the surname BRAGG
I wonder whether the origin of this surname is English.
Could anyone explain me please?
Thank you
Tags:  Bragg
vote up1vote down


It's from the Celtic language. It means 'Proud, arrogant; brisk; brave'. Note that the origin of the later (medieval/late medieval) word 'brag' that we use today is of 'unknown origin' (OED).
vote up1vote down
Are you sure? Here's what I found on the McBain Gaelic Dictionary:

(Lewis), a sudden creeking noise, Norse brak.
vain boasting, Irish bragáireachd, from bragaire, boaster; from the English brag.
an explosion, peal, Old Irish braigim, pedo; Latin fragor, crash, fragare, English fragrant. See bram.
neck, throat, Irish bráighid, Old Irish bráge, g. brágat, Welsh breuant, Old Breton brehant, *brâgn@.t-; English craw, German kragen, collar, Middle High German krage, neck; Greek @Gbróghos, windpipe, English bronchitis. Bezzenberger (Stokes' Dict.), refers it ot the root of Norse barki, weazand, Greek @Gfárugx, English pharynx. bràghad is really the gen. of bràighe.
braxy; from Scottish, English braxy.

They all sort of look like they might have a Germanic origin ...just wondering what your sources are?
vote up1vote down
Well, I agree the first part looks dubious. I got it off a surname site. It would be good to know the language (not just 'Celtic') and an authentic spelling. The second part is from the Oxford English Dictionary, so that is not for me to doubt. It is not contradicted by your post, where it says that Irish bragáireachd (the only word in your post with a similar meaning to modern 'brag'; I ignore the others for now) comes from the English language! So this Irish word is even less old than the English, medieval, 'brag'. In short, if it really is an ancient name, any simillarity between the meaning of modern 'brag' and the name 'Bragg' must be coincidental.
vote up1vote down
Thanks! ...just wondering ...some of these things are "educated guesses" ...anyway even by the experts.

My own last name, Foley, arose in two different areas of Ireland from unrelated derivatives. I had assumed mine was the more popular in the south since most of my family is from there. It comes from 'fohglai', meaning a robber or plunderer while the other is in the west from a mistranslation of the word 'serraich' which is a small horse ...or a foal. It wasn't until I learned that the birthplace of my great grandfather was in Roscommon that I finally concluded mine must be descended from 'serraich' all probability.
vote up1vote down
That strikes me as very unusual, a surname with the meaning 'robber'. Got any more like that?
vote up1vote down
I think the holders of that name would prefer 'plunderer' ...I had always guessed that since it's origins were in Waterford (a county in SE Ireland) the scene of many Viking incursion that it probably had to do with the Viking raiders themselves or perhaps the Irish who raided the Viking settlements. The Vikings were the first to actually build cities in Ireland. The Irish population was totally agrarian at the time.

If you were one of them, you’d call yourself a ‘plunderer’ and if you were the victim of the plundering, you’d call them ‘robbers’...I don't really have any others that would seem to have such obvious mixed connotations, though I suspect they exist.
vote up1vote down
I found Bragi and Brage, both attibuted to a Scandinavian derivative meaning 'poet' ...

I'd suspect Bragg is one of a number of English names that came from the Vikings or Normans who settled in England. The name, of couse, now has connotations of a boaster ...which seems possibly associated with a poet.
vote up1vote down