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About Russo

Russo is an Italian surname meaning red-haired. Another variant is Rossi (Central and Northern Italy). It is derived from the nickname "rosso", meaning red, whereas "russo" also means "Russian" or relating to Russia or Russians. Russo is a Sicilian name from the Viking tribe Rus, pronounced Roos, who were in Sicily from 800-1100AD. The Byzantines and the Arabs in the Mediterranean and Sicily at that time referred to all Norsemen as Rus. The word sounded like the Latin word for red and therein lies the confusion. The Count of Aidone given land and title to help fight the Arabs in Sicily around 1100 AD added to the confusion because he sometimes Latinized his name to Rosso but he also spelled it Russu. The Greek name Roussos is from the same root. In the Nordic languages it means "He Rows" or "The men who row." This same tribe became the lords of the land that now bears their name Russia.
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