Turkish surnames are straight out of Game of Thrones

So you know how most last names are job-based, like Smith, Baker, Shoemaker, and whatever else people were doing back in the middle ages? Even if you switch over to a non-English speaking country, you’ll get translated versions of the same thing, as everyone just decided one day to call themselves whatever job they were doing, and moved on. Up in Scotland they went with “Son of,” and kept that going for a while, which is a pretty popular pattern in a lot of other countries too.

Not so with Turkey.

At some point, probably sometime back in the day the Turks were conquering everything in sight, someone came up with the idea to name himself after a goddamn lion.


Yes, Aslan means lion. And some guy named himself Lion.

And you know what other people did?

They named themselves after every other vicious animal or ferocious force of nature they could possibly think of, which remains the standard to this day.

May I present to you, the 20 most common Turkish surnames, in all their Game of Thrones-esque glory:

Top 20 Turkish Surnames

This is pretty great. I don’t know who the hell came up with this idea, but whoever it was deserves a damn medal. It’s like what Klingon last names would be.

India and Nepal aren’t half bad either.

That’s all for now. But if you know the story behind all this, be sure to share!

About SnarkyNomad

Eytan is a pretentious English major whose rant-laden sarcastic tirades occasionally include budget travel tips and other international nonsense. You can follow his every narcissistic word on Facebook or Twitter.

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2 Comments on “Turkish surnames are straight out of Game of Thrones”

  1. Turks had to choose /come up with new hereditary surnames in 1934. Before that, many had names that were related to their status or profession, or were ‘foreign’.

    1. Just like so many other things in Turkey, it sounds like it was Ataturk who set this in motion. That’s pretty interesting, though. Back in the 30s everyone was all about ferocious animals and swords for last names.

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