English Submitted Surnames
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
Means "person from Frisby", Leicestershire ("farmstead of the Frisians"). A frisbee is a plastic disc thrown from person to person as a game; the trademarked name, registered in 1959 by Fred Morrison, was inspired by the Frisbie bakery of Bridgeport, Connecticut, whose pie tins were the original models for the plastic discs.
FRIZZELL English (Rare)
Either (i) from Friseal
, the Scottish Gaelic form of Fraser
; or (ii) from a medieval nickname applied to someone who dressed in a showy or gaudy style (from Old French frisel
Topographical name from the village of Froggatt in Derbyshire.
From the Old English personal name Frōda
or Old Norse Fróthi
, both meaning literally "wise" or "prudent". A variant spelling was borne by British historian James Anthony Froude (1818-1894).
English (chiefly East Anglia): from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements folk ‘people’ + hari, heri ‘army’, which was introduced into England from France by the Normans; isolated examples may derive from the cognate Old English Folchere
or Old Norse Folkar
, but these names were far less common.
Habitational name from a place in Scotland. Derived from Old English fugol
"bird" and tun
FURLONG English, Irish
Apparently a topographic name from Middle English furlong ‘length of a field’ (from Old English furh meaning "furro" + lang meaning "long".
FURMAN Polish, Czech, Slovak, Jewish, Slovene, English, German (Anglicized)
Polish, Czech, Slovak, Jewish (eastern Ashkenazic), and Slovenian: occupational name for a carter or drayman, the driver of a horse-drawn delivery vehicle, from Polish, Yiddish, and Slovenian furman
, a loanword from German (see Fuhrmann
Northern English: of uncertain origin, perhaps a habitational name from a minor place named with Old Norse gafl
‘gable’, which was applied to a triangular-shaped hill. The mountain called Great Gable in Cumbria is named in this way.... [more]
Habitational name from Cadborough, alias Gateborough, in Rye, Sussex, probably so named from Old English gāt meaning "goat" + beorg meaning "hill".
Habitational name from Gaddesby in Leicestershire, recorded in Domesday Book as Gadesbi
and so named from the Old Norse personal name Gaddr
(or from Old Norse gaddr
"spur (of land)") and býr
GAINES English, Norman, Welsh
English (of Norman origin): nickname for a crafty or ingenious person, from a reduced form of Old French engaine
‘ingenuity’, ‘trickery’ (Latin ingenium
‘native wit’). The word was also used in a concrete sense of a stratagem or device, particularly a trap.... [more]
From the city of Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, England. A famous bearer of this surname includes English painter Thomas Gainsborough.
GALL Scottish, Irish, English
Nickname, of Celtic origin, meaning "foreigner" or "stranger". In the Scottish Highlands the Gaelic term gall
was applied to people from the English-speaking lowlands and to Scandinavians; in Ireland the same term was applied to settlers who arrived from Wales and England in the wake of the Anglo-Norman invasion of the 12th century... [more]
Nickname for a cheerful or high-spirited person, from Old French, Middle English galant
"bold, dashing, lively". The meanings "gallant" and "attentive to women" are further developments, which may lie behind some examples of the surname.
English: occupational name for a messenger or scullion (in a monastery), from Old French galopin ‘page’, ‘turnspit’, from galoper ‘to gallop’.
from the Old Norse byname Gamall meaning "old", which was occasionally used in North England during the Middle Ages as a personal name. ... [more]
From a medieval nickname applied to a merry or sportive person (from Middle English gamen
"game"), or to someone who walked in a strange way or had some peculiarity of the legs (from Anglo-Norman gambon
(i) "grower or seller of garlic"; (ii) perhaps from a medieval personal name descended from Old English Gārlāc
, literally "spear-play"; (iii) an anglicization of the Belorussian Jewish name Garelick
, literally "distiller"
Comes from a lost locational name from the Olde English gara
, referring to a "triangular piece of land" or to a "spearhead", and wudu
meaning a "wood".
Meaning "Goat Shelter". English (Lancashire) habitual name from Gatesgill in Cumbria, so named from Old Norse geit ‘goat’ + skáli ‘shelter’. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 14th Century.
