Laraia, very very rare, has a stock in Trani (BA) and one between Potenza and Venosa (PZ), La Raia, almost unique, is probably the result of transcription errors of the previous one, could derive from toponyms like Raia Carbone (PZ) . additions provided by Stefano Ferrazzi Laraia is widespread especially in Trani (BA) and in the Potentino, La Raia, very rare, could be a transcription error of the first, these surnames should both derive from the term raia or raja, which has two different meanings: in a first meaning, raia is an archaic entry that corresponds to today's race, a species of fish with the characteristic flat and elongated shape (from the Latin raia); in a second sense, raia is, instead, a southern dialect word that indicates a generic thorny plant, a bramble (from the term prelatino and Latin radia). In the first case, then, Laraia and La Raia could be derived from trade names, such as that of the fisherman or the fishmonger, or from particular physical or behavioral characteristics of the progenitor; in the second case, instead, they could refer to the place of origin (in fact, there are toponyms like Monte Raia Lunga (SA), Raia dei Carboni (PZ), Raia della Petina (SA), etc.) or, in any case, to the conformation of the territory in which the progenitor lived (for example, near a thorny scrub, a bush, etc.).
It seems to have more strains, in Sicily and in Naples, it could be of Lusitano-Spanish origin, deriving from the name of an area of Portugal (Raia, Plan de Raia) on the border with Extremadura in Spain. Additions provided by Giovanni Vezzelli according to G. Rohlfs, Historical Dictionary of surnames in eastern Sicily, p. 156, the surname Raia (Raja) comes from the Sicilian word ' Raja ' which means ' breed ', a type of fish.
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