Latin Cognomina

Here’s a great list of Latin cognomina from
“The Origin of Roman Praenomina,” by George Davis Chase. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Vol. 8 (1897), pp. 103-184.

Latin Cognomina

Traits

  • Capito ‘big-head’
  • Cotta ‘cowlick’ (?)1
  • Nasica ‘prominent nose’
  • Naso ‘large nose’
  • Silus ‘pug-nosed’
  • Silo ‘pug-nosed’
  • Licinus ‘bent upward’ (of the nose ?)
  • Mento ‘long chin’
  • Dentio, Denter, ‘prominent teeth’
  • Brocchus ‘prominent teeth’
  • Labeo ‘thick lips’
  • Chilo ‘large-lipped’
  • Flaccus ‘flop-eared’
  • Strabo ‘squinter’
  • Codes ‘blind in one eye,’ for Kyklops
  • Paetus, Paetinus ‘blink-eyed ‘
  • Luscus, Lusci- nus ‘one-eyed’
  • Fronto, Cilo ‘prominent forehead’
  • Bucca ‘big cheeks,’ or ‘bawler’
  • Scaeva (sc. manus) ‘left-handed’
  • Scaevola, diminutive of the same
  • Laevinus ‘left-handed’
  • Laeca ‘left-handed’
  • Unimanus ‘one-handed’
  • Varus ‘knock-kneed’
  • Valgus ‘bow-legged’
  • Sura, Sulla ‘prominent calves’
  • Scaurus ‘swollen ankles’
  • Crassipes ‘thick-foot ‘
  • Plautus flat-foot’
  • Plancus ‘flat-foot’
  • Pedo ‘broad-foot,’ from pes
  • Pansa ‘broad-foot’
  • Falto (-= Falco) ‘a person with the great toes turned in’
  • Dossenus, Dorso ‘hunchback’
  • Coxsa ‘prominent hips’
  • Galba ‘fat-paunch’
  • Mammula ‘little- breast’
  • Scapula ‘prominent shoulders’
  • Balbus, Blaesus ‘stammerer’
  • Blasio ‘stammerer’
  • Rocus ‘hoarse’
  • Tubero, Tubertus ‘bumpy’
  • Verrucosus ‘warty’
  • Macatus ‘spotted’
  • Mancinus ‘maimed’
  • Peticus ‘scabby’ (?)
  • Callus ‘thick-skinned,’ or Galus
  • Nerva ‘sinewy’
  • Barbatus ‘bearded’
  • Barba ‘long-beard’
  • Barbo ‘long-beard’
  • Ahenobarbus ‘bronze (colored) beard’
  • Comatus ‘long-haired’
  • Caesar ‘hairy’
  • Crispinus ‘curly hair,’s
  • Cincinnatus ‘curly hair’
  • Cinnus ‘curly hair’
  • Elva or Helva ‘light bay hair’
  • Lanatus ‘woolly’
  • Glabrio ‘bald-head’
  • Calvus ‘bald’
  • Calvinus ‘baldish’
  • Vulso ‘plucked’
  • Rufus ‘red-haired’
  • Rufinus ‘reddish-haired’
  • Rufio ‘red-haired’
  • Rutilus ‘red- haired’
  • Flavus ‘fair-haired’
  • Albus ‘white (haired?) ‘
  • Albinus ‘whitish (haired ?)’
  • Purpureo ‘rosy (complexioned) ‘
  • Niger ‘dark’
  • Florus ‘shining (complexioned)’
  • Ambustus ‘sun-burned’
  • Curio ’emaciated’
  • Pennus ‘sharp (featured)’
  • Macer ‘lean’
  • Macerinus ‘leanish’
  • Crassus ‘fat’
  • Bassus ‘stout’
  • Paullus ‘short’
  • Longus ‘tall’
  • Longinus ‘longish’
  • Pulcher ‘handsome’
  • Curvus ‘bent’
  • Drusus ‘stiff’

