Browse Submitted Surnames
This is a list of submitted surnames in which the usage is English or American.
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
One who lived near a fold or hill. From the Old English word "penn," meaning "hill" and "pen, fold."
PENNINGEnglish, Dutch, Low German
From early Middle English penning
, Low German penning
, and Middle Dutch penninc
, all meaning "penny". It was used as a topographic surname or a nickname referring to tax dues of a penny.
Habitual surname for someone from Pennington, Lancashire; Pennington, Cumbria; or Pennington, Hampshire.
English habitational name from Pennywell in Tyne and Wear or from a similarly named lost place elsewhere.
From Old English pening, penig
meaning "penny (the coin)" and worþ
meaning "enclosure". A notable fictional bearer is Alfred Pennyworth, a DC Comics character notable for being the butler of the superhero Batman.
From the medieval personal name Pepis
, a form of Old French Pepin
, brought into England by the Normans. It may have been based on an earlier nickname meaning "awesome". It is standardly pronounced "peeps"... [more]
In textile mills, woven fabric coming off the mill / loom would pass over a frame, or rod, called a 'perch'. It was the job of the 'Percher' to examine the cloth for defects, and repair them when they were found... [more]
PERDUEEnglish, Irish, French
English and Irish from Old French par Dieu
‘by God’, which was adopted in Middle English in a variety of more or less heavily altered forms. The surname represents a nickname from a favorite oath... [more]
PEREGRINEEnglish, Popular Culture
Derived from the given name Peregrine
. A fictional bearer is Alma LeFay Peregrine, a character from the novel "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" (2011) by Ransom Riggs.
A variation of the English name Parham
, based on the village of Parham (one in county Suffolk, another in county Sussex). From the Old English peru
, meaning "pear" (the fruit), and ham
, meaning "homestead".
Patronymic surname that was derived from the first name Peter.
From the possessive or plural form of Middle English pytte
‘pit’, ‘hollow’, hence a topographic name for someone who lived by a pit, or a habitational name from a place named with this word, as for example Pett in East Sussex.
Derived from Norman French petit
, 'small', thus a nickname for a small or insignificant individual.... [more]
A rare nickname given for someone's appearance of blonde and red hair just as a phoenix has colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet.
From the medieval French male personal name Filibert
, of Germanic origin and meaning literally "very bright, very famous".
From a 'lost' medieval parish in England or Scotland, named with the Old Norse element kirk
meaning 'church' or 'place of worship'.... [more]
From the name of a beautiful immortal bird which appears in Egyptian and Greek mythology. After living for several centuries in the Arabian Desert, it would be consumed by fire and rise from its own ashes, with this cycle repeating every 500 years... [more]
of Norman origin, from the personal name "Pic", here with the diminutive suffixes "et" or "ot", and recorded as "Picot, Pigot" and Piket". The name is ultimately of Germanic derivation, from "pic", meaning "sharp", or "pointed", which was a common element in names meaning for instance, residence near a "pointed hill", use of a particular sharp or pointed tool or weapon, or a nickname for a tall, thin person.
This surnames origins lie with the Anglo-Saxons. It is a product of their having lived in the parish of Pitchford in Shropshire. ... [more]
English (of Norman origin): habitational name from any of various places, for example in Aisne and Calvados, so called from Old French pierre ‘stone’ + pont ‘bridge’.
English: topographic name for someone who lived by a hill with a sharp point, from Old English pic
‘point’, ‘hill’, which was a relatively common place name element.... [more]
From Middle English pilch
, a metonymic occupational name for a maker or seller of pilches or a nickname for a habitual wearer of these. A pilch (from Late Latin pellicia
, a derivative of pellis
"skin, hide") was a kind of coarse leather garment with the hair or fur still on it.
Occupational name for a maker or seller of pilches, from an agent derivative of Pilch
. In early 17th-century English, pilcher
was a popular term of abuse, being confused or punningly associated with the unrelated verb pilch
"to steal" and with the unrelated noun pilchard
, a kind of fish.
