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.
Nickname for a newcomer to an area, from Middle English newe meaning "new".
Habitational name from Newbourn in Suffolk or Newburn in Tyne and Wear (formerly part of Northumberland), both named with Old English niwe
"new" and burna
"stream", perhaps denoting a stream that had changed its course.
NEWBROUGH English (British)
Newbrough surname is thought to be a habitational, taken on from a place name such as from Newbrough in Northumberland, which is derived from the Old English words niwe, meaning "new," and burh, meaning "fortification."
Means "person from Newby", Newby being a combination of the Middle English elements newe
"new" and by
"farm, settlement" (ultimately from Old Norse býr
"farm"). British travel writer Eric Newby (1919-2006) bore this surname.
Topographic name for someone who lived at a "new enclosure", from Middle English newe
"new" and haga
Habitational name from any of the various places, for example in Northumbria and North Yorkshire, so named from Old English neowe
"new" and ham
Nickname for someone with a good voice, from Middle English nighti(n)gale
, Old English nihtegal
, from niht
"night" and galan
"sing" (cf. NACHTIGALL
NINE English (American)
Americanized spelling of German Nein or Neun, from Middle High German niun meaning "nine".
This surname is thought to be derived from nore
which could mean "shore, cliff." This could denote that someone might have lived in a shore or cliff. It may also be used as a surname for someone who lived in the now 'diminished' village of Nore in Surrey.
NOBLE English, Scottish, Irish, French
Nickname from Middle English, Old French noble
"high-born, distinguished, illustrious" (Latin nobilis
), denoting someone of lofty birth or character, or perhaps also ironically someone of low station... [more]
Either (i) from a medieval nickname for someone of a sunny disposition (noon being the sunniest part of the day); or (ii) from Irish Gaelic Ó Nuadháin
"descendant of Nuadhán
", a personal name based on Nuadha
, the name of various Celtic gods (cf... [more]
NORELL Swedish, English
Swedish ornamental name composed of norr
"north" or nor
"small strait" and the popular surname suffix -ell
, from Latin adjectival suffix -elius
. ... [more]
NORRELL English, German (?)
A locational surname from the Germanic (Old English/Old Norse) term for the north. It either refers to someone who lived in a location called Northwell, lived north of a well, spring or stream (Old English weall
Either (i) from the medieval male personal name Noye
, the English form of the Hebrew name Noach
"; or (ii) an invented Jewish name based on Hebrew noy
English: habitational name from some place named with Old English hnutu ‘nut’ + h(e)alh ‘nook’, ‘recess’. In some cases this may be Nuthall in Nottinghamshire, but the surname is common mainly in Lancashire, and a Lancashire origin is therefore more likely... [more]
Means either (i) "scribe, clerk" (from Middle English notere
, ultimately from Latin notārius
); or (ii) "person who keeps or tends oxen" (from a derivative of Middle English nowt
Topographic name for someone who lived near an oak tree or in an oak wood, from Middle English oke
This surname is derived from Old English āc
and it, obviously, means "oak land."
Variant of ODOM
, altered by folk etymology as if derived from a place name formed with -ham
Medieval nickname for someone who had climbed the social ladder by marrying the daughter of a prominent figure in the local community, from Middle English odam
‘son-in-law’ (Old English aðum
OGILVIE Scottish, English
From the ancient Barony of Ogilvie in Angus, Northeast Scotland. The placename itself is derived from Pictish ocel
, 'high' and fa
From Middle English old
, not necessarily implying old age, but rather used to distinguish an older from a younger bearer of the same personal name.
OLIN English, Dutch
English or Dutch name meaning either "from a low lying area" or from the word Hollander meaning "one from the Netherlands" a country well known for a low lying landscape.
Means "elephant" (from Middle English, Old French and Middle High German olifant
"elephant"), perhaps used as a nickname for a large cumbersome person, or denoting someone who lived in a building distinguished by the sign of an elephant.
Unexplained surname found in records of Bristol and Bath.
19th century name from the Cambridgeshire area. Probably derived from Oldfield. Variants include Opheld, Oful and Offel.... [more]
From the medieval personal name Oppy
, pet-forms of such names as Osbert
. John Opie (1761-1807) was a British portrait and history painter; other bearers of this surname include Peter Opie (1918-82), and his wife Iona Opie (née Archibald; 1923-), British authors and folklorists.
