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.
BriggsEnglish, Flemish This surname is a variant of the more common name Bridges, which, contrary to appearances, has two possible origins, one the perhaps obvious English topographical or occupational one, and the other locational, from Belgium... [more]
BrinkLow German, Dutch, Swedish, Danish The Dutch and Low German meaning is "village green". In Danish and Swedish, the name is thought to be a borrowing of Middle Dutch brinc / brink, meaning "grassy edge" or perhaps "slope",, and the Danish word now means "where the water runs deep".
BrinkerGerman, Dutch From the word brink "edge, slope". This indicated that the bearer of the surname lived near a prominent slope of land
BrizendineFrench, English, Jewish Derived from a personal name, probably of Celtic origin (Latinized as Britus), which was borne by a 5th century saint, who succeeded St. Martin as bishop of Tours.
BrookGerman, Dutch Topographic name for someone who lived by a water meadow or marsh, from Low German brook, Dutch broek (cf. Bruch).... [more]
BrugmanDutch, Swiss Dutch: topographic name for someone who lived near a bridge or a metonymic occupational name for a bridge keeper, from Dutch brugge ‘bridge’ (see Bridge); in some cases, it is a habitational name for someone from the Flemish city of Bruges (or Brugge), meaning ‘bridges’... [more]
BruinDutch From a medieval Dutch nickname meaning "brown", from Middle Dutch bruun "brown", making this a cognate of German Braun, English Brown and Italian Bruno... [more]
BruneauFrench Derived from a diminutive form of French brun "brown", a nickname for a person with brown hair or skin.
BrunsFrench Bruns was first found in Poitou where this noble family held a family seat since ancient times. The Bruns surname derives from the French word "brun," meaning "brown"; possibly a nickname for someone who habitually dressed in the color brown.
BrusseFrench Topographic name for someone living in a scrubby area of country, from Old French broce meaning "brushwood, scrub". It is also occupational name for a brush maker, from Old French brusse meaning "brush".
BurgerEnglish, German, Dutch Status name for a freeman of a borough. From Middle English burg, Middle High German burc and Middle Dutch burch "fortified town". Also a German habitational name for someone from a place called Burg.
BurnetteFrench Descriptive nickname from Old French burnete ‘brown’ (see Burnett). Possibly also a reduced form of Buronet, from a diminutive of Old French buron ‘hut’, ‘shack’.
CaderousseFrench, Literature A character in the classic novel The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. In the novel, Caderousse is a tailor and inkeeper who aids in the arrest of Dantès.
CadillacFrench From the name of a city in France, of origin I am not sure of (anyone who knows the name's etymology edit this). This is most notably the name of the car company of the same name, named after Detroit, Michigan founder Antoine de la Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac.
CarreFrench French (Carré): from Old French carré "square", applied as a nickname for a squat, thickset man.
CarrelFrench French: from Old French quar(r)el ‘bolt (for a crossbow)’, hence a metonymic occupational name for a maker of crossbow bolts or a nickname for a short, stout man. The word also meant ‘paving slab’, and so it could also have been a metonymic occupational name for a street layer... [more]
CasselEnglish, French, German A surname derived from the Latin military term castellum "watchtower, fort". A variant spelling of the word castle. Denoted someone hailing from the commune of Cassel in the Nord départment in northern France or the city of Kassel (spelled Cassel until 1928) in Germany... [more]
CattellAnglo-Saxon, French, Ancient Scandinavian Originated in Scandinavia as a patronym of the first name Thurkettle, a derivative of the Olde Norse name Arnkell, which is composed of arn meaning "eagle" and ketil meaning "a helmet" or "a helmeted warrior" as well as "cauldron", but helmet is the more likely translation... [more]
CaveNorman, French, English A name of various possible origins. As a Norman French name Cave can mean "bald" from cauf or it can mean "worker in a wine cellar" or "one who dwelt in or near a cave". As an English name Cave refers to a Yorkshire river whose fast current inspired the name meaning "swift".
ChabotFrench From chabot ‘bull-head’, a species of fish with a large head, hence a nickname for someone with a big head and a small body.
ChalametFrench Nickname for someone who played the reed or an occupational name for seller of torches, from a regional form of Old French chalemel meaning "reed" or "blowtorch". A notable bearer is American actor Timothée Chalamet (1995-).
ChallonerFrench, Welsh Derived from a town in France of the same name. This family derive their origin from Macloy Crum, of the line of chiefs in Wales, who resided several years in Challoner.
ChampagneFrench regional name for someone from Champagne, named in Latin as Campania (from campus 'plain', 'flat land'). This is also the name of various villages in France, and in some cases the family name may derive from one of these.