From Middle English pilegrim
or Middle High German bilgerin
(from Latin pelegrinus
"traveler"; see Pellegrino
). This originated as a nickname for a person who had been on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land or to some seat of devotion nearer home, such as Santiago de Compostella, Rome, or Canterbury... [more]
Nickname for a chirpy person, from Middle English pinch, pink ‘(chaf)finch’. Compare Finch. possibly a metonymic occupational name from Middle English pinche ‘pleated fabric’, from Middle English pinche(n) ‘to pinch (pastry)’, ‘to pleat (fabric)’, ‘to crimp (hair, etc.)’, also ‘to cavil’, ‘to be niggardly’.
PINCHESEnglish (British, Rare)
This is one of the very earliest of surnames. This is an English name. First recorded in the 12th century it was a nickname of endearment for a bright, chirpy, person, thought by his peer group to be active like a finch... [more]
The surname Pinckney originally denoted someone from Picquigny, France, which derives from a Germanic personal name, Pincino
(of obscure derivation) and the Latin locative suffix -acum
Nickname, possibly for a small person, from Middle English pink penk
g ‘minnow’ (Old English pinc).English (southeastern): variant of Pinch
.Variant spelling of German Pinck
, an indirect occupational name for a blacksmith, an onomatopoeic word imitating the sound of hammering which was perceived as pink(e)pank... [more]
habitational name from a lost or unidentified place in or bordering on Devon
From an agent derivative of Middle English pich
‘pitch’, hence an occupational name for a caulker, one who sealed the seams of ships or barrels with pitch. English variant of Pickard
. Possibly from German Pitscher
, from the short form of a personal name formed with Old High German bitan
‘to endure’, or bittan
‘to wish or ask for’.
English from Middle English pytte
‘pit’, ‘hollow’, hence a topographic name for someone who lived by a pit or hollow, or a habitational name from a place named with this word, as for example Pitt in Hampshire.
From a medieval nickname for an enthusiastic competitor in sports and games (from Middle English pleyfere
"companion in play, playmate"), or else a different form of Playford
(from a Suffolk place-name meaning "ford where sports are held")... [more]
Either (i) from the medieval female personal name Plaisance
, literally "pleasantness"; or (ii) "person from Piacenza", Italy (from Latin Placentia
, literally "pleasing things").
Means being a very bright man in the near future. Also can be used as a alias.
PLUMEnglish, German, Jewish
English and North German: from Middle English plum(b)e, Middle Low German plum(e) ‘plum’, hence a topographic name for someone who lived by a plum tree, or a metonymic occupational name for a fruit grower... [more]
PLUMERGerman, English, Dutch
North German (Plümer) and English: variant of Plum
, the suffix -er denoting habitation or occupation. Altered form of South German Pflümer
, an occupational name for a grower or seller of plums, from an agent derivative of Middle High German pflume ‘plum’... [more]
1. Occupational name for a worker in lead, especially a maker of lead pipes and conduits, from Anglo-Norman French plom(m)er, plum(m)er ‘plumber’, from plom(b), plum(b) ‘lead’ (Latin plumbum)... [more]
From a medieval nickname for someone thought to resemble a parrot, from Middle English papejai
"parrot". This probably denoted someone who was talkative or who dressed in bright colours, although it may have described a person who excelled at the medieval sport of pole archery, i.e. shooting at a wooden parrot on a pole.
From a medieval nickname for a vain or flamboyantly dressed person (from Old Norse pá
"peacock"). American author and poet Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) was a famous bearer.
POLANDEnglish, German, French (Anglicized), Irish (Anglicized)
English and German name is derived from the Middle High German Polan
, which means "Poland". The surname originally signified a person with Polish connections.This French surname originated from an occupational name of a poultry breeder, or from a fearful person; it is derived from the Old French poule
, which means "chicken".In other cases, particularly in Ireland, the English Poland is a variant of Polin,which is in turn an Anglicised form of the original Gaelic spelling of Mac Póilín
, which translated from Irish means "son of little Paul"... [more]
Habitational name from a place in Glasgow, apparently so named from a diminutive of a British cognate of Gaelic poll ‘pool’, ‘pit’. The surname is also common in northeastern Ulster.
