What is the meaning of the -son ending in Brazilian names? I tried searching for the meaning, but I had no luck.

Judging from statistics I found (first names by frequency), -son names are relative rare.
In contrast, almost every other Brazilian artist I know on Ebay is a -son: Edson, Edilson, Ederson, Weverson, Jeferson, Niellison, Lailson, Medson, Deilson, Alison(?)...
Or a -ton: Nilton, Jailton, Wellington, Wilton..., probably shooting down the idea that it means the same as the Scandinavian -son.

Is it a diminutive?
Is it in honor of Pele (=Edson)?
Is it region specific? (I wouldn't wonder if all the artists managed via one Ebay account live in proximity.)
Or is this for newcomers in art? (Those are always introduced on first-name base - any guy with two names has "made it".)

  • What do you mean by "artist on Ebay", records you find for sale there? Could you give us a link?
    – stafusa
    Apr 18 at 16:24
  • 1
    Names in Brazil are often given following tradition or, probably more often, taste - based mostly or how they sound. These -son, -ton names tend to be less popular nowadays, but they used to be more common towards the end of last century (you can check this at this page: censo2010.ibge.gov.br/nomes/#/search), which is probably when most artists now famous were born.
    – stafusa
    Apr 18 at 16:34
  • @stafusa: Just for the record, e.g. Ed Benes Studio (ebay.com/b/Ed-Benes-Studio/972/bn_55188872) manages a ton of -son artists. Brasil is large, though, and I know four or five other agents on Ebay :-) Oh, and THX for the stats link. I still recall Emerson (Fittipaldi), but today Ayrton (Senna) is more known. Apr 19 at 10:34
  • Isso tudo é imitação do inglês. Nada mais. Eles pegam uma coisa e colocam son no final. Conhecia um que se chamava: Clayston. Sempre me pareceu engraçadíssimo. Clay with a t on the end, then, son> so funny sounding in English.
    – Lambie
    Apr 20 at 19:09

Having no data to back me up, I would say the first given names ending in -son were imported during the nineteenth century from English speaking countries and, indirectly, from Sweden (where -son used to mean "son of"). Nelson, Edson and Jefferson are certainly some of them.

Since then, as one might expect, several names ending in -son have been coined right here in Brazil. This includes names such as Vanderson, Weverson, Denilson, Edemilson, Jailson, Arilson, Arielson, etc. New names are coined almost on a daily basis and, therefore, there is a long list of names such as these. However, the suffix -son, in Brazil, means nothing at all.

Unlike the Portuguese, who rarely import given names, but change them according to their language (Margareth becomes Margarida, Charles becomes Carlos) Brazilians often import them as they are and even coin new ones according to their taste. The habit of creating a new name for their children is not region related, but it seems to be more common among the masses, some celebrities and football players.

For further reading, Nomes masculinos X-son na antroponímia brasileira: uma abordagem morfológica, histórica e construcional

  • As construções de -son no Português Brasileiro: oaji.net/articles/2019/3404-1557865323.pdf
    – sumitani
    Apr 19 at 22:33
  • @sumitani Good Call. I'll add the reference.
    – Centaurus
    Apr 19 at 22:58
  • Many of the names do not square with English names. They are very inventive and stick son all over the place. Some of them may be importations, many are not. Sometime the names are beautiful and sometimes they are horrible sounding.
    – Lambie
    Apr 20 at 19:10
  • @Lambie That's exactly what I have written.
    – Centaurus
    Apr 20 at 19:11
  • No, it isn't. What you don't say is that many of the creations are by people who can hardly read and write and therefore at times quite odd. You did not mention their aesthetic aspect either. The other day I had a couple that had been feminized, as well. Unfortunately, I didn't make note of them.
    – Lambie
    Apr 20 at 19:14

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