Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
Finnish. Ornamental, from (vaara) meaning, “range of hills.”
WACHTER German, Dutch
Occupational name for a watchman, from Middle High German wachtære
, Middle Dutch wacht(e)re
. (cf. WAITE
Habitational name from any of various places called Waddington. One near Clitheroe in Lancashire and another in Lincolnshire (Wadintune in Domesday Book) were originally named in Old English as the "settlement" (Old English tūn) associated with Wada.
Occupational name from Middle High German wagenman ‘hauler’, ‘wagoner’.
A habitational name derived from farmsteads in Rogaland named Vagle, from the Old Norse vagl
meaning a '‘perch’' or '‘roost'’, referring to a high ridge between two lakes.
From the Japanese 若 (waka
) "young" and 田 (ta
) "rice paddy" or 多 (ta
WAKE English, Scottish
From the Old Norse byname Vakr meaning "wakeful", "vigilant" (from vaka meaning "to remain awake"), or perhaps from a cognate Old English Waca (attested in place names such as Wakeford, Wakeham, and Wakeley).
WAKEHAM English, Cornish
A locational surname for someone who lived in one of three places called Wakeham in various parts of England, including Cornwall and/or Devon.
Habitational name from Wakeley in Hertfordshire, named from the Old English byname Waca
, meaning ‘watchful’ (see Wake) + Old English leah
From the Anglo-Norman male personal name Walquelin
, literally "little Walho
", a Germanic nickname meaning literally "foreigner".
WAKUNI Japanese (Rare)
This surname is used as 和国 with 和 (o, ka, wa, nago.mu, nago.yaka, yawa.ragu, yawa.rageru) meaning "harmony, Japan, Japanese style, peace, soften" and 国 (koku, kuni) meaning "country."... [more]
WAKURI Japanese (Rare)
This surname is used as 和久利, 和久理, 和久里 or 和栗 with 和 (o, ka, wa, nago.mu, nago.yaka, yawa.ragu, yawa.rageru) meaning "harmony, Japan, Japanese style, peace, soften", 久 (kyuu, ku, hisa.shii) meaning "long time, old story", 利 (ri, ki.ku) meaning "advantage, benefit, profit", 理 (ri, kotowari) meaning "arrangement, justice, logic, reason, truth", 里 (ri, sato) meaning "league, parent's home, ri (unit of distance - equal to 3.927 km), village" and 栗 (ritsu, ri, kuri, ononoku) meaning "chestnut."... [more]
WALD German, English
Topographic name for someone who lived in or near a forest (Old High German wald
, northern Middle English wald
WALDSTEIN German, Jewish
Habitational surname for a person from a place in Bohemia called Waldstein, which is derived from Middle High German walt
"forest" + stein
From a personal name based on Arabic walī
meaning ‘lord’, ‘guardian’, ‘protector’, ‘saint’, or ‘friend’, often interpreted as a short form of Walī Allāh
meaning ‘friend of God’, an epithet of the Prophet Muhammad.
Habitational name from a place in East Yorkshire named Walkington, from an unattested Old English personal name Walca + -ing- denoting association with + tūn.
Habitational name from Walkinshaw in Renfrewshire, which was probably named from Old English wealcere meaning "fuller" + sceaga meaning "copse".
Ornamental name from Swedish vall
"grassy bank, pasture, grazing ground", or in some cases a habitational name from a place named with this element.
Variant of Wallace
, meaning 'foreigner' that is found chiefly in Dumfries, as well as an immigrant surname from Germany, borne by some Jews.
WALLAS English, Scottish
A variant of Wallace
. The name originates from Scotland and its meaning is "foreigner" or "from the south", taken to mean someone from Wales or England.
Of French origin, denoting a person who lives in or is from a valley.
Ornamental name composed of the elements vall
"grassy bank, pasture" and gren
Habitational name from Walmer in Kent, so named from Old English wala
(plural of walh
"Briton") + mere "pool", or from Walmore Common in Gloucestershire.
