be a habitational name from a town called Majano in the province of Toledo.
This personal name has been adapted into a popular surname. It has multiple meanings, including warring, a defender, and a hammer.
Medina is a Spanish habitational name about multiple places. The Arabic holy city of Medina is one such place. The surname is also used by Sephardic Jews.
This Spanish family name is a habitational name from southern Spain. The city of La Mesa gets its name from the Latin word mensa, meaning ‘table-top’ as in the topographical feature.
Milian is a popular surname used by the Polish and Spanish. It is extracted from the Latin given name Aemilianus or Roman aemulus, meaning enemy or rival.
The Spanish habitational family name represents people from Monroy, a town in the province of Cáceres. Monroy refers to the ‘red mountain.’
Murga is a place in the Navarre province of Spain. This habitational name also finds its roots in the Romanian word Murgã and the Greek word Mourgas.
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French Last Names Starting With M
Mabbit is a French name that means lovable.
Mabee is derived from the French name Amable or Mable, which means lovingly or lovable person.
This name is popular among the Celtic tribe, which means “great son.”
Macadam refers to Adam’s son. Adam or Adam Macgregor is the grandson of Gregor Macgregor, the chief of the Gregor clan.
A surname common amongst the French, Mador or Madore, is a shortened form of Amadour. Amadour is a given name derived from the Latin word Amator, denoting a lover.
A geographical or habitational surname, the surname Marseille is also the name of a French city. These names are based on a person’s residence.
Martin is a patronymic surname after the French Saint Martin of Tours. This was one of the most popular French family names between 1891 and 1990.
This French habitational name is derived from Seine-et-Marne, which got its name from the Gaulish tribe Meldi or from a town in the Rhône called Meaux-la-Montagne.
A common French name, Melin, is a nickname for the French name Amelin. It could also be a habitational name from places in Côte d’Or and Haute-Saône, where Melin comes from ‘mill’ or the Latin word molinum.
Michelin is a popular French surname. According to Hebrew literature, Michael denotes one who is Godly or like God.
A nickname for the personal name Simon, Monet is a popular French surname. It could also be a shorter form of any name ending with ‘mon’ like Aymon.
Moranveille is a place in the Meuse and this habitational surname originates from there. This French last name could also be a combination of the personal name Morand and the Latin word ‘villa’ meaning estate.
Moris or Morris is a common English, Scottish, and Welsh surname. It has many variations in Dutch and German. In France, Moris is a variation of Maurice, which means ‘dark-skinned’ in Latin.
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Irish Last Names Starting With M
A surname of Gaelic origin, history traces back MacCarthy to a Gaelic Irish ruling clan during the Middle Ages. Florence MacCarthy was a famous Irish prince from the 16th century.
The French last name MacCleary finds its roots in the Gaelic term Mac Cléirigh, which refers to the priest’s son.
MacCoy is a French surname, a combination of Scottish, Irish, and Manx terms. The name also finds Gaelic links with a Celtic pagan God called Mac Aodha, which referred to the “fire’s son.”
Maccarone is an Irish derived surname which is an occupational surname for pasta makers
This family name originates from Mathghamhan, who was the son of a prince in the 10th century. The word means “bear” and is found exclusively in West Munster.
Malone is a surname of Irish origin. The name is derived from the term Maoileoin, which denotes “St. John’s servant.” Bernie Malone was a famous Irish Labour Party lady politician.
Marcott is the French variant of Marcotte. It is a metronymic occupational surname of “one who grows vines.” The Old French word marcotte refers to a layer formed by a vine shoot.
A common surname beginning with the letter ‘M’, Monaghan is extracted from Manacháin meaning “monk.”
Mooney means wealthy. It is derived from the Irish word Maonaigh, which also refers to someone who can’t speak.
Moriarty is an Anglicized version of the Gaelic term Ó Muircheartaigh. It comprises two elements, muir meaning sea and ceadach meaning skilled. Moriarty, therefore, refers to a “skilled navigator.”
The last name Mulhall is indicative of the descendant of St. Cathal’s follower, Maolchathail. The name denotes a “devotee of Saint Cathal.”
