Type Surname (from nickname & from location)
Pronounced Pron. Buhrn-el(Old English, Middle English) [key]
Other Forms FormsBurnell, Burnhill, Byrnell, Burnel, Burnil, Burnill, Bernal, Burnal, Burnall
Edit Status Status [show contributor]
Meaning & History
A name for a person with a brown complexion or dark brown hair. From the Old English burnel via the French brunel a diminutive of the French brun, which means "brown". The suffix el-- a short form of "little" was added to brun to make Brunel. Another possible origin is from Olde English as a locational surname that derives from places called Burnt-hill or Burnhill. The surname was first recorded in 1087 in Shropshire, England.