HEAD (2) English
Referred originally to a person who lived at the head of a river or on a hilltop.
From a place name meaning "heather clearing" in Old English.
Originally belonged to a person who was a dweller on the heath or open land.
Means "son of HENRY
". A bearer of this surname was the poet Robert Henryson (1425-1500).
HEPBURN Scottish, English
From a place name meaning "high burial mound" in Old English. Famous bearers of the name include Hollywood actresses Katherine Hepburn and Audrey Hepburn. Mary Queen of Scot's infamous third husband, James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwall, also bore the name.
From a nickname meaning "tallest" in Middle English. It is most common in the southwest of England in the county of Devon.
Originally given to a person who lived on or near a hill, derived from Old English hyll
Refers to a settlement (meaning "hill town") where the original bearer of the name lived. Famous bearers of this name include the Hilton family of hotel heirs.
Variant of HOBBS
. A famous bearer of this name was British political philosopher Thomas Hobbes, the author of 'Leviathan'.
From a place name meaning "hog pen". It was first recorded in North Yorkshire.
Derived from any of the eight villages named Holland, located in the counties of Essex, Lancaster and Lincoln, England. The name of the villages means "ridge land" in Old English.
Refers to someone living by a holly tree. The name originates from Cheshire in the North of England.
HOLME English, Scottish
Refers either to someone living by an island in a fen (from northern Middle English holm
) or near a holly tree (Middle English holm
HOLMES English, Scottish
Variant of HOLME
. A famous fictional bearer was Sherlock Holmes, a detective in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's mystery stories beginning in 1887.
Old English meaning "holly wood" or from a place name in Derby or Surrey.
Derived from the name of the English town Hunnacott. The name of the town is probably derived from Old English hunig
Originally applied to one who lived near a spur, river bend, or corner of some natural feature.
Occupational name for someone who put the metal hoops around wooden barrels.
Derived from Middle English hop
Referred to a person who hopped. The name was given to professional acrobats or gymnasts at a fair. It may also have been given to those who were nervous or fidgety and therefore moved about a lot. A famous bearer is American actor Denis Hopper.
HORN English, German, Norwegian, Danish
From the Germanic word horn
meaning "horn". This was an occupational name for one who carved objects out of horn or who played a horn, or a person who lived near a horn-shaped geographical feature, such as a mountain or a bend in a river.
Derived from a place in Yorkshire meaning "horse clearing".
From the name of a town in Yorkshire meaning "mud town".
Referred to a person who lived in a house, as opposed to a smaller hut.
Name for one who lived on a hill, from Middle English how
From the name of a town Huddleston in the Yorkshire region of England. It means "Hudel's town".
From the Old English place name Hudanheale
meaning "Huda's heath" or "nook of land belonging to a man called Huda". Its use can be traced back to around the year 1200.
HUNTER English, Scottish
Occupational name which referred to someone who hunted for a living, from Old English hunta
From a Middle English place name meaning "thicket of trees". First recorded instance of the name is in the Domesday Book for a Thomas De Hurst.
From the name of a town in Cheshire. The final element is Old English leah
"woodland, clearing", while the first element might be hux
"insult, scorn". A famous bearer was the British author Aldous Huxley (1894-1963).
Derived from the name of an English place meaning "hook post" (Old English hoc
"hook" and stapol
Matronymic surname derived from the old feminine name Ibota, which in turn was derived from ISABEL
, the oldest form of ELIZABETH
to be introduced into England.
IRVING Scottish, English
Originally derived from a Scottish place name (in North Ayrshire) meaning "green water".
Means "son of JACK
". A famous bearer of this name was American president Andrew Jackson (1767-1845). Another famous bearer was the singer Michael Jackson (1958-2009).
JEANES (1) English
The first record of this name comes from records of William the Conqueror's land grants to his supporters during the Conquest of England. The name at that time was De Genez
, which indicated a person who came from Genez in Normandy. Over the years the De
was dropped and the name was corrupted in Britain to Jeanes
. Recently it has been suggested that De Genez
did not refer to a place name in Normandy, as might be expected, but instead to Genoa, Italy, making the etymology of this surname the same as the etymology of the jeans
in blue jeans
is from Genoa
, the fabric having originated in Genoa).
