There are various interpretations of the origins of the surname Fenech. The most notable is the meaning of "rabbit", since fenek is rabbit in Maltese. This in turn comes from the Arabic word for fox, فَنَك (fenek, fanak, “fennec fox”) which like the rabbit has large ears as its distinguishing feature and may have been confused during the development of the Maltese language which borrows heavily from Semitic languages. The word is also thought to be a respelling of Fenich, the German for millet farmer.
Another variation is formed from the word Phoenicians. In fact, some bearers of this surname use the horse, a Phoenician symbol, on their crest rather than the rabbit.
Another variation is an Anglo-Saxon one where it is derived from a family living in Fenwick, which was in Northumberland and the West Riding of Yorkshire. This name was originally derived from the English fenn which means marsh and wic, which means a farm. The surname Fenwick is still widely found in northern England and has spread through most English-speaking countries.
- David Fenech (born 1969), French musician
- Edwige Fenech (born 1948), Maltese-Italian actress and producer
- Francis Xavier Fenech (1892–1969), Maltese prelate who became bishop in India
- Georges Fenech (born 1954), French politician
- Jeff Fenech (born 1964), Maltese-Australian boxer
- Mario Fenech (born 1961), Maltese-Australian rugby league player
- Martha Fenech (born 1990), Maltese beauty queen
- Paul Fenech (born 1972), Maltese-Australian comedian
- Paul Fenech (footballer) (born 1986), Maltese footballer
- Raoul Fenech (born 1997), Maltese table-tennis champion
- Ryan Fenech (born 1986), Maltese footballer
- Tonio Fenech (born 1969), Finance Minister of Malta
- Eddie Fenech Adami (born 1934), Prime Minister of Malta
- Fenech-Soler, English electropop band
- Patrick Hanks, American Family Name Origins. Dictionary of American Family Names. 2006
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