From Old English cumb
meaning "valley", the name of several places in England.
Derived from the Old Norse given name Kóri
, of unknown meaning.
Derived from Old French cornet
meaning "horn", referring to one who worked as a horn blower.
Derived from Old French cordoan
"leather", ultimately from the name of the Spanish city of Cordova.
Derived from Middle English cotter
meaning "cottager", referring to a small tenant farmer.
From Middle English coupe
meaning "barrel", a name for a barrel maker or cooper.
COURTENAY (1) English
From the name of towns in France which were originally derivatives of the Gallo-Roman personal name Curtenus
, itself derived from Latin curtus
From various English place names, which meaning either "coal valley", "coal hill" or "cow pasture" in Old English.
Means "quiet, shy, coy" from Middle English coi
From a place name derived from Old English crawa
"crow" and ford
Originally denoted someone from Crewe in Cheshire, which is from Welsh criu
"weir, dam, fish trap".
From Old English croft
meaning "enclosed field".
Occupational name derived from Middle English croppe
"crop", referring to a fruit picker or a crop reaper.
Locative name meaning "cross", ultimately from Latin crux
. It denoted one who lived near a cross symbol or near a crossroads.
CULLEN (1) English
From the name of the German city of Cologne
, which was derived from Latin colonia
Nickname for a courteous person from Old French curteis
From Old English dæl
meaning "valley", originally indicating a person who lived there.
Derived from a place name which meant "valley town" in Old English. A notable bearer of the surname was the English chemist and physicist John Dalton (1766-1844).
From the name of the town Derby
meaning "deer farm" in Old Norse.
Originally denoted one who came from the town of Airel in Normandy, derived from Late Latin arealis
meaning "open space".
From any of the various towns in France called Aubigny, derived from the Gallo-Roman personal name ALBINUS
DAVIS English, Scottish
Means "son of DAVID
". This was the surname of the revolutionary jazz trumpet player Miles Davis (1926-1991).
DEAN (2) English
Occupational surname meaning "dean", referring to a person who either was a dean or worked for one. It is from Middle English deen
(ultimately from Latin decanus
meaning "chief of ten").
Originally denoted a person from the town of Debenham in Suffolk, derived from the name of the River Deben (meaning "deep" in Old English) combined with ham
From the Old English given name Deora
meaning "dear, beloved".
From Middle English dene
"valley" combined with man
From the place name Denzell
, a manor in Cornwall, which is of unknown meaning.
Derived from the given name Derrick
). A famous bearer of this surname is the character Stephan Derrick from the German television series 'Derrick' (1974-1998).
Indicated a person from Evreux in France, itself named after the Gaulish tribe of the Eburovices, which was probably derived from a Celtic word meaning "yew".
DEVIN (2) English
Nickname for a person who acted divinely, from Old French devin
"divine", ultimately from Latin.
Occupational name meaning "dyer" in Old English (orginally this was a feminine word, but it was later applied to men as well).
From the medieval given name Dicun
, a medieval diminutive of DICK (1)
. A famous bearer of this surname was the English writer Charles Dickens (1812-1870).
Means "son of Dicun", Dicun
being a medieval diminutive of DICK (1)
. American poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) was a famous bearer.
From Old English dic
"ditch" combined with man
"man". It was originally a name for a ditch digger or someone who lived near a ditch.
Means "from Isigny", referring to the town of Isigny in Normandy.
Originally denoted someone who was a doctor, ultimately from Latin doctor
Means "from Orsay", referring to the town of Orsay near Paris, its name deriving from the Latin personal name Orcius
Name for someone who lived on or near a down, which an English word meaning "hill".
Derived from the Old Norse byname Draki
or the Old English byname Draca
both meaning "dragon", both via Latin from Greek δρακων (drakon)
meaning "dragon, serpent".
Occupational name for a maker or seller of woolen cloth, from Anglo-Norman French draper
(Old French drapier
, an agent derivative of drap
From a place name meaning "DUDDA
's clearing" in Old English. The surname was borne by a British noble family.
From the noble title, which was originally from Latin dux
"leader". It was an occupational surname for a person who behaved like a duke, or who worked in a duke's household.
DUNN English, Scottish, Irish
Derived from Old English dunn
"dark" or Gaelic donn
"brown", referring to hair colour or complexion.
DURAND French, English
From Old French durant
meaning "enduring", ultimately from Latin durans
. This was a nickname for a stubborn person.
