What is the origin of the last name Lima?

The last name Lima has its origin in both Portuguese and Spanish history. Derived from the Latin word "limus" meaning "boundary" or "border," the name most likely referred to individuals residing near a river or town border. Alternatively, it could have been a surname given to someone hailing from a place named Lima, particularly the city of Lima in Peru, which was named after the river of the same name. With roots in both Portugal and Spain, the surname Lima has become fairly widespread across the globe, particularly in former Portuguese and Spanish colonies.

Countries of origin for the last name Lima

Lima is a last name that can be found in various parts of the world, including Latin America, Europe, and the Philippines. While it is not possible to determine the exact origins of every individual bearing this surname, there are certain known facts about the name that can be identified through genealogical and etymological research. These facts provide valuable insight into the meaning and historical background of the last name Lima.

One of the most well-known origins of the surname Lima is a geographic one. It is derived from the Portuguese word for “lime tree” or “lime” and is associated with the city of Lima in Portugal. This suggests that the name may have initially been used to describe individuals who either lived near lime trees or were associated with the city of Lima. In some cases, it may have been adopted as a surname by those who migrated from the city or its surrounding region.

Another notable origin of the surname Lima is its link to the Latin word “limus,” which means “mud” or “slime.” This connection suggests that the last name may have been used to describe individuals who worked with lime or were associated with areas where lime was abundant, such as lime quarries. It is also possible that the name had a more metaphorical connotation, referring to individuals who were perceived as being muddy or unclean in some way.

The surname Lima can also be traced back to Spanish origins. In Spanish, the word “limar” means “to file” or “to polish.” It is possible that the last name Lima originated as an occupational name, referring to individuals who were engaged in filing or polishing activities. This could include professions such as metalworking, woodworking, or even jewelry making, where the process of filing or polishing was common.

It is worth noting that the surname Lima is not exclusive to the Portuguese or Spanish-speaking world. It can also be found in the Philippines, where it was brought by Spanish colonizers during the colonial period. In this context, the last name Lima could have originated from Spanish settlers or their descendants who established themselves in the Philippines. The name may have been further influenced by local languages and cultures, resulting in unique variations and interpretations.

In conclusion, the last name Lima carries multiple potential meanings and origins. It can be associated with the Portuguese word for “lime tree” or “lime,” the Latin word for “mud” or “slime,” as well as the Spanish word for “to file” or “to polish.” These connections suggest geographic, occupational, and metaphorical associations for individuals bearing this surname. While it is difficult to pinpoint one specific origin for every instance of the name, these known facts provide a solid foundation for further exploration and research into the rich history and meaning of the last name Lima.

Interesting facts about the last name Lima

  • The surname Lima is derived from the Latin word “limus,” which means “border” or “limit.”
  • The surname has Portuguese origins and is thought to have originated in the region of Lima, located in what is now northern Portugal.
  • The Lima surname is quite common in several Portuguese-speaking countries, including Portugal, Brazil, and Cape Verde.
  • In Portugal, the city of Lima in the region of Minho is considered the ancestral home of many Limas, and it is believed that several families took the surname from this region.
  • During the period of Portuguese colonization, many individuals with the Lima surname migrated to Brazil, contributing to its prevalence in the country.
  • There are several variations of the Lima surname, including Lemes, Lemesa, and the Italian version, Delima.
  • The surname Lima is also found among Spanish-speaking populations, specifically in the Galicia region of northwestern Spain.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Lima include Maria Lima, a Portuguese actress, and Adriana Lima, a Brazilian supermodel.
  • The name Lima is often associated with qualities such as determination, creativity, and a strong sense of family due to its historical significance and prevalence in various cultures.

Name Rank


There are around 19109 people with the last name Lima in the US

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