Family names started to appear among Croatians during the 12th century. They generally have five different origins — given names, professional names, nicknames, toponyms, and ethnic designation. They follow complex and unique structuring, lettering, composition, and naming customs, similar to most European naming systems.
Most Croatian surnames end with a diminutive suffix, “-ic,” which is often combined with the name or profession of the parent. Croatians also used Slavic names of Serbian and Bosnian origins. Modernization and globalization in the last century have expanded typical Slavic traditionalism, leading to borrowed surnames from all over the world.
This post presents 150 common Croatian surnames or last names, with their meanings, origins, and variants.
List Of Popular Croatian Surnames Or Last Names
The surname means ‘son of Abram,’ and has its origin in Croatian and Serbian. Ivana Abramovic, a Croatian tennis player, is a famous bearer of the name.
It is a patronymic form of the personal name, Adam, and has Croatian and Serbian origins.
Andric refers to the ‘son of Andrija,’ and is associated with Nikola Andric, a Croatian writer and philologist.
It means ‘son of Antuno,’ a Croatian form of Antonius. It is associated with a Croatian writer, Ivan Antunovic.
Antic means ‘son of Anto or Ante,’ and a famous bearer of this surname is Mika Antic, a Yugoslav poet and film director.
It is derived from the Turkish word, ‘Arap,’ meaning ‘Arab.’
It is derived from the Russian and Polish word, Baba, which means ‘old woman.’ The popular namesake is Ljubo Babic, a Croatian painter.
It is composed of two elements, ‘birati,’ meaning ‘to take’ and ‘slava,’ meaning ‘glory.’
It is an Ikavian word ‘bilo,’ meaning ‘white.’ The famous bearer of the name is Croatian football coach, Slaven Bilic.
The Serbian and Croatian surname derived from the word ‘bol,’ meaning ‘pain or ache.’
The last name means ‘son of Blaz,’ which is a Croatian form of Blaise. It refers to the South Slavic element ‘blag’ meaning ‘pleasant, good and sweet.’
It is a toponymic name denoting someone from the region of Bosnia. This name is also found in Bosnian Muslims.
This Croatian surname means ‘little God,’ and literally means Christmas.
Bozikov is taken from the Croatian word ‘bozikovina,’ meaning ‘holly.’
The surname Bukvic originated from the word ‘Bukva,’ meaning ‘beach.’
The surname is derived from Ottoman Turkish word ‘bula,’ meaning ‘a married woman.’
It is a variant of Bomba, taken from Latin ‘bombus,’ and is an occupational name for an artilleryman.
This habitational name refers to someone from the region called Butkovici in Croatia.
It is an occupational name given to a beekeeper and has Croatian and Serbian origins.
Celik is derived from the Serbo-Croatian element ‘celik,’ which means ‘steel’ in the Turkish language.
Cerkez surname is derived from the Turkish element ‘cerkez,’ meaning ‘Circassian.’
It is an ornamental surname derived from Croatian ‘cizma,’ meaning ‘boot.’
The popular last name is taken from the Turkish ‘korluk,’ meaning ‘blindness.’ Vedran Corluka, a football player, is a famous bearer of this surname.
The surname is derived from the element ‘crn,’ meaning ‘black.’ It refers to a person who is dark-skinned, or refers to someone from the region, Crna Gora meaning ‘black mountain.’
The surname refers to Croatian ‘curak,’ meaning ‘fur coat.’ It is associated with Serbian footballer, Ivan Curkovic.
This Croatian surname has its origin in German, and is taken from the word ‘Zwecke’ meaning ‘nail.’
It means ‘son of Doamgoj.’ They are a native Croatian dynasty that rules Croatia in the late 800s.
Davidovik refers to the ‘son of David.’ The popular namesake is Dalibor Davidovic, a Croatian musicologist.
Divjak means ‘savage,’ and this surname has Croatian and Serbian origins.
This unique surname refers to Drobnjaci, a historical tribe and region in Montenegro.
It is a patronymic name for the Ragusan word, ‘dundo,’ meaning ‘gentleman or uncle.’ This originates from the Latin word, Dominus meaning ‘master or sir.’
