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Discovering the Meaning of Your Armenian Family Name


What’s in a name? More than you might expect! Family names can hold clues to a family’s origin or family relationships, interests, occupations, locations, and even connections to royalty. If you have Armenian heritage, understanding Armenian surnames will help you connect with your family as you discover your Armenian family history. 

Virtually all Armenian surnames consist of a root and one or more suffixes. The root may be a given name such as Petros or Samvel, or it may be a title, personal characteristic, occupation, or place-name. Examples of roots and their meanings include the following:

  • Kade (magistrate, judge, cadi)
  • Kabasakal (having a coarse or bushy beard)
  • Baghdasar (“Balthasar” in English, meaning protector of the king)
  • Zeytounts (a city in historical Armenia)