Because Kythera was settled in such a way that a few dozen original families spawned the majority of present-day Kytherians, almost every branch of every family had a "nickname" to distinguish it from that of others with the same surname.
The nicknames were sometimes simply the genitive form of a christian name (e.g. "Dimitrelou") or derived from the profession of an ancestor (e.g. "Miliotis" = "Miller") or even describe a physical attribute (e.g. "Koutsaftis" or "Tarzan").
This is the section of the website where you can view the island's nicknames and read about which surnames they are associated with and hopefully where they came from as well.
You can submit to the section by clicking on add to nicknames at the top right.
submitted by John Zantey on 01.01.2010
This is the nick name of my paternal grandfather, George Zantiotis (Originally from Karava). [Also Sarandakos].
The name is derived from "Saronto", which too was his grand fathers given name (my great great grand father). The name comes from "Zante", originally from Zakynthos.
As "Saronto" had children, they were refered as "Sarandako", I suppose a cute way of associating children with the original name? and it has been passed down the 'family tree' since. Even ...
submitted by Peter Comino on 28.10.2003
Psilos, with the stress on the first "i", means flea. The reason my grandfather Evangelos Comino got the nickname flea was because he was so handy with his hands he could make a bridle for a flea.
Galanis means something bright or fair. My grandfather Peter Comino had blue eyes and fair hair so they called him Galanis.
submitted by Leslie James Comino on 18.09.2003
Nickname for Theodore minas Comino" Polavros:
Aparently Polavros is the nickname of this family in Kythera. I was told by Mr Con Mottee in Sydney who recently passed away, that this word is an Italian word meaning "to talk". Is that right ? Because in Australia there is a saying if you tell lies that its bulls... and Polavra. Please enlighten me as to what sticks here – I beleive Mr Mottee was being polite.
submitted by Peter Tsicalas on 09.03.2004
The story goes that a few families from the Mixalakiani clan (aka Michalakianikos/Michalakianoi/…) of the Mani progressively arrived on Kythera from the late 1700s and, to differentiate themselves, one lot adopted, or brought with them, or had thrust upon them, the nickname Tsikalas (meaning potter). Only a few descendants practiced the trade but most carried on the name.
Other families in the the clan included Aggelakos, Androutsakos (or Gerakarakos?), Diakaikos, Drakoularakos, ...
submitted by John Tzannes on 27.08.2003
Yiannis Petrohilos of Alexandrathes village. History and origin yet to be determined.
Like most Kytherians we know our "paratsoukli", but where did it come from and what does it mean?
Can anybody help me find out the full story?
submitted by Eleni Malanos on 25.08.2003
The nick name of Peter Mavromati, my maternal grandfather was "Moulos".
My father's family nickname was "Bellos".
Apparently it means "beautiful" which my father certainly was.
Galacatou was the nickname of the family of my maternal grandmother Maria Mavromati (nee Comino). I don't know where it comes from.
submitted by James Gavriles on 25.08.2003
According to what I was told about my Grandfather Demetrios, his paratsoukli,or nickname was "Boukiouros". I have no idea what it means? Maybe someone else out there can elaborate?
submitted by Robin Tzannes on 21.08.2003
My husband's grandfather, George S. Tzannes of Fratsia, was nicknamed Pasha Ali. I've been told that it was because, like the Turkish Pasha, he was such a wealthy man. Papou had a large family, a beautiful house, lots of livestock, fruitful vineyards and olive orchards. Ironically, of all his 13 children and 23 grandchildren, only one is now a permanent resident of the island; his gracious home is now a pile of rubble behind the Fratsia platia; and only seven of his olive trees are still harvested ...
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