Patronymic of the given name JEFFREY
. A famous bearer was poet Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962).
Derived from the Breton given name JUDICAËL
. This name was used by Robert Louis Stevenson for the character of Dr Henry Jekyll in the book 'Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' (1886).
From the given name Jenkin
, a medieval diminutive of Jen
, itself a Middle English form of JOHN
From the given name Jenyn
, a medieval diminutive of Jen
, itself a Middle English form of JOHN
Derived from the given name JEROME
. A famous bearer of this surname was the American-born Jennie Jerome, Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of Sir Winston Churchill.
Means "son of JOHN
". Famous bearers include American presidents Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) and Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973).
Occupational surname for a carpenter (that is, a person who joined wood together to make furniture).
KAY (2) English
Derived from Middle English kaye
"wharf, quay". A name for one who lived near or worked on a wharf.
Derived from an English place name meaning "clearing belonging to Cyhha". The Old English given name Cyhha
is of unknown meaning.
From the Middle Ages, a name for a butcher meaning "killer of hogs".
From an English place name meaning "Cenel's island", from the Old English name Cenel
"fierce" in combination with eg
Derived from Middle English kempe
meaning "champion, warrior".
Derived from the town of Kendale in England, and was so called from the river Kent, on which it is situated, and dael
"valley, dale". Therefore, it means "valley on the river Kent".
From an English place name meaning "watercress island".
Denoted one who hailed from the English town of Kilham, meaning "kiln hamlet".
From Old English cyning
, originally a nickname for someone who either acted in a kingly manner or who worked for or was otherwise associated with a king.
From a place name meaning "king's clearing" in Old English.
From the name of a town in Yorkshire. A famous bearer of this name is the author Rudyard Kipling.
Derived from Kirkeby
, a name for numerous locations in northern England. Kirkeby
is derived from kirkja
, two Norse words meaning "church" and "settlement" respectively.
Occupational name for a person who worked in a kitchen (of a monastery for example).
Found most commonly in the north of England, in particular Yorkshire. It means "someone that lived by a knagg (a small mound)".
From Old English cniht
meaning "knight" or "tenant serving as a mounted soldier".
Derived from Lassy
, the name of a town in Normandy. The name of the town was Gaulish in origin, perhaps deriving from a personal name which was Latinized as Lascius
LAMAR French, English
Originally from a place name in Normandy, which was derived from Old French la mare
meaning "the pool".
LANE (1) English
Originally designated one who lived by a lane, a narrow way between fences or hedges, later used of any narrow pathway, including one between houses in a town.
Derived from an Old English place name meaning "long hill" (effectively meaning "ridge").
LANGLEY (1) English
From any of the various places with this name, all derived from Old English lang
"long" and leah
Derived from the given name LAURENCE (1)
. Famous bearers include revolutionary T. E. Lawrence (1888-1935) and author D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930).
Derived from a place name meaning "settlement with a leek garden" in Old English.
Originally indicated a person who was a physician. It comes from the medieval practice of using leeches to bleed people of ills.
From Livet, a region in Normandy, France. Vikings conquered the area and a particular family had taken up the name by the time of the Battle of Hastings 1066, when William the Conqueror invaded England.
Means "path leading across a ford" from Old English lædan
, Middle English leden
"to lead" and ford
, a shallow area in a stream that may be crossed by wading.
LEE (1) English
Originally given to a person who lived on or near a leah
, Old English meaning "woodland, clearing".
LEWIS (1) English
Derived from the given name LEWIS
. The author C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) was a bearer of this surname.
Originally indicated that the bearer was from the English city of Lincoln, derived from Brythonic lindo
"lake, pool" and Latin colonia
"colony". A famous bearer was Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), president of the United States during the American Civil War.
Originally from place names meaning either "flax town" or "lime tree town" in Old English.
Originally derived from a place name meaning "stream forest" in Old English.