The ornamental surname derived from Istro-Romanian ‘fara guna,’ meaning ‘without a shepherd’s goat-skin cloak.’
It is a toponymic name for someone who lived in a village, castle, or lake in Croatia with the same name.
It means ‘little pigeon,’ and is derived from the word ‘Golub,’ meaning ‘pigeon.’
It is a toponymic surname given to someone from the village named, Graova in Croatia. The name is derived from the word ‘Graovo.’
It is derived from the Croatian ‘grb,’ which means ‘hump.’ The surname means ‘hunchback.’
The last name Grgic means ‘son of Grgur.’ A popular namesake is Zlatko Grgic, a Croatian animator.
It is derived from the word ‘Guska,’ meaning ‘goose.’ Gusic was one of the twelve noble families of the Croatia kingdom.
Hadzoc is derived from the word ‘hadzi’ that refers to pilgrims to Jerusalem or Mecca. A Bosnian singer, Osman Hadzic is known to be a famous bearer of this name.
It refers to someone who is from Haloze, a region in Slovenia. This popular name has Croatian and Slovene regions.
It originated from the Croatian word ‘Harambasa,’ meaning ‘bandit-leader.’ The name is associated with a Croatian writer and poet, August Haramabasic.
This is an occupational name taken from ‘Herzogin,’ a German title that means ‘duchess.’
This unique surname is derived from the Croatian word ‘hladno,’ meaning ‘cold.’
It is derived from ‘Hrvat’ meaning ‘Croat, a person from Croatia.’ The famous bearer of this surname is Croatian writer and sailor, Joza Horvat.
It is a habitational surname for those who are from the regions starting with ‘Hrzen-.’
Jezic is derived from the Croatian word ‘Jez’ meaning ‘hedgehog,’ and is associated with a Croatian writer, Slavko Jezic.
Josipovic refers to the ‘son of Josip.’ A popular namesake is Ivo Josipovic, the former president of Croatia.
It refers to the ‘son of Juko’ and is associated with the Bosnian film director, Elmir Jukic.
It is a patronymic surname from the given name, Jurko. The famous namesake is Igor Jurkovic, a Croatian kickboxer.
The surname has Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian origins. It means ‘son of Ibro,’ and a popular namesake is Senijad Ibricic, a Bosnian soccer player.
This surname is derived from the word Jablan meaning ‘poplar tree.’
The surname Kacic is derived from the word ‘Kaca’ meaning snake. It is one of the twelve noble families of Croatia.
It is an occupational name referring to a judge of a Sharia court. The surname is derived from ‘kadija,’ meaning ‘Qadi.’
Kajmak or Kaymak refers to a dairy product from southeastern Europe and Central Asia.
It is an occupational name referring to Croatian ‘kapetan,’ meaning ‘captain.’
Kasunic is taken from the old Slavic element ‘kazati,’ meaning ‘to command or order.’
It is a patronymic surname referring to Serbo-Croatian ‘kniz,’ meaning ‘prince.’
This short and unique name is from Turkish ‘kis’ meaning ‘winter.’ It also has Hungarian origin, meaning ‘small.’
This surname means ‘rooster’ in Slavic.
Kolovrat is a Swastik-type Slavic symbol referring to ‘a spinning wheel.’
This surname is a diminutive form of ‘Kopriva’ meaning ‘nettle.’
It is derived from the word ‘kos,’ meaning ‘basket.’ The surname refers to someone who makes or sells baskets.
It is a toponymic name for someone who is from Kotar, a type of district.
It is a patronymic surname derived from ‘kovac,’ meaning ‘blacksmith.’ A popular namesake is a Croatian musician, Bruno Kovacic.
Kralj means ‘king,’ and has Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian origins. The name is associated with the first king of Croatia, Kralj Tomislav.
It is an occupational name for someone who is a cow herder.
The Croatian surname means ‘blackberry’ and refers to the burning bush from the Book of Exodus.
The surname Levic is a Croatian name derived from ‘levo,’ meaning ‘left.’
It is derived from Albanian ‘lesh,’ meaning ‘fur.’ The surname has Serbian and Croatian origins.
