burge 1 English (chiefly Somerset and Dorset): variant of Bridge, Old English brycg, with metathesis of u and r, as exemplified in several place names of this origin in various parts of southern England. 2 German (Bürge): from Middle High German bürge ‘bailsman’, ‘guarantor’. 3 In some cases maybe an altered spelling of Swiss Bürgi (see Burgi).
Bridge: English: from Middle English brigge ‘bridge’, Old English brycg, applied as a topographic name for someone who lived near a bridge, a metonymic occupational name for a bridge keeper, or a habitational name from any of the places named with this element, as for example Bridge in Kent or Bridge Sollers in Herefordshire. Building and maintaining bridges was one of the three main feudal obligations, along with bearing arms and maintaining fortifications. The cost of building a bridge was often defrayed by charging a toll, the surname thus being acquired by the toll gatherer.
Bürgi: Swiss German (Bürgi): from a pet form of the personal name Burkhard (see Burkhart).
Burkhart: German and Dutch: from the medieval personal name Burkhard, composed of the elements burg ‘fort’, ‘castle’ + hard ‘hardy’, ‘brave’, ‘strong’.