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Surname Cali - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'C'

Cali: What does the surname Cali mean?

The surname Cali is of Italian origin, derived from the word 'caglio,' meaning rennet - a substance used in making cheese. This suggests that ancestors of the Cali lineage likely worked as cheese makers. The name became prominent in the Southern part of Italy, particularly in Sicily. It is also associated with 'Calo' or 'Cali,' a nickname for bald people in old Italian, indicating it might have been attributed initially to bald individuals. Moreover, it potentially relates to the city of Cali in Colombia; therefore, it might indicate a geographical origin for some bearers of the surname. As with many surnames, various interpretations and origins can exist, given different historical and regional contexts.

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Cali: Where does the name Cali come from?

The last name Cali is of Italian origin and it is believed to be derived from the Greek word 'kalli', which means 'beautiful'. The name was often used as a nickname for a beautiful person, or for someone who hailed from any of several places named with this word in Italy. This surname is particularly prevalent in Sicily and southern Italy.

The surname Cali is common in the United States, particularly in New York, due to Italian immigration. It can also be found in Italy, particularly in Sicily, Calabria and Apulia. However, it is also present to a lesser extent in other countries with significant Italian immigrant populations, such as Argentina, Brazil and Canada.

It's worth noting that in some cultures, Cali can also be used as a first name. Notably, in the Indian tradition, Kali (spelled as Cali in the Western world) is a prominent deity, hence the name can carry different implications depending on the cultural context.

Variations of the surname Cali

The surname Cali, most commonly found in Italy, particularly in Sicily, is believed to have come from the Greek name Kalos, which means good.

Its variants are relatively few unlike other common surnames. The most common spelling variants and surnames deriving from the same origin include Calì, Calo and Cale. It is common throughout Italy for surnames to have an appended i, e, a or o, depending on their usage in a sentence.

The surname Cali may also take the form of a prefix in a longer surname. For instance, Caliani, Calione, or Caliandro. It should be noted that these surnames though containing Cali, might have separate origins.

Surnames that have a similar sound to Cali, but likely have different origins, are Callie, Calli, Cally, Cale, Kali, and Caly. In the course of immigration, surname Cali might have been altered to such similar sounding names due to misunderstandings of pronunciation or spelling by authorities in the new home country. Surnames having same origins might also be different depending on geographical regions.

Famous people with the name Cali

  • Richard Calì: An accomplished actor, known for his roles in “The Irishman” (2019), “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (2017) and “Bull” (2016).
  • Andy Calì: An actor and producer who has contributed to several TV series like "Beverly Hills Pawn" and "Storage Wars: Miami."
  • Joe Cali: A professional astro-photographer and speaker who is known globally for his images. He regularly speaks on scientific photography subjects and techniques as well.
  • Doug Cali: A prominent figure in the field of chiropractics in the USA.
  • James Calì: Known for his work on "The Last Dragon" (1985), "The Fisher King" (1991) and "Bright Lights, Big City" (1988).
  • Patrizia Calì: A famous Italian actress recognized for her work in “Mafia Connection” and “4 Dollars of Revenge.”
  • Andrea Calì: A well-known figure in the academic world, notable for being a professor of data analytics at the University of London.
  • Maximiliano Calì: An influential Argentine footballer who played as a forward. The last name Calì is derived from the Italian region of Calì, and as such, is more common in Italian communities.

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