Anglicized form (translation) of Breathnach
"Briton". It was used in particular to denote the Welshmen who arrived in Ireland in the wake of Strongbow's Anglo-Norman invasion of 1170.
Either (i) from the Old English personal name Wealdwine
, literally "power-friend"; or (ii) perhaps from the medieval personal name Walwain
, the Anglo-Norman form of Old French Gauvain
From a medieval nickname for an ineffectual person (from Middle English wanles
WANN. Surname or Family name. Origin Scottish and English: nickname from Middle English wann ‘wan’, ‘pale’ (the meaning of the word in Old English was, conversely, ‘dark’).
WANNELL Medieval English
Recorded in several forms including Wan, which appears now to be totally obselete, Wann, Wanne, the very rare Whan, the patronymic Wannes and Wanes, the diminutives Wanell, Wannell, Wanniel, and Wonnell, this interesting name is of English origins... [more]
WAPELHORST Low German
"Wapel" (pronounced VA-pel) is a river in Northern Germany. "Horst" means 'eagle's nest' in modern German but also means 'man of the forest' in Old German.
WARDEN English, Scottish, Northern Irish
From Norman French wardein
meaning "to guard". It coincides the English word warden
and can be used as an occupational surname for a warden.
Metonymic occupational name for someone who was in charge of the garments worn by a feudal lord and his household, from Norman French warde(r) meaning "to keep or guard" + robe meaning "garment".
Probably originating near the town of Ribe in Southeast Denmark. It appears as both Warming and Varming.... [more]
WARNS Dutch, German
Dutch habitational name from places so named in Friesland and Overijssel. The one in Friesland was the site of a famous victory of Frisians over the Hollanders in the 14th century. ... [more]
Place name for a person from Warsaw, the capital of Poland.
Occupational surname for a washer, from Middle High German waschen
Northern English topographic name for someone living on the banks of the Washburn river in West Yorkshire, so named from the Old English personal name Walc
+ Old English burna
This indicates familial origin within either of 2 Podlachian villages in Gmina Repki: Wasilew Skrzeszewski or Wasilew Szlachecki.
WASSER German, Jewish
Wasser Family History. German: topographic name from Middle High German wazzer 'water'. Jewish (Ashkenazic): ornamental name or a metonymic occupational name for a water-carrier, from German Wasser, Yiddish vaser 'water'.
This surname is used as 渡抜, 渡樌, 渡貫, 綿抜, 綿貫, 四月一日 or 四月朔日 with 渡 (to, wata.su, wata.ru) meaning "cross, deliver, diameter, ferry, ford, import, migrate, transit," 綿 (men, wata) meaning "cotton," 抜 (hai, hatsu, batsu, nu.kasu, nu.karu, nu.ki, nu.ku, -nu.ku, nu.keru) meaning "extract, omit, pilfer, pull out, quote, remove, slip out," 樌 (kan, nuki), an outdated kanji meaning "grove," 貫 (kan, tsuranu.ku, nuki, nu.ku) meaning "brace, penetrate, pierce, kan (obsolete unit of measuring weight - equal to 3.75 kg./8.33 lbs... [more]
The surname originated in Donegal, Ireland. MacConuisce was an Anglicized form of o'hUisce. Uisce translates to water in English. Wathers is a rather uncommon name because it is an untraditional way of spelling Waters... [more]
Probably means "person from Watney", an unidentified place in England (the second syllable means "island, area of dry land in a marsh"; cf. Rodney
). This surname is borne by Watneys, a British brewery company.
The surname Waycaster is German in origin. It means "roll-eater," and was likely derived from a derisive nickname on a baker.
Topographic name or a habitational name from a lost or unidentified place.
WEDMORE English (British)
Habitational name from Wedmore in Somerset, recorded in the 9th century as Wethmor, possibly meaning ‘marsh (Old English mor
) used for hunting (w?the)’.
