From a place name: either Annesley in Nottinghamshire or Ansley in Warwickshire. The place names themselves derive from Old English anne
"alone, solitary" or ansetl
"hermitage" and leah
From Italian albero
meaning "tree", ultimately from Latin arbor
, referring to someone who lived in the woods or worked as a woodcutter.
From the name of the Spanish town of Alburquerque, near the Portuguese border in the province of Badajoz. It is probably derived from Latin alba quercus
meaning "white oak".
Derived from Hungarian alma
meaning "apple", perhaps originally referring to a person who harvested or sold apples.
From the name of a city in the Netherlands, meaning "apple tree" in Dutch.
Indicated a person who lived by or at an apple garden, from Dutch appel
"apple" and hof
Indicated a person who was from a farm called Aperloo, probably a derivative of appel
From the name of various English towns, derived from Old English æppel
"apple" and Old Norse býr
From the name of several English towns, meaning "orchard" in Old English (a compound of æppel
"apple" and tun
From the Romanian region of Ardeal, also called Transylvania. It is possibly derived from Hungarian erdő
Originally indicated a person from the town of Aretxabaleta in Spain. It means "oak trees" in Basque.
ARITZA Spanish, Basque
From Basque aritz
meaning "oak tree". This was a nickname of Iñigo, the first king of Pamplona, Spain (9th century).
From Old English æsc
meaning "ash tree", indicating a person who lived near ash trees.
Denoted a person hailing from one of the many places in England that bear this name. The place name itself is derived from Old English æsc
"ash tree" and leah
From an English place name meaning "ash enclosure" in Old English.
Denoted a person from Assel, Asselt or Hasselt, the name of communities in the Netherlands and Belgium. They derive from Germanic asc
"ash tree" and lauha
"woods on sandy soil", or hasal
From the name of a place called Assendorp, composed of Dutch essen
, meaning "ash tree village".
From a place name, possibly from a dialectal variation of Dutch over
meaning "over" combined with esch
meaning "ash tree".
From various English place names, all derived from Old English bagga
"bag, badger" combined with leah
From the Basque place name Basurtu
, a village (now part of Bilbao) in Biscay. It means "middle of the forest".
Occupational name for a person who worked or lived at an orchard, from German Baumgarten
"orchard" (derived from Baum
"tree" and Garten
Occupational name meaning "woodcutter", derived from German Baum
"tree" and hauen
From the name of a place in Lancashire, from Old English beos
"bent grass" and leah
From French place names derived from beau
"beautiful" and chêne
From a place name derived from Old English beonet
"bent grass" and leah
"woodland, clearing". Various towns in England bear this name.
From Dutch zuid
"south" and hout
"forest". It refers to the south of the forest in The Hague.
From Old French bois
meaning "wood", originally given to someone who lived by or in a wood.
From various locations derived from Old English meaning "broad oak".
Referred to a person who cleared land, from Old French briser
"to cut" and bois
From Middle High German buoche
"beech" and holz
Derived from the name of the Bükk Mountains, which means "beech tree" in Hungarian (probably of Slavic origin).
Originally denoted someone who came from a place called Bukowo
, which derive from Polish buk
From Old French castan
"chestnut tree" (Latin castanea
), a name for someone who lived near a particular chestnut tree, or possibly a nickname for someone with chestnut-coloured hair.
From a place name, itself derived from Old French chalenge
meaning "disputed" and Middle English wode
From a place name meaning "narrow corner" or "narrow wood" in Gaelic.
From the name of the town of Cults in Aberdeenshire, derived from a Gaelic word meaning "woods".
Habitational name from Darroch near Falkirk, in Stirlingshire, said to be named from Gaelic darach
meaning "oak tree".
Indicated a person from Evreux in France, itself named after the Gaulish tribe of the Eburovices, which was probably derived from a Celtic word meaning "yew".
Means "small oak" in Czech, derived from dub
Means "from the forest", from French bois
Means "acorn" in German, indicating a person who lived near an oak tree.
Means "oak tree", from Dutch eik
"oak" and boom
Probably from a place name that was a derivative of Dutch els
meaning "alder tree".
Occupational name meaning "forester", derived from Hungarian erdő
Derived from the Basque place name Eskarzaga
, which itself is derived from Basque hazkar
FAY French, English
Referred to a person who came from various places named Fay or Faye in northern France, derived from Old French fau
"beech tree", from Latin fagus
FOREST English, French
Originally belonged to a person who lived near or in a forest. It was probably originally derived, via Old French forest
, from Latin forestam (silva)
meaning "outer (wood)".
Denoted a keeper or one in charge of a forest, or one who has charge of growing timber in a forest (see FOREST
Derived from Old High German forst
"forest". Probably unrelated to the Old French word forest
, which was derived from Latin, Old High German forst
was derived from foraha
meaning "fir tree".
Derived from Polish gaj
meaning "grove, thicket".
From Old English graf
meaning "grove". This originally indicated a person who lived near a grove (a group of trees).