Topographic name for someone who lived by the gates of a medieval walled town. The Middle English singular gate
is from the Old English plural, gatu
, of geat
"gate" (see Yates
English of uncertain origin; probably a variant of Catlin
, a nickname from Old English gœdeling
‘kinsman’, ‘companion’, but also ‘low fellow’.
A different form of Gadsby
("person from Gaddesby", Leicestershire ("Gaddr's farmstead")). A fictional bearer is Jay Gatsby, the central character of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel 'The Great Gatsby' (1925).
Perhaps an altered spelling of the middle English Gabbett
, which is from a pet form of the personal name GABRIEL
GAY English, French
Nickname for a lighthearted or cheerful person, from Middle English, Old French gai
GAY English, Norman
Habitational name from places in Normandy called Gaye, from an early proprietor bearing a Germanic personal name cognate with Wade.
Possibly a nickname for a cheerful person, derived from the archaic word "gay" meaning "happy". A famous bearer was the American singer Marvin Gaye (1939-1984).
Derived from Old French gaillard
meaning "high-spirited, boistrous".
Variant of Geer, Gehr or Geary
, all related to the Old High German element gēr
(Old English gār
, Old Norse geirr
) meaning "spear, arrow". A famous bearer is American actor Richard Gere (b... [more]
GERMAN English, Norman, German, Jewish, Greek
From Old French germain
meaning "German". This sometimes denoted an actual immigrant from Germany, but was also used to refer to a person who had trade or other connections with German-speaking lands... [more]
Diminutive of names containing ger
, meaning "spear".
The first recorded use of the name is from 1291; Robert de Gidlow was a freeholder in Aspull, Lancanshire, United Kingdom and the name occurs frequently down to the 17th century. The Gidlow family moved to the United States in the mid-18th century where the spelling was changed to Goodlow
and eventually to Goodloe
Gifford is an English name for someone who comes from Giffords Hall in Suffolk. In Old English, it was Gyddingford, or "ford associated with Gydda." Alternatively, it could come from the Middle English nickname, "Giffard," from Old French meaning "chubby-cheeked."
Means either (i) "person from Gilby", Lincolnshire ("Gilli's farm"); or (ii) "little Gilbert
Topographic name for someone who lived by a ravine or deep glen, Middle English gil(l), Old Norse gil "ravine"
From the Norman personal name Gillebrand
, of Germanic origin and meaning literally "hostage-sword".
Either (i) from a shortened form of the Germanic personal name Gangulf
, literally "walking wolf"; or (ii) a different form of Gingold
From a medieval nickname applied to a brave man (or, with heavy irony, to a cowardly one), from Old French cuer de lion
From a short form of the various Old English personal names with a first element glæd
"shining, joyful". Compare Gladwin
Probably means "bright island", from the Old English element glæd
"bright" (cf. Glædwine
) and the English element ney
"island" (cf.... [more]
Means either "sword-maker" or "sword-seller", or else from a nickname applied to a skilled swordsman (in either case from Middle English gleyve
GLISSEN English, Irish
Possible British version of the Irish surname Glasson from the the Gaelic word O’Glasain. Meaning green from the counties of Tipperary.
GOBER English, French
The surname Gober was first found in Warwickshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The Norman influence of English history dominated after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed.
Comes from the Germanic personal name Godin-, a pet form of any of various compound names beginning with god, got ‘god’. Compare Godbold, Goddard, and Godfrey.
Means "Son of Godwin
". First born by Harold Godwinson. From his father Godwine
, Earl of Wessex. Harold was defeated & killed during the battle of Hastings in 1066 by William the Bastard, now known as William the Conqueror.
GOLD English, German
From Old English, Old High German gold
"gold", applied as a metonymic occupational name for someone who worked in gold, i.e. a refiner, jeweler, or gilder, or as a nickname for someone who either had many gold possessions or bright yellow hair.
From an Old English personal name Golda
(or the feminine Golde
), which persisted into the Middle Ages as a personal name. The name was in part a byname from gold
"gold", and in part a short form of the various compound names with this first element.
From the English word golden
which is the yellow color.
Occupational name for a worker in gold, a compound of Old English gold
"gold" and smið
"smith". In North America it is very often an English translation of German or Jewish Goldschmidt
The Gol part has uncertain meaning, but Ton means "Town".
