ACOSTA Surname Meaning and Origin

A house along a riverbank
Acosta is a Hispanic surname often given to someone who lived along a riverbank.

Rodney Hyett/Getty Images

The Spanish and Portuguese surname Acosta originated as a name used to refer to a person who lived on a riverbank or by the coast, or from the mountains (encostas). The name derives from the Portuguese da Costa, a cognate of English "coast."

Acosta is the 60th most common Spanish surname.


Surname Origin: Spanish, Portuguese

Where Do People With the ACOSTA Surname Live?

According to Forebears, Acosta is the 518th most common surname in the world. It is found most prevalently in Paraguay, where it ranks 14th in the nation, followed by Uruguay (16th), Argentina (20th), Cuba (27th), Dominican Republic (42nd), Venezuela (45th), Colombia (51st), Panama (73rd) and Mexico (78th). Within Spain, Acosta is found most frequently in the Canary Islands, according to WorldNames PublicProfiler. In the United States, the Acosta surname follows the patterns of most Hispanic surnames, being found most often in the states of Florida, Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, and Connecticut. Acosta is also fairly common in eastern Canada, especially in Toronto and Quebec.

Famous People With the ACOSTA Surname

  • Joaquin Acosta - 19th-century Colombian explorer and writer
  • Mercedes de Acosta - American poet, playwright, and novelist
  • Carlos Acosta - Cuban ballet dancer
  • Manny Acosta - Panamanian professional baseball player
  • Hector Acosta - Dominican musician

Genealogy Resources for the Surname ACOSTA

100 Most Common Spanish Surnames
Have you ever wondered about your Spanish last name and how it came to be? This article describes common Spanish naming patterns and explores the meaning and origins of 100 common Spanish surnames.

How to Research Hispanic Heritage
Learn how to get started researching your Hispanic ancestors, including the basics of family tree research and country-specific organizations, genealogical records, and resources for Spain, Latin America, Mexico, Brazil, the Caribbean, and other Spanish speaking countries.

Acosta Family Crest - It's Not What You Think
Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as an Acosta family crest or coat of arms for the Acosta surname. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families, and may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male-line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted. 

The Acosta DNA Surname Project
The Acosta Family Project seeks to find common heritage through sharing of information and DNA testing. Any variant spellings of the Acosta surname are welcome to participate.

ACOSTA Family Genealogy Forum
This free message board is focused on the descendants of Acosta ancestors around the world. Search past queries, or post a question of your own.

FamilySearch - ACOSTA Genealogy
Access over 1.1 million free historical records and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Acosta surname and its variations on this free genealogy website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

ACOSTA Surname Mailing List
This free mailing list for researchers of the Acosta surname and its variations includes subscription details and searchable archives of past messages. Hosted by RootsWeb. - ACOSTA Genealogy & Family History
Explore free databases and genealogy links for the last name Acosta.

The Acosta Genealogy and Family Tree Page
Browse family trees and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the last name Acosta from the website of Genealogy Today.

References: Surname Meanings & Origins

Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.

Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Collins Celtic (Pocket edition), 1998.

Fucilla, Joseph. Our Italian Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003.

Hanks, Patrick, and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Reaney, P.H. A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1997.

Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.

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Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "ACOSTA Surname Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Powell, Kimberly. (2023, April 5). ACOSTA Surname Meaning and Origin. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "ACOSTA Surname Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 5, 2023).