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Vella was the most common surname on the islands in 1420 and remains the most common surname of Romance origin.

The most probable source for this surname derives from the Italian bello (Latin bellus), meaning ‘handsome, pretty, pleasant’. Other potential connections include vela, Italian for ‘veil’ and 'sail' or vella, an old Spanish nickname of Arabic origin that refers to an ‘elderly woman’.

In heraldry, a chequy or checkered pattern can refer to the game of chess, or to a person who dealt with valuable assets and commodities (a ‘checker’).

An image linked to a dedicated page about the Maltese surname Vella.
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