Means "green forest" from German grün
"green" and Wald
Derived from either archaic Polish gwozd
meaning "forest" or gwóźdź
Means "thicket" in Czech, a diminutive of háj
Derived from a place name meaning "hare clearing", from Old English hara
"hare" and leah
Occupational name for a person who protected an enclosed forest, from Old English hæg
"enclosure, fence" and weard
From various place names meaning "fenced wood" in Old English.
Referred to someone living by a group of holly trees, from Old English holegn
HOLME English, Scottish
Referred either to someone living by a small island (northern Middle English holm
, from Old Norse holmr
) or near a holly tree (Middle English holm
, from Old English holegn
HOLMES English, Scottish
Variant of HOLME
. A famous fictional bearer was Sherlock Holmes, a detective in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's mystery stories beginning in 1887.
Occupational name for a forester's helper, from Old High German holz
"wood" and kneht
Derived from Old High German holz
"wood" and man
"man", a name for someone who lived close to a wood or worked with wood.
From various place names derived from Old English ham
meaning "home" and wudu
Means "garden, orchard" in Spanish, ultimately from Latin hortus
Originally a name for a person who lived near a thicket of trees, from Old English hyrst
From the name of a town in Cheshire. The final element is Old English leah
"woodland, clearing", while the first element might be hux
"insult, scorn". A famous bearer was the British author Aldous Huxley (1894-1963).
Derived from Czech jedle
meaning "fir tree", perhaps given to a person who lived near a prominent one.
From a place name that is probably derived from the Brythonic element cet
meaning "wood". This was the surname of a long line of Scottish nobles.
From a place name meaning "king's clearing" in Old English.
LANGLEY (1) English
From any of the various places with this name, all derived from Old English lang
"long" and leah
LEE (1) English
Originally given to a person who lived on or near a leah
, Old English meaning "woodland, clearing".
From the name of a district in Scotland, called Leamhnachd
in Gaelic, possibly meaning "place of elms".
From a Scottish clan name, earlier Lesselyn
, derived from a place name in Aberdeenshire, itself probably from Gaelic leas celyn
meaning "garden of holly".
LI (1) Chinese
From Chinese 李 (lǐ)
meaning "plum, plum tree". This was the surname of Chinese emperors of the Tang dynasty.
From Swedish lind
"linden tree" and gren
"branch". A famous bearer of this name was Swedish author Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002).
Originally from place names meaning either "flax town" or "linden tree town" in Old English.
Originally from place names meaning "linden tree forest" in Old English.
LUND Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English
Indicated a person who lived near a grove of trees, from Old Norse lundr
meaning "grove". There are towns in Sweden and Britain called Lund.
Originally from a place name meaning "linden tree hill" in Old English.
MANDEL German, Yiddish
Means "almond" in German, an occupational name for a grower or seller, or a topographic name for a person who lived near an almond tree. As a Jewish name it is ornamental.
Originally denoted a person who hailed from one of the various places in Britain called Marley
, ultimately meaning either "pleasant wood", "boundary wood" or "marten wood" in Old English. One of the main characters in Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' (1843) bears this surname.
MATA Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan
From Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan mata
meaning "trees, shrubs", possibly from Late Latin matta
meaning "reed mat".
From one of the many places with this name in Japan, derived from Japanese 松 (matsu)
meaning "pine tree, fir tree" and 本 (moto)
meaning "base, root, origin".
From the English village of Midgley in West Yorkshire, meaning "midge (insect) wood" in Old English.
Derived from Spanish moral
meaning "mulberry tree", of Latin origin.
Derived from the Middle English phrase atten ash
"at the ash tree". A famous bearer was the mathematician John Nash (1928-2015).
NOGUEIRA Portuguese, Galician
From Portuguese and Galician nogueira
meaning "walnut tree", from the Late Latin nucarius
, ultimately from Latin nux
Originally taken from a place name meaning "north wood" in Old English.
From a place name meaning "oak clearing" in Old English. It was borne by American sharpshooter Annie Oakley (1860-1926).
Ó CUILINN Irish
Means "descendant of Cuileann", Cuileann
being a nickname meaning "holly".
Means "wild olive" in Spanish, originally indicating one who lived near such a tree.
Means "elm tree" in Spanish, ultimately from Latin ulmus
. The name originally indicated a person who lived near such a tree.
Denoted a person hailing from any one of a number of farms in Norway called either Åmdal or Omdal meaning "elm valley".
Means "pilgrim", ultimately from Latin palma
"palm tree", since pilgrims to the Holy Land often brought back palm fronds as proof of their journey.
From Dutch meaning "pear tree", referring to someone who lived or worked at a pear orchard.
Denoted a person who came from Penzig, the German name for Pieńsk, a town in southwest Poland. It is derived from Polish pień
meaning "stump, tree trunk".
PEREIRA Portuguese, Galician
From Portuguese and Galician pereira
meaning "pear tree", ultimately from Latin pirum
PERRY (1) English
From Old English pirige
meaning "pear tree", a derivative of peru
meaning "pear", itself from Latin pirum
. A famous bearer was Matthew Perry (1794-1858), the American naval officer who opened Japan to the West.
