Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
BEAUCHAMP English, French
From the name of various places in France, for example in Manche and Somme, which was derived from Old French beu
meaning "fair, lovely" and champ
Variation of Buford
. It is derived from the French word "beau
", meaning "beautiful", and "ford
", an Old English word meaning "river crossing".
From the surname of Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), a French feminist and philosopher.
A famous bearer of this surname was Sidney Bechet (1897–1959), an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer.
Occupational name for a maker or user of mattocks or pickaxes, from an agent derivative of Old English becca
An Old English name simply meaning "beehive". Famous Irish playwrite Samuel Beckett bears this name.
This surname was taken from an English habitational name from any of the various places, in Kent, Oxfordshire, and Sussex, named Beckley whose name was derived from the Old English byname Becca
and the Old English lēah
"woodland clearing".... [more]
BECKWITH English (African)
Habitational name from a place in West Yorkshire named Beckwith, from Old English bece "beech" + Old Norse viðr "wood" (replacing the cognate Old English wudu).
BECRAFT English (American)
English, variant of Beecroft. topographic name for someone who lived at a place where bees were kept, from Middle English bee ‘bee’ + croft ‘paddock’, ‘smallholding’.
From the English county Bedfordshire and its principal city or from a small community in Lancashire with the same name. The name comes from the Old English personal name Beda
, a form of the name Bede
and the location element -ford
meaning "a crossing at a waterway." Therefore the name indicates a water crossing once associated with a bearer of the medieval name.
An English habitational surname from a place so named near Nuneaton, in Warwickshire, derived most likely from the Old English personal name Baeda
), suffixed with worþ
, 'enclosure', denoting an enclosed area of land belonging to Baeda.
From Middle English be meaning "bee", Old English beo, hence a nickname for an energetic or active person or a metonymic occupational name for a beekeeper.
BEEDEN English (British)
Probably means "from Beeden", a village near Newbury in Berkshire. Ultimately coming from either Old English byden
, meaning "shallow valley", or from the pre 7th century personal name Bucge
with the suffix dun
, meaning "hill of Bucge".
BEER English, German, Dutch, German (Swiss)
Habitational name from any of the forty or so places in southwestern England called Beer(e) or Bear(e). Most of these derive their names from the West Saxon dative case, beara, of Old English bearu ‘grove’, ‘wood’ (the standard Old English dative bearwe being preserved in Barrow)... [more]
Aristocratic surname from French
, meaning "beautiful grove"; comes from a place name in Leicestershire. A famous namesake is British polar explorer Belgrave Ninnis, who perished in Antarctica on a 1912 expedition.
Name came from the son of a French Noble born in Leicestershire, England. Hamon Bellers took his last name after the Kirby Bellers (Bellars) which was the name of the land given to him by his father.
Of Latin origin. Due to an early association as a saint's name and a papal name, often said to mean "blessed." Originally the Latin elements are 'bene-' meaning "good" or as an adverb "well" plus '-dict,' meaning "spoken." Thus, the literal meaning is "well spoken." ... [more]
Habitational name from either of two places called Benington, in Hertfordshire and Lincolnshire, or from Long Bennington in Lincolnshire. The first is recorded in Domesday Book as Benintone
"farmstead or settlement (Old English tūn
) by the Beane river"; both Lincolnshire names are derived from the Old English personal name Beonna
combined with -ing-
, a connective particle denoting association, and tūn
Habitational name from any of various places named Bentham, from Old English beonet
"bent grass" + ham
"homestead" or hamm
"enclosure hemmed in by water".
English: habitational name from a place in the parish of Alstonfield, Staffordshire named Beresford, from Old English beofor ‘beaver’ (or possibly from a byname from this word) + Old English ford ‘ford’... [more]
BERLIN German, English
Habitational name from the city in Germany, the name of which is of uncertain meaning. It is possibly derived from an Old Slavic stem berl-
or from a West Slavic word meaning "river lake".
BERNER English, Norman
From the Norman personal name Bernier
from Old English beornan
‘to burn’, hence an occupational name for a burner of lime (compare German Kalkbrenner
) or charcoal. It may also have denoted someone who baked bricks or distilled spirits, or who carried out any other manufacturing process involving burning... [more]
BERRYCLOTH English (Rare)
This name is of English locational origin, from the place called Barrowclough
near Halifax in West Yorkshire.
