Denoted a person who lived near a ridge, from Old English hrycg
Denoted a person who lived near a river, from Middle English, from Old French riviere
, from Latin riparius
Patronymic derived from Middle English rond
meaning "round, plump"
, ultimately from Latin rotundus
Originally indicated a person who lived in an overgrown valley, from Old English ruh
"rough, overgrown" and boðm
Indicated a person who lived near rushes, the grasslike plant that grows in a marsh, from Old English rysc
Topographic name. It could be a misdivision of the Middle English phrases atter ye
meaning "at the island"
or atter eye
meaning "at the river"
. In some cases it merely indicated a person who lived where rye was grown or worked with rye (from Old English ryge
From Old English, indicated the original nearer lived on sandy ground.
English nickname meaning "wild, uncouth"
, derived from Old French salvage
meaning "untamed", ultimately from Latin silvaticus
meaning "wild, from the woods".
Occupational name meaning "sawer of wood, woodcutter"
in Middle English, ultimately from Old English sagu
meaning "saw". Mark Twain used it for the main character in his novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
From Dutch school
, ultimately from Latin schola
, indicating a person who worked at or lived near a school.
Denoted a person from a town by this name in Buckinghamshire, England. It is derived from that of a river combined with Old English broc
Sergeant English, French
Occupational name derived from Old French sergent
, ultimately from Latin servire
From the name of the city of Soissons in northern France, itself derived from the name of the Celtic tribe of the Suessiones.
Nickname for a keen person, from Old English scearp "sharp"
Occupational name meaning "shepherd, sheep herder"
, from Old English sceaphyrde
From a nickname for a short person, from Middle English schort
Originally indicated a dweller on a hill range or ridge, from Spanish sierra "mountain range"
, derived from Latin serra
From a nickname for a person with grey hair, from Old English seolfor "silver"
Occupational name for a person who skinned animals, from Old Norse skinn
Occupational name indicating that an early member worked covering roofs with slate, from Old French esclat
"shard", of Germanic origin.
From a nickname for a small person, from Middle English smal
Means "metalworker, blacksmith"
from Old English smiþ
, related to smitan
"to smite, to hit". It is the most common surname in most of the English-speaking world. A famous bearer was the Scottish economist Adam Smith (1723-1790).
Song Chinese, Korean
From Chinese 宋 (sòng)
referring to the Song dynasty, which ruled China from 960 to 1279.
Name for a person who lived near the southern gate of a town or in a town named Southgate, from Old English suþ
From an Old Norse nickname or byname derived from sparkr
From Old English spere "spear"
, an occupational name for a hunter or a maker of spears, or a nickname for a thin person.
Occupational name for a maker of spoons or a maker of shingles, derived from Middle English spone
meaning "chip of wood, spoon".
From a nickname for a big person, derived from Middle English stack "haystack"
, of Old Norse origin.
Originally denoted a person from Étampes near Paris. It was called Stampae
in Latin, but the ultimate origin is uncertain.
Stark English, German
From a nickname meaning "strong, rigid"
, from Old English stearc
or Old High German stark
Occupational name for one who tended horses, derived from Middle English steed
, in turn derived from Old English steda
Derived from city of Stirling, which is itself of unknown meaning.
Stern 1 English
From Old English styrne
meaning "stern, severe"
. This was used as a nickname for someone who was stern, harsh, or severe in manner or character.
Name for a person who lived near a prominent stone or worked with stone, derived from Old English stan
Strand Norwegian, Swedish, Danish
From Old Norse strǫnd
meaning "beach, sea shore"
. It was originally given to someone who lived on or near the sea.
Derived from Middle English strange
, ultimately from Latin extraneus
Habitational name for a person who lived in a place called Street, for example in Somerset. It is derived from Old English stræt
meaning "Roman road"
, from Latin strata
Occupational name for a maker of string or bow strings, from Old English streng "string"
Nickname derived from Middle English strong
Locational name for one who lived near a steep hill, from Old English stigol "stile, set of steps"
From a nickname meaning "sultan, ruler"
Originally indicated the bearer was from a town of this name, derived from Old English sumor
"summer" and feld
From the name of the bird, from Old English swealwe
, a nickname for someone who resembled or acted like a swallow.
