From rare oddities to overly common repetitions, Malta is full of very colourful surnames. But where do they come from, and what can they tell us about where we came from?
One of Lovin Malta’s latest TikTok series does just that, and we’ve already looked at everything from Borg to Siracusa.
Over the course of six episodes launched soon after the start of 2021, X’Kunjomok has looked at a number of Maltese surnames and their roots.
From different countries and regions to birds and crops, so many places, faces and things have inspired the surnames we use every day, and Lovin Malta’s Dave and Ricky are here to walk you through some of the most popular ones.
And yes, before anyone asks, there’s Grech in there. And yes, it’s Greek. Happy? OK, let’s go.
1. Surnames that originated in other countries
Some of these are a little bit more obvious than others (I wonder where ENGLAND came from?), but others, not so much.
For example, did you know where Gauci comes from? Not too far away from the mainland, it turns out.
2. Surnames inspired by their bearers’ professions
From judgemental Micallefs to noble Attards, there’s a lot to unpack here.
Others are even cheekier… like Imbroll and Briguglio.
3. Surnames fresh off the field
From small onions to pungent garlic, the island’s crops have inspired some of the most popular surnames in Malta.
You might have heard the one about Psaila… but what about Zahra and Calleja?
4. Surnames with wings
Chickens? Roosters? Cocks?
They’re all here ladies and gentlemen.
5. Surnames from the Animal Kingdom
Forget where you grew up, because your surname might be straight out of the wild.
From one-year-old lambs to giraffes and camel riders, Malta has a lot of surnames derived from animals, and while some of them have very clear Arabic roots, all of them can now never be unheard or unseen. You’re welcome.
6. Surnames about food… or what happens after you eat
Eating too much? You might be a Grasso. But don’t go on too strict of a diet though, because you might end up being a Magro. Basically, it’s all about Mangion.
Confused? Don’t worry, just watch this.