BorrelliItalian There are three possible origins of this surname. It could derive from some place names located in Catania and Campania -two Italian southern regions. Another hypothesis is that it derives from the Celtic word borro, meaning "proud" or maybe "ditch"... [more]
BorresenDanish The Danish surname Borresen has two origins. Boerresen is composed of -sen 'son' + the given name Boerre, the modern equivalent of Old Norse Byrgir 'the helper' (from proto-Indo-European root BHER- 'to carry, bear')... [more]
BorsheimNorwegian (Rare) Habitational name from either of two farmsteads in Norway: Borsheim in Rogaland and Børsheim in Hordaland. Borsheim is a combination of an unknown first element and Norwegian heim "home", while Børsheim is a combination of Old Norse byrgi "fence, enclosure" and heim.
BosinneyCornish Denotes the original bearer came from Bossiney, Cornwall. Bossiney comes from Cornish Bod and Cini, meaning "Cini's dwelling," with Cini being a Cornish name of unknown meaning.... [more]
BosleyEnglish English habitation surname derived from the Old English personal name Bosa and the Old English leah "clearing, field". It's also possibly a variant of the French surname Beausoleil meaning "beautiful sun" from the French beau 'beautiful, fair' and soleil 'sun'... [more]
BoşnakTurkish Means "Bosniak" in Turkish. One of the only major ethnic groups that adopted Islam during the Ottoman Empire. A huge diaspora of Bosniaks live in Turkey and many Turks have Bosniak heritage.
BoswellFrench (Anglicized) "The name Boswell is an Anglicization of the name of a French village: Boseville (Beuzeville)". This was a village of 1400 inhabitants near Yvetot, in Normandy. (from “A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames”, by Charles W. Bardsley, New York, 1901)... [more]
BotelhoPortuguese, Portuguese (Brazilian) From the Portuguese word botelho, which can denote a measure of grain, a grain sack, or seaweed, and was probably applied as an occupational name for a grain dealer or a gatherer of kelp or seaweed.
BotkinRussian This was the surname of Evgeniy Botkin ( 1865 - 1918) who was the Russian court physician. He remained loyal to the family of Tsar Nicholas II Romanov when the revolution occurred and followed them into exile in Siberia... [more]
BotticelliItalian Etymology uncertain. It can derive from the Italian word botte meaning "barrel" and from the occupation bottaio meaning "cooper". In the case of Sandro Botticelli it has probably another origin... [more]
BoudreauxFrench Variant of Beaudreau. Originated in ancient area known as Languedoc, where the family was established. Comes from having lived in Languedoc, where the name was found since the early Middle Ages.
BouhiredArabic (Maghrebi) Meaning unknown. A notable bearer is Djamila Bouhired (1935-), an Algerian militant and nationalist who opposed the French rule over Algeria.
BouhoucheBerber, Northern African Kabyle name possibly derived from Arabic أَبُو (ʾabū) meaning "father" and حَوْش (ḥawš) meaning "courtyard, enclosure, farm" (chiefly Algerian).
BoujettifNorthern African (Archaic) Meaning, "The family of the son of the Clever Head" or "One Whom Possess a Clever Head." Bou (normally used in the North African Regions of the Maghrib Countries) has 2 possible derivative meanings both originating from the Arabic language, "Son of..." or an Arabic word Tho meaning, "One Who Possess A Quality." Jettif is a variance of Jettef, Jeif or Ji'f which is derived from the ancient Tamazight or Imazighen (popularly known as Berber) and is pronounced "j-ixf" which means Clever, head, or brain."
BoumedieneArabic (Maghrebi) Means "father of Midian" in Arabic (chiefly Algerian). A notable bearer was Houari Boumediene (1932-1978), born as Mohamed ben Brahim Boukharouba, an Algerian revolutionary who served as the second President of Algeria from 1976-1978.
BourassaIndian Seems to be an Indian name. I am in touch with a relative whose family were Pottawatomi Indians in Oklahoma. This name comes from that reservation.
