Bettencourt (surname)

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Original Bettencourt coat of arms.

Bettencourt is a surname from place-names in Northern France. Otherwise the name can be found in French, Portuguese and Spanish-speaking areas in localized variants (see below).

Variants of the name[edit]

There are many variants of the surname such as: Betencourt, Bettencourtt, Bettencour, 'Bethancourt, Bethencourt, Bitencourt, Bittencourt, Betancur, Betancurt, Betancurth, Betancor, Bethcourt, Betancourt, Bitancurt, Betanco, and Betencur

The localisations Bitangcur, Bitangcor, Bitangcol and its own variant, Vitangcol, are uncommon surnames found in the Philippines.[citation needed]


Bettencourt and Bethencourt are originally place-names in Northern France. The place-name element -court (courtyard, courtyard of a farm, farm) is typical of the French provinces, where the Frankish settlements formed an important part of the local population. It translated the Old Low Franconian word *hof "courtyard", "courtyard of a farm", "farm" (Dutch, Old English hof, German Hof)

Communes of France ending with -court

Bettencourt / Bethencourt corresponds with Bettenhoffen, Bettenhof or Bettenhoven found in Alsace, Germany or Flanders.[1]

The first part Betten- is the Germanic personal name (owner's name) Betto.[2][3]

The surname Bettencourt / Bethencourt with various spellings extended throughout Spain, Portugal and their colonies, after the Norman-French explorer Jean de Béthencourt, who conquered the Canary Islands for Spain and received the title King of the Canary Islands.[citation needed] To this day, Betancourt and other forms of his surname are quite frequent among Canary Islanders and people of Canary Islander descent, in spite of his death without issue[citation needed], thanks to the practice of baptising the natives with his surname and to the offspring of his nephew Maciot de Béthencourt who succeeded him as lord of the islands.[citation needed]

Examples include former Colombian president Belisario Betancur, former Venezuelan president Rómulo Betancourt, and Hermano Pedro de San José de Betancurt, a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Other modern notables in recent news are Venezuelan baseball player Rafael Betancourt, Azorean (Portuguese) born American musician Nuno Bettencourt, Colombian-French activist/politician Ingrid Betancourt.



Betancourt, Bethancourt[edit]


Other variants[edit]

Legal cases[edit]



  1. ^ Maurits Gysseling, Toponymisch Woordenboek van België, Nederland, Luxemburg, Noord-Frankrijk en West-Duitsland (vóór 1226), 1960, p. 135 (Dutch, French and German) [1]
  2. ^ Gysseling 135
  3. ^ Albert Dauzat et Charles Rostaing, Dictionnaire étymologique des noms de lieu en France, Librairie Guénégaud, 1979, Paris, isbn=2-85023-076-6, p. 78b - 79a.