AnkjærDanish From a place name meaning 'water-hole with ducks.'
ArgyllScottish, Scottish Gaelic From the regional name Argyll, a county of southwestern Scotland, named in Gaelic as Earre Ghàidheal ‘coast of the Gaels’. Argyll was the earliest part of Scotland to be settled by Gaelic speakers from Ireland from the 6th century onwards... [more]
ArmourScottish, Northern Irish From Middle English, Old French armure, blended with the agent noun armer (see Armer), hence an occupational name for a maker of arms and armor. The collective noun armure denoted offensive weapons as well as the more recently specialized sense of protective gear.
AshbyEnglish English: habitational name from any of the numerous places in northern and eastern England called Ashby, from Old Norse askr ‘ash’ or the Old Norse personal name Aski + býr ‘farm’.
AshcroftEnglish English (chiefly Lancashire) topographic name from Middle English asche ‘ash tree’ + croft ‘enclosure’, or a habitational name from a minor place named with these elements.
AsonEnglish The name Ason comes from Aythe where Aythe filius Thome received a charter of the lands of Fornochtis in Strathearn from Robert the Steward (later known as Robert II) around 1360. The next of the line was called Johem ayson iuuene... [more]
BaChinese Chinese from the name of the kingdom of Ba, which existed in Sichuan during the Zhou dynasty (1122–221 bc). Descendants of some of the ruling class adopted the name of the kingdom as their surname... [more]
BardenEnglish English: habitational name from places in North and West Yorkshire named Barden, from Old English bere ‘barley’ (or the derived adjective beren) + denu ‘valley’.
BarnerEnglish Southern English habitational name for someone who lived by a barn.
BarwickEnglish, German English: habitational name from any of various places called Barwick, for example in Norfolk, Somerset, and West Yorkshire, from Old English bere ‘barley’ + wic ‘outlying farm’, i.e. a granary lying some distance away from the main village.... [more]
BeethovenDutch, Flemish Combination of beeth 'beetroot' and hoven, the plural of Hof, meaning 'farm'. Beethoven is therefore 'beetroot farms'. There is a village named Betthoven in the province of Liège.
BeresfordEnglish English: habitational name from a place in the parish of Alstonfield, Staffordshire named Beresford, from Old English beofor ‘beaver’ (or possibly from a byname from this word) + Old English ford ‘ford’... [more]
BernerGerman, Low German German habitational name, in Silesia denoting someone from a place called Berna (of which there are two examples); in southern Germany and Switzerland denoting someone from the Swiss city of Berne. ... [more]
BerrettaItalian From berretta, originally meaning ‘hooded cloak’ (Latin birrus), later ‘headdress’, ‘bonnet’, hence a metonymic occupational name for a maker of such headgear or a nickname for an habitual wearer.
BirchEnglish, German, Danish, Swedish (Rare) From Middle High German birche, Old English birce, Old Danish birk, all meaning "birch". This was likely a topographic name for someone living by a birch tree or a birch forest... [more]
BlufordEnglish, American (South) Possibly an English habitational name from a lost or unidentified place. The name occurs in records of the 19th century but is now very rare if not extinct in the British Isles. In the U.S. it is found chiefly in TX and TN.
BoldtGerman From the Germanic personal name Baldo, a short form of the various compound names with the first element bald ‘bold’.
BongiornoItalian Italian from the medieval personal name Bongiorno (composed of bono ‘good’ + giorno ‘day’), bestowed on a child as an expression of the parents’ satisfaction at the birth (‘it was a good day when you were born’).
CamperEnglish Respelling of German Kamper or Kämpfer (see Kampfer). The surname Camper is recorded in England, in the London and Essex area, in the 19th century; its origin is uncertain, but it may have been taken there from continental Europe.
CampionNorman, French English (of Norman origin) and French: status name for a professional champion (see Champion, Kemp), from the Norman French form campion.
CarlingSwedish From the personal name Karl, which is also a common place name prefix, and the common surname suffix -ing "belonging to".
CarreraSpanish, Italian Spanish: topographic name for someone living by a main road, carrera ‘thoroughfare’, originally a road passable by vehicles as well as pedestrians (Late Latin carraria (via), a derivative of carrum ‘cart’), or a habitational name from any of various places named with this word.... [more]
CassattFrench Origin uncertain. This is not known as a surname in Britain. It may be an Americanized form of a French name such as Casault.
ClevelandNorwegian (Anglicized) Americanized spelling of Norwegian Kleiveland or Kleveland, habitational names from any of five farmsteads in Agder and Vestlandet named with Old Norse kleif "rocky ascent" or klefi "closet" (an allusion to a hollow land formation) and land "land".
CobainScottish This unusual surname is of Old Norse origin and is found particularly in Scotland. It derives from an Old Norse personal name Kobbi, itself from an element meaning large, and the Gaelic bain, denoting a fair person, with the diminutive ('little' or 'son of') form Cobbie.