Loncar is taken from the Serbo-Croatian element, ‘Lonac’ meaning ‘potter.’ The famous bearer of this surname is Zoran Loncar, a Serbian Politician.
It is referred to as the ‘son of the potter.’ The popular bearer of this surname is Ilija Loncarevic, a Croatian football coach.
It is a patronymic form of the personal name ‘Luka,’ an English form of Latin Lucas, meaning ‘from Lucania.’
Maric refers to the ‘son of Marija.’ It can be associated with Marcela Maric, the Croatian Olympic diver.
This surname is formed by adding the suffix ‘-ic’ and the possessive infix ‘-ov-‘ to the given name, Martin.
Mecava means ‘snowstorm,’ and is associated with Mile Mecava, a Yugoslavian Partisan.
It is a Croatian name for ‘bear,’ and is a popular Slavic name, too.
It is derived from the Croatian word, ‘mestar,’ and a rare form of the master.
The habitational name is given to those from the Italian city of Milan, and contains Slavic elements ‘mil’ or ‘milu,’ meaning ‘favor, grace or dear.’
It is a patronymic name, meaning ‘son of Miso,’ and referred to someone muscular.
It refers to the ‘son of Mogor,’ and is one of the twelve noble families of Croatia.
It is a habitational surname for those from a region called Moslavina in Croatia.
It means ‘son of Nelipac.’ It is a medieval Croatian noble family that existed in the 15th and 16th centuries.
It refers to the ‘son of Nikola.’ A popular namesake is the House of Nikolic, a Serbian noble family.
The Croatian surname is derived from the elements ‘nov,’ meaning ‘new’ and ‘selo,’ meaning ‘village.’ It refers to someone new to the village.
Novak is from Slavic ‘Novy,’ meaning ‘new.’ It refers to someone new to the village, and the popular namesake is Novak Djokovic, a professional tennis player.
It is a Croatian and Slovene name for ‘cloud.’
Orlic is originated from the element ‘oroa,’ meaning ‘eagle.’ The surname is associated with the Croatian musician, Tihomir Orlic.
Palic is a Serbian and Croatian surname derived from ‘paliti,’ meaning ‘to fire, or to set on fire.’
It is taken from ‘pasa,’ meaning ‘Pasha,’ a high rank in the Ottoman political and military system.
Perovic refers to the ‘son of Pero,’ and a popular surname is of Ana Perovic, a former Serbian basketball player.
It is a habitational surname for someone from the region called Peruski in Croatia.
Pletikosa originated from the Croatian elements ‘pletiti,’ meaning ‘to knit’ and ‘kosa,’ meaning ‘hair.’
It is a patronymic surname for ‘son of a priest.’ The name is associated with Petar Popovic, a former Croatian basketballer.
It refers to a person living in Posavina, a region adjacent to the Sava river in Croatia.
The last name Puntar refers to a 19th-century phrase referring to someone who supported the unification of the Kingdoms of Croatia and Dalmatia within Austria-Hungary.
It is an occupational name for someone who is a ‘gunsmith,’ and is derived from Croatian ‘Puskar.’
It is a Croatian word that refers to the phrase ‘glad to hunt.’
Radosevic is the ‘son of Rados.’ It has Croatian and Serbian origins.
Remenar is an occupational surname with meaning ‘saddler.’
Repac is a Croatian and Serbian surname, which means ‘little tail.’
Ribar is an occupational surname of Croatian origin, and it means ‘fisherman.’
It is from Croatian word ‘rodak,’ meaning ‘family relative.’
Rodic is a Croatian and Serbian name for ‘roda,’ meaning ‘stork.’
The surname originated from the Serbo-Croatian word ’Rukav,’ meaning ‘sleeve.’
The popular surname derived from the Croatian element ‘ruza,’ meaning ‘rose.’
It means ‘saffron’ in the Croatian language.
It is derived from the word ‘saka,’ meaning ‘fist.’
The toponymic surname is derived from the name of the region, Saxony.
It means ‘apprentice,’ and a popular namesake is Rade Segrt, a Bosnian-Serbian author.