ChapdelaineFrench Compound name derived from Old French chape meaning "hooded cloak, cape, hat" and de laine meaning "of wool", probably applied as a metonymic occupational name for a maker of such apparel, or as a nickname for someone who wore a distinctive cloak or hat.
ChapelFrench Occupational name for a maker of cloaks or a nickname for a person who wore a distinctive cloak, from a diminutive of Old French chape meaning "cape, cloak".
ChapinFrench, Spanish From a reduced form of French eschapin or Spanish chapín, a term for a light (woman's) shoe; perhaps a nickname for someone who habitually wore this type of footwear or possibly a metonymic occupational name for a shoemaker.
ChaseFrench Topographic name for someone who lived in or by a house, probably the occupier of the most distinguished house in the village, from a southern derivative of Latin casa "hut, cottage, cabin".
ChellFrench Probably a respelling of the French habitational name Challe, from any of the various places so named from Late Latin cala ‘rock shelter’.
ChénierFrench French surname which indicated one who lived in an oak wood or near a conspicuous oak tree, derived from Old French chesne "oak" (Late Latin caxinus). In some cases it may be from a Louisiana dialectical term referring to "an area of shrub oak growing in sandy soil" (i.e., "beach ridge, usually composed of sand-sized material resting on clay or mud... [more]
ChoateEnglish, Dutch The names of Choate and Chute are believed to have been of common origin and derived from the residence of their first bearers at a place called Chute in Wiltshire, England. Certain historians, however, state that the name of Choate was of Dutch origin and was taken by its first bearers from their residence at a place of that name in the Netherlands.
ChopinFrench French and English: nickname for a heavy drinker, from Old French chopine, a large liquid measure (from Middle Low German schopen "ladle"). The derived Old French verb chopiner has the sense 'to tipple’, ‘to drink to excess’... [more]
ChoquetteFrench Altered spelling of French Choquet, a Picard form of Old French soquet, which was the term for a tax on wines and foodstuffs, hence a metonymic occupational name for a collector of such taxes.
ClavelFrench Metonymic occupational name for a nail maker, ultimately from Latin clavellus "nail", but in some cases possibly from the same word in the sense "smallpox, rash". A fictional bearer is Miss Clavel, a nun and teacher in Ludwig Bemelmans's 'Madeline' series of children's books (introduced in 1939).
ClavellFrench The first documented records of the surname Clavell appear in Catalunya between 1291 and 1327. The word clavell traces back to the Indo-European words "kleu", later "klawo" meaning a metal tool. In Latin "clavus", it eventually became a surname "Clavell".
ClutterbuckEnglish, Dutch (Anglicized, ?) English surname of unknown origin, possibly a corrupted form of a Dutch surname derived from Dutch klateren "to clatter" and beek "brook". The original surname may have been brought to England by Flemish weavers whom Edward III brought to England in the 14th century to teach their techniques to the English, or by Huguenots who fled the Netherlands in the 16th century to escape religious persecution... [more]
CoachFrench Possibly an altered spelling of French Coache, from the Norman and Picard term for a damson, probably applied as a metonymic occupational name for a grower or seller of plums.
CoitMedieval Welsh, French, English The surname Coit was first found in Carnarvonshire, a former country in Northwest Wales, anciently part of the Kingdom of Gwynedd, and currently is divided between the unitary authorities of Gwynedd and Conwy, where they held a family seat... [more]
CommanderAnglo-Saxon, French From Middle English comander, comandor and comandour and also from Old French comandeor, all meaning "commander", "leader" or "ruler". The first recorded use of the name is through a family seat held in Somerset.
CondomFrench Regional name for someone who lives in a French province named "Condom".
ConklinIrish, Dutch Origin unidentified. Most likely of Dutch origin (the name is found in the 18th century in the Hudson Valley), or possibly a variant of Irish Coughlin.
CorbinEnglish, French Derived from French corbeau meaning "raven," originally denoting a person who had dark hair.
CordayFrench Either from the French word corde meaning "cord/rope/string", or from the Latin word cor meaning "heart." This was the surname of Charlotte Corday, the assassin who killed Jacobin leader Jean-Paul Marat during the French revolution.
CordonnierFrench An occupational surname for a cordwainer or shoemaker, and derived from Old French cordouanier, literally meaning "cobbler".
CormierFrench French topographic name for someone who lived near a sorb or service tree, Old French cormier (from corme, the name of the fruit for which the tree was cultivated, apparently of Gaulish origin).
CossartEnglish, French From French, referring to "a dealer of horses" (related to the English word "courser"). This surname was brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066, and became one of the many Anglo-Norman words that made up Middle English.