Habitational name from Gowdall in East Yorkshire, named from Old English golde
"marigold" and Old English halh
From Middle English gode
"good" and ale
"ale, malt liquor", hence a metonymic occupational name for a brewer or an innkeeper.
From a medieval nickname probably applied either to someone of average abilities or to an easily satisfied person; also, perhaps from a medieval nickname meaning "good servant".
Generally explained as a nickname meaning 'good fellow' or 'good companion'.
The name Gooding comes from the baptismal name for "the son of Godwin"
Goodloe traces back to the English Gidlow
. The first recorded use of the name is from 1291; Robert de Gidlow was a freeholder in Aspull, Lancanshire, United Kingdom and the name occurs frequently down to the 17th century... [more]
Nickname for a dutiful son, from Middle English gode
‘good’ + sone
A name originating from Kent, England believed to come from the elements gara
meaning "from a triangular shaped homestead." Compare Gore
Derived from the name of the village of Goring-by-the-Sea in Sussex
English: habitational name from Gotham in Nottinghamshire, so named from Old English gat
‘goat’ + ham
‘homestead’ or hamm
GOULTER English (Rare)
This very unusual name has long been recorded in England but perhaps surprisingly as a Norman personal name. The first recording in England was as "Galterii" which appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 for London as a French form of the Olde German "Walter" translating as "Mighty Army".
Metonymic occupational name for a clerk or scribe, from Anglo-Norman French grafe
"quill, pen" (a derivative of grafer
"to write", Late Latin grafare
, from Greek graphein
GRANGE English, French
English and French topographic name for someone who lived by a granary, from Middle English, Old French grange
‘granary’, ‘barn’, from granum
GRANT English, Scottish
From a medieval personal name, probably a survival into Middle English of the Old English byname Granta
Habitational name from Grantham in Lincolnshire, of uncertain origin. The final element is Old English hām
"homestead"; the first may be Old English grand
"gravel" or perhaps a personal name Granta
, which probably originated as a byname meaning "snarler"... [more]
GRASS English, German
Topographic name for someone who owned or lived by a meadow, or a metonymic occupational name for someone who made or sold hay, from Middle English gras
, Middle High German gras
"grass, pasture, grazing".
Occupational name from Middle English greyve "steward", from Old Norse greifi or Low German greve
GRAYLING English (British)
Uncommon surname of unclear origin; possible medieval locational name, or a derivative of the French surname Grail or the diminutive Graillon.... [more]
One who came from Greasby, a parish on the Wirral Peninsula, in Cheshire, now Merseyside.
GREELEY English, Norman
English (of Norman origin): nickname for someone with a pock-marked face, from Old Northern French greslé
‘pitted’, ‘scarred’ (from gresle
‘hailstone’, of Germanic origin).
Notable bearers include film director Paul Greengrass and baseball player Jim Greengrass.
From one of two placenames, located near the Anglo-Scottish border. Named with Old English grēne
, 'green' and halw
, 'hill, mound'.
From Old English grēne
"green" and lēaf
"leaf", presumably applied as a nickname, the significance of which is now lost.
habitational name from any of various minor places, for example in Staffordshire, so named from Old English grene ‘green’ + leah ‘woodland clearing’.
Originally given to a person who lived near a grassy path, from Middle English grene
"green" and weye
"road, path" (cf. Way
Topographic name for someone who lived in a dense forest, from Middle English grene
"green" and wode
"wood", or a habitational name from a minor place so named, as for example Greenwood in Heathfield, East Sussex.
GRIMKÉ English (American)
Meaning unknown. This was the surname of Sarah (1792-1873) and Angelina (1805-1879) Grimké, sisters who opposed slavery and supported women's rights.
From a diminutive of Grice
, which was originally a nickname for a grey-haired man, derived from Middle English grice
meaning "grey" (itself from Old French gris
, apparently of Germanic origin).
Name for someone who lived by a grove or thicket, Middle English grove
, Old English graf
Probably a Middle English metathesized form of the Old French personal name Gondri
GRYLLS English (Rare)
There was an old and distinguished family of Grylls of Tavistock (Devon) and Lanreath (Cornwall) in the 17th century; two high sheriffs of the county then bore the name. The manor of Gryils (commonly mispronounced Garles), near the rocks called the Gryils or Garles, from which they probably derive their name, is in the parish of Lesneweth in that county.
from Middle English gojon, gogen, Old French gougon ‘gudgeon’ (the fish) (Latin gobio, genitive gobionis), applied as a nickname or perhaps as a metonymic occupational name for a seller of these fish... [more]
Nickname for a stranger or newcomer to a community, from Middle English g(h)est meaning "guest", "visitor" (from Old Norse gestr, absorbing the cognate Old English giest).
