Romanian … escu

Sep 5, 13 • BlogNo CommentsRead More »

Why is Escu the most frequent family name in Romania.

The most frequent Romanian names ending in ESCU

The most frequent Romanian names ending in ESCU

The story of our family name begins with a village founder as an ancestor. Let us take the example given by historian N. A. Constantinescu in his Romanian name dictionary: Around 1820, the retinue of Negoita Diaconul (the Dean) settled and formed a village near the town of Pucioasa.

The settlement was named Diaconesti (the adjectival suffix shows possession, the fact that the village belongs to Diaconu’s people, who hold shared ownership of the land). Somewhere in the course of the third generation, when the joint ownership was dissolved, one of the descendant families took the name of Diaconescu.

This three-step process in the formation of “…escu” names – founding forefather, eponymous village with the plural ending “esti”, family name with the singular “escu” form – is backed by documents as early as the 14th century (records mention a Dabacescul in 1387, in Tara Romaneasca, now southern Romania, and a Serbanescu around 1392, in Moldova) and became widespread in the 15th century.

In the early 19th century, we see a new addition to the great national family of “escu”: many boieri (Romanian nobility) and foreign merchants took the name of the domains which they had bought to settle in the country. Such is the case of Tudor Vladimirescu – who took his name from the village of Vladimiri, in Jiul de Sus.

“The Romanian suffix –esc, easca is a descendant of Latin –ISCUS, with ancient Indo-European origins (it may also have existed in the Thraco-Dacian language, in paleo-Slavic etc.), and with Romance language correspondences: -esco in Portuguese, -isco in Spanish, -esco in Italian, -iscu in Sardinian” says Domnita Tomescu, author of the book Numele de persoana la romani. Perspectiva istorica.

Today, the “escu” suffix is something of a Romanian brand, much like the “ov” or “ski” termination for Slavic people, the “o” particle for the Irish or the “di” for the Italians.

 

Top 20 ESCU family names

1.

POPESCU

122.435

2.

IONESCU

 64.795

3.

DUMITRESCU

 33.899

4.

STANESCU

 31.280

5.

GEORGESCU

 26.032

6.

CONSTANTINESCU

 25.878

7.

RADULESCU

 25.471

8.

MARINESCU

 23.479

9.

PETRESCU

 22.149

10.

STEFANESCU

 16.365

11.

TEODORESCU

 15.653

12.

FLORESCU

 14.932

13.

ILIESCU

 13.028

14.

VASILESCU

 11.760

15.

NICULESCU

 11.560

16.

DIACONESCU

  9.709

17.

TOMESCU

  9.533

18.

MIHAILESCU

  9.390

19.

BARBULESCU

  8.315

20.

DOBRESCU

  8.255

 

Most frequent Romanian family names

163.391 Popa

122.449 Popescu

115.162 Radu

108.582 Pop

94.276 Dumitru

87.904 Stoica

83.772 Stan

81.114 Mihai

78.286 Gheorghe

74.620 Constantin

73.709 Matei

72.538 Rusu

69.376 Serban

69.159 Cioban

69.126 Marin

 

Another Romanian patronymic suffix: the regional “on’u” suffix, from the Banat and sub-Carpathic Oltenia areas: Ion Patron’u, sometimes turned into “-oiu”.

* translated by Anca Barbulescu