Rare English surname derived from a Devon place name of Celtic origin, allegedly meaning “pool by the large house”.
From an English surname meaning "dweller by the apple orchard".
The Ponce name was carried into England after the migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066.'Ponce' is derived from 'Ponsoby',a place in Cumberland, where the family settled. The Ponce motto is 'Pro rege, lege grege' meaning "For the King, law, and people"
Topographic name for someone who lived near a pool or pond, Middle English pole (Old English pōl), or a habitational name from any of the places named with this word, as for example Poole in Dorset, South Pool in Devon, and Poole Keynes in Gloucestershire.
From a Germanic personal name Poppo
, of uncertain origin and meaning, perhaps originally a nursery word or a short form of for example Bodobert
, a Germanic personal name meaning ‘famous leader’... [more]
PORTUGALSpanish, Portuguese, English, Catalan, French, Jewish
Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, English, French, and Jewish surname meaning ethnic name or regional name for someone from Portugal or who had connections with Portugal. The name of the country derives from Late Latin Portucale, originally denoting the district around Oporto (Portus Cales, named with Latin portus ‘port’, ‘harbor’ + Cales, the ancient name of the city)... [more]
Derived from the Greek word "desposyni." The Desposyni is a term referring to a group of people that are allegedly direct blood relatives to Jesus. They are mentioned in Mark 3:21 and Mark 3:31. American actress Parker Posey is a famous bearer.
From the French name Pottet
, which is derived from pot
meaning "pot", originally a name for a potter.
The English of Welsh Surname Powys
, which derives from the place "Powys" in Wales.
Unknown source. Surname of many early American pilgrims.
PRESHAWEnglish (British, Rare)
This surname is a habitational name from a locality near Upham on the slopes of the South Downs. It is entirely within a private estate and has its own chapel.
A nickname for a pious individual from the Middle English form of "priest" or possibly someone employed by a priest. In the Jewish sense, one whose occupation was to iron clothes.
Derived from Old French prevost
meaning "provost" (ultimately from Latin praepositus
, the past participle of praeponere
meaning "to place in charge") which is a status name for any of the various officials in a position of responsibility.
unexplained; perhaps a habitational name from a lost or unidentified place. Pridmore has long been a Leicestershire name.
Derived from the occupation priest
, which is a minister of a church. It could also be a nickname for a person who is / was a priest.
Nickname from Middle English, Old French prince
), presumably denoting someone who behaved in a regal manner or who had won the title in some contest of skill.
PRIOREnglish, Scottish, Dutch, German
Derived from Latin prior
meaning "superior". It was used as an occupational surname for a prior, which is a head of a religious house, below an abbot.
PRIVETTFrench, English, Welsh (?)
French, from the given name Privat (see PRIVATUS
). Also an English habitational name from a place so named in Hampshire, derived from Old English pryfet
Occupational name from Middle English prok(e)tour
"steward" (reduced from Old French procurateour
, Latin procurator
"agent", from procurare
"to manage"). The term was used most commonly of an attorney in a spiritual court, but also of other officials such as collectors of taxes and agents licensed to collect alms on behalf of lepers and enclosed orders of monks.