BourbonFrench The Bourbons were one of the most important ruling houses of Europe . Its members were descended from Louis I, duc de Bourbon from 1327 to 1342, the grandson of the French king Louis IX (ruled 1226-70)... [more]
BouteflikaArabic (Maghrebi) Possibly means "one who makes things explode" in Algerian Arabic. A famous bearer is Abdelaziz Bouteflika (1937-), who served as president of Algeria from 1999 to 2019.
BoutellaArabic (Maghrebi, Rare) Means "father of the mountain" or "father of the hill", from Arabic أَبُو (ʾabū) meaning "father (of)" and تَلّ (tall) meaning "hill, foothill". Two notable bearers include father and daughter Safy (1950-) and Sofia (1982-) Boutella, an Algerian singer and an Algerian-French actress, respectively.
BowdenEnglish Habitational name from any of several places called Bowden or Bowdon, most of them in England. From Old English boga "bow" and dun "hill", or from Old English personal names Buga or Bucge combined with dun.... [more]
BowdlerFlemish, English Originally de Boelare it evolved to Bowdler or Bowdle after Baldwin de Boelare came to England in 1105 & was given a lordship over Montgomery, Wales.
BoweMedieval English, English, Irish (Anglicized) There are three possible sources of this surname, the first being that it is a metonymic occupational name for a maker or seller of bows, a vital trade in medieval times before the invention of gunpowder, and a derivative of the Old English pre 7th Century 'boga', bow, from 'bugan' to bend... [more]
BowieScottish Gaelic Scots Gaelic Bhuidhe or Buidhe meaning "golden yellow". Name was originally Mac Gille Bhuid, meaning "son of the yellow-haired lad". It was shortened to MacilBuie and MacilBowie in the 1600's, and further shortened in the 1700's to Buie and anglicised to Bowie by English speaking census takers and record keepers on the Scottish mainland.
BowkerEnglish A surname of French origin, from the occupational term for 'butcher' (boucher). Some theories have it that it derives from OE 'bocer', meaning a scribe, but the former is more likely and is more widely affirmed.
BraaksmaFrisian (Dutchified, Modern, Rare) Topographic name for someone who lived by a piece of wasteland or newly cultivated land, from Frisian, Dutch braak ‘fallow’, ‘waste’ + Frisian ma ‘man’. The suffix -ma indicating that it is of Frisian origin.
BrackenIrish From Irish Ó Breacáin meaning "descendant of Breacán", a personal name from a diminutive of breac 'speckled', 'spotted', which was borne by a 6th-century saint who lived at Ballyconnel, County Cavan, and was famous as a healer; St... [more]
BrahamEnglish From the name of a town called Braham, probably derived from Old English brom meaning "broom (a type of plant)" and ham meaning "home, settlement" or hamm meaning "river meadow".
BraheDanish (Rare), Swedish (Rare) Danish and Swedish noble family with roots in Scania and Halland, southern Sweden (both provinces belonged to Denmark when the family was founded). A notable bearer was Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601).
BraleyEnglish (American) A New England variant spelling of Brailey. French: from a diminutive of Brael, from Old French braiel, a belt knotted at the waist to hold up breeches; presumably an occupational name for a maker of such belts... [more]
BramahEnglish From a place called either Bramall, or Bramhall formerly Bromale. From old english brom "broom" and halh, "nook, recess"
BrambleEnglish This surname is taken from the word which refers to a common blackberry (British) or any of several closely related thorny plants in the Rubus genus (US). It also refers to any thorny shrub. The word is derived from Old English bræmbel with a euphonic -b- inserted from the earlier bræmel or brémel, which is then derived from Proto-Germanic *bræmaz meaning "thorny bush."
