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Meaning & History
As an English surname it is derived from a genitive or plural form of Middle English knolle
meaning "hilltop, hillock", denoting a person who either lived at the top of a hill or near a hillock, or hailed from one of the many places in England named with this word.
As an Irish surname it is an anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Tnúthghail
meaning "descendant of Tnúthgal", a given name composed of the elements tnúth
"desire, envy" and gal
A known bearer is American singer Beyoncé Knowles (1981-).