See studies by B. T. Osiek (1978) and S. Ingwersen (1986).
Silva is the most common surname in the Portuguese language, namely in Portugal and Brazil; it is also widespread in regions of the former Portuguese Empire in Asia, including India and Sri Lanka. The word came originally from Latin, meaning woods and, by extension, people that came from forested areas. It was adopted in western Iberia when conquered by Ancient Rome in 219 BC. It is a name that became very common, sometimes losing its original particle de or da, and associated with a great number of different people and products: