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.
JOSEPH Hebrew, English, Dutch, Yiddish
From Ioseph, the Latin form of Greek Ιωσηφ (Ioseph), which was from the Hebrew name יוֹסֵף (Yosef) meaning "he will add". In the Old Testament, Joseph is the eleventh son of Jacob. Because he was the favourite of his father, his older brothers sent him to Egypt and told their father that he had died... [more]
From the medieval male personal name Jowet
or the female personal name Jowette
, both literally "little Jowe
", a pet-form of Julian
. This was borne was British theologian and classical scholar Benjamin Jowett (1817-1893).
KAFKA American (Rare)
Czech and Jewish (Bohemia): from kavka 'jackdaw', which is a type of bird; traditionally a nickname or surname.
English: occupational name for a boatman or boatbuilder, from an agent derivative of Middle English kele ‘ship’, ‘barge’ (from Middle Dutch kiel). Americanized spelling of German Kühler, from a variant of an old personal name (see Keeling
) or a variant of Kuhl
Habitational name from a place called Ketton in Durham or one in Rutland or from Keaton in Ermington, Devon. The first is named from the Old English personal name Catta
or the Old Norse personal name Káti
and Old English tun
"settlement"; the second is probably from an old river name or tribal name Cetan
(possibly a derivative of Celtic ced
"wood") and Old English ea
"river"; and the last possibly from Cornish kee
"hedge, bank" and Old English tun
Derived from the village of Kelham, near Newark-upon-Trent, Nottingham.
From the name of a place in Shropshire meaning "Cempa's town" or "warrior town", from a combination of either the Old English word cempa
"warrior" or the byname derived from it and tun
From the medieval personal name Kenewi
, from Old English Cynewīg
, literally "royal war", or Cēnwīg
, literally "bold war".
This surname might derive from the surname Kinsley
or from the locational surname Kelsey
(denoting someone who is from either North or South Kelsey in Lincolnshire).
KENTIE Scottish, English, Dutch
Origin and meaning unknown. The name Kentie was spread in the Netherlands when a Scottish soldier, Alexander Kenti, settled at Woudrichem, the Netherlands around 1650. Alexander Kenti was born and raised in the Scottish highlands... [more]
KENYON English, Welsh
Kenyon is a surname from Wales meaning "a person from Ennion's Mound"
Means "person from Ketley", Shropshire ("glade frequented by cats").
Americanized spelling of German Kückleiter, literally ‘chicken ladder’, probably a nickname for a chicken farmer.
English: possibly an occupational name from early modern English kidd(i)er ‘badger’, a licensed middleman who bought provisions from farmers and took them to market for resale at a profit, or alternatively a variant of Kidman
English: occupational name, probably for a goatherd (from Middle English kid(e) ‘young goat’ + man ‘man’), but possibly also for a cutter of wood used for fuel. (from Middle English kidde ‘faggot’ (an archaic English unit for a bundle of sticks)).
KIDWELL Welsh, English
The origins of this surname are uncertain, but it may be derived from Middle English kidel
"fish weir", denoting a person who lived by a fish weir or made his living from it, or from an English place called Kiddal
, probably meaning "Cydda's corner of land" from the Old English given name Cydda
"nook or corner of land".
the origin of the name KIFF could have come from a variation of KITH as in "kith and kin". The O.E.D. definition of the word KITH is that of a native land, familiar place or home so "kith and kin" meant your home and your relations... [more]
Probably from an Old Norse personal name Ketilfrith
, literally "cauldron peace". The surname was borne by British clergyman and diarist Francis Kilvert (1840-1879).
KIND English, German, Jewish, Dutch
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) from Middle High German kint
, German Kind
‘child’, hence a nickname for someone with a childish or naive disposition, or an epithet used to distinguish between a father and his son... [more]
English habitational name from any of various places named Kingsford, for example in Essex, Devon, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire. The name ostensibly means ‘the king’s ford’, but the one in Worcestershire is named as Ceningaford ‘ford of Cena’s people’.
KIRKLAND English, Scottish
Derived from the Scottish 'kirk', meaning church, and land. This name denoted one who lived near or tended to the land belonging to or surrounding a church. A famous /fictional/ bearer is Arthur Kirkland, a main character in the highly popular anime/webmanga Axis Powers Hetalia... [more]
English: probably a habitational name from a lost or unidentified place. This surname is also common in the American South.
Occupational surname for a person who was in charge of the kitchen in a royal or noble house, or a monastery. From the Anglo Saxon cycene
Derived from a place name in Devonshire, England, and was first recorded in the form of Kitelhey in 1305.... [more]
Kline is one of the smaller groups of anglicized forms of the German surname Klein.... [more]
Topographic name for someone who lived by a hillock, Middle English "nappe
, Old English cnæpp
, or habitational name from any of the several minor places named with the word, in particular Knapp in Hampshire and Knepp
English surname which was derived from a place name composed of the Old English elements cnihta
meaning "servant, retainer" (genitive plural of cniht
) and tun
The lineage of the name Knipe begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It is a result of when they lived on the peak of a hill or highland. The surname Knipe is primarily familiar in the regions of Lancashire and Westmoreland.... [more]
Topographic name for someone living by a hill, from Middle English knocke
"hill" (Old English cnoc
KNOLL English, German, Jewish
English and German topographic name for someone living near a hilltop or mountain peak, from Middle English knolle
‘hilltop’, ‘hillock’ (Old English cnoll
), Middle High German knol
KNOWLES English, Irish
As an English surname it is derived from a genitive or plural form of Middle English knolle
meaning "hilltop, hillock", denoting a person who either lived at the top of a hill or near a hillock, or hailed from one of the many places in England named with this word.... [more]
Habitational name from either of two places so named, one in Dorset and the other in Kent.
Probably a habitational name from a lost or unidentified place.
Topographic name for someone who lived by a stream, Old English lacu, or a habitational name from a place named with this word, for example in Wiltshire and Devon. Modern English lake (Middle English lake) is only distantly related, if at all; it comes via Old French from Latin lacus... [more]
A nickname for a gentle or malleable person or an occupational name for someone who raised or cared for young sheep. Can take the form Lum
Surname common in Australia & the UK. A variation of Lambshead
which was originally a mis-spelling of Lambside which was the area from which the family originated in Pommyland. Other variations include Lambshed
Habitational name from Lancaster in northwestern England, named in Old English as ‘Roman fort on the Lune’, from the Lune river, on which it stands, + Old English cæster
‘Roman fort or walled city’ (Latin castra
‘legionary camp’)... [more]
From the Germanic personal name Lanzo
, originally a short form of various compound names with the first element land ‘land’, ‘territory’ (for example, Lambert), but later used as an independent name... [more]
LAND English, German
Topographic name from Old English land
, Middle High German lant
, "land, territory". This had more specialized senses in the Middle Ages, being used to denote the countryside as opposed to a town or an estate.
LANDRY French, English
From the Germanic personal name Landric
, a compound of land
"land" and ric
Combination of Old English lang
meaning "long" and feld
meaning "stretch of open country". It could serve either as a topographic surname or a habitational surname for someone from one of the many locations named "Langfield" (ex... [more]
LANGFORD Literature, English
An English habitational name from any of the numerous places named in Old English as ‘long ford’, from lang
‘long’ + ford
‘ford’, except for Langford in Nottinghamshire, which is named with an Old English personal name Landa
or possibly land
, here used in a specific sense such as ‘boundary’ or ‘district’, with the same second element.
LANGHORN English, Danish, Dutch
Northern English: probably a habitational name from a minor place in Soulby, Cumbria, called Longthorn, from Old English lang
‘long’ + horn
‘projecting headland’, or a topographic name with the same meaning.... [more]
Means "long stone"; derived from Old English lang
meaning "long" and stan
meaning "stone". It can also be used as a given name.