Name for a person who lived near a pine tree, from Italian pino
, Latin pinus
Means "pear tree" in French, originally a nickname for someone who lived close to such a tree.
Originally indicated a person who lived in a thickly wooded area, from Latin ramus
REIS German, Jewish
From Middle High German ris
meaning "twig, branch, bush", denoting a person who lived in an overgrown area. As a Jewish name it is ornamental.
Topographic name derived from Old English rod
meaning "cleared land", or a locational name from any of the locations named with this word.
Denoted a person who hailed from one of the various places of this name in England. The places are derived from Old English geryd
"channel" or hreod
"reed" combined with leah
Means "oak wood" from Spanish roble
"oak", ultimately from Latin robur
Originally indicated a person who lived near an oak tree or forest, from Spanish roble
"oak", from Latin robur
From the name of a town in Lancashire, derived from Old Norse rá
"roebuck" and skógr
Originally given to a person who lived near a rowan tree or mountain ash.
Denoted someone who lived in Sadowo, Sadowice or other places beginning with Polish sad
Derived from Latin salix
meaning "willow tree". The name was originally given to one who lived near a willow tree.
SALLER (2) German
Denoted a person who lived by a prominent sallow tree, from Middle High German salhe
Derived from the name of a town in Spain, ultimately from Latin saltus
"forest, glade" and novalis
From Japanese 佐 (sa)
meaning "help, aid" (repeated, indicated by the iteration mark 々
) and 木 (ki)
meaning "tree, wood".
Originally indicated a person from the town of Schoorl in the province of Noord-Holland in the Netherlands. It means "forest by the shore" in Dutch.
From the name of a village that meant "willow farm" in Old English.
SHAW (1) English
Originally given to a person who lived near a prominent thicket, from Old English sceaga
meaning "thicket, copse".
From a place name, derived from Danish skov
"wood, forest" and gård
Originally indicated a person from Somogy, a region within Hungary. It may be derived from Hungarian som
meaning "cornel tree".
Means "grove of trees, small forest" in Spanish, ultimately from Latin saltus
From Czech suk
meaning "tree knot". This could either be a topographic name or a nickname for a stubborn person.
From Japanese 鈴 (suzu)
meaning "bell" and 木 (ki)
meaning "tree, wood". This is the second most common surname in Japan.
From the place name Swinglehurst
in the Forest of Bowland in central Lancashire, derived from Old English swin
"swine, pig", hyll
"hill" and hyrst
Denoted one from the region of Szilágy in Hungary, derived from Hungarian szil
meaning "elm" and ágy
From Middle English at asche
meaning "at the ash tree".
Indicated a dweller in a forest clearing or pasture, from Old Norse þveit
From an English place name, derived from Old English timber
"timber, wood" and lacu
"lake, pool, stream".
Denoted one who lived near a clump of trees or bushes, from Middle English tufte
"tuft, clump", from Old French.
Means "dweller at the edge of the woods", from Old English under
Derived from Brythonic ar
"by" and cardden
"thicket". This is the name of several places, the most famous being north of Loch Ness.
VAN ANDEL Dutch
Means "from Andel", a town in the Netherlands, possibly meaning "upper forest" in Old Dutch.
VAN AS Dutch
Means "from Asch", a town in the Netherlands, meaning "ash tree".
VAN ASSEN Dutch
Means "from Assen", a city in the Netherlands, which is possibly from essen
meaning "ash trees".
VAN HASSEL Dutch
Means "from Hassel", a town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It may be derived from Germanic hasel
meaning "hazel tree".
VAN LAAR Dutch
Derived from Dutch laar
), which means "open spot in the forest". These areas were used to graze cattle for example.
VAN ROSSUM Dutch
Means "from Rossum", a town in the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands. It is mentioned as Rotheheim
in a 9th-century document, and is derived from Dutch rothe
"cleared area in a forest" and heim
Locational name in the Eure region of Normandy, from the Gaulish element vern
"alder (tree)" with the genitive case maker onis
VON ESSEN German
Means "from Essen", a city in Germany, possibly a derivative of Old High German asc
meaning "ash tree".
Ornamental name derived from German Wald
meaning "forest" and Vogel
From the name of any of several villages in England, derived from Old English wealh
"foreigner, Celt", weald
"wall", or well
"well, spring, water hole" combined with tun
From the name of various English towns, derived from Old English west
"west" and leah
From the name of various English towns, derived from Old English wilig
meaning "willow" and Old Norse býr
Of uncertain origin. One theory suggests that it indicated a dweller by a hollow oak tree, derived from Old English womb
"hollow" and ac
WOOD English, Scottish
Originally denoted one who lived in or worked in a forest, derived from Old English wudu
Indicated a person who had a home near a wood, derived from Old English wudu
"wood" and ham
From a place name meaning "row of houses by a wood" in Old English.