PROPHETEnglish, Scottish, French, German
Scottish, English, French, and German: nickname from Middle English and Old French prophete
, Middle High German prophet
‘prophet’, ‘seer’, ultimately from Greek prophetes
‘predictor’, from pro
‘before’ + a
derivative of phemi
‘to speak’... [more]
Derived from the Middle English provost
; referring to the person who heads a religious chapter in a cathedral or educational establishment. It was also used as a nickname for a self-important person and is a French variant of Prevost
PRUDHOMMEFrench, English, Norman, Medieval French
French (Prud’homme) and English (of Norman origin): nickname from Old French prud’homme ‘wise’, ‘sensible man’, a cliché term of approbation from the chivalric romances. It is a compound of Old French proz, prod ‘good’, with the vowel influenced by crossing with prudent ‘wise’ + homme ‘man’... [more]
English: nickname for a redoubtable warrior, from Middle English prou(s)
‘brave’, ‘valiant’ (Old French proux
PUCHOLEnglish, English (American)
Puchol is name prominently used in the English culture. "Puchol" means "Little Bitch" and is generally associated with weakness. Studies show that the name and those who have it give cancer to others... [more]
Of uncertain origin; perhaps a variant of Pocket(t)
, from a diminutive of Anglo-Norman French poque
"small pouch", hence a metonymic occupational name for a maker of purses and pouches or a nickname... [more]
From a medieval nickname for someone with a roly-poly physique (from Middle English puddy fat
PULVERLow German, French, English
I comes from the Latin verb meaning "to make powder." This name was given to either an alchemist or one who made gunpowder.
The first name Purdie
is transferred usage of this surname, which means "by God" in Norman French.
English: metathesized variants of Prudhomme
; the -ru- reversal is a fairly common occurrence in words where -r- is preceded or followed by a vowel.
Nickname for someone wore purple clothing or has a purple complexion
Habitational name from Pusey in Oxfordshire (formerly in Berkshire), so called from Old English peose, piosu ‘pea(s)’ + ēg ‘island’, ‘low-lying land’, or from Pewsey in Wiltshire, recorded in Domesday Book as Pevesie, apparently from the genitive case of an Old English personal name Pefe, not independently attested + Old English ēg ‘island’.
A variant spelling of the Sussex surname Puttock from the Village of Puttock, which itself derives from the Old English "Puttocke" a bird of prey, the kite. ... [more]
Apparently from some lost or minor place so named. 1881 British census has 109; KH.
PYGALLEnglish (Hellenized, Rare)
From ancient Greek for rump, associations with prostitution across Europe, commonly given to illegitimate children of prostitutes, found especially in North East England and Nottinghamshire.
Most likely originates from the words pike (the weapon or the fish), having to do with fishermen or soldiers, or pick, having to do with miners or somebody who tills the ground.
From a medieval nickname for an elegantly or flamboyantly dressed person (from Middle English quointerel
"dandy, fop", from quointe
"known, knowledgeable, crafty, elegant").
From Middle English quarey "quarry", a topographic name for someone who lived near a stone quarry, or a metonymic occupational name for someone who worked in one. ... [more]
From a medieval nickname for a very dextrous person, or for someone who habitually wore gloves (from Old French quatremains
, literally "four hands"). A fictional bearer of the surname is Allan Quartermain, the hero of 'King Solomon's Mines' (1886) and other adventure novels by H. Rider Haggard... [more]
English: of uncertain origin; perhaps a variant of Quarmby
, a habitational name from a place so called in West Yorkshire.
From the medieval female personal name Quenilla
, from Old English Cwēnhild
, literally "woman-battle". This was borne by Peter Quennell (1905-1993), a British poet, critic and historian.
Means "person from Rackham", Sussex ("homestead or enclosure with ricks"). This surname was borne by British watercolourist and book illustrator Arthur Rackham (1867-1939).
Habitational name from any of the various places so named, for example in Devon, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, and Hereford and Worcester. Most are named from Old English read "red" + ford "ford", but it is possible that in some cases the first element may be a derivative of Old English ridan "to ride", with the meaning "ford that can be crossed on horseback".
Apparently an English habitational name from Ragdale in Leicestershire, which is probably named from Old English hraca
"gully", "narrow pass" + dæl
From the Old French male personal name Rainbert
, of Germanic origin and meaning literally "counsel-bright" (cf. Raginbert
). The modern form of the name has been influenced by English rainbird
From the Old French male personal name Rainbaut
, of Germanic origin and meaning literally "counsel-brave" (cf. Raginbald
). The modern form of the name has been influenced by English rainbow
Americanized form of the German family name Reinwasser, possibly a topographic name for someone who lived by a source of fresh water, from Middle High German reine ‘pure’ + wazzer ‘water’.