LANSDOWNE French, English
The first marquis lansdowne, land owners for there lords and farmers also know as tenants.
Derived from the name of Lancing
, a place in West Sussex, which was composed of the Old English personal name Wlanc
meaning "family of" or "followers of".
A surname referring to someone who had immigrated from Lapland, northern Scandinavia.
From the old Teutonic word 'lahtro' which is to do with a place that animals bear their young. This was modifed in several dialects to be 'lahtre', 'lattr', 'lauchter' and 'lawchter'. ... [more]
LATHAM English (British)
Habitational name from any of the places in England named with the Old Norse word hlaða
English occupational name for a Latinist, a clerk who wrote documents in Latin, from Anglo-Norman French latinier
. Latin was more or less the universal language of official documents in the Middle Ages, displaced only gradually by the vernacular—in England, by Anglo-Norman French at first, and eventually by English.
Habitational name from any of the numerous places in England so called. Most of them, as for example those in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire (near Gainsborough), Sussex, and West Yorkshire, are named with Old English leac
‘leek’ + tun
English (chiefly Devon and Cornwall): Medieval English and occupational, from pre-10th century Old French "lavandier". Introduced by the Normans after 1066, originally described a worker in the wool industry, and was a metonymic or nickname for a person employed to wash raw wool or rinse the cloth after fulling... [more]
Habitational name, common in Lancashire and Yorkshire, from Buglawton or Church Lawton in Cheshire, or Lawton in Herefordshire, named in Old English as ‘settlement on or near a hill’, or ‘settlement by a burial mound’, from hlaw
‘hill’, ‘burial mound’ + tun
‘enclosure’, ‘settlement’... [more]
The name comes from a small village in England called "Laycock" and has something to do with "the place of the birds."... [more]
Habitational name for someone living near a meadow. Derived from Middle English leye
. ... [more]
From a place name which was derived from leysingi
, two Norse words meaning "freedman" and "settlement" respectively.
Occupational name for a physician’s servant, from Leach 1 + Middle English man ‘manservant’.
Means (i) "person from Leire", Leicestershire ("place on the river Leire
", a river-name that may also be the ancestor of Leicestershire
); or (ii) "person from Lear", any of several variously spelled places in northern France with a name based on Germanic lār
LECKEY Scottish, English, Irish
Originally Scottish, but also found in England, Northern Ireland and Ireland. Possibly derives from the barony of Leckie (meaning "place of flagstones", from Gaelic leac
, "flagstone") in Stirlingshire.
LEDGER English, Norman, French, Dutch
English: from a Norman personal name, Leodegar
, Old French Legier
, of Germanic origin, composed of the elements liut
‘people’, ‘tribe’ + gar
‘spear’. The name was borne by a 7th-century bishop of Autun, whose fame contributed to the popularity of the name in France... [more]
From the city of Leeds in Yorkshire. The name was first attested in the form Loidis in AD 731. In the Domesday Book of 1086, it is recorded as 'Ledes'. This name is thought to have ultimately been derived from an earlier Celtic name... [more]
LEMON English, Northern Irish, Scottish
English: from the Middle English personal name Lefman
, Old English Leofman
, composed of the elements leof
‘dear’, ‘beloved’ + mann
‘man’, ‘person’. This came to be used as a nickname for a lover or sweetheart, from Middle English lem(m)an
Derived from the Italian word levante
, meaning "rising" and the French word levant
, meaning "to rise". The term entered the English language in 1497 and was used to describe the "Mediterranean lands east of Italy" by referring to the rising of the sun in the east... [more]
LEVER French, English
Nickname for a fleet-footed or timid person, from Old French levre
‘hare’ (Latin lepus
, genitive leporis
). It may also have been a metonymic occupational name for a hunter of hares... [more]
Diminutive of Lever
, from the Middle English personal name Lefred
, Old English Leofred
, composed of the elements leof
‘dear’, ‘beloved’ + red
This surname combines the Old English personal female name Leofwaru
or the Old English word læfer
meaning "rush, reed" with another Old English word tún
meaning "enclosure, field, farm, dwelling." The etymology with the female name addition fits in with the town of the same name in Berkshire while the etymology with the word addition fits in with the one in Lincolnshire.