This indicates familial origin within the Masovian village of Wędrogów.
Originally meant "person from Weekley", Northamptonshire ("wood or clearing by a Romano-British settlement"). British philologist Ernest Weekley (1865-1954) bore this surname.
Ethnic name for a Hungarian, derivative of Polish Wegier
Habitational name from any of several places called Weimar in Hesse and Thuringia.... [more]
Derived from German weingärtner
meaning "wine maker, vintner", which itself is derived from German weingarten
meaning "vineyard". The latter is a composite word consisting of German wein
"wine" combined with German garten
WEINMANN German, Jewish
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) occupational name for a viticulturalist or wine merchant, Middle High German winman
, German Weinmann
WEINSTOCK English, German, Hebrew
This surname of WEINSTOCK is the English variant of the German surname WENSTOCK, an occupational name for a producer or seller of wine, derived originally from the Old German WEIN. The name was also adopted by Ashkenazic Jews, largely recollecting the prominence of wine in the Jewish Scriptures and its used in Jewish ceremonies... [more]
Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac an Mhaoir
"son of the steward or keeper".
Anglicized form, based on an erroneous translation (as if from Gaelic cora
"weir", "stepping stones"), of various Gaelic names such as Ó Corra (see CORR
) and Ó Comhraidhe (see CURRY
WEISENBURGER German, Jewish
Habitational name for someone from any of numerous places named Weissenburg "white fortress".
Habitational name from Welborne in Norfolk, Welbourn in Lincolnshire, or Welburn in North Yorkshire, all named with Old English wella ‘spring’ + burna ‘stream’.
Ethnic name for someone of Welsh origin. This is the usual form of the surname in England; the usual form in Ireland is Walsh
and in Scotland Welsh
Meant "one who lives in or near a forest (or in a deforested upland area)", from Middle English wold
"forest" or "cleared upland". A famous bearer is American actress Tuesday Weld (1943-).
Name given to our family by our relative, a German king.
Topographic name for someone who lived near a spring or stream, Middle English well(e)
(Old English well(a)
WELLER English, German
Either from the Olde English term for a person who extracted salt from seawater, or from the English and German "well(e)," meaning "someone who lived by a spring or stream."... [more]
Habitational name from any of the three places named Wellington, in Herefordshire, Shropshire, and Somerset. All are most probably named with an unattested Old English personal name Weola
+ -ing- (implying association with) + tun
From Middle High German welsch
"person from a Romance country (especially Italy), foreigner", hence an ethnic name or in some cases perhaps a nickname for someone who had trading or other connections with the Romance countries.
Habitational name from any of various places named Welton, for example in Cumbria, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, and East Yorkshire, from Old English well(a)
‘spring’, ‘stream’ + tun
WELTY German (Swiss)
From a Swiss German diminutive of the German given name Walther
. A literary bearer was the American writer Eudora Welty (1909-2001).
Habitational name from places in Cambridgeshire and South Yorkshire called Wentworth, probably from the Old English byname Wintra
meaning ‘winter’ + Old English worð
‘enclosure’. It is, however, also possible that the name referred to a settlement inhabited only in winter.
Werdum is a municipality in the district of Wittmund, in Lower Saxony, Germany.
German habitational name from a place so named near Hannover.
Habitational name for someone from any of several places named Wessen.
English British surname originating as a place name. There are several Westbury villages, parishes and even Manors across England that have given the name Westbury to people who take up residence in or come from those places... [more]
From Middle High German wëster
‘westerly’, hence a topographic name for someone who lived to the west of a settlement, or a regional name for one who had migrated from further west.
The name is originated from a term meaning 'winds from the West'. The name could be given to someone who is born in the west.
