English Submitted Surnames
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
MENEAR Cornish, English (British)
English (Devon; of Cornish origin): topographic name for someone who lived by a menhir, i.e. a tall standing stone erected in prehistoric times (Cornish men ‘stone’ + hir ‘long’). In the United States, it is a common surname in Pennsylvania & West Virginia.
Means "happy weather" in Middle English, originally belonging to a cheery person.
A different form of Meredith
(from the Welsh personal name Meredydd
, perhaps literally "lord of splendour"). It occurs in Wilkie Collins' 'The Moonstone' (1868) belonging to Mrs Merridew, widowed sister to Sir John Verinder.
(i) from the medieval personal name Merewine
, literally "fame-friend"; (ii) from the Old English personal names Mǣrwynn
, literally "famous joy", and Merefinn
, from Old Norse Mora-Finnr
; (iii) from the Welsh personal name Merfyn
, literally probably "marrow-eminent"
An occupational name from Northern England, from Old English mete
, 'food' and calf
, 'calf', i.e calfs being fattened for consumption in late summer. Thus, making this surname an occupational name for either a slaughterer or herdsman... [more]
MIDDLETON English, Scottish
Habitational name from any of the places so called. In over thirty instances from many different areas, the name is from Old English midel "middle" + tun "enclosure","settlement".
From a medieval nickname for an inoffensive person (literally "mild maiden").
Probably from Middle English milk
‘milk’, applied as a metonymic occupational name for a producer or seller of milk.In some instances, probably a translation of German Milch, a variant of Slavic Milich or of Dutch Mielke (a pet form of Miele), or a shortening of Slavic Milkovich.
MILL Scottish, English
Scottish and English: topographic name for someone who lived near a mill, Middle English mille
(Old English myl(e)n
, from Latin molina
, a derivative of molere
‘to grind’)... [more]
This surname is thought to be a respelling of Millais
, which may come from the French surname Millet
, a metonymic occupational name for a grower or seller of millet or panic grass (derived from a diminutive form of Old French mil
which is then derived from Latin milium
meaning "millet").... [more]
MILLSAP English (American), English
Judging by the name and how it sounds, I guess it's occupational. This is the name of a town in Texas, named after Fuller Millsap.
MILNER English, Scottish
Northern English (mainly Yorkshire) and Scottish: variant of Miller
, retaining the -n- of the Middle English word, which was a result of Scandinavian linguistic influence, as in Old Norse mylnari
MIMS English (British)
Habitational name from Mimms (North and South Mimms) in Hertfordshire, most probably derived from an ancient British tribal name, Mimmas.
English occupational name for someone who built mines, either for the excavation of coal and other minerals, or as a technique in the medieval art of siege warfare. The word represents an agent derivative of Middle English, Old French mine
‘mine’ (a word of Celtic origin, cognate with Gaelic mein
The name means "lost home", and it's from the Old English words "missan" and "ham".
Influenced by the English word mystery
MOHLER German, English
The Mohler surname is derived from the Low German word möhl
which means mill. Thus the name originally denoted someone who live or worked near a mill. Variant of Müller
Mole is (in some but not all cases) the English form of the German Möhl meaning mill.
Probably from a medieval nickname for a rich person or a miser. A fictional bearer is Miss Moneypenny, secretary to M (the head of MI6) in the James Bond novels of Ian Fleming and in the films based on them.
Name for a retail trader or a stallholder in a market, Middle English monger
Nickname for someone of monkish habits or appearance, or an occupational name for a servant employed at a monastery, from Middle English munk
"monk" (Old English munuc
, from Late Latin monachus
, Greek monakhos
"solitary", a derivative of monos
As a Shropshire name believed to mean "from a communal ford or water crossing" while the Norfolk origin is "from Munda's ford," Munda being an old English personal name meaning "protector, guardian," as seen in names such as Edmund
MONTY French, English
Topographic name for a mountain dweller, from Old French mont 'mountain' (Latin mons, montis).
MOODY English, Irish
Either from Middle English modie
"angry, haughty, impetuous", or Old English modig
From a medieval nickname for someone thought to resemble a moorcock (the male of the red grouse). It is borne by British author Michael Moorcock (1939-).
MORALEE English, French
First found in Norfolk where they were seated from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings.
From the Old French personal name Morant
, perhaps from a nickname meaning "steadfast", or alternatively of Germanic origin and meaning literally "courage-raven". A known bearer was the British-born Australian soldier and poet Breaker Morant, original name Edwin Henry Murrant (?1864-1902).
Recorded as Mordant, Mordaunt (English), Mordagne, Mordant (French) and apparently Mordanti in Italy, this is a surname of French origins. According to the famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley writing in the year 1880, the name was originally Norman, and was brought to England by a follower of Duke William of Normandy, when he conquered England in 1066... [more]
Parish in Surrey; one mile from Mitcham. "Moor Hollow" in Old English.
Habitational name from any of various places, for example Moorhouse in West Yorkshire, named from Old English mōr meaning "marsh", "fen" + hūs meaning "house".
Perhaps from a Norman nickname based on Old French mort
"dead", possibly referring to someone with a deathly pallor or otherwise sepulchral appearance.
Derived from a place name meaning "still water" in Old French.
Habitational name from any of several places called Mos(e)ley in central, western, and northwestern England. The obvious derivation is from Old English mos ‘peat bog’ + leah ‘woodland clearing’, but the one in southern Birmingham (Museleie in Domesday Book) had as its first element Old English mus ‘mouse’, while one in Staffordshire (Molesleie in Domesday Book) had the genitive case of the Old English byname Moll.