Derives from a hamlet in West Sussex, England. All known holders, worldwide, of this rare surname can be traced back to Lickfolds who lived within 20 miles of Lickfold in the 16th century.
LIDDINGTON English, Scottish (Rare)
This surname is derived from a geographical locality. "of Liddington", a parish in Rutland, near Uppingham; a parish in Wiltshire, near Swindon.
Nickname for a happy, cheerful person, from Middle English lyght
, Old English lēoht
"light (not dark), bright, cheerful".
English (chiefly northern England, especially Liverpool): nickname for a messenger or for a fast runner, from Middle English lyght ‘light’, ‘nimble’, ‘quick’ (Old English lioht) + fote ‘foot’.
From a medieval nickname for someone with very fair hair (literally "lily-head").
Derived from Lilly
, a pet name for Elizabeth
. It was also used as a nickname for someone with fair skin or hair, and is derived from Old English lilie
meaning "lily (the flower)". It could also serve as a habitual surname for someone from Lilley in Hertfordshire (from lin
"flax" and leah
"clearing") and Berkshire (from Lillingleah
meaning "wood associated with Lilla").
From a medieval nickname for someone with very fair hair or complexion. It was borne by English cricketers James Lillywhite (1842-1929), first captain of England, and William Lillywhite (1792-1854), pioneer of overarm bowling, uncle of James... [more]
LINDLEY English, German
English habitational name from either of two places in West Yorkshire called Lindley, or from Linley in Shropshire and Wiltshire, all named from Old English lin
‘flax’ + leah
‘wood’, ‘glade’, with epenthetic -d-, or from another Lindley in West Yorkshire (near Otley), named in Old English as ‘lime wood’, from lind
‘lime tree’ + leah
‘woodland clearing’... [more]
This surname can be derived from a place of the same name in Shropshire, which is derived from Old English lín
meaning "flax, linen" and leah
meaning "clearing." As a modern surname, it can also be a variant of Lindley (Lindley is used in 2 places in Yorkshire), which is derived from Old English lind
meaning "lime tree" and leah
From an Old English female personal name Lindgifu
, composed of the elements lind
‘lime (wood)’, i.e. ‘shield’ (a transferred sense) + gifu
, geofu ‘gift’.
LITTLEJOHN Scottish, English
Distinguishing epithet for the smallest of two or more bearers of the common personal name John
. Compare Meiklejohn
. In some cases the nickname may have been bestowed on a large man, irrespective of his actual personal name, in allusion to the character in the Robin Hood legend, whose nickname was of ironic application.... [more]
LITTLEWOOD English (British)
This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and may be either a locational or topographical surname. If the former, it derives from any of several minor places in West Yorkshire, such as Littlewood in Wooldale near Holmfirth, all of which are so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "lytel", little, small, and "wudu", wood... [more]
A modern English surname possibly derived from a lost village called Laefer-leah which would give it the meaning "the farm by the lake".... [more]
Nickname from Middle English lifly
, "lively", "nimble".
LIVINGSTON English, Scottish
This surname is thought to be derived from Middle English Levingestun
meaning "Leving's town" or "Leving's settlement."
Variant of Lockyer
. Locklear is an occupational name of anglo-saxon origin meaning "locksmith".
Refers to the region of Loxley in Staffordshire, England.
Variant of Locklear
. Lockyer is an occupational name of anglo-saxon origin meaning "locksmith".
