Habitational name for someone who lived near a path across a heath, from Old English hæþ
"heath" and weg
Originally a nickname for a person who had a hawk-like appearance or who acted in a fierce manner, derived from Old English heafoc "hawk"
From a diminutive of HAWK
. A famous bearer was the British physicist Stephen Hawking (1942-2018).
Denoted a person who lived near a hawthorn bush, a word derived from Old English hagaþorn
, from haga
meaning "haw berry" and þorn
meaning "thorn bush". A famous bearer was the American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), author of The Scarlet Letter
HAYDEN (1) English
From place names meaning either "hay valley"
or "hay hill"
, derived from Old English heg
"hay" and denu
"valley" or dun
HAYES (1) English
From various English place names that were derived from Old English hæg
meaning "enclosure, fence"
. A famous bearer was American President Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893).
Name for a person who lived on a hill, from Middle English heyt
Occupational name for a person who protected an enclosed forest, from Old English hæg
"enclosure, fence" and weard
From various place names meaning "fenced wood" in Old English.
From Middle English hed
, from Old English heafod
. It may have referred to a person who had a peculiar head, who lived near the head of a river or valley, or who served as the village headman.
From place names 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 English, Scottish
From northern English place names meaning "high burial mound"
in Old English. It was borne by Mary Queen of Scot's infamous third husband, James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwall. Other famous bearers include the actresses Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003) and Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993).
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
From English places by this name, derived from Old English hyll
From various English place names derived from Old English hyll
"hill" and tun
"enclosure, town". Famous bearers of this name include the Hilton family of hotel heirs.
Derived from the medieval given name HOB
. A famous bearer of this name was British political philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), the author of Leviathan
Occupational name meaning "pig herder"
, from Old English hogg
"hog" and hierde
HOLLAND (1) English
From various English places of this name, derived from Old English hoh
"point of land, heel" and land
Referred to someone living by a group of holly trees, from Old English holegn
HOLME English, Scottish
Referred either to someone living by a small island (northern Middle English holm
, from Old Norse holmr
) or near a holly tree (Middle English holm
, from Old English holegn
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.
From various place names derived from Old English ham
meaning "home" and wudu
Derived from the name of the English town of Hunnacott, derived from Old English hunig
"honey" or the given name Huna
combined with cot
Originally applied to one who lived near a river bend or corner of some natural feature, from Old English hoc "angle, hook"
Occupational name for someone who put the metal hoops around wooden barrels.
Derived from Middle English hop
meaning "small valley"
Occupational name for an acrobat or a nickname for someone who was nervous or restless. A famous bearer was the American actor Dennis Hopper (1936-2010).
HORN English, German, Norwegian, Danish
From the Germanic word 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.
From a minor place in Yorkshire derived from Old English hors
"horse" and fall
From the names of various places in England, which are derived from Old English horh
"dirt, mud" and tun
"enclosure, yard, town".
Referred to a person who lived or worked in a house, as opposed to a smaller hut.
HOWARD (2) English
Occupational name meaning "ewe herder"
, from Old English eowu
"ewe" and hierde
Name for one who lived on a hill, from Middle English how "hill"
(of Norse origin).
From the name of a town in the Yorkshire region of England, which means "Hudel's town" in Old English.
From various English place names, derived from the Old English given name Huda
combined with halh
Means "spur of a hill"
, from Old English hoh
HUNTER English, Scottish
Occupational name that referred to someone who hunted for a living, from Old English hunta
Originally a name for a person who lived near a thicket of trees, from Old English hyrst "thicket"
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", from Old English hoc
"hook" and stapol
From Middle English hide
, a unit of land, approximately the size necessary to support a household.
HYLAND (1) English
Topographic name meaning "high land"
, from Old English heah
From the name of an English town, of Old English origin meaning "INGA
IRVING Scottish, English
Originally derived from a Scottish place name (in North Ayrshire) meaning "green water".
Means "son of JACK"
. Famous bearers of this name are the American president Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) and the singer Michael Jackson (1958-2009).
Patronymic from the given name JEFFREY
. A famous bearer was poet Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962).
Means "son of JEFFREY"
. A famous bearer was American president Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826). Since this surname was sometimes adopted by freed slaves, it is now more common among the African-American population.
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
From the given name Jenkin
, a diminutive of Jen
, itself a Middle English form of JOHN
From the given name Jenyn
, a diminutive of Jen
, itself a Middle English form of JOHN
Possibly derived from the old Breton name Iarnogon
meaning "iron famous".
Derived from the given name JEROME
. A famous bearer of this surname was the American-born Jennie Jerome (1854-1921), Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of Sir Winston Churchill.
