Costello (surname)

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Pronunciation/kəˈstɛl/ or (especially in Ireland) /ˈkɒstəl/
Italian: [koˈstɛllo]
Language(s)Irish and Latin
Word/nameMac Oisdealbhaigh and Castellum
Meaning"son of Oisdealbhach (Os-shaped, shaped like the god Os or shaped like god cf. os)" and "small Roman detached fort or fortlet used as a watch tower or signal station"
Other names
Cognate(s)Mac Oisdealbh, Mac Goisdelbh, Mac Coisdealbhaigh
See alsoMac Coisteala and Castrum

Costello is an Irish surname.


The surname has been mainly borne by a notable Irish family who claimed descent from Jocelyn de Angulo, an Anglo-Norman mercenary who accompanied Richard de Clare to Ireland in 1170. Pope Adrian IV, the first English pope, in one of his earliest acts, had already issued a Papal Bull in 1155, giving Henry II authority to invade Ireland to bring the Irish Church into conformity with Roman practice.

The family first appears on record in Ireland in 1193, when the Annals of the Four Masters state: Inis Clothrann do orgain la macaibh Oisdealb, & la macaibh Conchobhair Maonmaighe. (Inishcloghbran was plundered by the sons of Osdealv, and the sons of Conor Moinmoy.)[1]

Oistealb or Osdealv was the Gaelic rendering of Hostilo; the Irish name Oisdealbh is sometimes erroneously attributed[citation needed] to a Gaelic translation of Jocelyn, Jocelyn d'Angulo's given name. In fact, MacOisdealbhaigh is the Gaelic translation of his brother Hostilo (or Hostilio) d'Angulo's first name. Oisdealbh is a much more obvious translation of Hostilo.[citation needed] It is Hostilo's descendants who would bear the surname Mac Oisdealbhaigh (son of Oisdealbh or Hostilo); the surname would later be anglicized to Costello, Costelloe, and Costellow. Gilbert d'Angulo is also sometimes listed as the son of Jocelyn d'Angulo in error. Gilbert d'Angulo is the father of both Jocelyn and Hostilo.[citation needed]

According to the Ellis Island official passenger search, some people came from Italy and Spain to the U. S. as Costello.[original research?]

It occasionally has been adopted as a pseudonym or stage name by famous people of Italian descent, including Al Costello ( Giacomo Costa), Frank Costello ( Francesco Castiglia), and Lou Costello ( Louis Francis Cristillo), it is also an Italian verb form of costellare: to adorn with stars.


Fictional characters with the surname[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Annals of the Four Masters". Retrieved 2015-04-18.