What is the origin of the last name Silva?

The last name Silva has its origin in Latin, deriving from the word "silva," meaning "forest" or "woodland." It is a toponymic surname, commonly associated with individuals or families who lived near or within wooded areas. As a surname, Silva is particularly prevalent in Portuguese-speaking countries, including Portugal and Brazil, reflecting the influence of Latin and Romance languages in naming practices.

Countries of origin for the last name Silva


Interesting facts about the last name Silva

  • The surname Silva is of Latin origin and is derived from the Latin word “silva” which means “forest” or “woodland.”
  • It is one of the most common surnames in the Portuguese-speaking countries of Portugal and Brazil.
  • The surname Silva is also found in other countries with a significant Portuguese or Spanish influence, such as Spain, Italy, and the Philippines.
  • It is estimated that there are over 5 million people with the surname Silva worldwide.
  • The surname Silva can be traced back to the medieval period in Europe, where it was used to describe people who lived near or worked in forests.
  • Many notable individuals have the surname Silva, including Brazilian footballer Thiago Silva, Portuguese politician José Silva, and Spanish writer María Dueñas Silva.
  • The surname Silva has multiple variations and spellings, including Da Silva, Silvia, and Silva Dos Santos.
  • Silva is the 8th most common surname in Brazil and the 11th most common surname in Portugal.
  • In Portuguese-speaking cultures, it is common for individuals with the surname Silva to be referred to by their first and last names or by using a nickname, to differentiate them from others with the same surname.
  • The surname Silva has a rich history and is often associated with strength, nature, and a connection to the land.

Name Rank


There are around 161633 people with the last name Silva in the US

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