Indicated a person who worked or lived at a dye-house, which is a place where dyeing was done.
Occupational name for a cloth dyer, from Old English deah
From the aristocratic title, which derives from Old English eorl
meaning "nobleman, warrior". It was either a nickname for one who acted like an earl, or an occupational name for a person employed by an earl.
From the name of various places meaning "east town" in Old English.
From any of the various English towns with this name, derived from Old English ea
"river" and tun
"enclosure, yard, town".
Denoted a person from any of the various places named Eccleston in England, derived from Latin ecclesia
"church" (via Briton) and Old English tun
"enclosure, yard, town".
Means "son of EDA (2)
" or "son of ADAM
". The surname was borne by American inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931).
Derived from Old English ealdra
meaning "older", used to distinguish two people who had the same name.
Patronymic form of the English name Ellis
, from the medieval given name Elis
, a vernacular form of ELIJAH
Habitational name for a person from the town of Elsworth in Cambridgeshire. The town's name is derived from the masculine given name Ella
(a short form of Old English names beginning with the elements ælf
meaning "elf" or eald
meaning "old") combined with worþ
From the name of a town in eastern England meaning "eel district".
Means "son of EMERY
". The surname was borne by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), an American writer and philosopher who wrote about transcendentalism.
Variant of EMMETT
. This name was borne by the Irish nationalist Robert Emmet (1778-1803).
Topographic name derived from Old English meaning "from the end cottage".
Denoted a person who was of English heritage. It was used to distinguish people who lived in border areas (for example, near Wales or Scotland). It was also used to distinguish an Anglo-Saxon from a Norman.
From a place name which meant "fern stream", from Old English fearn
"fern" and burna
From a place name meaning "fair ravine, fair cliff" in Old English.
Occupational name for a tax collector, from Middle English ferme
"rent, revenue, provision", from Medieval Latin firma
, ultimately from Old English feorm
. This word did not acquire its modern meaning until the 17th century.
Indicated a person from any of the various towns named Farnham in England, notably in Surrey. Their names are from Old English fearn
"fern" and ham
"home, settlement" or ham
"water meadow, enclosure".
FAULKNER English, Scottish
Occupational name for a keeper of falcons, from Middle English and Scots faulcon
, from Late Latin falco
, of Germanic origin.
FAY French, English
Referred to a person who came from various places named Fay or Faye in northern France, derived from Old French fau
"beech tree", from Latin fagus
Derived from Middle English feare
meaning "friend, comrade".
From a name for someone who dwelt near a marsh, from Old English fenn
meaning "fen, swamp, bog".
Name for a person who lived on or near a field or pasture, from Old English feld
Means "son of the king" in Anglo-Norman French, from French roi
meaning "king". This name has been bestowed upon illegitimate children of kings.
Given to a person who was a Fleming, that is a person who was from FLANDERS
in the Netherlands.
Occupational name for a fletcher, someone who attached feathers to the shaft of an arrow. It is derived from Old French fleche
Name given to someone who lived by a ford, possibly the official who maintained it.
FOREST English, French
Originally belonged to a person who lived near or in a forest. It was probably originally derived, via Old French forest
, from Latin forestam (silva)
meaning "outer (wood)".
Denoted a keeper or one in charge of a forest, or one who has charge of growing timber in a forest (see FOREST
From Middle English, ultimately from Latin fortuna
meaning "fortune, luck, chance". This was possibly a nickname for a gambler.
FOSTER (2) English
Occupational name for a scissor maker, derived from Old French forcetier
FOSTER (3) English
Occupational name for a maker of saddle trees, derived from Old French fustier
FOSTER (4) English
Nickname given to a person who was a foster-child or foster-parent.
Occupational name for a fowler or bird-catcher, ultimately derived from Old English fugol
From the name of the animal. It was originally a nickname for a person with red hair or a crafty person.
Derived from Middle English frankelin
meaning "freeman". It denoted a landowner of free but not noble birth, from Old French franc
Referred to a person who was born free, or in other words was not a serf.
FROST English, German
From Old English and Old High German meaning "frost", a nickname for a person who had a cold personality or a white beard.
From Old English frig
(a variant of freo
) meaning "free".
Occupational name for a fuller, a person who softened and cleaned coarse cloth by pounding it. It is derived via Middle English from Latin fullo
From the name of the English town of Foulden, Norfolk, meaning "bird hill" in Old English.
