[translation from French from the site http://www.jtosti.com/noms/g1.htm
This name is often considered as a nickname for someone vigorous, courageous (Celtic origin from galia
). But it should mainly be seen as a personal name of Germanic origin, composed of the roots gail
("cheerful") and hard
("hard, tough"). A certainty is that it was in the Middle Ages a very spread firstname from Italy to Spain. The surname has the most hits in the Isère departement. The form Gaillarde is a matronym, from a name of a locality (La Gaillarde, name of numerous places).
[translation from the same site]
One of the most spread names in France, especially in and around Lyon. It can be found in the Savoie region under Payot. The explanation with the verb payer
, evoked by Dauzat, is certainly not the solution for such a numerous patronym. It might be a diminutive of Paya (see that name). The small dictionary of Félix Fenouillet (Surnames in Savoie) gives for Payot the meaning of "farmer" from paysan
, which applies for Payet as well. This solution seems to me very tempting. Variant of Payot (or matronym): Payotte.
NB.: i think this person uses the terms patronym and matronym a bit in the wrong sense.
from French païen
, a name for a baptist, from Latin paganus
, meaning "he who inhabits a pagus
", the latter meaning "rural area". Or possibly from paysan