Habits

  • Casca ‘old-fashioned,’
  • Rusticus ‘living in the country, countrified’
  • Alienus ‘foreign’
  • Cato ‘sagacious,’
  • Nero ‘noble’
  • Severus ‘stern’
  • Violens ‘furious’
  • Lepidus ‘agreeable’
  • Frugi ‘temperate’
  • Magnus ‘great’
  • Pius ‘dutiful’
  • Carus ‘dear’
  • Imperiosus ‘haughty’
  • Augustus ‘majestic’
  • Nobilior ‘nobler’
  • Molliculus ‘voluptuous’
  • Venox ‘given to hunting’
  • Lentulus ‘rather slow’
  • Celer ‘swift’
  • Fessus ‘wearied’
  • Brutus ‘coarse’
  • Tremulus ‘shaking’
  • Varro and Varo (= Baro?) ‘a foolish person’
  • Regillus ‘royal’
  • Potitus ‘boss’
  • Structus ‘built up’
  • Bibulus ‘tippler’
  • Bibaculus ‘tippler,’
  • Tappo, Tappulus ‘tippler’
  • Dives ‘rich’
  • Gurges ‘spendthrift’
  • Rullus ‘beggar’
  • Sabula ‘a talkative person’
  • Publicola ‘one who works the people’
  • Plebicola ‘one who works the plebs’
  • Caldus ‘warm’
  • Acidinus ‘sharpish’

Conditions/Relations

  • Faustus ‘fortunate’
  • Fostlus = Faustulus (diminutive)
  • Felix ‘fortunate’
  • Donatus ‘gifted’
  • Auctus ‘ increased’
  • Liber ‘free’
  • Spurinus ‘illegitimate,’
  • Cordus ‘born late in the season’
  • Proculus
  • Primus ‘first’
  • Septimus ( seventh ‘
  • Postumus ‘last born’
  • Maximus ‘eldest’
  • Priscus ‘old’
  • Geminus ‘ twin’
  • Gemellus ‘twin’
  • Trigeminus ‘triplet’
  • Frater ‘brother’
  • Paterculus ‘daddy’

Occupation-Based

  • Figulus ‘potter’
  • Pictor ‘painter’
  • Fullo ‘fuller’
  • Natta or Nacta ‘fuller,’
  • Faber ‘smith’
  • Lanio ‘butcher’
  • Libo ‘sprinkler,’
  • Subulo ‘flute player’
  • Thurarius ‘frankincense dealer’
  • Bubulcus ‘cowherd’
  • F(P?)ictor ‘baker of offering cakes’
  • Cursor ‘runner’
  • Mensor ‘measurer’
  • Pollio ‘polisher of arms’
  • Cornicen ‘trumpeter’
  • Nauta ‘sailor’
  • Metellus ‘mercenary,’
  • Triarius, a soldier serving among the triarii
  • Salinator ‘salt-dealer’
  • Camillus, a noble youth employed in religious offices
  • Flamen
  • Flamiininus, from flamen
  • Augurinus, from augur
  • Censorinus, from censor
  • Rex ‘ruler’
  • Regulus ‘prince ‘
  • Hortator ‘exhorter’
  • Flaccinator, from flacceo, to flag,
  • Sulca ‘furrower,’
  • Numitor ‘arranger’

Objects

  • Spinther ‘bracelet’
  • Crista ‘crest’
  • Centho, a cap worn over the helmet
  • Pera ‘wallet’
  • Fimbria ‘fringe’
  • Laenas ‘cloaked,’
  • Argentillus, from argentum, silver
  • Torquatus ‘adorned with a torques’
  • Asellus ‘little ass ‘
  • Asina ‘she ass’
  • Catulus ‘puppy’
  • Caninus ‘doggish’
  • Vitulus ‘calf’
  • Trio ‘plow ox’
  • Vaccus, from vacca, cow (?)
  • Verris ‘male swine’
  • Mus ‘mouse’
  • Murena, a shellfish (referring to the color of his dress)
  • Stelio ‘newt, crafty fellow’
  • Merula ‘blackbird’
  • Corvus ‘raven’
  • Turdus ‘thrush’
  • Buteo ‘hawk’
  • Gragulus (= Graculus) ‘jackdaw’
  • Gracchus ‘jackdaw,’
  • Todillus, a kind of small bird
  • Musca ‘fly’
  • Cossus, larva under the bark of trees
  • Caepio, from caepa, an onion
  • Cicero, from cicer, a small pea
  • Fabatus, from faba, a bean
  • Fundulus ‘sausage ‘
  • Aculeo, from aculeus, a spur
  • Malleolus ‘small hammer’
  • Dolabella ‘little pickax’
  • Tegula ’tile’
  • Tubulus ‘small tube’
  • Piso ‘mortar’
  • Gillo ‘cooling vessel’
  • Culleo, from culleus, a leathern bag
  • Maso or Masso, from massa, a lump
  • Scipio ‘staff’
  • Buxsus ‘boxwood’
  • Carbo ‘coal,’ also used of a thing of small value
  • Pulvillus ‘little pillow’
  • Stolo ‘branch, sucker’
  • Ahala ‘wing’
  • Corbo, from corbis, basket
  • Saxa ‘rocks’
  • Saxula ‘little rocks’
  • Arvina ‘grease’
  • Lucullus, from lucus, a grov
  • Ralla (= radula) ‘scraper’
  • Cerco, from KepKcos ‘tail’ (?)
  • Posca, a drink of vinegar and water
  • Scylla, the sea monster
  • Merenda ‘afternoon luncheon’
  • Musa ‘muse’
  • Limetanus, from limites
  • Alimentus, from alimentum, nourishment

Geographic Names

  • Antias, from Antium
  • Fidenas, from Fidenae
  • Sufenas, from Sufena
  • Asprenas
  • Aesillas
  • Supinas
  • Menas, Umbrian, and perhaps a gentile name
  • Fregellanus, from Fregellae
  • Tusculanus, from Tusculum
  • Camerinus, from Cameria
  • Medullinus, from Medullum
  • Coriolanus, from Corioli
  • Setinus, from Setia
  • Norbanus, from Norba
  • Collatinus, from Collatia
  • Regillensis, from Regillus
  • Nomentanus, from Nomentum
  • Pyrgensis, from Pyrgi
  • Veientanus, from Veii
  • Calenus, from Cales
  • Nolanus, from Nola
  • Atellanus, from Atella
  • Seranus, from Serranum
  • Caudinus, from Caudium
  • Tempsanus, from Temesa
  • Tarentinus, from Tarentum
  • Sarranus, from Sarra
  • Massiliota, from Massilia
  • Atratinus, from Atratus
  • Silanus, from Sila
  • Capitolinus, from the Capitolium
  • Tuscivicanus, from Tuscivicus
  • Coelimontanus, from Coelemontium
  • Arsa, a city of Spain
  • Sarra, the city of Tyre
  • Croto
  • Istra ‘Istrian’
  • Numida
  • Sabinus
  • Lucanus
  • Marsus
  • Apulus
  • Umber
  • Volscus
  • Ligur
  • Gallus
  • Siculus
  • Hispanus
  • Hispallus ‘ little Spaniard’
  • Cerretanus, from the Cerretani
  • Vetto or Vecto, from the Vectones
  • Geta, from the Getae
  • Surus ‘Syrian’
  • Creticus, from Crete
  • Isauricus, from the Isauri
  • Africanus, from Africa
  • Asiagenus (= ‘Asiagenes) ‘born in Asia’
  • Messala, from Messana
  • Mugillanus
  • Tuditanus
  • Vibulanus
  • Turrinus
  • Tricipitinus
  • Pontenus

Derived Names

  • Clodianus
  • Nonianus
  • Cestianus
  • Vinicianus
  • Octavianus
  • Caeicianus
  • Aemilianus
  • Sextianus
  • Messianus
  • Sempronianus
  • Petrinianus
  • Rullianus
  • Satrienus
  • derived from gentile names
  • Saturninus, from Saturnus
  • Mamercinus, from Mamercus
  • Marcellinus, from Marcellus
  • Marcellus, a diminutive of Marcus
  • Lucillus, a diminutive of Lucius
  • Silenus, the companion of Bacchus
  • Myrtilus, the son of Mercury

Foreign Names

Greek:

  • Philus
  • Philippus
  • Thermus
  • Sophus
  • Philo
  • Matho
  • Molo
  • Gritto
  • Bursio
  • Tympanus
  • Hupsaeus
  • Basilius
  • Megellus
  • PitioEtruscan:
    • Spurinna
    • Sisenna
    • Siperna
    • Perperna
    • Perpena
    • Thalna

    Oscan:

    • Papus
    • Paccius
    • Pacilus
    • Salvius;

    Umbrian:

    • Maro

    Celtic:

    • Matuginensis

    Alphabetical Order

    Irene Hahn has kindly alphabetized them:

    Latin Cognomina

    Traits

    Ahenobarbus ‘bronze (colored) beard’
    Albinus ‘whitish (haired ?)’
    Albus ‘white (haired?) ‘
    Ambustus ‘sun-burned’
    Balbus, Blaesus ‘stammerer’
    Barba ‘long-beard’
    Barbatus ‘bearded’
    Barbo ‘long-beard’
    Bassus ‘stout’
    Blasio ‘stammerer’
    Brocchus ‘prominent teeth’
    Bucca ‘big cheeks,’ or ‘bawler’
    Caesar ‘hairy’
    Callus ‘thick-skinned,’ or Galus
    Calvinus ‘baldish’
    Calvus ‘bald’
    Capito ‘big-head’
    Chilo ‘large-lipped’
    Cincinnatus ‘curly hair’
    Cinnus ‘curly hair’
    Codes ‘blind in one eye,’ for Kyklops
    Comatus ‘long-haired’
    Cotta ‘cowlick’ (?)1
    Coxsa ‘prominent hips’
    Crassipes ‘thick-foot ‘
    Crassus ‘fat’
    Crispinus ‘curly hair,’s
    Curio ’emaciated’
    Curvus ‘bent’
    Dentio, Denter, ‘prominent teeth’
    Dossenus, Dorso ‘hunchback’
    Drusus ‘stiff’
    Elva or Helva ‘light bay hair’
    Falto (-= Falco) ‘a person with the great toes turned in’
    Flaccus ‘flop-eared’
    Flavus ‘fair-haired’
    Florus ‘shining (complexioned)’
    Fronto, Cilo ‘prominent forehead’
    Galba ‘fat-paunch’
    Glabrio ‘bald-head’
    Labeo ‘thick lips’
    Laeca ‘left-handed’
    Laevinus ‘left-handed’
    Lanatus ‘woolly’
    Licinus ‘bent upward’ (of the nose ?)
    Longinus ‘longish’
    Longus ‘tall’
    Luscus, Lusci- nus ‘one-eyed’
    Macatus ‘spotted’
    Macer ‘lean’
    Macerinus ‘leanish’
    Mammula ‘little- breast’
    Mancinus ‘maimed’
    Mento ‘long chin’
    Nasica ‘prominent nose’
    Naso ‘large nose’
    Nerva ‘sinewy’
    Niger ‘dark’
    Paetus, Paetinus ‘blink-eyed ‘
    Pansa ‘broad-foot’
    Paullus ‘short’
    Pedo ‘broad-foot,’ from pes
    Pennus ‘sharp (featured)’
    Peticus ‘scabby’ (?)
    Plancus ‘flat-foot’
    Plautus flat-foot’
    Pulcher ‘handsome’
    Purpureo ‘rosy (complexioned) ‘
    Rocus ‘hoarse’
    Rufinus ‘reddish-haired’
    Rufio ‘red-haired’
    Rufus ‘red-haired’
    Rutilus ‘red- haired’
    Scaeva (sc. manus) ‘left-handed’
    Scaevola, diminutive of the same
    Scapula ‘prominent shoulders’
    Scaurus ‘swollen ankles’
    Silo ‘pug-nosed’
    Silus ‘pug-nosed’
    Strabo ‘squinter’
    Sura, Sulla ‘prominent calves’
    Tubero, Tubertus ‘bumpy’
    Unimanus ‘one-handed’
    Valgus ‘bow-legged’
    Varus ‘knock-kneed’
    Verrucosus ‘warty’
    Vulso ‘plucked’

