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Behind the Name


 The Italian surname Panebianco is considered to be of occupational origin. Surnames of this type are derived from the occupation of the original bearer of the name. In this instance, the surname is actually composed of two elements: the Italian word "pane" (bread) and "bianco" (white). Thus, the surname may have identified the original bearer of the name as a baker or one who sold white bread, which was considered as the best bread made of wheat. The Italian word pane is derived from the Latin word "panis", with the root of the meaning derived from the verb "to feed or nourish". The Italian word bianco is derived from the Germanic "blank", meaning "bright or shining white". Thus, if we place the two elements of the surname together, the English equivalent of Panebianco would be Whitebread".

The surname Panebianco can also be considered to be of the nickname origin. In this case, various mideval nicknames containing the work "bread" can be found, such as the phrase "as good as bread". Perhaps the progenitor of the surname Panebianco was considered by the other people who lived in the town or village to be of a higher social status because he usually ate white bread, instead of the black bread consumed by most other people. In the archives we find records of a family with the surname Panebianco from Terranova, in the providence of Caltanisetta, Sicily. One Antonio-Maria was created Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Pius IX in 1861.

Blazon of ARMS Azure, a lion passant argent, crowned of the same holding in the dexter paw a loaf of bread argent, in chief three mullets of six rays of the same in fees.

Translation The bread is the arms is an example of canting, a Mideval custom which acts as a pun upon the name.

Crest A lion in the arms.Origin: Italy.

Information provided by the Historical Research Center, Inc.