BrancacciaItalian (Rare) Derived from the medieval Italian given name Brancazia, which is the feminine form of the masculine given name Brancazio. For more information, please see the entry for the patronymic surname Brancazio... [more]
BrancaccioItalian Variant form of Brancazio. There are a few sources that claim that the surname is derived from a place name (which would make it a locational surname), but that claim is incorrect, as all Italian geographical places carrying the name Brancaccio were either established long after the Middle Ages (by which time virtually all Italians already had a hereditary surname) or were named after a person who had Brancaccio for a surname... [more]
BrancaleoneItalian Derived from the medieval Italian masculine given name Brancaleone, which means either "a lion's paw" or "he who captures the lion". In the case of the former meaning, the name is derived from Italian branca meaning "paw, claw" combined with Italian leone meaning "lion"... [more]
BrancatellaItalian (Rare) Derived from the feminine given name Brancatella, which is a diminutive of the medieval Italian given name Brancazia, the feminine form of the masculine given name Brancazio. For more information about this, please see the entry for the patronymic surname of Brancazio... [more]
BrancatelloItalian (Rare) Derived from the masculine given name Brancatello, which is a diminutive of the medieval Italian given name Brancazio, itself ultimately derived from the late Latin given name Brancatius... [more]
BrancatoItalian This surname can be derived from a given name (thus making it a patronymic surname) as well as from a place name (thus making it a locational surname). In the case of a patronymic surname, the surname is derived from the medieval Italian given name Brancato, which is a variant form of the given name Brancazio, itself ultimately derived from the late Latin given name Brancatius... [more]
BrancazioItalian (Rare) Derived from the medieval Italian masculine given name Brancazio, which itself is derived from Brancatius (also found spelled as Brancaccius and Brancatus), a late Latin corruption of the given name Pancratius... [more]
BrandenburgGerman (East Prussian, Rare) From a state in eastern Germany, formerly known as Prussia, containing the capital city of Berlin. Ancient. Associated with the Margravate (Dukedom) of Brandenburg, the seat of power in the Holy Roman Empire... [more]
BrandisGerman, Jewish, Swiss German & Swiss: Habitational name from a former Brandis castle in Emmental near Bern, Switzerland, or from any of the places so named in Saxony, Germany. A famous bearer of the name is Jonathan Brandis (1976-2003).... [more]
BrandybuckLiterature Brandybuck is the surname of Meriadoc, a young Hobbit in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings." Possibly derived from the Brandywine River, which in turn is derived from Sindarin Baranduin, "Brown River"... [more]
BransbyEnglish (British) English locational name from the village of Bransby in Lincolnshire. The place name is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Branzbi' and later (1115) as 'Brandesby'. These recordings showing that the derivation is from the Old Norse personal name Brandr meaning "sword" and byr, the whole meaning being "Brand's village" or "homestead"... [more]
BrasDutch, Low German Dutch and North German: from Old French and Middle Dutch bras ‘arm’. This was probably a descriptive nickname for someone with some peculiarity of the arm, but the word was also used as a measure of length, and may also have denoted a surveyor.
BratovRussian Derived either from Russian брат (brat) meaning "brother" or from a short form BRAT of various Old Russian given names.
BratténSwedish (Rare) Composed of the personal name Bratt and the common surname suffix -én (ultimately from Latin -enius "descendant of").
BrattenScottish (Anglicized) Anglicized form of the Gaelic surname Mac an Bhreatnaich ‘son of the Briton’, originally denoting a Strathclyde Welsh-speaking Briton. It was applied in Ireland also to people from Brittany.
BravoSpanish, Spanish (Mexican), Portuguese From a Spanish and Portuguese nickname for a fierce or violent man (from Spanish and Portuguese bravo "fierce, violent"). This surname was borne by Charles Bravo (1845-1876), a British lawyer and possible murder victim.
BraybrookeEnglish From the name of the Northamptonshire village of Braybrooke, meaning "the broad brook."
BreakspearEnglish From a medieval nickname for someone who had achieved notable success in jousts or in battle. Nicholas Breakspear (?1100-1159) was the original name of Pope Hadrian IV, the only English pope.
BreedEnglish Habitational name from any of various minor places, for example Brede in Sussex, named with Old English brǣdu "breadth, broad place" (a derivative of brād "broad").
BreedloveEnglish Probably from a medieval nickname for a likable or popular person (from Middle English breden "to produce" + love). This surname is borne by Craig Breedlove (1937-), US land-speed record holder.
BresserEnglish The surname is derived from the old English word brasian, meaning to make out of brass. This would indicate that the original bearer of the name was a brass founder by trade. The name is also derived from the old English Broesian which means to cast in brass and is the occupational name for a worker in brass.