    Habits

    Acidinus ‘sharpish’
    Alienus ‘foreign’
    Augustus ‘majestic’
    Bibaculus ‘tippler,’
    Bibulus ‘tippler’
    Brutus ‘coarse’
    Caldus ‘warm’
    Carus ‘dear’
    Casca ‘old-fashioned,’
    Cato ‘sagacious,’
    Celer ‘swift’
    Dives ‘rich’
    Fessus ‘wearied’
    Frugi ‘temperate’
    Gurges ‘spendthrift’
    Imperiosus ‘haughty’
    Lentulus ‘rather slow’
    Lepidus ‘agreeable’
    Magnus ‘great’
    Molliculus ‘voluptuous’
    Nero ‘noble’
    Nobilior ‘nobler’
    Pius ‘dutiful’
    Plebicola ‘one who works the plebs’
    Potitus ‘boss’
    Publicola ‘one who works the people’
    Regillus ‘royal’
    Rullus ‘beggar’
    Rusticus ‘living in the country, countrified’
    Sabula ‘a talkative person’
    Severus ‘stern’
    Structus ‘built up’
    Tappo, Tappulus ‘tippler’
    Tremulus ‘shaking’
    Varro and Varo (= Baro?) ‘a foolish person’
    Venox ‘given to hunting’
    Violens ‘furious’

    Conditions/Relations

    Auctus ‘ increased’
    Cordus ‘born late in the season’
    Donatus ‘gifted’
    Faustus ‘fortunate’
    Felix ‘fortunate’
    Fostlus = Faustulus (diminutive)
    Frater ‘brother’
    Gemellus ‘twin’
    Geminus ‘ twin’
    Liber ‘free’
    Maximus ‘eldest’
    Paterculus ‘daddy’
    Postumus ‘last born’
    Primus ‘first’
    Priscus ‘old’
    Proculus
    Septimus ( seventh ‘
    Spurinus ‘illegitimate,’
    Trigeminus ‘triplet’

    Occupation-Based

    Augurinus, from augur
    Bubulcus ‘cowherd’
    Camillus, a noble youth employed in religious offices
    Censorinus, from censor
    Cornicen ‘trumpeter’
    Cursor ‘runner’
    F(P?)ictor ‘baker of offering cakes’
    Faber ‘smith’
    Figulus ‘potter’
    Flaccinator, from flacceo, to flag,
    Flamen
    Flamiininus, from flamen
    Fullo ‘fuller’
    Hortator ‘exhorter’
    Lanio ‘butcher’
    Libo ‘sprinkler,’
    Mensor ‘measurer’
    Metellus ‘mercenary,’
    Natta or Nacta ‘fuller,’
    Nauta ‘sailor’
    Numitor ‘arranger’
    Pictor ‘painter’
    Pollio ‘polisher of arms’
    Regulus ‘prince ‘
    Rex ‘ruler’
    Salinator ‘salt-dealer’
    Subulo ‘flute player’
    Sulca ‘furrower,’
    Thurarius ‘frankincense dealer’
    Triarius, a soldier serving among the triarii

