40 Popular Arabic Last Names Passed Down Through the Generations

by Team Scary Mommy
Originally Published: 
arabic last names, Arabic architecture
Fabio Santaniello Bruun/Unsplash

Though it’s fun starting new traditions and picking out baby names, there’s something very special about last names. They serve as a link to our past and bridge to the future. It can also tie us to the culture of our ancestors. Arabic last names often refer to the tribe, clan, or region a particular family is from. When you see the prefix Al- in front of an Arabic last name, it means “the” — like Al-Saud means The Saud family. Similar to some British last names (like Butcher, Smith or Baker) Arabic last names from places like Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria often refer to the family’s profession (i.e. Al Tajir means “The Merchant”).

It is also important to remember that not all of these Arabic last names are as popular in some Arab countries as they are in others. For instance, one of the most common last names in Egypt is Mohamed. More than 1.7 million Egyptians bear that surname. Qatar has the similarly pronounced but differently spelled Mohammed as their most popular surname. And the last name Khan is the highest ranked last name in both Oman and Kuwait. Interestingly enough (maybe?), Khan is also the most used surname in Saudi Arabia and the UAE (United Arab Emirates). In both countries Mohammed or Mohamed also rank high on the list of most used surnames. In Lebanon, Khoury is the most popular surname. However, it doesn’t rank in the top few last names in any other Arab nation, similar to Morocco’s top ranked Alaoui. If you know what part of the Arab world your country is from, you might consider including any of these popular last names as your child’s first or middle name.

If you have an Arabic last name or are curious about them in general, here are some popular Arabic last names and what they mean.

  1. Abadi

Meaning: Endless or eternal

  1. Amin

Meaning: The truthful or trustworthy

  1. Ayad

Meaning: The hands with power

  1. Badawi

Meaning: Desert dweller

  1. Bakir

Meaning: Dawn or early

  1. Bahar

Meaning: An occupational name from the Arabic bahār meaning, “spice”

  1. Daher

Meaning: Knowing or clear

  1. Darwish

Meaning: Roaming, exploring or wandering

  1. Ebeid

Meaning: Devoted servant or worshipper of God

  1. Fadel

Meaning: Virtue or someone gracious and divine

  1. Faez

Meaning: Victory

  1. Fasih

Meaning: Eloquence

  1. Gaddafi

Meaning: The archer or the thrower

  1. Ghulam

Meaning: Young servant of God

  1. Hadid

Meaning: Iron

  1. Hafeez

Meaning: The guardian or protector

  1. Iqbal

Meaning: One with strength

  1. Ismat

Meaning: Purity, chastity, innocence, perfection

  1. Jameel

Meaning: Handsome or beautiful

  1. Jaziri

Meaning: Independence or self-confidence

  1. Karim

Meaning: The generous or the noble

  1. Khalid

Meaning: Eternal

  1. Maloof

Meaning: From the name of a Christian clan in Lebanon and Syria. Meaning “fattened”.

  1. Muhammed

Meaning: Praise-worthiness or laudability

  1. Nabih

Meaning: Being aware or vigilant

  1. Noor

Meaning: Light or divinity

  1. Qadir

Meaning: Competent or powerful

  1. Rafiq

Meaning: Close friend or follower of God

  1. Ramzi

Meaning: Quiet or demure

  1. Sader

Meaning: Courage or strength

  1. Shariq

Meaning: Bright shining star or devoted companion

  1. Taleb

Meaning: Seeker of knowledge

  1. Wahed

Meaning: The only one

  1. Yasin

Meaning: Wealth or richness

  1. Zaman

Meaning: A person of the era, times or age

  1. Abdul

Meaning: “Servant of the…”

  1. Abdullah

Meaning: Servant of God

  1. Akram

Meaning: Generosity

  1. Shadid

Meaning: Strong

  1. Fakhoury

Meaning: Noble cause

This article was originally published on