20 most common surnames in Croatia

Origin of the twenty most common Croatian surnames may surprise you. Do you recognize any of them?

20 most common surnames in Croatia

First family names in Croatia appeared in the 12th century and were widely used from the 14th century. In Croatia, the formula name-last name was introduced in the late 18th century during the reign of Emperor Joseph at the time of the Habsburg Empire.

1. Horvat
You guessed it, the most common Croatian surname is Horvat, with 22,225 people bearing it at the moment. First mentioned in the 16th century, it derived from the Hungarian name for Croats.

2. Kovačević
Just one of the many names derived from the word "blacksmith", which refers to the profession of blacksmiths and means "blacksmith's son."

3. Babić
Several possible explanations for the origin name suggest that it came from the Slavic word baba (grandmother, old woman) or Turkish word babo, meaning father.

4. Marić
Last name is derived from personal names Maro / Mara which means "descendant of Maro”.

5. Jurić
This name is a localized version of the name Georgius or George.

6. Novak
This surname contains the word "new" which locals used to signify immigrants and newcomers in their community.

7. Kovačić
Just like Kovačević, the surname refers to the blacksmith profession.

8. Vuković
The root of the name is a noun “wolf” for which are two possible explanations – either it comes from the noun wolf or a personal name Vuk.

9. Knežević
This last name is derived from the title of the prince, which originated from the Old German word kuningaz (later König).

10. Marković
Last name comes from the personal name Mark first noted in the 15th century, making it one of the oldest family names in Croatia.

11. Petrović
Another surname with personal name as the root. Peter comes from the Greek word "Petrus" meaning rock, and the suffix -ić means "little Peter" or "Successor of Peter".

12. Matić
This last name comes from the personal name Mate or Mathaeus / Mattai in Latin or Hebrew.

13. Tomić
At the root of the surname is first name Thomas, meaning “twin brother” in Syrian.

14. Kovač
Variation of the aforementioned surnames Kovačević and Kovačić, meaning “blacksmith”.

15. Pavlović
Derived from personal name Paul from the Roman surname Paulus, in Latin meaning “little” or “submissive”.

16. Božić
At the root of the surname is first name Božo, derived from the Croatian word "god".

17. Blazević
This last name is derived from personal names Blaž, especially popular after the canonization of St. Blaise.

18. Grgić
Derived from personal name Gregory meaning “I'm awake” or “I live”.

19. Pavić
Just like the name Pavlović, Pavić is a variation of name Paul.

20. Radić
The meaning of this last name is associated with two variants – Croatian word "rad" meaning work or from an expression of affection, as part of the phrase "imam te rad".


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