From the Middle English personal name Gullake
, a descendant of Old English Gūthlāc
, literally "battle-sport".
From a medieval nickname for a greedy person (from Old French goulafre
"glutton"). Jonathan Swift used it in his satire 'Gulliver's Travels' (1726), about the shipwrecked ship's surgeon Lemuel Gulliver, whose adventures "offer opportunities for a wide-ranging and often savage lampooning of human stupidity and vice."
From a nickname or byname from Middle English gome
, Old English guma
, an Old French personal name introduced to Britain by the Normans, composed of the Germanic elements gund
"battle" and rīc
English habitational name from a place in Wootton Fitzpaine, Dorset, Gupehegh in Middle English. This is named with the Old English personal name Guppa
(a short form of Guðbeorht
"battle bright") + (ge)hæg
Occupational name for a guide, Old French gui
(a derivative of gui(d)er
"to guide", of Germanic origin).
GUY English, French
From a French form of the Germanic personal name Wido
, which is of uncertain origin. This name was popular among the Normans in the forms Wi
as well as in the rest of France in the form Guy
HACKNEY English, Scottish
Habitational name from Hackney in Greater London, named from an Old English personal name Haca
) combined with ēg
"island, dry ground in marshland".
HACKNEY English, Scottish
From Middle English hakenei
(Old French haquenée
), an ambling horse, especially one considered suitable for women to ride; perhaps therefore a metonymic occupational name for a stablehand... [more]
Derived from the Old English word had meaning "heathland" and the Old English suffix -don meaning "hill"; hence, the "heathland hill" or the "heather-covered hill".... [more]
HAILES Scottish, English
Scottish habitational name from Hailes in Lothian, originally in East Lothian, named from the Middle English genitive or plural form of hall
‘hall’. ... [more]
Probably a variant of Harefield, a habitational name from a place so named, for example the one Greater London or Harefield in Selling, Kent, which are both apparently named from Old English here ‘army’ + feld ‘open country’.
Location name combining the elements hall
as in "large house" and lee
meaning "field or clearing."
Northern English (Lancashire) habitational name from a place near Manchester called Halliwell, from Old English halig
‘holy’ + well(a)
‘well’, ‘spring’, or from any of the numerous other places named with these elements (see Hollowell
From Middle English halfmark ‘half a mark’, probably a nickname or status name for someone who paid this sum in rent.
English: topographic name from Middle English hal(l)owes
‘nooks’, ‘hollows’, from Old English halh
). In some cases the name may be genitive, rather than plural, in form, with the sense ‘relative or servant of the dweller in the nook’.
The ancestors of the name Hallowell date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Hallowell family lived near a holy spring having derived from the Old English terms halli
, which meant "holy", and welle
, which meant "spring".
Related to Halliwell, this surname means "Lives by the Holy Spring"
Halprin is the last name of the main character the book called Ashfall by Mike Mullin.
HAM English, German, Scottish, Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon meaning the home stead, many places in England. One who came from Hamm in North-Rhine Westphalia, or one who came from Ham in Caithness Scotland's most northerly county. In Scotland this surname devires from the Norse word "Hami", meaning homestead.
HAMER English, German
From the town of Hamer in Lancashire from the old english word Hamor
combining "Rock" and "Crag". It is also used in Germany and other places in Europe, possibly meaning a maker of Hammers.
Nickname for a scarred or maimed person, from Middle English, Old English hamel
From an Old English word meaning "home" or "homestead" and a diminutive suffix -lin
HAMMER German, English, Jewish
From Middle High German hamer
, Yiddish hamer
, a metonymic occupational name for a maker or user of hammers, for example in a forge, or nickname for a forceful person.
Habitational name from a place called Hanham in Gloucestershire, which was originally Old English Hānum, dative plural of hān ‘rock’, hence ‘(place) at the rocks’. The ending -ham is by analogy with other place names with this very common unstressed ending.