Local name for someone who lived in a small cottage or temporary dwelling, Middle English logge
(Old French loge
, of Germanic origin). The term was used in particular of a cabin erected by masons working on the site of a particular construction project, such as a church or cathedral, and so it was probably in many cases equivalent to an occupational name for a mason... [more]
Lomax is a territorial surname, derived from the hamlet of Lumhalghs, near Bury, Greater Manchester, and meaning "pool nook" or "recess". Notable persons with the surname Lomax include: Alan Lomax (1915–2002) American musicologist, son of John Avery Lomax... [more]
LONGBOTTOM English, Literature, Popular Culture
English (West Yorkshire) topographic name for someone who lived in a long valley, from Middle English long
‘valley bottom’. Given the surname’s present-day distribution, Longbottom in Luddenden Foot, West Yorkshire, may be the origin, but there are also two places called Long Bottom in Hampshire, two in Wiltshire, and Longbottom Farm in Somerset and in Wiltshire.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet and educator whose works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline.
Habitational name from Look in Puncknowle, Dorset, named in Old English with luce ‘enclosure’.
Derived from Lomax (Lumhalghs
), near Bury, Lancashire, which means "pool nook/recess."
A surname derived from someone of a lordly manner, or perhaps one who had earned the title in some contest of skill or had played the part of the ‘Lord of Misrule’ in the Yuletide festivities.... [more]
Means "maker or seller of metal items of a horse's harness and associated equipment (e.g. bits and spurs)" (from Anglo-Norman loremier
, a derivative of Old French lorain
possibly from Bavarian lott ‘mud’ + speich ‘spittle’, ‘moist dirt’, either a topographic name for someone who lived on land in a muddy area or a nickname for someone who had a dirty appearance... [more]
from a medieval personal name brought to England by the Normans, of uncertain origin. It may be the Hebrew personal name Lot ‘covering’, which was relatively popular in northern France, or a reduced form of various names formed with the diminutive suffix -lot (originally a combination of -el + -ot), commonly used with women’s names.
from the English word "loud", given to a loud or, in jest, quiet person
An English surname coming from the Old English lufu
, meaning "love, desire", and cæft
, meaning "strength, skill".... [more]
Means either (i) "person particularly associated with a 'loveday'" (a day when, by custom, old differences were settled and reconciliations were made); or (ii) from the medieval female personal name Loveday
, a descendant of Old English Lēofdæg
, literally "beloved day"... [more]
From a medieval nickname for a woman-chaser or lothario (from Old English lufulēas
, literally "without love", hence "fancy-free"). The English poet Richard Lovelace (1618-1657) was a famous bearer.
From a surname which was derived from a place name, possibly meaning "Lufa
's land" in Old English or "leaf land" in Norwegian.
From a medieval nickname for a dandy or a man conceited about his appearance (from lovelock
, a term for an elaborately curled lock of hair). This surname is borne by British scientist James Lovelock (1919-), formulator of the "Gaia" concept.
Variation of Lowheart, used to denote people who seem to show a lack of consideration through expression
Patronymic from of Low
derived from Middle English lowe
meaning "hill, mound".
English: habitational name from any of various minor places named Loxley, as for example one in Warwickshire, which is named with the Old English personal name Locc
LUCERO English, Spanish
The surname "Lucero" was derived from English conquerers who came from England, most likely someone who worked for a king or queen. The term Lucero refers to a "star" or "light carrier" when the English traveled to Spain, the Spanish people gave them the name "Lucero" but earlier was spelled with an "s or Lusero"... [more]
English (Devon) probably from a local vernacular derivative of Lucas
. However, Reaney posits an Old English personal name, Lugga
, from which this name could be derived.
From a derivative of Lucas
. This was (and is) the common vernacular form of the name, being the one by which the author of the fourth Gospel is known in English.
Either (i) "person from Lundie", the name of various places in Scotland (meaning "place by a marsh"); or (ii) a different form of McAlinden