13 Popular Serbian Last Names: A Painless Guide

Serbian Last Names

Have you been wondering what the common Serbian last names are? If you are, then you’ve come to the right post! In today’s article, we will walk you through the 10 most common surnames in the country, and we will walk you through some interesting facts about these special names. If you are up for that, then let’s start learning!

Serbian Last Names: Interesting Facts

There are some facts that could help you recognize if someone is Serbian, but that’s not it because you could make a mistake. Let’s take two, probably the most famous Serbs of all time, and their family name: Novak Đoković and Nikola Tesla. Both of them are Serbian, but there is a lot of difference between them.

So Novak has a classic Serbian surname, and that’s because he comes directly from Serbia. Nikola Tesla was born in Croatia, and Serbian people from Croatia have similar surnames due to their history with Croatia. The point here is that most surnames come with the ich (vić or just ić) at the end of it.

If you want to find out more about Serbian people and their languages, then please check our other posts right here.

How Do I Recognize A Serbian Surname?

As we said, it is quite easy, but on the other hand, sometimes can be pretty tough. If you see someone’s last name has a phonetic ending like vić or ić (vich or itch), then you probably won’t make any mistakes. There is a great chance that this person comes from Serbia or has any other connection with it.

Those last names are also quite popular in Montenegro (this country was part of Serbia & Montenegro until the year 2006), Croatia, or Bosnia. You should be careful with it and always ask before you make any judgment because some of them could get offended. But honestly, all of them have a strong connection to Serbia, whether someone would say it or not.

So when we talk about the most common surnames in Serbia, I mean those ones which end in vić, they all start with some name at the beginning. Let’s take Petrović as an example. It is the patronym of Petar (Peter), and the whole surname actually means son of Petar.

How Do Serbian Last Names Work?

Serbian last names usually follow the Eastern/Asian name order, where the family name comes first, and their given names are mentioned. So if you know someone named Aleksandar Jovanović, you may address him formally as Jovanović Aleksandar instead. But, many Serbian families are adopting the Western way of saying their Serbian last names. If you are also marrying a Serbian woman, they take their husband’s last name to their own.

Popular Serbian Last Names

13 Most Popular Serbian Last Names

The ten common Serbian surnames in Serbia are Jovanović, Popović, Nikolić, Marković, Petrović, Jovanović, Milošević, Đorđević, Cvetković and Djordjević grouped together. In Serbia, last names are usually the names of the people who once were head of the family. The children of these people carry on with the family name. Of course, this same concept of passing down names applies to most countries like the Philippines, America, and Spain.

1. Cvetković has an origin from the name Cvetko, and it is a Slavic masculine name. ‘Cvet’ means ‘Flower’, so you can catch the meaning by yourself.

2. Dimitrijević, also one of the most common surnames, and it comes from the Serbian name ‘Dimitrije’ or Russian name ‘Dimitrij’.

3.Đorđević, this last name has the ancient Greek origin meaning “farmer.” It also has the name ‘Đorđe’ or ‘Djordje’ and he was the Orthodox saint.

4. Ilić, a patronym of the name ‘Ilija’ which was the South Slavic Saint.

5. Jakovljević, is a common South Slavic patronymic last name derived from the masculine name ‘Jakov’.

6. Jaksić, comes from the South Slavic diminutive of the name ‘Jakša’ or ‘Jaksha.’

7. Jovanović, we can compare the name ‘Jovan’ with the English name ‘John.’ It was also the saint and the Godfather of Jesus Christ.

8. Kostić, also belongs to the group of very common surnames, and it comes from the Russian name ‘Kosta’ or ‘Konstantin’. Konstantin the Great was a famous Russian emperor.

9. Kovačević, the Slavic word ‘Kovač’ or ‘Kovach’, means ‘blacksmith’. So, the literal translation of this last name would be ‘the son of blacksmith’.

10. Krstić, derived from the Serbian name ‘Krsta’ or ‘Krsto.’ But there is something really interesting with this last name which comes with its literal translation, which would have the meaning of ‘little cross’. ‘Krst’ means ‘Cross’ in Serbian. So, maybe it could also mean the ‘son of the cross’ who knows.

11. Marković, derived from ‘Marko,’ the Slavic variant of Markus, or Mark, is the most common family name in Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia.

12. Popović, is also one of the most common Serbian surnames. The word ‘Pop’ is actually a Serbian word for the Priest.

13. Nikolić, derived from the Serbian name ‘Nikola.’ Also one of the most common Serbian last names. Nikola was the Serbian Orthodox Saint, and in some traditions, believes he is the ‘Santa Claus’.

In the previous text, you can see that there is a lot of history when it comes to Serbian last names. The origins are different, some of them are from Slavic history, some last names come from Serbian naming, and some of them are just diminutive.

As we reach this part of the post, we hope that you can learn some of the most common Serbian Last names. With this information, you cannot easily point out if someone has Serbian ties! If you enjoyed this post, you could also check interesting blog posts about the best Serbian films to watch.

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There are a lot of Serbian last names, and it would probably take us a lot of time to mention them all. There is a lot of history on this topic, and the most important fact to remember from this post is the meaning of ich or itch in the surnames we introduced earlier. I hope you were enjoying what you’ve read and that you found out something new.

If you want to learn more about Serbia, its tradition, and Serbian people, check other blog posts here. On the other hand, if you want to learn the Serbian language, check the Ling app! It contains 200+ lessons filled with activities like speaking, reading, writing, and listening. If you’re curious about other languages, you can easily switch to the other 60+ languages without losing your progress. Exciting right? Download the Ling app now on the Play Store or App Store and start learning today!

One Response

  1. Dear Sir:
    Yes I would love to be able to converse fluently the language of Serbian Orthodox. I understand Serbian language better than I can speak it. My mom and dad were very proficient speaking their language however, I never took the time to learn to speak the language I was brought up with.

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