From the historical and enchanting Italian region of the islands of Sicily emerged a multitude of noble families, including the distinguished Amiri family. Although people were originally known only by a single name, it became necessary for people to adopt a second name to identify themselves as populations grew and travel became more frequent. The process of adopting fixed hereditary surnames was not complete until the modern era, but the use of hereditary family names in Italy began in the 10th and 11th centuries. Italian hereditary surnames were developed according to fairly general principles and they were characterized by a profusion of derivatives coined from given names. Although the most common type of family name found in Sicily is the patronymic surname, which is derived from the father's given name, the nickname type of surname is also frequently found. Nickname surnames were derived from an eke-name, or added name. They usually reflected the physical characteristics or attributes of the first person that used the name. The surname Amiri is a name for a person that is bitter or unhappy. The surname Amari can be traced to the Italian word Amaro, which means bitter, unhappy or unfortunate, which jokingly indicates that the original bearer the surname had an embittered nature.