Popularly grown surname from the diminuative form of "Elizabeth" during any time of a Queen Elizabeth
BETHENCOURT French, English, Portuguese (Rare)Bettencourt
and Bethencourt are originally place-names in Northern France. The place-name element -court (courtyard, courtyard of a farm, farm) is typical of the French provinces, where the Frankish settlements formed an important part of the local population... [more]
BETTENCOURT French, English, Portuguese (Rare)
Bettencourt and Bethencourt
are originally place-names in Northern France. The place-name element -court (courtyard, courtyard of a farm, farm) is typical of the French provinces, where the Frankish settlements formed an important part of the local population... [more]
Habitational name from Bexley (now Bexleyheath in Greater London), which was named from Old English byxe
‘box tree’ + leah
Habitational name from places so named in Devon and Somerset, most of which are most probably named with an Old English personal name Bicca
and Old English cumb
"valley". The first element could alternatively be from bica
BIDDLE English, Irish
Variant of English BEADLE
or German BITTEL
. The name is now popular in the north east region of America, where it was brought by English and Irish immigrants.
Habitational name from a place in England called Big Low meaning "big mound".
Habitational name from any of the various places in England named with northern Middle English bigging
"building" (from Old Norse). This word came to denote especially an outbuilding, and is still used in and around Northumberland and Cumbria.
Derived from the ancient word, "bigga", meaning large.
Derived from the Old English name Binningas
, which was a name for someone who lived near stables.
Ultimately deriving from the toponym of Melcombe Bingham in Dorset. The name was taken to Ireland in the 16th century, by Richard Bingham, a native of Dorset who was appointed governor of Connaught in 1584... [more]
Habitual surname for someone from Bingley in West Yorkshire, derived either from the given name Bynna
or the Old English element bing
meaning "hollow" and leah
meaning "woodland clearing"... [more]
Topographic name for someone living by a bink, a northern dialect term for a flat raised bank of earth or a shelf of flat stone suitable for sitting on. The word is a northern form of modern English bench.
BIRCH English, German, Danish, Swedish (Rare)
From Middle High German birche
, Old English birce
, Old Danish birk
, all meaning "birch". This was likely a topographic name for someone living by a birch tree or a birch forest... [more]
Probably a habitational name from Birchill in Derbyshire or Birchills in Staffordshire, both named in Old English with birce
"birch" + hyll
From the English words bird and song. Possibly an English translation of the German surname Vogelsang.
It's a locational surname taken from the village of Birket Houses in Lancashire.
The surname "Birkin" comes from a village in Yorkshire of the same name, first recorded as "Byrcene" in the Yorkshire charters of 1030, and as "Berchine" and "Berchinge" in the Domesday Book. The first known person with the surname "Birkin" was Jon de Birkin, a baron who lived in the late-11th century.
Scottish: habitational name from a place in Morayshire, recorded in the 13th century as Brennach, probably from Gaelic braonach 'damp place'.
a corn merchant; one who made vessels designed to hold or measure out a bushel.
BLACKSMITH English, Welsh, Scottish
This last name is an occupation last name. A "blacksmith" means a person who makes and repairs things in iron by hand.
English and southern Scottish: topographic name from Middle English blak(e) ‘black’, ‘dark’ + stok ‘stump’, ‘stock’.
Habitational name from any of various places, for example in Cumbria, Derbyshire, County Durham, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire, named Blackwell, from Old English blæc
"black, dark" and wæll(a)
Metonymic occupational name for a cutler, from Middle English blade
"cutting edge, sword".
Literally means "black way", thus referring to a black road near which the original bearer must have lived. A famous bearer of this surname was Jacob Blakeway (b. 1583-?), the biological father of Mayflower
passenger Richard More (1614-1696).
From a medieval nickname applied probably to an effeminate man (from Old French blanche flour
"white flower"). This surname was borne by Northern Irish footballer Danny Blanchflower (1926-1993).
Bland is a habitational name from a place in West Yorkshire called Bland, the origin of which is uncertain. Possibly it is from Old English (ge)bland ‘storm’, ‘commotion’ (from blandan ‘to blend or mingle’), with reference to its exposed situation... [more]
Habitational name from Blandford Forum and other places called Blandford in Dorset (Blaneford in Domesday Book), probably named in Old English with bl?ge 'gudgeon' (genitive plural blægna) + ford 'ford'.
Variant of Blenkinsop
, a surname derived from a place in Northumberland called Blenkinsopp. The place name possibly derives from Cumbric blaen
"top" and kein
"back, ridge", i.e. "top of the ridge", combined with Old English hōp
"valley" (compare Hope
There are two possible origins for this surname; one- from the name of the village in the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster (part of South Yorkshire, England) on the border of Lincolnshire, or two- from the Old English personal name Blaecstan
, meaning "black stone"
The surname of James P. Blaylock (1950-), an early steampunk author. His surname may mean "black lock" from Middle English blakelok
, originally referring to a person with dark hair.
