Spanish (Damián) German Romanian Italian and Polish: from the personal name Damián Damian respectively Greek Damianos (from damazein ‘to subdue’) Latin Damianus. Saint Damian was an early Christian saint martyred in Cilicia in AD 303 under the emperor Domitian together with his brother Cosmas (see Kosmas ). In some accounts the brothers are said to have been doctors and together they were regarded as the patrons of physicians and apothecaries. A later Saint Damian lived in the 7th–8th centuries and was bishop of Pavia; he may have had some influence on the popularity of the personal name in Italy. This surname is also found among Rusyns (Lemkos). In some cases probably also French (southern France and Lorraine): from a variant of the personal name Damien a cognate of 1 above. In some cases probably also an Americanized form of Slovenian and Croatian Damjan or Damijan: from the personal name Dam(i)jan (see 1 above).
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press