Raisbeck is a hamlet in the civil parish of Orton, in the Eden district, in the county of Cumbria, England. The surname Raisbeck originates from the hamlet. The name of the hamlet derives from Hrridarr, a personal name and beck, a stream or river.
English habitation name in Devon meaning "red woodland clearing".
From a Middle English personal name composed of Germanic rad
"counsel, advice" and wolf
"wolf". This was first introduced into England by Scandinavian settlers in the Old Norse form Ráðulfr
, and was reinforced after the Conquest by the Norman form Ra(d)ulf
From the Old French male personal name Rainbert
). It was borne by Dame Marie Rambert (original name Cyvia Rabbam, later Miriam Rambach; 1888-1982), a Polish-born British ballet dancer and choreographer.
Classicized spelling of Randolf
, a Germanic personal name composed of the elements rand
"rim (of a shield), shield" and wolf
"wolf". This was introduced into England by Scandinavian settlers in the Old Norse form Rannúlfr
, and was reinforced after the Norman Conquest by the Norman form Randolf
RANGEREnglish, German, French
English: occupational name for a gamekeeper or warden, from Middle English ranger
, an agent derivative of range
(n) ‘to arrange or dispose’.... [more]
Patronymic from the Middle English personal name Rannulf
, of continental Germanic origin.
Possibly a habitational name from Ratsbury in Lynton, Devon.
Habitational name from any of the places, in various parts of England, called Ratcliff(e), Radcliffe, Redcliff, or Radclive, all of which derive their names from Old English rēad meaning "red" + clif meaning "cliff", "slope", "riverbank".
Habitational name from Ravenel in Oise or a metonymic occupational name for a grower or seller of horseradish, from a diminutive of Old French ravene
‘horseradish’ (Latin raphanus
From the Olde German and Anglo-Saxon personal name Rolf
. Originally derived from the Norse-Viking pre 7th Century 'Hrolfr' meaning "Fame-Wolf".
From a Germanic personal name with the elements ric-
meaning "powerful" and -frid
From the Norman personal name Raimund
, composed of the Germanic elements ragin
"advice, counsel" and mund
Habitational name from the county seat of Berkshire, which gets its name from Old English Readingas
‘people of Read(a)’, a byname meaning ‘red’. Topographic name for someone who lived in a clearing, an unattested Old English ryding.
Location name meaning "clearing or cleared woodland." Communities called Redden include one in Roxburghshire, Scotland and another in Somerset, England. A notable bearer is actor Billy Redden who played the dueling banjoist Lonnie in the 1972 film 'Deliverance.'
Habitational name from Redwick in Gloucestershire, named in Old English with hreod
"reeds" and wic
This surname is derived from a geographical locality. 'of Reddish,' a village near Stockport, Cheshire.
Habitational name from a place in Berwickshire, probably so called from Old English read
‘red’ + pæð
‘path’. This name is also common in northeastern England.
Name possibly derived from the colour of the bark of trees or the name of the town Reedworth between Durham and Devon
From the Old French male personal name Riulf
, of Germanic origin and meaning literally "power-wolf" (cf. Riculf
A habitational surname from any of the so-called or like-sounding places in the United Kingdom. These include Renishaw in Derbyshire, Ramshaw in Durham, the lost Renshaw in Cheshire and Radshaw in Yorkshire... [more]
Location name from northern England meaning "brush wood settlement" or place where brush wood, also known as rispe
From a medieval nickname for someone who is full of noisy enthusiasm and energy (from Middle English revel
from the surname Revel, a variant of Revell
, a Middle English and Old French name referring to festivity
RHINEGerman, French, English, Irish
A habitational name for an individual whom lived within close proximity of the River Rhine (see Rhein
). The river name is derived from a Celtic word meaning 'to flow' (Welsh redan
, 'flow').... [more]
This name originates from the small village in Lancashire that shares the same name. Interestingly, most people with the name 'Ribchester' are in Lancashire, but a lot are also found in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
From a Germanic personal name composed of the elements ric
‘power(ful)’ + hari
‘army’. The name was introduced into England by the Normans in the form Richier
, but was largely absorbed by the much more common Richard
Habitational name from any of the numerous places so named, in northern France as well as in England. These are named with the Old French elements riche
"rich, splendid" and mont
From a Norman personal name, Ridel
. Reaney explains this as a nickname from Old French ridel
‘small hill’ (a diminutive of ride
‘fold’, of Germanic origin), but a more probable source is a Germanic personal name derived from the element rīd
Means "outrider (a municipal or monastic official in the Middle Ages whose job was to ride around the country collecting dues and supervising manors)".