WESTERMAN English, American
Derived from Old English westerne
meaning "western" and mann
meaning "man", thus making it a topographic surname for someone who lived west of a settlement, or a regional surname for someone who had moved to the west... [more]
WESTERMANN Low German
From Middle Low German wester
meaning "westerly" and man
meaning "man", making it a topographic surname for someone who lived west of a settlement or a regional surname for someone who had moved to the west... [more]
Topographic name for someone who lived near a west gate in a city, or a habitual surname for someone from Westgate. It is derived from Middle English west
meaning "west" and gate
"gate" (or "street" in northern and eastern areas; from Old Norse gata
Combination of Old English west
"west" and tun
WESTWOOD English, Scottish
Habitational name from any of numerous places named Westwood, from Old English west
"west" and wudu
Habitational name from a place in Derbyshire named Wheeldon, from Old English hweol ‘wheel’ (referring perhaps to a rounded shape) + dun ‘hill’, or from Whielden in Buckinghamshire, which is named with hweol + denu ‘valley’.
Means "person from Whinneray", Cumbria, or "person who lives in a nook of land growing with gorse" (in either case from Old Norse hvin
"whin, gorse" + vrá
"nook of land"). It was borne by New Zealand rugby player Sir Wilson Whineray (1935-2012).
English surname of uncertain meaning. It might be a shortened form of “whippletree”; an early name for the dogwood. It may also be a variation of Whipp – an early surname for someone who carried out judicial punishments.
An English occupational surname, meaning "one who whistles."
English surname which was from either of two place names, that of a port in North Yorkshire (which comes from the Old Norse elements hvítr
"white" (or Hvíti
, a byname derived from it) combined with býr
"farm") or a place in Cheshire (from Old English hwit
"white" (i.e., "stone-built") and burh
WHITEHEAD English, Scottish
Nickname for someone with fair or prematurely white hair, from Middle English whit
"white" and heved
Means "person from Whitgift", Yorkshire ("Hvítr's dowry"). This surname was borne by Anglican churchman John Whitgift (?1530-1604), archbishop of Canterbury 1583-1604 (in addition, Whitgift School is an independent day school for boys in South Croydon, founded in 1595 by John Whitgift; and Whitgift Centre is a complex of shops and offices in the middle of Croydon, Greater London, on a site previously occupied by Whitgift School).
From a medieval nickname for a mild-mannered person (from Middle English whit
"white" + lam
"lamb"). This surname is borne by Australian Labour politician Gough Whitlam (1916-), prime minister 1972-75.
This surname is derived from a place name composed of Old English elements hwit
meaning "white" and leah
meaning "clearing, grove."
Nickname for someone with white or fair hair, from Middle English whit
‘white’ + lock
‘tress’, ‘curl’. Compare Sherlock
. ... [more]
From Middle English whit
‘white’ + man
‘man’, either a nickname with the same sense as White
, or else an occupational name for a servant of a bearer of the nickname White
English habitational name from Whitemarsh, a place in the parish of Sedgehill, Wiltshire, named from Old English hwit
‘white’ (i.e. ‘phosphorescent’) + mersc
‘marsh’. Compare Whitmore
From the medieval female personal name Wyburgh
, literally "war-fortress". (Cf. Germanic cognate Wigburg
A habitational surname that originates from a lost medieval site or village of Norse origins.... [more]
Two separate surnames, joined together to form Wicksey, when the Vikings invaded England. The name means "Dairy Farmer on the Marsh".
From the Germanic personal name Widiman
, composed of witu
‘wood’ or wit
‘wide’, ‘broad’ + man
‘man’. Americanized form of German Weidmann
From the Old English male personal name Wihtgār
, literally "elf-spear".
Swedish ornamental name composed of the elements Wid-
, an uncertain element, possibly Old Swedish viþr
‘wood’, ‘forest’ or from a place name formed with Old Swedish vid
‘wide’ + man
From a short form of any of various Germanic personal names beginning with wig
Taken from the word wierzba
meaning "willow", this name may have designated someone who lived near a willow tree.
Habitational name from any of various places called Wiesent(h)al.
Either (i) from the Germanic male personal name Wīgant
, literally "warrior", introduced into England by the Normans; or (ii) from the Breton male personal name Wiucon
, literally "worthy-noble", introduced into England by the Normans.