Comes from a place in Gloucestershire called Bledisloe
, comes from an Old English personal name Blið
The Blennerhassett surname comes from someone having lived in Cumberland, on the Borderlands between Scotland and England. ... [more]
From a medieval nickname for a fortunate person. This surname is borne by British actor Brian Blessed (1936-).
From a medieval nickname for a blue-eyed person or one who habitually wore blue clothing (from Middle English bleuet
"cornflower" or bluet
A different form of Blessed
. A bearer of this surname is Luther Blissett (1958-), a Jamaican-born English footballer ("Luther Blissett" has been used since 1994 as a cover name for activists engaging in anti-cultural establishment polemics and spoofs on the internet and elsewhere).
Evidently from Old English blod ‘blood’, but with what significance is not clear. In Middle English the word was in use as a metonymic occupational term for a physician, i.e. one who lets blood, and also as an affectionate term of address for a blood relative.
Derived from the Old English byname Blīþa (meaning "happy, blithe").
Variant spelling of Bloodworth. At the time of the British Census of 1881, its relative frequency was highest in Nottinghamshire (5.1 times the British average), followed by Lancashire, Derbyshire, Surrey, County Durham and London.
Metonymic occupational name for an iron worker, from Middle English blome
‘ingot (of iron)’.
This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a locational name from either of the two places thus called in England, one in Staffordshire, and the other in Somerset, or it may be a dialectal variant of Blonville (-sur-Mer) in Calvados, Normandy, and hence a Norman habitation name... [more]
From a medieval nickname for someone with a pale complexion (from Middle English blowe
"pale"). This surname was borne by English composer John Blow (1649-1708) and British fashion editor Isabella Blow (original name Isabella Delves Broughton; 1958-2007); additionally, "Joe Blow" is a name used colloquially (in US, Canadian and Australian English) as representative of the ordinary uncomplicated unsophisticated man, the average man in the street (of which the equivalent in British English is "Joe Bloggs").
BLUFORD English, American (South)
Possibly an English habitational name from a lost or unidentified place. The name occurs in records of the 19th century but is now very rare if not extinct in the British Isles. In the U.S. it is found chiefly in TX and TN.
From the Old French word blund
which means "blonde, fair". It also coincides with the Middle English word blunt
meaning "dull". A famous bearer is Emily Blunt, a British actress.
Occupational name for a person who worked on the deck of a ship.
BOEING English (Anglicized)
Anglicized form of German Böing
. This was the surname of American industrialist William Boeing (1881-1956) who founded The Boeing Company, a manufacturer of airplanes.
Probably a habitational name from the village Boekhoute in northern Belgium, close to the border to The Netherlands.
BOLD German, English
English: nickname from Middle English bold ‘courageous’, ‘daring’ (Old English b(e)ald, cognate with Old High German bald). In some cases it may derive from an Old English personal name (see Bald)... [more]
Franciscanized form of "Bullens", a Dutch surname meaning "son of Baldo (meaning "strong")".
BOLLARD English, Irish
According to MacLysaght, this surname of Dutch origin which was taken to Ireland early in the 18th century.
BOLLING English, German
nickname for someone with close-cropped hair or a large head, Middle English bolling 'pollard', or for a heavy drinker, from Middle English bolling 'excessive drinking'. German (Bölling): from a personal name Baldwin
From Middle English bolt
meaning "bolt", "bar" (Old English bolt
meaning "arrow’). In part this may have originated as a nickname or byname for a short but powerfully built person, in part as a metonymic occupational name for a maker of bolts... [more]
BONSALL English (British)
This is a locational name which originally derived from the village of Bonsall, near Matlock in Derbyshire. The name is Norse-Viking, pre 10th Century and translates as 'Beorns-Halh' - with 'Beorn' being a personal name meaning 'Hero' and 'Halh' a piece of cultivated land - a farm.
English occupational surname meaning "maker of books."
This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and may be either a topographical name for someone who lived in a particularly noteworthy or conspicuous cottage, from the Olde English pre 7th Century "bur", bower, cottage, inner room, with "mann", man, or a locational name from any of the various places called Bower(s) in Somerset and Essex, which appear variously as "Bur
" and "Bura
" in the Domesday Book of 1086... [more]
BOOT English, Dutch, German
English: metonymic occupational name for a maker or seller of boots, from Middle English, Old French bote (of unknown origin).... [more]
Possibly from the Old English booth meaning "hut, shack" and royd meaning "clearing (in the woods)".
Means butt. Usually big and round.There are also two of them.
