Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
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.
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
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
Derived from the Middle English word "prou," meaning "brave," or "valiant," with the addition of either of two common diminutive suffixes: "-et" or "-ot." As such, this name is thought to have originally been a nickname for someone small, but brave.
Derived from an Anglo-Norman form of the Late Latin name Primus
. A fictional bearer is Hester Prynne, the protagonist of Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel 'The Scarlet Letter' (1850).
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
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’.
PUTTICK English (British)
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]
PYBURN English (?)
Apparently from some lost or minor place so named. 1881 British census has 109; KH.
PYGALL English (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 the Middle English word pile
, meaning "stake" or "post", which is derived via Old English from Latin pilum
, meaning "spike" or "javelin". This was a topographic name for someone who lived near a stake or post serving as a landmark, a metonymic occupational name for a stake maker, or a nickname for a tall, strong man.
Recorded in several forms including Pim
, Pimm, Pimme, Pym
, and Pymm, this is a surname which at various times has been prominent in the history of England. The name itself is of medieval English (Anglo-Saxon) origin... [more]
Means "pine" from the Old French pin. This was originally given as a topographical name for someone who lived by a conspicuous pine tree or in a pine forest.
QUAIL English, Manx
A variant of Quayle
, derived from various patronymics meaning "son of Paul". Alternately, an English nickname derived from the bird, perhaps given to a person who was timid, or known for being promiscuous.
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
RAINWATER English (American)
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.
RAMSBOTTOM English (British)
A topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. It is also a habitational name from a market town with the same name, located in Greater Manchester, England.
RANDOLPH English, German
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
RANGER English, 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".
Of unknown origin, but might denote a person with short legs. From Olde English rhath
, meaning "short, and bon
RAVENEL English, French
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
RAVENSCAR English (British)
From the name of a coastal village called Ravenscar, located in the Scarborough district of North Yorkshire, England.
From the Olde German and Anglo-Saxon personal name Rolf
. Originally derived from the Norse-Viking pre 7th Century 'Hrolfr' meaning "Fame-Wolf".
RAYMOND English, French
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.
REDPATH Scottish, English
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
The origins of the Reidhead surname are uncertain. In some instances, it was no doubt derived from the Old English word "read," meaning "red," and was a nickname that came to be a surname. Either way, we may conclude that it meant "red-haired" or "ruddy complexioned."
From the Old French male personal name Riulf
, of Germanic origin and meaning literally "power-wolf" (cf. Riculf
RENSHAW English, Scottish
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
RHINE German, 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.
RICHERS English, German
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
RICHIE English (Rare), Italian
Diminutive form of Richard
. It could also have been a nickname for one who was rich or wealthy, or, in Italy, a variant of Ricci
. Famous bearers include American musician Lionel Richie (1949-).
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
Means "son of Rick
". A famous bearer was American Alan Rickman (1946-2016).
RIDDELL Scottish, English
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
RIVETT English, French
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.
An altered spelling of English Rochford; alternatively it may be an Americanized form of French Rochefort or Italian Roccaforte.
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.
Rodwell, a name of Anglo-Saxon origin, is a locational surname deriving from any one of various places in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, and Kent, England. In English, the meaning of the name Rodwell is "Lives by the spring near the road".
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)
Possibly derived from the Latin word rotus
, meaning "wheel". It would indicate one who built wheels as a living. A famous bearer was American inventor and entrepreneur Charles Rolls (1877-1910), founder of the Rolls-Royce Ltd along with Henry Royce (1863-1933).
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]
ROMAN Catalan, 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).
ROOT English, Dutch
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’.
ROSEVEAR Cornish, English
From the name of a Cornish village near St Mawgan which derives from Celtic ros
"moor, heath" and vur
A topographic name referring to a dwelling with uncultivated ground, ultimately deriving from Olde English ruh meaning "rough".
nickname for a person with red hair, from Middle English, Old French rous ‘red(-haired)’
ROVER English, German (Anglicized)
This surname is derived from Middle English roof
(from Old English hrof
) combined with the agent suffix (i)er
, which denotes someone who does/works with something. Thus, the surname was originally used for a constructor or repairer of roofs.... [more]
English from a medieval personal name composed of the Germanic elements hrod
‘renown’ + wald
‘rule’, which was introduced into England by Scandinavian settlers in the form Róaldr
, and again later by the Normans in the form Rohald
Anglo Saxon Name- locational, comes from several places in England such as in Devonshire, Yorkshire, County Durham and Staffordshire. It means ' rough wood or clearing', from the Old English 'run' meaning rough and 'leah', meaning clearing in a wood.