What is the origin of the last name Pagan?

The last name PAGAN is of Spanish and Portuguese origins, derived from the Latin word "paganus" meaning "country dweller" or "rural person." The name likely originated as a nickname for those who lived in rural areas or had rustic occupations. Over time, it became a hereditary surname used to identify the descendants of these individuals.

Countries of origin for the last name Pagan

The last name PAGAN has origins that can be traced back to multiple regions and cultures. It is primarily found in the United States, although it is also present in various other countries around the world. The name is relatively rare, but its history and meaning offer intriguing insights into its significance.

One of the key aspects of the name PAGAN is its etymology. The term “pagan” is derived from the Latin word “paganus,” which means “rustic” or “of the countryside.” In ancient times, it was often used to refer to individuals who adhered to traditional folk religions, particularly in the context of the Roman Empire. These religions were considered rural or primitive when compared to the dominant Roman and later Christian faiths.

Despite its historical connotations, the last name PAGAN does not necessarily indicate a connection to pagan religions. Surnames were often assigned based on various factors, such as a person’s occupation, geographical location, or even personal characteristics. It is likely that the name PAGAN was initially given to individuals who lived in rural areas or were associated with such communities.

Another significant aspect of the name PAGAN is its prevalence among different populations. While it is more commonly associated with individuals of Hispanic or Latino descent, particularly in the United States, it can also be found in other ethnic groups. This suggests that the name has undergone a degree of assimilation and diffusion across various cultural backgrounds.

Research has also revealed variations and alternate spellings of the name PAGAN. These include Paganini, Pagani, and Paganelli among others. These variations further emphasize the complex history and diverse origins of the surname.

Furthermore, the distribution of the name PAGAN provides insights into its geographic concentration. According to available data, the majority of individuals with this last name can be found in states such as California, Texas, and Florida, which have significant Hispanic populations. However, it is important to note that the name is not limited to these regions and can be found throughout the country.

The origins and meaning of the last name PAGAN are deeply rooted in history and culture. Despite its association with ancient folk religions, it carries a broader significance that encompasses rural life, diverse populations, and the complex interplay of various factors that shape surnames. The name PAGAN invites further exploration and research, providing a glimpse into the lives and identities of those who bear it.

Interesting facts about the last name Pagan

  • The surname Pagan is of medieval Italian and Spanish origin, derived from the Latin word “paganus,” meaning “villager” or “rustic.”
  • It is believed that the surname Pagan originally referred to someone who lived in the countryside or a rural area.
  • The Pagan surname can be traced back to several regions, including Italy, Spain, and Portugal.
  • Within the Italian region, the surname Pagan is especially prevalent in the southern part, particularly in Sicily and Calabria.
  • During the Middle Ages, when surnames became more commonly used, Pagan was a relatively common name in Italy.
  • There is a town named Pagan in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar (formerly Burma), which holds historical and archaeological significance. However, it is unclear if there is any connection between the surname and this town.
  • The variant spellings of the surname Pagan include Paganini, Pagano, and Pagani.
  • Over time, individuals with the Pagan surname have spread through migration to various parts of the world, including the United States, Canada, and South America.
  • In some cases, the Pagan surname may have originated as a nickname or epithet, referring to someone who was considered unconventional or non-Christian during medieval times.
  • Today, individuals with the surname Pagan can be found engaged in various professions and fields, including business, arts, academia, and more.

Name Rank


There are around 23474 people with the last name Pagan in the US

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