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Hispanic Last Names That Start With M
Martinez is a patronymic surname and refers to “Martin’s son.” It is a derivative of the Latin name Martinus, referring to the Roman god Mars, the protection war God.
Although the origin of the word is unclear, it may have come from the Late Latin term maurinus meaning “moor.”
A patronymic last name, Munoz, represents the “son of Muño.” The term also means a “hill.” Muñoz is the 40th most popular Hispanic surname.
It refers to a descendant or son of Mendo or Mendel. The medieval surname Menendo is a derivative of the Visigothic name Hermenegildo, meaning “total sacrifice.”
The term ‘mal’ means bad. Maldonado comes from the Spanish term mal donado, and the combination means ill-favored, badly bestowed, or given.
This surname, with Spanish roots dates back to the 1500s. It comes from the Hebrew term messiah, which is a vernacular form of the Latin term Messias.
This Spanish-Basque last name is commonly spelled as Melendez in the Puerto Rican community of The United States.
A toponymic last name derived from old Spanish, Meza refers to a tabletop or plateau.
Molina is an occupational last name originating in Spain. The term in Latin means “mill” and is derived from the Latin term mola meaning “millstone.”
A surname of Ancient Roman-Latin origin, the Portuguese and Spanish name can be a pet name for Morales, Morais, or Maurier. Mora means ‘blackberry’ and was initially believed to be an occupational surname for people who farmed blackberries.
German Last Names Starting With M
With Dutch and German heritage, the surname Maag comes from the Middle German word ‘Mac’ and the Middle Dutch term ‘Mage.’ Maag refers to a ‘kinsman’ or ‘relative.’
A derivative of the German term Maiss, Mais is a topographic surname, meaning a “land clearing.” The name first surfaced in the Rhineland. It also means “May” and could have been borne by someone born in May or someone fond of spring.
This German habitational surname is derived from a place by the name of Maltsberg. Johann Maltsberger emigrated from Germany to TN in the early 19th century, thus, spreading the name beyond his country.
A surname with Latin roots, Markus has multiple meanings including defender, warlike, and even denotes a hammer. Markus also refers to the descendant of Mark, which refers to someone belonging to Mars, the God of war.
A common German last name, Mauer, is a variant of Maurer. According to German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) literature, Mauer means ‘wall.’ This name could be topographic, denoting a person who lived by a wall or occupational for a builder of walls.
The German Habitational surname Meinberg comes from a place by the same name in Westphalia.
Also spelled as Meier, Meyer is an occupational surname. Initially, it referred to a landlord of a manor, but later it was used for a self-employed farmer.
The popular German surname is a metonymic occupational name. Milch denotes a milk seller. The name is derived from the Middle High German word ‘milich’ meaning milk.
A topographic name from South Germany, Moser refers to a person who resided near a peat bog. According to North German, this is a metonymic occupational surname for a vegetable vendor. Moser could also be a habitational name from a place with the word ‘mos.’
89. Müller/ Möller
A surname of occupational relevance, Müller refers to a miller or one who works in a mill. This is the most common German last name.
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Greek Last Names Starting With M
A popular name in ancient Greek, Makris is a pet name for the Greek term ‘makros,’ which means “tall” or “long.”
A Greek occupational surname, Mallas, means “trowel.” The name denoted someone who lays bricks for a living.
The family name Mandrapilias is commonly found in the Spartan region of Greece. The name is derived from a term that refers to a wall made of stone.
A derivation of the Greek term ‘maniki’ meaning sleeve or handle, Manikas is an occupational surname borne by people who craft handles.
A derivation of the name ‘Markus,’ this Greek last name refers to “Mark’s son.” This ancient surname means “blessed by God Mars,” who was the War-God.
The Greek last name Mavros describes a person of dark complexion or ‘black.’ This descriptive surname is also used as a prefix for given names.
Matraxia is a popular Sicilian surname with Greek roots. Probably a geographical name from Mathraki, the Dorian Island, which Dorians left to create the famous Magna Graecia.
A common amongst Greek surnames starting with ‘M,’ Metaxas is acquired from the Greek term metaxi, which means ‘silk’ or refers to a person who works with silk.
