Surnames Rossi, Roselli, Rossetto, Rosatti, Rosatto, Rossellini and more

Surnames Rossi, Roselli, Rossetto, Rosatti, Rosatto, Rossellini and more

There are many hypotheses about the origin of this surname. The most known indicates that it is a reference of red hair.

Among romans, this trait had originated the Latin cognomen Rossius, derived from the Latin rubius (red), and in some cases it can be concluded that the surname Rossi derives directly or through hypocoristic forms (or even dialectal) from this cognomen.

Other origins of the surname Rossi in Italy

  • In some cases, rather than the parent’s physical characteristics, the surname was related to a piece of clothing or object of a particularly evident or representative red colour, for example uniforms, shields of arms or flags.
  • Rossi could also be of Germanic origin, a derivative of the Germanic surname Ross, meaning horse, in reference to the red blankets of such animal.
  • According to another hypothesis, it could derive from the Germanic name Rotz o Rutz, which, made up of the root ‘hrod‘ (glory, fame), can be translated as ‘glorious, famous’ (the same root, for example, is found in names such as Roberto, Rodolfo, Ruggero, Rolando.
  • Another possible origin has a precise historical connotation linked to the progressive settlement in Italy of “barbarian” communities, with the typical common characteristic of the Slavic ethnic group of reddish hair and beard. Taking into account that the surname Rossi began to spread from the end of the 3rd century AD, in those areas where the settlements were stronger is obvious to suppose that it was a natural habit of the local population to indicate these families as “Russus, Rubeis, Rubeo, Russo, Russi, Rosso, Rossi”.
  • However, this surname could have another origin. For example: in Trieste, Rossi is related to the Slovenian Rosic and the Croatian Rusic. The ending ic means “son of…”, since in Slovenian a stream is called red, and roggia is a term used in Lombardy to designate small canals or irrigation wells. Rossi could also derive from these two terms and the Rossis could simply be “those of the stream”, in the sense of those families who lived near a small stream or who had a related activity with it.

That is to say, Rossi/Russo and their derivatives, besides being a patronymic derived from the physical characteristics of the father, could also be a surname derived from a profession or toponymic.

Related surnames

Rosso, Rossa, Rosselli, Rosello, Rossellini, Rossellino, Rossiello, Rossillo, Rossetti, Rosetto, Rossei, Rossettini, Rossini, Rossino, Rossin, Rossitto, Rossotti, Rossotto, Rossone, Rossoni, Rosson, Rossato.

Surnames Russo, Russoni, Russotti, Russotto, Russitto, Rusello and more

RUSSO is the equivalent to ROSSI = red, in Sicilian dialect. There is a post dedicated to all the surnames derived from Rossi. Russo is becoming a one of the most frequent surnames in Italy.

Related surnames

Russo, Russi,  Ruggio,  Russitti, Russitto, Russello,  Russetti,  Russino, Russone, Russoni, Russotti, Russotto, Russian, Russiani, Ruggittu

Rugiu, Ruju, Ruiu, Rubiu, are variants of Rossi typical from Sardinia.