Means "person from Wilberfoss", Yorkshire ("Wilburh
's ditch"). This is borne by Wilberforce University, a university in Xenia, Ohio, USA, founded in 1856 and named in honour of the British philanthropist and anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce (1759-1833)... [more]
Originally meant "person from Wilbraham", Cambridgeshire ("Wilburg's homestead or estate").
WILD Medieval English, English, German, Jewish
English: from Middle English wild
‘wild’, ‘uncontrolled’ (Old English wilde
), hence a nickname for a man of violent and undisciplined character, or a topographic name for someone who lived on a patch of overgrown uncultivated land.... [more]
no particular meaning. the word wile means to trick though.
Occupational name for a trapper or hunter, from Middle English wile
"trap, snare". It could also be a nickname for a devious person.
This indicates familial origin within the Masovian village of Wilewo.
WILK Polish, Scottish, English
Polish: from Polish wilk
‘wolf’, probably from an Old Slavic personal name containing this element, but perhaps also applied as a nickname for someone thought to resemble a wolf or connected with wolves.... [more]
Habitational name from a place named Willingham meaning "homestead (Old English ham
) of the people of a man called Wifel".
Habitational name from a place named Willingham, notably one in Cambridgeshire and one in Suffolk. The first is recorded in Domesday Book as Wivelingham
"homestead (Old English hām
) of the people of a man called Wifel
From the medieval male personal name Willoc
, a pet-form based on the first syllable of any of a range of Old English compound names beginning with willa
Patronymic from any of the Germanic personal names beginning with wil
Perhaps a deliberate alteration of Impey
. It is borne by George Wimpey, a British construction company, founded in Hammersmith, London in 1880 by George Wimpey (1855-1913). A fictional bearer of the variant Wimpy
is J. Wellington Wimpy, a character in the 'Popeye' cartoons of Elzie C. Segar who is always portrayed eating a hamburger.
from Old English wencel ‘child’, perhaps used to distinguish a son from his father with the same forename or perhaps a nickname for a person with a baby face or childlike manner
WIND English, German, Danish
Nickname for a swift runner, from Middle English wind
"wind", Middle High German wint
"wind", also "greyhound".
WINDHAM English, Irish (Anglicized)
English habitational name from Wyndham in West Sussex, near West Grinstead, probably named from an unattested Old English personal name Winda
+ Old English hamm
‘water meadow’; or from Wymondham in Leicestershire and Norfolk, named from the Old English personal name Wigmund
) + Old English ham
WINEHOUSE Jewish, German
Anglicized variant of German and Yiddish 'Weinhaus'. From German wein
, 'vine, grapevine' and haus
'house, building, home', likely indicating a house with a vineyard. ... [more]
From the Old English personal name Winfrith
, literally "friend-peace". A famous bearer of this surname is Oprah Winfrey (1954-), a US television talk-show presenter.
Derived from an unattested Old English given name, *Wyngeofu
, composed of the elements wyn
"joy" and geofu
WINSININSKI Polish (Anglicized)
Winsininski is an anglicized version of the name "Wisniewski", which is from multiple places in Poland called Wisniewo, Wisniew, and Wisniewa. These names all have "wisna" which means cherry, or cherry tree.... [more]
Means "person from Winstanley", Lancashire ("Wynnstān's glade", Wynnstān
being an Old English male personal name, literally "joy-stone"; cf. Winston
). It was borne by English communist Gerrard Winstanley (?1609-60), leader of the Diggers.
Habitational name from any of several places named with Middle High German winter
"winter" and berg
WINTERBOURNE English (British)
Probably meaning "born in winter". A large village in Gloucestershire, From the Thomas Hardy novel "The Woodlanders".
From virta ‘stream’, used as a topographic name, also as a soldier’s name in the 17th century. Also adopted as an ornamental name, especially in western and southern Finland.