This interesting name is a variant of the surname Moss which is either topographical for someone who lived by a peat bog, from the Old English pre 7th Century 'mos' or a habitational name from a place named with this word, for example Mosedale in Cumbria or Moseley in West Yorkshire.
This surname may come from a nickname for someone wearing parti-coloured clothes (from Anglo-French motteley
, which may come from Old English mot
Mount is often used as part of the name of specific mountains.
Habitational surname for a person from Montjoie in La Manche, France, named with Old French mont
"hill", "mountain" + joie
Ultimately from the name of a place in Normandy meaning "mud hill" in Old French.
Means "son of Magge
", a pet-form of Margaret
, a female personal name which came into English via French from Late Latin Margarita
, literally "pearl".
From the medieval personal name Moise
, a vernacular variant of Moses
(the biblical name of the Hebrew prophet who led the Children of Israel out of captivity).
Either (i) "person who lives in a muddy area"; (ii) from the medieval female personal name Mudd
, a variant of Maud
, vernacular versions of Anglo-Norman Matilda
); or (iii) from the Old English personal name Mōd
, a shortened form of various compound names beginning with mōd
As either Mulles and Mullis, the surname first found in Parish Registers in Cornwall Co. by 1548 in Michaelstow. Manorial tenement rolls trace that particular family to 1483. Between 1337 and 1453 random tenants were recorded between Tintagel and Altarnun as Molys and Mollys... [more]
Nickname from Middle English mūs
‘mouse’ + ēage
Habitational name from places so named, from Old English mus
"mouse", or must
, "muddy stream or place" combined with tun
"enclosure, settlement". Another explanation could be that the first element is derived from an old Scandinavian personal name, Músi
(of unknown meaning), combined with tun
From the medieval personal name Myat
, literally "little Mihel
", an Anglo-Norman variant of Michael
Means either "nail-maker" (from Old English nægelsmith
) or "knife-maker" (from Old English cnīfsmith
NANKERVIS Cornish, English (Australian)
From the name of a place in St Enoder parish in Cornwall, derived from Cornish nans
"valley" and an uncertain second element, possibly *cerwys
, an unattested plural of carow
NAPIER Scottish, English
Scottish occupational name for a producer or seller of table linen or for a naperer, the servant in charge of the linen in use in a great house from the Middle English, Old French nap(p)ier
, an agent derivative of Old French nappe
‘table cloth’ (Latin mappa
NARAMOR English, Welsh
Naramor, also Narramore or Naramore, is a corruption of Northmore, and has Welsh/English background. "More North"
NASMITH Scottish, English
This surname is derived from an occupation, "nail-smith", but may also mean "knife-smith".
NATES English, Jewish
It's probably from the given name Nate
, the origin is said to be Jewish*, but the ancestors immigrated to English speaking countries.
Most probably a variant of Nathan, altered by folk etymology under the influence of the English vocabulary word nation
Habitational name from a place in Suffolk, named in Old English with nafola meaning "navel" + tūn meaning "enclosure", "settlement", i.e. "settlement in the navel or depression".
NAVARRO Spanish, French, English
Describes a former member of the ancient kingdom of Navarre. Possibly means 'the treeless country' or 'the country above the trees'
1. English: possibly a metonymic nickname for a needy person, from Middle English ne(e)d ‘need’. ... [more]
French in origin, it is derived from the word "Noir," which is the equivalent of the English word "Black." It could have referred to a person with dark features, hair, or perhaps even one who was thought to engage in nafarious, or "dark," deeds.
NEEVE English, Scottish
An English surname, of Norman origin, meaning the nephew. One who was in care of their uncle. A surname first recorded in Perthshire.
Is the English for the Russian/Ukrainian Surname Nemirov
NESBITT Scottish, Irish, English
Derives from the hamlets of East Nisbet and West Nisbet, Berwickshire. Some bearers of Nisbet/Nesbitt (and variant) names may originate from the village of Nisbet in Roxburghshire.
NEVELS English, Scottish
(1) Variant of Neville
(2) Possibly variant of Dutch Nevens, which is derived from Neve, from Middle English, Old Norse, Middle Dutch neve ‘nephew’, presumably denoting the nephew of some great personage.
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]
NOCK Celtic, English
Dweller at the oak tree; originally spelt as "Noake" evolved into "Nock".
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
Derived from the Old English words "norð," meaning "north," and "cot," meaning a "cottage," or "shelter."
NOTTINGHAM English (British)
A habitational name from the city of Nottingham in the East Midlands. Comes from the Old English name, meaning "homestead (ham) of Snot’s people". The initial S- was lost in the 12th century, due to the influence of Anglo-Norman French.... [more]
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
Location name meaning "lives near oak trees".
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.
Originally "Oldknoll"; deriving from the word knoll
Derived from the two Old English pre 7th century words - "euld", meaning "old", and "royd", meaning "clearing".
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]
OPIE English, Cornish
From the medieval personal name Oppy
, a diminutive of such names as Osbert
, and Osbald
. Bearers of this surname include British portrait and history painter John Opie (1761-1807) and British authors and folklorists Peter Opie (1918-82) and his wife Iona Opie (née Archibald; 1923-).
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".
From an English place name meaning "valley of the oxen", which was derived from Old English oxa
"ox" (genitive plural oxena
) and denu