It is an occupational surname, and is a Turkish form of Persian ‘Sardar,’ meaning ‘leader, chief, field marshal.’
This has its origin in Croatian and Slovene languages and means ‘north.’
The Croatian form of Simeon, and is derived from the name Simun, meaning ‘flatter or listener.’
It is from the given name Simun, and refers to ‘son of Simun.’ A popular namesake is a Croatian writer, Dinko Simunovic.
It is an occupational surname referring to a lawyer or representative from Dalmatia in the Middle Ages.
It is derived from ‘slad,’ meaning ‘malt’ and the suffix ‘-ljev,’ meaning ‘pouring.’
The surname is derived from the Slavic element, ‘slava’ meaning ‘glory.’
Slunjski is a habitational name for someone from the region, Slunj of Croatia.
The Croatian surname is derived from the word ‘smokva,’ meaning ‘fig.’
This name refers to ‘jay,’ a bird, and is of Croatian origin.
It is derived from the Turkish ‘Sokak’ meaning ‘street.’ Most people bearing this surname live in the region of Cernik.
Stanic means ‘son of Stanko, ’a diminutive of Stanislav. It is derived from Slavic elements, ‘stani,’ meaning ‘stand,’ and ‘slava,’ meaning ‘glory.’
It is a Croatian word for ‘son of an old man.’
It is a patronymic surname meaning ‘son of Stipe’ or ‘son of Stjepan.’
The Croatian surname is derived from ‘straza,’ meaning ‘guard.’
Suskov is taken from the Croatian element ‘suskati,’ meaning ‘to rustle.’
It is a patronymic name with meaning ‘son of Tasa,’ which means love.
Teklic is a popular Croatian surname for ‘messenger,’
The Croatian surname is an occupational name given to those who are into ‘carpentry.’
It means ‘son of Tuma,’ and a popular namesake is Zivorad Tomic, the Croatian film director.
It is a toponymic name referring to several locations in Slovenia and Croatia bearing the name ‘Topolovec.’
It is a Croatian and Serbian surname and an occupational name for ‘herbalist.’
It refers to ‘sons of Tripimir.’ Tripimirovics was the ruling dynasty of Croatia, which is named after Tripimir I, the founder.
Vidovic means ‘son of Vid,’ and is formed by adding the patronymic suffix ‘-ic’ and the possessive infix ‘-ov’ to the given name, Vid.
It is a habitational surname for someone who is from the region of Viljevo in Croatia.
This surname is taken from the Croatian nickname, Vincent. It is from the Roman name Vincentius, derived from Latin ‘vincere,’ meaning ‘to conquer.’
It is taken from the Croatian word ‘Vrba,’ meaning ‘willow.’
The surname is taken from the Croatian element ‘vrh,’ meaning ‘peak, top or summit.’
It is a Croatian and Serbian name, derived from the given name, Vuk, which means ‘wolf’ in Serbian.
The patronymic surname derived from ‘Vuk’ meaning ‘wolf.’
Yankovic means ‘son of Janko,’ It has Croatian and Serbian origins and a diminutive form of Janez.
It is a Croatian and Slovene surname, referring to a person living near the Drava river.
It refers to ‘someone beyond the mountain.’ The popular namesake is Danjel Zagora, a Croatian footballer.
Zec means ‘rabbit’ and has its origin in Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, and Bosnian.
It is a Croatian surname taken from ‘zidar,’ meaning ‘stonemason or bricklayer.’
Zoric refers to ‘son of Zora,’ and the name is associated with Luka Zoric, a Croatian basketball player.
It is a Hungarian name for ‘people from Zrin,’ and an Old Croatian noble family of the 16th and 17th centuries.
Zubcic surname is derived from the word ‘zubic,’ meaning ‘small tooth.’
Zuna is a Croatian surname meaning ‘woodpecker.’
It is an occupational surname given to the leader of a territorial unit called ‘zupanija.’
Zver refers to ‘beast’ and has its origin in Croatian, Russian, and Slovene languages.
These are some of the common and famous Croatian surnames with their origins in Croatia and other European countries. Most surnames have been in use for centuries and are still popular. It is interesting to learn these names’ origins that often reflect the country’s history and culture.