Means "son of Jenk"
, a short form of Jenkin
, a diminutive of Jen
, itself a Middle English form of JOHN
Derived from the given name JOHN
. A famous bearer is British musician Elton John (1947-), born Reginald Dwight.
Means "son of JOHN"
. Famous bearers include American presidents Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) and Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973).
Occupational name for a carpenter (that is, a person who joins wood together to make furniture).
KAY (2) English
Derived from Old French kay
meaning "wharf, quay"
, indicating one who lived near or worked on a wharf.
From Old English cene
meaning "bold, brave"
Derived from an English place name meaning "clearing belonging to Cyhha". The Old English given name Cyhha
is of unknown meaning.
Occupational name for a pig butcher, from Middle English killen
"to kill" and hog
"pig, swine, hog".
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 Kendal in England, so-called from the river KENT
, on which it is situated, and Old English dæl
meaning "valley, dale".
From an English place name meaning derived from Old English cærse
"watercress" and eg
From a nickname meaning "young goat, kid"
in Middle English, of Old Norse origin.
Denoted one who hailed from the English town of Kilham, meaning "kiln homestead".
From Old English cyning "king"
, 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, of Old English origin meaning "Cyppel's people", from a given name Cyppel
of unknown meaning. A famous bearer of this name was the author Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936).
From numerous towns in northern England named Kirby or Kirkby, derived from Old Norse kirkja
"church" and býr
From northern Middle English kirk "church"
, from Old Norse kirkja
(cognate of CHURCH
Occupational name for a person who worked in a kitchen (of a monastery for example), derived from Old English cycene
, ultimately from Latin coquina
From Middle English knagg
meaning "small mound, projection"
. It is found most commonly in the north of England, in particular Yorkshire.
From Old English cniht
, a tenant serving as a mounted soldier.
From Middle English knoll
, Old English cnoll
meaning "small hill, knoll"
. A famous bearer is American singer Beyoncé Knowles (1981-).
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 that was Latinized as Lascius
LAMAR French, English
Originally from a place name in Normandy, 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 various places names, of Old English origin meaning "long hill"
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 the name of English towns, meaning "town with a leek garden" in Old English.
Originally indicated a person who was a physician, from the medieval practice of using leeches to bleed people of ills.
From the name of various places called Livet in Normandy, France. They are possibly of Gaulish origin.
From the name of English places called Lydford
, derived from hlud
meaning "loud, noisy" and ford
meaning "ford, river crossing".
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, called Lindum Colonia
by the Romans, 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 "linden tree town" in Old English.
Originally from place names meaning "linden tree forest" in Old English.
Meaning simply "little"
, it was originally a nickname given to a short person.
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.
Occupational name for an official who was equipped with a ceremonial staff, or a nickname for a tall person.
From the Old English given name Lufu
From a nickname derived from a Norman French lou
and a diminutive suffix.
From the name of towns in England called Lumb
, probably from Old English lum "pool"
LUND Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English
Indicated a person who lived near a grove of trees, from Old Norse lundr
. There are towns in Sweden and Britain called Lund.
Originally from a place name meaning "linden tree hill" in Old English.
From the name of a town in Norfolk (King's Lynn), derived from Welsh llyn
LYON (1) English, French
Originally denoted a person from the city of Lyon in central France, originally Latin Lugdunum
, of Gaulish origin meaning "hill fort of LUGUS
". It could also denote a person from the small town of Lyons-la-Forêt in 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.
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 surname.
Originally a name for a person from Marlow in Buckinghamshire, England. The place name means "remnants of a lake" from Old English mere
"lake" and lafe
"remnants, remains". A notable bearer was the English playwright and poet Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593).
From a place name derived from Old English mearc
"boundary" and denu
Derived from Middle English mareschal "marshal"
, ultimately 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 Late 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
Patronymic derived from Middle English maister
, via Old French from Latin magister
Occupational name meaning "mower, cutter of hay"
in Old English.
MAYER (3) English
Occupational name for a mayor, from Middle English mair
, derived via Old French from Latin maior
Referred to one who lived in a meadow, from Old English mædwe
Occupational name for a trader in textiles, from Old French mercier
, derived from Latin merx
MERRILL (2) English
From the name of various places in England, derived from Old English myrige
"pleasant" and hyll
From the English village of Midgley in West Yorkshire, meaning "midge (insect) wood" in Old English.
Derived from various place names 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 "mill"
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".
MONDAY (2) English
Denoted a person for whom this was a significant day, often the day they would pay their feudal fees.
From a Norman place name meaning "sharp mountain" in Old French.
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 (1) English
Originally indicated a person who lived on a moor, from Middle English mor
meaning "open land, bog"