Topographic name for someone who lived on or by a ridge, Middle English rigge
, or a habitational name from any of the places named with this word, as for example Ridge in Hertfordshire. The surname is also fairly common in Ireland, in County Galway, having been taken to Connacht in the early 17th century... [more]
Comes from Middle English 'riggewey'
, hence a topographic name for someone who lived by such a route or a habitational name from any of various places so named, for example in Cheshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, and Staffordshire.
Derived from the occupation of "ringer" as in a bell ringer or a person who makes rings.
Means "maker, seller or carrier of baskets" (from a derivative of Middle English rip
English (East Anglia): metonymic occupational name for a metalworker, from Middle English, Old French rivet
‘small nail or bolt’ (from Old French river
‘to fix or secure’, of unknown origin).... [more]
Means "person from Rochester", Kent (probably "Roman town or fort called Rovi"). A fictional bearer of the surname is Mr Rochester, the Byronic hero of Charlotte Brontë's 'Jane Eyre' (1847).
Topographic name for someone who lived near a notable crag or outcrop, from Middle English rokke
"rock" (see Roach
), or a habitational name from a place named with this word, as for example Rock in Northumberland.
Means "person from Rockwell", Buckinghamshire and Somerset (respectively "wood frequented by rooks" and "well frequented by rooks"). Famous bearers include American illustrator Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) and Utah pioneer Porter Rockwell (1813-1878).
From Roddam in Northumberland. The name is thought to have derived from Germanic *rodum
, meaning 'forest clearing'.
The surname Rodman is an ancient English surname, derived from a trade name, "men who were by the tenure or customs of their lands to ride with or for the lord of the manor about his business". The most famous bearer of this name is the basketball player Dennis Rodman.
Nickname for a timid person, derived from the Middle English ro
meaning "roe"; also a midland and southern form of Ray
There are two small villages named "Roffey". One in England, near Horsham, and one in France, Burgundy. The name is of Norman orgin. First mentioned in (surviving English documents) in 1307 when a George Roffey buys a house... [more]
From the Middle English personal name Rolf
, composed of the Germanic elements hrōd
"renown" and wulf
"wolf". This name was especially popular among Nordic peoples in the contracted form Hrólfr
, and seems to have reached England by two separate channels; partly through its use among pre-Conquest Scandinavian settlers, partly through its popularity among the Normans, who, however, generally used the form Rou(l)
English habitational name from any of various places, such as Rowlston in Lincolnshire, Rolleston in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, and Staffordshire, or Rowlstone in Herefordshire, near the Welsh border... [more]
ROMANCatalan, French, Polish, English, German, Hungarian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Belorussian
From the Latin personal name Romanus
, which originally meant "Roman". This name was borne by several saints, including a 7th-century bishop of Rouen.
English: habitational name from a place in Kent, so called from an obscure first element, rumen
, + Old English ea
‘river’ (see Rye
From a medieval nickname for someone thought to resemble a rook (e.g. in having black hair or a harsh voice).
English: nickname for a cheerful person, from Middle English rote ‘glad’ (Old English rot). ... [more]
English: occupational name for a maker or seller of rope, from an agent derivative of Old English rāp ‘rope’. See also ROOP
Americanized form of Norwegian Røys(e)land
; a habitational name from about 30 farmsteads, many in Agder, named from Old Norse reysi ‘heap of stones’ + land ‘land’, ‘farmstead’.