BRUNO Surname Meaning and Family History

Bruno is a common Italian surname used to describe someone with brown hair, brown eyes, brown skin, or brown clothes.
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From the Italian word for brown, Bruno was often used as a nickname for a person with brown hair, skin, or clothes. From the German brun, meaning "dark" or "brown." It may also be a habitational surname for individuals who lived in or near a place named Bruno, such as the city of Bruno in Italy's Piedmont region.

Bruno is the 11th most common surname in Italy. According to WorldNames PublicProfiler it is currently most common throughout southern Italy, in the regions of Calabria, Basilicata, Puglia, and Sicilia. The next part of the world where the Bruno surname is most often found in Argentina, followed by France and Luxembourg.


Surname Origin: Italian, Portuguese

Famous People with the Bruno Last Name

  • Francesco Faà di Bruno - Italian priest and mathematician
  • Giordano Bruno - Italian philosopher
  • Dylan Bruno - American actor

Where the Bruno Surname Is Most Common

The Bruno surname, according to surname distribution information from Forebears, is most prevalent in Brazil but ranks highest based on the percentage of the population in Italy, where it is the 14th most common surname in the country. Bruno is also a common last name in Argentina.

Data from WorldNames PublicProfiler also indicates the Bruno surname is most common in Italy, followed by Argentina, France, Luxembourg, and the United States. Within Italy, Bruno is most common in the southern regions—Calabria, Basilicata, Puglia, Sicilia, Campania, Molise, and Abruzzo, in that order. It is also common in Piemonte and Liguria in the north.

Genealogy Resources for the Surname Bruno

  • Meanings of Common Italian Surnames: Uncover the meaning of your Italian last name with this free guide to Italian surname meanings and origins for the most common Italian surnames.
  • The Bruno DNA Project: This group is open to all families with the Bruno surname of all spelling variations from any location in the world. The goal is to join together to use Y-DNA testing, paper trails, and research to identify other individuals with whom they share a common ancestor.
  • Bruno Family Crest - It's Not What You Think: Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Bruno family crest or coat of arms for the Bruno 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.
  • BRUNO Family Genealogy Forum: This free message board is focused on descendants of Bruno ancestors around the world. Search the forum for posts about your Bruno ancestors, or join the forum and post your own queries. 
  • FamilySearch - BRUNO Genealogy: Explore over 429,000 results from digitized historical records and lineage-linked family trees related to the Bruno surname on this free website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • BRUNO Surname Mailing List: Free mailing list for researchers of the Bruno surname and its variations includes subscription details and searchable archives of past messages.
  • GeneaNet - Bruno Records: GeneaNet includes archival records, family trees, and other resources for individuals with the Bruno surname, with a concentration on records and families from France and other European countries.
  • The Bruno Genealogy and Family Tree Page: Browse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the Bruno surname from the website of Genealogy Today.
  • Bruno Surname: Explore over 1.1 million digitized records and database entries, including census records, passenger lists, military records, land deeds, probates, wills and other records for the Bruno surname on the subscription-based website,


  • 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. "BRUNO Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 27). BRUNO Surname Meaning and Family History. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "BRUNO Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 3, 2023).