CrabbEnglish, Scottish, German, Dutch, Danish 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... [more]
CranshawEnglish From Cranshaw in Lancashire, named from Old English cran(uc) ‘crane’ + sceaga ‘grove’, ‘thicket’.
DearyEnglish Nickname for a noisy or troublesome person, from Anglo-French de(s)rei ‘noise’, ‘trouble’, ‘turbulence’ (from Old French desroi). topographic for someone who lived by a deer enclosure, from Old English deor ‘deer’ + (ge)hæg ‘enclosure’.
DevoreFrench French: variant of De Var, a habitational name for someone from a place named Var, for example in Charente. Respelling of French Devors, a habitational name, with the preposition de, for someone from Vors in Aveyron.
DiamondEnglish English variant of Dayman (see Day). Forms with the excrescent d are not found before the 17th century; they are at least in part the result of folk etymology.
DineenIrish (Anglicized) Reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Duinnín which meant "descendant of Duinnín". The byname Duinnín was derived from a diminutive of Gaelic donn meaning "brown" (i.e. "brown-haired man") or "chieftain".
DundasScottish, Northern Irish Scottish and northern Irish (Counties Leitrim and Fermanagh): habitational name from Dundas, a place near Edinburgh, Scotland, which is named from Gaelic dùn ‘hill’ + deas ‘south’.
DuyckDutch Dutch nickname from Middle Dutch duuc ‘duck’; in some cases the name may be a derivative of Middle Dutch duken ‘to dive’ and cognate with Ducker... [more]
DyckDutch Topographic name for someone who lived by a dike, Dutch dijk. Compare Dyke.
EamesEnglish Probably from the possessive case of the Middle English word eam ‘uncle’, denoting a retainer in the household of the uncle of some important local person. Possibly also a variant of Ames.
EastleyEnglish A Saxon village called East Leah has been recorded to have existed since 932 AD. (Leah is an ancient Anglo-Saxon word meaning 'a clearing in a forest'). There is additional evidence of this settlement in a survey from the time which details land in North Stoneham being granted by King Æthelstan to his military aid, Alfred in 932 AD... [more]
EgedeScandinavian Derived from a place name on Sjælland containing the name element EIK meaning "oak".
EichGerman German from Middle High German eich(e) ‘oak’, hence a topographic name for someone who lived near an oak tree. In some cases, it may be a habitational name for someone from any of several places named with this word, for example Eiche or Eichen, or for someone who lived at a house distinguished by the sign of an oak.
EichhornGerman, Jewish German topographic name for someone who lived on or near an oak-covered promontory, from Middle High German eich(e) ‘oak’ + horn ‘horn’, ‘promontory’. German from Middle High German eichhorn ‘squirrel’ (from Old High German eihhurno, a compound of eih ‘oak’ + urno, from the ancient Germanic and Indo-European name of the animal, which was later wrongly associated with hurno ‘horn’); probably a nickname for someone thought to resemble the animal, or alternatively a habitational name for someone who lived at a house distinguished by the sign of a squirrel... [more]
EiseleGerman From a short pet form of the personal name Isenhart, from Old High German isan ‘iron’ + hart ‘hardy’, ‘strong’. From Isenlin, a compound of Middle High German isen ‘iron’ + the hypocoristic suffix -lin, hence a nickname for a blacksmith, ironworker, or dealer in iron.
EllenderGerman Respelling of German Elender, a nickname for a stranger or newcomer, from Middle High German ellende ‘strange’, ‘foreign’, or a habitational name for someone from any of twenty places named Elend, denoting a remote settlement, as for example in the Harz Mountains or in Carinthia, Austria.
EllicotScottish The Ellicot family name was first used by descendants of the Pictish people of ancient Scotland. It is a name for someone who lived in Liddesdale and Teviotdale where the family has a long and distinguished history dating back to the early Middle Ages... [more]
EllinghamEnglish Habitational name from places so named in Hampshire, Northumbria, and Norfolk. The first of these is named from Old English Edlingaham ‘homestead (Old English ham) of the people of Edla’, a personal name derived from a short form of the various compound names with a first element ead ‘prosperity’, ‘fortune’; the others may have the same origin or incorporate the personal name Ella (see Ellington).
EngelbertGerman, English, French From a Germanic personal name composed of engel (see Engel) + berht ‘bright’, ‘famous’. The widespread popularity of the name in France during the Middle Ages was largely a result of the fact that it had been borne by a son-in-law of Charlemagne; in the Rhineland it was more often given in memory of a bishop of Cologne (1216–25) of this name, who was martyred.
EsauWelsh, German From the Biblical personal name Esau, meaning ‘hairy’ in Hebrew (Genesis 25:25).