Habitational name for someone from a place called Borek or Borki, from bór
English habitation surname derived from the Old English personal name Bosa
and the Old English leah
"clearing, field". It's also possibly a variant of the French surname Beausoleil meaning "beautiful sun" from the French beau
'beautiful, fair' and soleil
From an originally French term meaning "hunchback".
From an English surname which was from a lost or unidentified place name. The second element is clearly Old English wic
"outlying (dairy) farm".
Means "district" characterized by bends from the Old English words boga and land.
Habitational name from any of several places called Bowden or Bowdon, most of them in England. From Old English boga
"bow" and dun
"hill", or from Old English personal names BUGA
combined with dun
BOWDLER Flemish, English
Originally de Boelare it evolved to Bowdler or Bowdle after Baldwin de Boelare came to England in 1105 & was given a lordship over Montgomery, Wales.
BOWE Medieval English, English, Irish (Anglicized)
There are three possible sources of this surname, the first being that it is a metonymic occupational name for a maker or seller of bows, a vital trade in medieval times before the invention of gunpowder, and a derivative of the Old English pre 7th Century 'boga', bow, from 'bugan' to bend... [more]
Nickname from the Norman term of address beu sire ‘fine sir’, given either to a fine gentleman or to someone who made frequent use of this term of address.
English: occupational name for a maker or seller of bows (see Bow
), as opposed to an archer. Compare Bowman
Habitational name from any of the places called Bradshaw, for example in Lancashire and West Yorkshire, from Old English brad
"broad" + sceaga
BRAGG English, Welsh
From a nickname for a cheerful or lively person, derived from Middle English bragge
meaning "lively, cheerful, active", also "brave, proud, arrogant".
Northern English habitational name from any of the places in Cumbria and Yorkshire named Braithwaite, from Old Norse breiðr
"broad" + þveit
This surname is taken from the word which refers to a common blackberry (British) or any of several closely related thorny plants in the Rubus genus (US). It also refers to any thorny shrub. The word is derived from Old English bræmbel
with a euphonic -b-
inserted from the earlier bræmel
, which is then derived from Proto-Germanic *bræmaz
meaning "thorny bush."
Place-name derived from the Old Norse
words for a "broad clearing".
BRAUNERSHRITHER German, Dutch, English
This name mean Leather (Tanned) Knight, or a fighter of leather armor, or in Dutch, Leather writer, one who branded print on leather
Derived from the Old Norse name breithr meaning "broad", or the Old Norse personal name Breithi, combined with the Old English suffix tun
meaning "town, farmstead".
From a medieval nickname for someone who had achieved notable success in jousts or in battle. Nicholas Breakspear (?1100-1159) was the original name of Pope Hadrian IV, the only English pope.
Habitational name from any of various minor places, for example Brede in Sussex, named with Old English brǣdu
"breadth, broad place" (a derivative of brād
Probably from a medieval nickname for a likable or popular person (from Middle English breden
"to produce" + love
). This surname is borne by Craig Breedlove (1937-), US land-speed record holder.
The surname is derived from the old English word brasian, meaning to make out of brass. This would indicate that the original bearer of the name was a brass founder by trade. The name is also derived from the old English Broesian which means to cast in brass and is the occupational name for a worker in brass.
BRETON French, English
French and English: ethnic name for a Breton, from Old French bret
(oblique case breton
) (see Brett
Variant spelling of the habitational name Bruton, from a place in Somerset, so named with a Celtic river name meaning 'brisk' + Old English tun 'farmstead'.
BREYETTE English (American)
Of uncertain origin and meaning. First found in the United States around 1880. Self-taught artist Michael Breyette is a bearer of this surname
BRIGGS English, Flemish
This surname is a variant of the more common name Bridges
, which, contrary to appearances, has two possible origins, one the perhaps obvious English topographical or occupational one, and the other locational, from Belgium... [more]
From a Middle English nickname or personal name, meaning "bright, fair, pretty", from Old English beorht
Habitational name from a place in England so named. From Old English berned
"burnt" and leah
English locational surname, taken from the town of the same name in Norfolk. The name means "settlement belonging to Brun" - the personal name coming from the Old English
word for "fire, flame".
BRODERICK Irish, Welsh, English
Surname which comes from two distinct sources. As a Welsh surname it is derived from ap Rhydderch
meaning "son of Rhydderch
". As an Irish surname it is an Anglicized form of Ó Bruadair
meaning "descendent of Bruadar"... [more]
From the name of a place in West Yorkshire meaning "valley brook", from Old English broc
"brook" and denu
Habitational name from any of the many places so called in England. Most of them derived from Old English brom
"broom" and leah
A surname well represented in Cheshire, and Nottinghamshire.