Type Surname (from nickname)
Other Forms FormsCrabbe, Crab, Krabb, Krabbe, Krab
Edit Status Status [show contributor]
Meaning & History
English and Scottish, from Middle English crabbe, Old English crabba ‘crab’ (the crustacean), a nickname for someone with a peculiar gait. English and Scottish from Middle English crabbe ‘crabapple (tree)’ (probably of Old Norse origin), hence a topographic name for someone who lived by a crabapple tree. It may also have been a nickname for a cantankerous person, a sense which developed primarily from this word, with reference to the sourness of the fruit, but may also have been influenced by the awkward-seeming locomotion of the crustacean. Americanized spelling of German, Dutch, and Danish Krabbe.