From the name of the capital city of the United Kingdom, the meaning of which is uncertain.
Originally a nickname for a person who had long limbs or who was tall.
Name for a tipstaff or beadle who carried a long staff as a badge of office, or else referred to someone who was very tall.
From the Old English given name Lufu
Derived from a Norman French nickname, from lou
"wolf" and a diminutive suffix.
From places in Lancashire and West Yorkshire called Lumb, both apparently originally named for Old English lum(m)
"pool". The word is not independently attested, but appears also in Lomax and Lumley, and may be reflected in the dialect term lum
denoting a well for collecting water in a mine. In some instances the name may be topographical for someone who lived by a pool, Middle English lum(m)
LUND Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English
Indicated a person who lived near a grove of trees, from Old Norse lundr
meaning "grove". There are towns in Sweden and Britain called Lund.
Originally from a place name meaning "lime tree hill" in Old English.
LYON (1) English, French
Habitational name from either the Lyon in southern central France, or Lyons-la-Forêt in Eure, Normandy.
Means "son of MAUD
". A famous bearer of this surname was the fourth American president James Madison (1751-1836).
From Old French maloret
meaning "unfortunate, unlucky", a term introduced to England by the Normans.
MANN German, English
From a nickname meaning "man". This may have originally been given in order to distinguish the bearer from a younger person with the same name.
MARCHAND English, French
Occupational surname meaning "merchant", ultimately from Latin mercari
Originally denoted a person who hailed from one of the various places in Britain called Marley
, ultimately meaning either "pleasant wood", "boundary wood" or "marten wood" in Old English. One of the main characters in Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' (1843) bears this last name.
Originally a name for a person from Marlow (Buckinghamshire), England. The place name means "remnants of a lake" from Old English mere
"lake" and lafe
From a place name derived from Old English mearc
"boundary" and denu
Derived from Middle English mareschal
"a marshal", ultimately derived from Germanic marah
"horse" and scalc
"servant". It originally referred to someone who took care of horses.
From a place name derived from Old English mersc
"marsh" and tun
MARTEL (2) French, English
Nickname for a smith, derived from old French martel
"hammer", ultimately from Latin martellus
Occupational name for a stoneworker or layer of bricks, from Old French masson
, ultimately of Germanic origin (akin to Old English macian
Derived from Massy
, the name of several towns in France. The name of the town is perhaps derived from a personal name that was Latinized as Maccius
Occupational name for a trader, from Old French mercier
From a village in England called Midgley which meant "midge (insect) wood" in Old English.
Derived from a place name meaning "mill stream" in Old English.
Originally derived from various place names all meaning "ford by a mill" in Old English.
Occupational surname referring to a person who owned or worked in a grain mill, from Middle English mille
Name for someone whose house was in a mill or who worked in a mill.
Originally given to one who lived near a mill or who worked in a mill, from Middle English mille
Derived from an English place name meaning "mill town" in Old English. A famous bearer was John Milton (1608-1674), the poet who wrote "Paradise Lost".
From the medieval given name Minne
, derived from the Germanic element minna
MONDAY (1) English
Derived from the Old Norse given name Mundi
which was a diminutive of names beginning with the element mundr
MONDAY (2) English
Denoted a person for whom this was a significant day, often the day they would pay their feudal service.
MONTGOMERY English, Scottish
From a place name in Calvados, France meaning "GUMARICH
's mountain". A notable bearer was Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976), a British army commander during World War II.
MOON (2) English
Originally indicated a person from the town of Moyon in Normandy.
MOORE (3) English
Nickname for a person of dark complexion, from Old French more
Derived from the name of a lost place in Cheshire, from the Old English byname Motere
which meant "speaker" and Middle English heved
Possibly an Americanized form of the German given name Manz
Patronymic formed from the Norman French nickname moun
Referred to someone who took care of sheep (a shepherd), or else someone who in some way resembled a sheep.
Derived from the Middle English phrase atten ash
"at the ash tree". A famous bearer was the mathematician John Nash (1928-).
Means "son of NEIL
". This name was borne by the British admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805).