GAGE French, English
Occupational surname deriving either from Old French gauge
"measure" (a name for an assayer) or gage
"pledge" (a name for a moneylender).
Occupational surname for one who was a gardener, from Old French jardin
meaning "garden" (of Frankish origin).
Means "triangle field" in Old English. A famous bearer was American president James A. Garfield (1831-1881).
Means "triangle land" from Old English gara
. It originally belonged to a person who owned a triangle-shaped piece of land.
GARNER (1) English
From Old French gernier
meaning "granary", a derivative of Latin granum
meaning "grain". This name could refer to a person who worked at a garnary or lived near one.
GARNETT (1) English
Occupational name referring to a person who made hinges, from Old French carne
Derived from a Norman given name which was a short form of Germanic names starting with the element ger
Variant of WILLIAM
. A famous bearer of the name is cartoonist and filmmaker Terry Gilliam (1940-).
GLASS English, German
From Old English glæs
or Old High German glas
meaning "glass". This was an occupational name for a glass blower or glazier.
Means "glass worker, glazier", from Old English glæs
Means "a person who made or sold gloves" from Middle English glovere
Derived from Breton goff
"smith" and referred to a worker in metals.
From a nickname meaning "good", referring to a kindly person.
From the Old English word gara
meaning "a triangular plot of land".
GRANGER English, French
Means "farm bailiff" from Old French grangier
, ultimately from Latin granum
meaning "grain". It is borne in the Harry Potter novels by Harry's friend Hermione Granger.
Occupational name for a steward, derived from Middle English greyve
From a nickname for a person who had grey hair or grey clothes.
Descriptive name for someone who often wore the colour green or someone who lived near the village green.
From the given name GREGORY
that was popular in the Christian world during the Middle Ages.
GRIFFIN (2) English
Nickname from the mythological beast with body of a lion with head and wings of an eagle. It is ultimately from Greek γρυψ (gryps)
From Old English graf
"grove". This originally indicated a person who lived near a grove (a group of trees).
Nickname for a big person, from Middle English golias
meaning "giant" (ultimately from Goliath, the Philistine warrior who was slain by David in the Old Testament).
From a diminutive of the medieval given name Hake
, which was of Old Norse origin and meant "hook".
From a descriptive nickname meaning "wild, untamed, worn".
Derived from Old English healh
meaning "nook, hollow".
HAMILTON English, Scottish
From an English place name, derived from the elements hamel
"crooked, mutilated" and dun
"hill". This was the name of a town in Leicestershire, England (which no longer exists).
From the name of a town in England, meaning "homestead farm".
From a diminutive of the medieval name HANN
. Early records reveal a Hanecock from the county of Yorkshire who appeared in the Hundred Rolls in the year 1273.
From a place name meaning "hare valley" in Old English.
Derived from the given name HEARD
. A famous bearer was American president Warren G. Harding (1865-1923).
Habitational name from places called Harford, in Gloucestershire and Devon, meaning "hart ford".
Derived from the Old English elements har
meaning "grey" and graefe
Derived from a place name meaning "hare clearing", from Old English hara
"hare" and leah
Habitational name derived from a number of locations named Harlow, from Old English hær
"rock" or here
"army", combined with hlaw
Originally belonged to a person who played the harp or who made harps.
Means "male deer". It was originally acquired by a person who lived in a place frequented by harts, or bore some resemblance to a hart.
Diminutive of either hardt
"hardy, tough" or hart
Habitational name for someone who lived by a path across a heath, from Middle English hathe
"heath" and weye
Originally a nickname for a person who had a hawk-like appearance or who acted in a fierce manner.
HAYDEN (1) English
Derived from place names meaning either "hay valley" or "hay hill", derived from Old English heg
"hay" and denu
"valley" or dun
HAYES (1) English
Denoted a dweller at or near a hedge or hedged enclosure, or the keeper of hedges or fences. A famous bearer was American President Rutherford B. Hayes.
From the name of an English town meaning "hay clearing", from Old English heg
"hay" and leah
Occupational name for a person who protected an enclosed forest. It is from Middle English hay
"enclosure" and ward
Derived from a place name meaning "fenced wood" in Old English.
HEAD (1) English
From Middle English hed
, from Old English heafod
, akin to Old High German houbit
and Latin caput
(both meaning "head"). The surname is occupational and describes the one in charge of a division or department in an office or institution, that is a headmaster.