    Objects

    Aculeo, from aculeus, a spur
    Ahala ‘wing’
    Alimentus, from alimentum, nourishment
    Argentillus, from argentum, silver
    Arvina ‘grease’
    Asellus ‘little ass ‘
    Asina ‘she ass’
    Buteo ‘hawk’
    Buxsus ‘boxwood’
    Caepio, from caepa, an onion
    Caninus ‘doggish’
    Carbo ‘coal,’ also used of a thing of small value
    Catulus ‘puppy’
    Centho, a cap worn over the helmet
    Cerco, from KepKcos ‘tail’ (?)
    Cicero, from cicer, a small pea
    Corbo, from corbis, basket
    Corvus ‘raven’
    Cossus, larva under the bark of trees
    Crista ‘crest’
    Culleo, from culleus, a leathern bag
    Dolabella ‘little pickax’
    Fabatus, from faba, a bean
    Fimbria ‘fringe’
    Fundulus ‘sausage ‘
    Gillo ‘cooling vessel’
    Gracchus ‘jackdaw,’
    Gragulus (= Graculus) ‘jackdaw’
    Laenas ‘cloaked,’
    Limetanus, from limites
    Lucullus, from lucus, a grov
    Malleolus ‘small hammer’
    Maso or Masso, from massa, a lump
    Merenda ‘afternoon luncheon’
    Merula ‘blackbird’
    Murena, a shellfish (referring to the color of his dress)
    Mus ‘mouse’
    Musa ‘muse’
    Musca ‘fly’
    Pera ‘wallet’
    Piso ‘mortar’
    Posca, a drink of vinegar and water
    Pulvillus ‘little pillow’
    Ralla (= radula) ‘scraper’
    Saxa ‘rocks’
    Saxula ‘little rocks’
    Scipio ‘staff’
    Scylla, the sea monster
    Spinther ‘bracelet’
    Stelio ‘newt, crafty fellow’
    Stolo ‘branch, sucker’
    Tegula ’tile’
    Todillus, a kind of small bird
    Torquatus ‘adorned with a torques’
    Trio ‘plow ox’
    Tubulus ‘small tube’
    Turdus ‘thrush’
    Vaccus, from vacca, cow (?)
    Verris ‘male swine’
    Vitulus ‘calf’

    Geographic Names

    Aesillas
    Africanus, from Africa
    Antias, from Antium
    Apulus
    Arsa, a city of Spain
    Asiagenus (= ‘Asiagenes) ‘born in Asia’
    Asprenas
    Atellanus, from Atella
    Atratinus, from Atratus
    Calenus, from Cales
    Camerinus, from Cameria
    Capitolinus, from the Capitolium
    Caudinus, from Caudium
    Cerretanus, from the Cerretani
    Coelimontanus, from Coelemontium
    Collatinus, from Collatia
    Coriolanus, from Corioli
    Creticus, from Crete
    Croto
    Fidenas, from Fidenae
    Fregellanus, from Fregellae
    Gallus
    Geta, from the Getae
    Hispallus ‘ little Spaniard’
    Hispanus
    Isauricus, from the Isauri
    Istra ‘Istrian’
    Ligur
    Lucanus
    Marsus
    Massiliota, from Massilia
    Medullinus, from Medullum
    Menas, Umbrian, and perhaps a gentile name
    Messala, from Messana
    Mugillanus
    Nolanus, from Nola
    Nomentanus, from Nomentum
    Norbanus, from Norba
    Numida
    Pontenus
    Pyrgensis, from Pyrgi
    Regillensis, from Regillus
    Sabinus
    Sarra, the city of Tyre
    Sarranus, from Sarra
    Seranus, from Serranum
    Setinus, from Setia
    Siculus
    Silanus, from Sila
    Sufenas, from Sufena
    Supinas
    Surus ‘Syrian’
    Tarentinus, from Tarentum
    Tempsanus, from Temesa
    Tricipitinus
    Tuditanus
    Turrinus
    Tuscivicanus, from Tuscivicus
    Tusculanus, from Tusculum
    Umber
    Veientanus, from Veii
    Vetto or Vecto, from the Vectones
    Vibulanus
    Volscus

    Derived Names

    Aemilianus
    Caeicianus
    Cestianus
    Clodianus
    derived from gentile names
    Lucillus, a diminutive of Lucius
    Mamercinus, from Mamercus
    Marcellinus, from Marcellus
    Marcellus, a diminutive of Marcus
    Messianus
    Myrtilus, the son of Mercury
    Nonianus
    Octavianus
    Petrinianus
    Rullianus
    Satrienus
    Saturninus, from Saturnus
    Sempronianus
    Sextianus
    Silenus, the companion of Bacchus
    Vinicianus

    Foreign Names

    Greek:

    Basilius
    Bursio
    Gritto
    Hupsaeus
    Matho
    Megellus
    Molo
    Philippus
    Philo
    Philus
    Pitio
    Sophus
    Thermus
    Tympanus

    Etruscan:

    Perpena
    Perperna
    Siperna
    Sisenna
    Spurinna
    Thalna

    Oscan:

    Paccius
    Pacilus
    Papus
    Salvius

    Umbrian:

    Maro

    Celtic:

    Matuginensis

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