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Question #25861 posted on 06/22/2006 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is the origin of the common South American surname ¨Betancourth?¨

Elder A-Dawg

A: Dear Elder A-Dawg,

The surname "Betancourth," along with its variations Betancourt, Betancur, Bettencourt, Betancurt, comes from the name of Jean de Bethencourt, a Norman-French explorer who discovered and conquered the Canary Islands. King Henry III of Castile was his benefactor, so it makes sense that his name should be preserved in Spanish-speaking areas.

I love onomastics. Thanks for asking.