This Greek last name is believed to be a shortened form of Demetrios. The name is the Greek equivalent of Nicholas. The Greeks consider Mikos to be a descendant of Michos or Michael, who they worship like a God.
The Greek surname Moralis finds roots in the Spanish last name ‘Morales.’ This name is a derivation of the Spanish word ‘moreras,’ denoting ‘mulberry trees.’
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Polish Last Names Beginning With M
A Polish patronymic surname, Macak, is a shortened form of the given name Maciej, which is the Polish equivalent of Mathew. Mathew in Hebrew refers to a gift from God.
This Polish surname means bitterness of the sea.
This habitational Polish surname denotes people from places like Malesze in Białystok voivodeship or Malesin in Skierniewice voivodeship.
One of the most popular last names in Poland, Mazurek, is of Polish and Ukrainian descent. It is diminutive of the given name Mazur meaning “rustic.” It is a regional name for a person belonging to the Masovia or Mazowsze province, including modern Masuria.
Mieczysław is a modern version of the Old Polish surname Miecisław, derived from mietać. The term means ‘to throw.’
The common Polish last name is a diminutive of the Polish term mielcarz, which means ‘maltster.’ The name is an equivalent of the Jewish and German occupational surname Meltzer, referring to a maltster or one who brews malts.
Mieszko is a popular historical surname belonging to the first ruler of Poland. Though it is becoming rare with time, it is often used as a given name. The surname is believed to be a derivative of Miecisław.
One of the oldest Polish family names, Miroslaw is a word formed in combination of two productive Polish Slavic name lexemes in reverse order. The reconstruction refers to “one who worships peace” and “one who becomes famous by establishing peace and order.”
A derivative of mleko meaning ‘milk,’ the Polish surname Mleczko is an occupational name denoting a milkman.
A habitational surname, Mosakowski, refers to a person belonging to a town called Mosaki in Ciechanów voivodeship. It is an extension of the given name Mosak, a nickname for many names beginning with Mo.
Motyka is a surname of Polish, Slovak, and Ukrainian popularity. The term refers to a “hoe.” It speaks of a person who often takes off on a wild goose chase. A famous bearer of this surname is the Polish historian Grzegorz Motyka born in 1967.
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Portuguese Last Names Starting With M
A family name of Spanish and Portuguese origin, Machado means ‘hatchet’ or ‘axe.’ The name dates back to 2nd Century Europe and is commonly found in Spain, Portugal, Latin America, Brazil, and parts of India due to Portuguese colonization.
A popular surname to date, Mascarenhas is a habitational family name with roots in the civil parish of Mascarenhas in Mirandela, Portugal. Pedro Mascarenhas was a famous Portuguese colonial administrator and explorer.
Also spelled as Mattos or prefixed as de Matos, this is a famous Portuguese and Sephardic surname. Matoš is also a popular Croatian surname. The toponymic name gets its fame from the region Lamego in Portugal. In Hebrew, the term means “tribe” or “wooden sticks.”
Originating from Italy, this Portuguese surname is also popular in Brazil. A famous bearer of this surname is the Portuguese author Dom Francisco Manuel de Mello.
Mesquita is a Galician and Portuguese last name that means “mosque.” The Portuguese writer Raul Mesquita is a well-known bearer of this surname.
Miranda refers to someone who is “admirable.” This surname finds its roots in many countries, including Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, and in languages such as Sephardic Jewish and Maltese.
Originating in Latin Europe, the surname Modesto is commonly found in Spain, Portugal, and Italy. The term means modest, humble, or virtuous.
This occupational surname refers to a “miller”. Moleiro is a name of Galician and Portuguese origin and popularity.
Mota is a topographic surname of Portuguese and Spanish origin. It represents a person who resided near a fortified castle.
According to the Portuguese language, the surname Munhoz originated from Spanish and is a variant of the Spanish word Muñoz.
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Surnames are an identity of families, heritage, and lineage. Originating from ancient times, these surnames can help you find your roots from around the world. A thorough study from our end brings you the most common last names that start with M with meanings.