ORANGE Medieval English, Medieval French, English
Derived from the medieval female name, or directly from the French place name. First used with the modern spelling in the 17th century, apparently due to William, Prince of Orange, who later became William III... [more]
From a village in Lincolnshire, England originally called Orby and later Orreby that is derived from a Scandinavian personal name Orri-
and the Scandinavian place element -by
which means "a farmstead or small settlement."
ORCHARD English, Scottish
English: topographic name for someone who lived by an orchard, or a metonymic occupational name for a fruit grower, from Middle English orchard
Perhaps a much altered spelling of Scottish Urquhart
used predominantly in Staffordshire, England.
Metonymic occupational name for a player of a musical instrument (any musical instrument, not necessarily what is now known as an organ), from Middle English organ (Old French organe, Late Latin organum ‘device’, ‘(musical) instrument’, Greek organon ‘tool’, from ergein ‘to work or do’).
From a rare medieval personal name, attested only in the Latinized forms Organus
(masculine) and Organa
ORLEY Dutch, Flemish, English
A surname of uncertain origin found among the Dutch, Flemish and English. In England the name is primarily found in Yorkshire and Devon. Orley may be an adapted form of a French name D'Orley
or a nickname for Orlando
Means "herbalist" (from Middle English orpin
"yellow stonecrop", a plant prescribed by medieval herbalists for healing wounds). A variant spelling was borne by British painter Sir William Orpen (1878-1931).
Possibly derived from Ostler
(from the the Norman 'Hostelier') meaning clerk or bookkeeper. First used in England after the Norman invasion of 1066. Surname of a 19th cent. Canadian doctor, Sir William Osler, widely viewed as the 'Father of Internal Medicine'.
From the Norman male personal names Otoïs
, of Germanic origin and meaning literally "wealth-wide" or "wealth-wood", and Otewi
, of Germanic origin and meaning literally "wealth-war".
Derived from the Old French name Overson, meaning "dweller by the river-banks". The name was probably brought to England in the wake of the Norman conquest of 1066.
From English owner
meaning "a person who owns something".
OYASKI English (American)
A surname created by Michael Oyaski (formally Michael O'Yaski). The surname is currently known to only be used by one particular branch of the O'Yaski family tree. The surname means "Dragon Rider of the West" according to members of the Oyaski family.
"Habitation name from Pacy-sur-Eure" which took its name from the Gallo-Roman personal name Paccius and the local suffix -acum.
Habitational name from a place in Warwickshire, so named from the Old English personal name Pac(c)a + wudu ‘wood’.
Believed to mean "Pada's farm", with the Anglo-Saxon name Pada
possibly coming from the Old English word pad
, meaning "toad".
From the Middle English personal name Pain(e)
(Old French Paien
, from Latin Paganus
), introduced to Britain by the Normans. The Latin name is a derivative of pagus
"outlying village", and meant at first a person who lived in the country (as opposed to Urbanus
"city dweller"), then a civilian as opposed to a soldier, and eventually a heathen (one not enrolled in the army of Christ)... [more]
PAINTER English, Medieval French, German
English: from Middle English, Old French peinto(u)r
, oblique case of peintre
‘painter’, hence an occupational name for a painter (normally of colored glass). In the Middle Ages the walls of both great and minor churches were covered with painted decorations, and Reaney and Wilson note that in 1308 Hugh le Peyntour
and Peter the Pavier were employed ‘making and painting the pavement’ at St... [more]
Locational surname derived from the village of Peyton in Essex, England; Variant of Peyton
Surname of author R.J. Palacio, who wrote the book Wonder (2012)
Occupational name for a man responsible for the maintenance and provision of saddle-horses.
(i) "person from Palling", Norfolk ("settlement of Pælli's people") or "person from Poling", Sussex ("settlement of Pāl's people"); (ii) from the Welsh name ap Heilyn
"son of Heilyn
", a personal name perhaps meaning "one who serves at table"
Means "maker of palings and fences" (from a derivative of Old French palis
"palisade"). In fiction, the Palliser novels are a series of six political novels by Anthony Trollope, beginning with 'Can You Forgive Her?' (1864) and ending with 'The Duke's Children' (1880), in which the Palliser family plays a central role.
From a medieval nickname based on the Old French oath par Dieu
"by God" (cf. Purdie
PARHAM Irish, English
This name has been used amongst the Irish and English. This user's great grandmother came from Ireland and her maiden name was Parham. However, in English (London) it is a habitational name from places in Suffolk and Sussex, named in Old English with pere ‘pear’ + ham ‘homestead’.