From a nickname meaning "sweet, pleasant"
, from Old English swete
Nickname for a quick person, from Old English swift
From Chinese 唐 (táng)
referring to the Tang dynasty, which ruled China from 618 to 907.
Occupational name for a person who tanned animal hides, from Old English tannian
"to tan", itself from Late Latin and possibly ultimately of Celtic origin.
From Middle English taske
meaning "task, assignment"
. A tasker was a person who had a fixed job to do, particularly a person who threshed grain with a flail.
Referred to a person who thatched roofs by attaching straw to them, derived from Old English þæc
Occupational name for a mender of kettles, pots and pans. The name could derive from the tinking sound made by light hammering on metal. It is possible that the word comes from the word tin
, the material with which the tinker worked.
Occupational name meaning "tax gatherer"
, derived from Old English toln
"toll, fee, tax".
Indicated a person who lived at the town's edge, from Old English tun
"enclosure, yard, town" and ende
Derived from Middle High German trumbe
. This surname is borne by the American president Donald Trump (1946-).
Occupational name for a fuller of cloth, derived from Old English tucian
meaning "offend, torment". A fuller was a person who cleaned and thickened raw cloth by pounding it.
Denoted one who lived near a clump of trees or bushes, from Middle English tufte "tuft, clump"
, from Old French.
Occupational name for one who worked with a lathe, derived from Old English turnian
"to turn", of Latin origin.
Twist English, Literature
Probably from the name of towns in England and Wales called Twist
. This surname was used by Charles Dickens for the hero of his novel Oliver Twist
(1838), about an orphan surviving the streets of London. Dickens probably had the vocabulary word twist
in mind when naming the character.
Means "dweller at the foot of a hill"
, from Old English under
Means "dweller at the edge of the woods"
, from Old English under
From a nickname meaning "truth"
, perhaps given originally to a truthful person.
Wade 2 English
From the Old English given name Wada
, a derivative of the word wadan
Occupational name for a person who walked on damp raw cloth in order to thicken it. It is derived from Middle English walkere
, Old English wealcan
meaning "to move".
Waller 2 English
Derived from Old English weall
, denoting a builder of walls or someone who lived near a prominent wall.
Ward 2 Irish
Anglicized form of Irish Mac an Bhaird
, which means "son of the bard"
From Old French warder
"to guard" and robe
"garment", an occupational name for a servant responsible for the clothing in a household.
Ware 2 English
From the Middle English nickname ware
meaning "wary, astute, prudent"
Warren 1 English
Denoted a person who lived near a warren, from Norman French warrene
meaning "animal enclosure"
(of Germanic origin).
From Old English weg
meaning "way, road, path"
Weaver 1 English
Occupational name for a weaver, derived from Old English wefan
Derived from Middle English welle
meaning "well, spring, water hole"
From Chinese 文 (wén)
meaning "literature, culture, writing"
West English, German
Denoted a person who lived to the west of something, or who came from the west.
Occupational name for a maker of wagon wheels, derived from Middle English whele "wheel"
Originally a nickname for a person who had white hair or a pale complexion, from Old English hwit "white"
Winter English, German, Swedish
From Old English winter
or Old High German wintar
. This was a nickname for a person with a cold personality.
From Old English winter
meaning "winter" and botm
meaning "ground, soil, bottom". This name probably referred to a winter pasture at the bottom of a lowland valley.
Wolf German, English
From Middle High German or Middle English wolf
, or else from a Germanic given name beginning with this element.
Wood English, Scottish
Originally denoted one who lived in or worked in a forest, derived from Old English wudu "wood"
From a nickname for a clever or cunning person, from Middle English yap
meaning "devious, deceitful, shrewd"
Derived from Old English geong
. This was a descriptive name to distinguish father from son.