EslerGerman German: byname or occupational name for someone who drove donkeys, from Middle High German esel ‘donkey’ + the agent suffix -er.
EvermoreEnglish From ever + more, meaning "at all times; all the time; forever, eternally;" Replacing evermo from Old English æfre ma.
EvertonEnglish Habitational name from any of various places, in Bedfordshire, Merseyside, and Nottinghamshire, so named from Old English eofor ‘wild boar’ + tun ‘settlement’.
EvolaItalian Perhaps a topographic name from Italian ebbio, a type of plant known as danewort in English (genus Sambucus), itself derived from Latin ebullus; alternatively, it may have been a habitational name for a person from a minor place named with this word... [more]
FallowEnglish, Jewish English: topographic name for someone who lived by a patch of fallow land, Middle English falwe (Old English f(e)alg). This word was used to denote both land left uncultivated for a time to recover its fertility and land recently brought into cultivation.... [more]
ForetFrench, French Creole From Old French forest ‘forest’, a topographic name for someone who lived in or near a royal forest, or an occupational name for a keeper or worker in one. See also Forrest... [more]
ForsytheScottish, Northern Irish This surname has two possible origins. The more accepted explanation is that it comes from the Gaelic given name Fearsithe, which means "man of peace" from the elements fear "man" and sithe "peace"... [more]
FoulksEnglish English from a Norman personal name, a short form of various Germanic names formed with folk ‘people’. See also Volk.
FussMedieval Low German German from Middle High German fus ‘foot’, hence most probably a nickname for someone with some peculiarity or deformity of the foot, but perhaps also a topographic name for someone who lived at the foot of a hill.
GableEnglish Northern English: of uncertain origin, perhaps a habitational name from a minor place named with Old Norse gafl ‘gable’, which was applied to a triangular-shaped hill. The mountain called Great Gable in Cumbria is named in this way.... [more]
GalbraithScottish, Scottish Gaelic Ethnic name for someone descended from a tribe of Britons living in Scotland, from Gaelic gall ‘stranger’ + Breathnach ‘Briton’ (i.e. ‘British foreigner’). These were either survivors of the British peoples who lived in Scotland before the Gaelic invasions from Ireland in the 5th century (in particular the Welsh-speaking Strathclyde Britons, who survived as a distinctive ethnic group until about the 14th century), or others who had perhaps migrated northwestwards at the time of the Anglo-Saxon invasions.
GarfinkelYiddish Jewish (Ashkenazic) ornamental name or nickname from Yiddish gorfinkl ‘carbuncle’, German Karfunkel. This term denoted both a red precious or semi-precious stone, especially a garnet or ruby cut into a rounded shape (in which case it is an ornamental name), and a large inflamed growth on the skin like a large boil (in which case it is a descriptive nickname).
GatlinEnglish English of uncertain origin; probably a variant of Catlin or Gadling, a nickname from Old English gœdeling ‘kinsman’, ‘companion’, but also ‘low fellow’.
GatlinGerman Possibly an altered spelling of German Göttling, from a Germanic personal name formed with god ‘god’ or god ‘good’ + -ling suffix of affiliation, or, like Gättling (of which this may also be an altered form), a nickname from Middle High German getlinc ‘companion’, ‘kinsman’.
GilliardFrench, Swiss French and Swiss French from a derivative of Gillier, from the Germanic personal name Giselher, composed of gisil ‘hostage’, ‘pledge’, ‘noble offspring’ (see Giesel) + heri ‘army’.
GognonFrench, Occitan Nickname for an aggressive or belligerent man, from Old French Gagnon ‘ mastiff’, ‘guard dog’. Possibly from Occitan ganhon ‘young pig’, applied as an offensive nickname. See also Gonyeau.
GradenScottish Habitational name from the lands of Graden in Berwickshire.
GrangeEnglish, French English and French topographic name for someone who lived by a granary, from Middle English, Old French grange (Latin granica ‘granary’, ‘barn’, from granum ‘grain’)... [more]
GrawertLow German, German (East Prussian) As a Low German name, Grawert is derived from Middle High German grā and Old High German grāo "gray" (originally "shimmery, gleaming"). As a surname, it was a nickname given to someone with gray hair.... [more]
GuentherGerman German: from a Germanic personal name composed of gund ‘battle’ + hari, heri ‘army’.
GuidryFrench (Cajun) From a personal name based on the Germanic root waido ‘hunt’. The name is particularly associated with Cajuns in LA, who seem all to be descended from Claude Guédry dit Grivois, who arrived in Acadia before 1671.... [more]
GuitryFrench Based on a personal name composed of the Germanic elements wid(u), wit- ‘wood’ + ric ‘power(ful)’.