A place name meaning "pear field" from Old English 'per' with 'lee' or 'lea' meaning a field or clearing, perhaps where land was cleared to cultivate pear trees. Therefore this name denotes someone who lived near or worked at such a location or came from a habitation associated with the name... [more]
Variant of Parley
. This form is found more in northern England, specifically Cumberland and Durham, but is of like derivation.
English habitational name from Parnham in Beaminster, Dorset.
Habitational name from a place in Greater Manchester (formerly in Cheshire) called Partington, from Old English Peartingtun
Habitational name from any of various places called Parton
; most are named with Old English peretun
‘pear orchard’. A famous bearer of the surname is Dolly Parton
Either (i) from a medieval nickname for someone who crossed marshy moorland (e.g. who lived on the opposite side of a moor, or who knew the safe paths across it); or (ii) perhaps from an alteration of Passemer
, literally "cross-sea", an Anglo-Norman nickname for a seafarer... [more]
Derives from the given name Pat
(t), a short form of the personal name Patrick
from the Latin Patricius meaning "son of a noble father".
Either (i) from the medieval female personal name Pavia
, perhaps from Old French pavie
"peach"; or (ii) "person from Pavia", Italy.
This surname means "son of Pack." Pack may be a survival of the Old English personal name Pacca
or it may have been a Middle English personal name derived from Paschalis
(meaning "relating to Easter"), the Latin form of Pascal.
PAXTON Scottish, English
From a place in England named with the Old English given name Pæcc
and Old English name element -tun
"settlement". A famous bearer was the actor Bill
Probably from a nickname for a showy dresser, from Middle English pe
"peacock" (see Peacock
) and body
"body, person". Alternatively it may be from the name of a Celtic tribe meaning "mountain men" from Brythonic pea
"large hill, mountain" combined with Boadie
, the tribe's earlier name, which meant "great man" (or simply "man") among the Briton and Cambri peoples... [more]
PEACH English (Rare)
Derived from the name of the fruit, which itself derived its name from Late Latin persica, which came from older Latin malum persicum meaning "Persian fruit."
Sir Stuart Edmond Pearks (1875–1931) served as the Chief Commissioner of the North-West Frontier Province of British India from 1930 until 1931. Sourced from Wikipedia.... [more]
Metonymic occupational name for a trader in pearls, which in the Middle Ages were fashionable among the rich for the ornamentation of clothes, from Middle English, Old French perle
(Late Latin perla
a British surname of French origin derived from the pre-9th-century word "pourcel", which described a breeder of animals or a farmer
From the name of a place in Hertfordshire, which meant "Peotla
's homestead" in Old English.
PENDARVIS English (American)
The American English spelling of the Cornish surname Pendarves. Ultimately, the surname is traced back to Pendarves Island, Cornwall.
Likely originated from the area Pendlebury, in the Borough of Swindon and Pendlebury in Greater Manchester. Formed from the Celtic pen
meaning "hill" and burh
meaning "settlement".... [more]
From 'Pen Dragon' meaning head dragon or dragons head. This was the name of the king Uther Pendragon who was King Arthurs father
One who lived near a fold or hill. From the Old English word "penn," meaning "hill" and "pen, fold."
PENNING English, 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]
PERDUE English, 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]
PEREGRINE English, 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.
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".
PHILLISKIRK English (Rare)
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’.
PIKE English, Irish
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]
PILGRIM English, German
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’.
PINCHES English (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
PINK English, German
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
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.
PLUM English, 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]
PLUMER German, 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.
POLAND English, 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]
POLLOCK Scottish, English
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.... [more]
POLTIMORE English (Rare)
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".
PONCE Spanish, English
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.
POPP German, English
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]
PORTUGAL Spanish, 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]
POSEY English, French
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.
POTEET English, French
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.
PRESHAW English (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.
PRESS English, Jewish
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.
PREVOST French, English
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.
PRINCE English, French
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.
PRIOR English, 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.
PRIVETT French, 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
proctor was originally used for the test examiner but later had been adopted as a suraname
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.
PROPHET English, 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]
PROVOST English, French
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
PRUDHOMME French, 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]
PRUE English, French
English: nickname for a redoubtable warrior, from Middle English prou(s)
‘brave’, ‘valiant’ (Old French proux
PUCHOL English, 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
PULVER Low 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