CottonEnglish, French English: habitational name from any of numerous places named from Old English cotum (dative plural of cot) ‘at the cottages or huts’ (or sometimes possibly from a Middle English plural, coten)... [more]
CottrellEnglish, French First found in Derbyshire where the family "Cottrell" held a family seat and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege lord for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings, 1066CE... [more]
CourcellesFrench The name of several places in France, Belgium and Canada. In Middle French the word courcelle was used to describe a "small court" or a "small garden". The word is derived from the medieval Gallo-Romance and Gallo-Italian word corticella, which was formed from the Latin word cohors, meaning "court" or "enclosure", and the diminutive –icella.... [more]
CourtEnglish, French, Irish A topographic name from Middle English, Old French court(e) and curt, meaning ‘court’. This word was used primarily with reference to the residence of the lord of a manor, and the surname is usually an occupational name for someone employed at a manorial court.... [more]
CovertEnglish, French The surname is probably topographical, for someone who either lived by a sheltered bay, or more likely an area sheltered by trees. The formation is similar to couvert, meaning a wood or covert, and originally from the Latin "cooperio", to cover... [more]
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]
CraneEnglish, Dutch 1. English: nickname, most likely for a tall, thin man with long legs, from Middle English cran ‘crane’ (the bird), Old English cran, cron. The term included the heron until the introduction of a separate word for the latter in the 14th century... [more]
CrauwelsFlemish, Dutch, German Derrives from the Middle Dutch (medieval Dutch) word "crauwel" and Middle High German word "kröuwel" which means "flesh hook", "curved fork" or "trident". The word is no longer used. The first person with this name was most likely a farmer, butcher or a person that runned an inn or a hostel that was named after this tool.
CrepeauFrench From the Latin word, crispus, meaning "curly hair".
CreteFrench French (adjectival form Crété ‘crested’): nickname for an arrogant individual, from Old French creste ‘crest (of a hill)’ (Late Latin crista), used with reference to the comb of a rooster... [more]
DalmasFrench Surname Dalmas was first found in Limousin. Literally means "of the sea."
DamasFrench French form of DAMASCUS. Famous bearer Léon-Gontran Damas (1912-1978) was a French poet and politican from French Guiana, cofounder of the Négritude Mouvement and author of the collection "Black Label".
d'AmboiseFrench Denoted a person from Amboise, a commune located in the Indre-et-Loire department in central France.
DameFrench, English From the old French dame, "lady" ultimately from Latin domina, "mistress".
DameronFrench Nickname for a foppish or effeminate young man, Old French dameron, a derivative of Latin dominus "lord", "master" plus two diminutive endings suggestive of weakness or childishness.
DamianFrench, Spanish, Italian, Czech, Slovak, Polish From the medieval personal name Damian, Greek Damianos (from damazein "to subdue"). St. Damian was an early Christian saint martyred in Cilicia in ad 303 under the emperor Domitian, together with his brother Cosmas... [more]
D'aoustFrench D'Aoust, denotes someone from Aoust(e) in France. Aouste is situated in the Ardennes department (Champagne-Ardenne region) in the north-east of France at 29 km from Charleville-Mézières, the department capital... [more]
D'artagnanFrench, Literature Surname given to a person from Artagnan, France. It is also used by Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the captain of the Musketeers from the novel, "The Three Musketeers".
D'aurevalleFrench (Archaic) This medieval surname literally means "from Aurevalle". Aurevalle can refer to any of the three French communes that are nowadays known by the more modern spelling Orival. All of them ultimately derive their name from Latin aurea vallis meaning "golden vale" or "golden valley".
D'aurevilleFrench This surname literally means "from Aureville". Aureville is a commune in southwestern France, which was established in late medieval times. It derives its name from Latin aurea villa or villa aurea which literally means "golden country-house, golden farm" but of course later came to mean "golden village".
DeberryFrench Habitational name for someone from Berry-au-Bac in Aisne, France.
DeBevoiseFrench Denoted someone from Beauvais, a city and commune in northern France.
DebloisFrench French surname meaning "From Blois", a town in Mid-Western France. The origins of the surname started back in the 1600s when a man named Grégoire Guérard traveled to Flanders (Now Belgium) and immigrated to New France (Now Canada) in 1658... [more]
De BonteDutch Bont is a word to describe something with many colours, originally used for spotted cows. So the name means: The one with many colours. Figuratively speaking this would mean: The one who acts crazy.
DebussyFrench This surname dates back to the Middle Ages. Unknown meaning.
DecazesFrench The surname Decazes was first found in Gascony (French: Gascogne), an area of southwest France bordering Spain, that was part of the "Province of Guyenne and Gascony" prior to the French Revolution, where the family held a family seat in ancient times.... [more]
DeforgeFrench This is a surname of French origins. Introduced into England after the famous Invasion and Conquest of 1066, it is residential, but also possibly occupational. It is a surname which in its different forms is widely recorded heraldically, and particularly in the French regions of Brittany and Normandy... [more]