GustGerman German: from a short form of the personal name Jodocus, which is either a Latinized form of a Breton name, Iodoc, borne by a 7th-century Breton saint (compare Jost and Joyce) or from a reduced form of the personal name Augustus.... [more]
HailesScottish, English Scottish habitational name from Hailes in Lothian, originally in East Lothian, named from the Middle English genitive or plural form of hall ‘hall’. ... [more]
HalliwellEnglish Derived from various place names in England named with Old English halig "holy" and well "spring, well".
HallowEnglish English: topographic name from Middle English hal(l)owes ‘nooks’, ‘hollows’, from Old English halh (see Hale). In some cases the name may be genitive, rather than plural, in form, with the sense ‘relative or servant of the dweller in the nook’.
HambergGerman, Danish, Jewish German, Danish, and Jewish (Ashkenazic) habitational name from any of several places named Hamberg. Jewish (Ashkenazic) variant of Hamburg.
HambergerGerman, Jewish German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) habitational name for someone from any of various places named Hamberg. Jewish (Ashkenazic) variant of Hamburger.
HamburgGerman, Jewish German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) habitational name from the great city and port at the mouth of the river Elbe, named with the Germanic elements ham ‘water meadow’ + burg ‘fortress’, ‘fortified town’.
HasleyEnglish Habitational name of uncertain origin. The surname is common in London, and may be derived from Alsa (formerly Assey) in Stanstead Mountfitchet, Essex (recorded as Alsiesheye in 1268). nother possible source is Halsway in Somerset, named from Old English hals ‘neck’ + weg ‘way’, ‘road’.
HeathcoteEnglish English habitational name from any of various places called Heathcote, for example in Derbyshire and Warwickshire, from Old English h?ð ‘heathland’, ‘heather’ + cot ‘cottage’, ‘dwelling’.
HeilandGerman South German: from Middle High German heilant ‘savior’, ‘Christ’, presumably either a name given to someone who had played the part of Christ in a mystery play or an occupational name for a healer, from Middle High German heilen ‘to heal’, ‘save’.
HemsleyEnglish English: habitational name from either of two places in North Yorkshire called Helmsley. The names are of different etymologies: the one near Rievaulx Abbey is from the Old English personal name Helm + Old English leah ‘wood’, ‘clearing’, whereas Upper Helmsley, near York, is from the Old English personal name Hemele + Old English eg ‘island’, and had the form Hemelsey till at least the 14th century
HenleyEnglish, Irish, German (Anglicized) English: habitational name from any of the various places so called. Most, for example those in Oxfordshire, Suffolk, and Warwickshire, are named with Old English héan (the weak dative case of heah ‘high’, originally used after a preposition and article) + Old English leah ‘wood’, ‘clearing’... [more]
HensleyEnglish Probably a habitational name from either of two places in Devon: Hensley in East Worlington, which is named with the Old English personal name Heahmund + Old English leah ‘(woodland) clearing’, or Hensleigh in Tiverton, which is named from Old English hengest ‘stallion’ (or the Old English personal name Hengest) + leah... [more]
HolbrookEnglish, German (Anglicized) English: habitational name from any of various places, for example in Derbyshire, Dorset, and Suffolk, so called from Old English hol ‘hollow’, ‘sunken’ + broc ‘stream’. ... [more]
HolladayEnglish English: from Old English haligdæg ‘holy day’, ‘religious festival’. The reasons why this word should have become a surname are not clear; probably it was used as a byname for one born on a religious festival day.
IretonEnglish Habitational name from either of two places in Derbyshire called Ireton, or one in North Yorkshire called Irton. All of these are named from the genitive case of Old Norse Íri ‘Irishmen’ (see Ireland) + tun ‘enclosure’, ‘settlement’.... [more]
JüngerGerman, Jewish German (Jünger) distinguishing name, from Middle High German jünger ‘younger’, for the younger of two bearers of the same personal name, usually a son who bore the same name as his father... [more]
KarjalaFinnish Finnish from karja ‘cattle’ + the local suffix -la, or possibly from a word of Germanic origin, harja- ‘host’, ‘crowd’, Old Swedish haer. Historic records suggest that the Germanic inhabitants of the area around Lake Ladoga (in present-day Russia) used this term to refer to the Finns who once lived there.
KelmGerman Germanized form of Polish Chelm ‘peak’, ‘hill’, a topographic name for someone who lived by a hill with a pointed summit, or habitational name from a city in eastern Poland or any of various other places named with this word.
KeltonScottish Scottish habitational name from the village of Kelton in the parish of the same name in Kirkcudbrightshire.
KemperGerman, Dutch German: status name denoting a peasant farmer or serf, an agent noun derivative of Kamp ... [more]
KensitEnglish A surname of Old English, pre-7th-century origins. It derives from a locality, probably either Kingsettle in Somerset, which translates as "the seat of the King", and is believed to relate to Alfred the Great, or possibly Kingside in Cumberland, or to some now lost village or town with a similar spelling.