The Meaning of the Name Kovacs

The Kovachs surname is basically the Hungarian version of the last name Smith.

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Kovács (Ковач) is a surname that means "forger" or "smith" in the Hungarian language, from the Slavonic Kovaè. The Hungarian equivalent to the English surname Smith, Kovács is the second most common surname in Hungary.

Kovacs is the second most common Hungarian surname according to surname distribution data from Forebears.

Surname Origin: Hungarian, Slavic


Fun Facts About the Kovács Surname

The Kovacs surname most commonly originates from Hungary, although this is not always the case. Similar surnames include Kovach (Carpatho-Ruthenian), Kowal (Poland) and Koval (Ukraine). The singular Kovac may be the original surname, an adaptation of Kovacs, or a shortened version of a longer name such as Dukovac. These are all just general guidelines, however. The specific surname variation used by your family may also be something as simple as a spelling change and have nothing to do with its original origin.

Famous People With the Surname

  • Ernie Kovacs, popular American television comedian
  • László Kovács, legendary cinematographer
  • Tom Kovach, American author and activist
  • Luca Kovač, a fictional character (doctor) portrayed by Goran Višnjić on the American television series ER

Genealogy Resources

Kovacs/Kovats FamilyTree DNA Project
This Y-DNA project is open to all individuals with the surnames Kovacs, Kovats, or any derivative such as Kovaks, Kovak, Kovac, Kohen, Kohan, Kohn, Kovan, etc., of any ethnic or religious background. 

Kovacs Family Crest - It's Not What You Think
Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Kovacs family crest or coat of arms for the Kovacs 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.

Kovács Family Genealogy Forum
Search this popular genealogy forum for the Kovács surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Kovács query.

The Kovacs Genealogy and Family Tree Page
Browse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the popular last name Kovacs from the website of Genealogy Today.


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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Powell, Kimberly. "The Meaning of the Name Kovacs." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 27). The Meaning of the Name Kovacs. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "The Meaning of the Name Kovacs." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 30, 2023).