Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
Metonymic occupational name for a maker of string or thread, and derived from Old English twin
meaning "thread, string".
Occupational name for a maker of thread or twine; an agent derivative of Old English twinen
meaning "to twine".
English habitational name from any of the numerous places named Twyford, for example in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Derbyshire, Hampshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Middlesex, and Norfolk, from Old English twi-
‘double’ + ford
TYREE Scottish, English
A name that evolved among the descendants of the people of the kingdom of Dalriada in ancient Scotland.
From a place name meaning "squatter's holding" from Old English unthanc
(literally "without consent").
From the Old English male personal name Hūnwine
, literally "bearcub-friend" (later confused with Old English unwine
"enemy"). Bearers include British publisher Sir Stanley Unwin (1885-1968) and "Professor" Stanley Unwin (1911-2002), South African-born British purveyor of comical nonsense language.
Probably a habitational name from a lost or unidentified place named with Old English upp
meaning "up(per)" and sc(e)aga
meaning "copse", or a topographic name with the same meaning.
Most probably an altered spelling of English Upshire, a habitational name from Upshire in Essex, named with Old English upp
"up" and scir
"district". Alternatively, it may be a variant of UPSHAW
URBAN English, French, German, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Hungarian, Jewish
From a medieval personal name (Latin Urbanus meaning "city dweller", a derivative of urbs meaning "town", "city").
URIE Scottish, English, Irish
From the Scottish Fetteresso parish, Kincardineshire. May mean someone who is brave and loud.
Perhaps a variant of Osselton
, a habitational name from a lost or unidentified place, probably in northeastern England, where this name is most common.
Topographic name for someone who lived in a valley, Middle English vale
(Old French val
, from Latin vallis
). The surname is now also common in Ireland, where it has been Gaelicized as de Bhál.
VALEN English, Scottish
English and Scottish: from a medieval personal name, Latin VALENTINUS
, a derivative of VALENS
(see also VALENTE
), which was never common in England, but is occasionally found from the end of the 12th century, probably as the result of French influence... [more]
Means "person from Valence", southeastern France (probably "place of the brave").
Topographic name for someone who lived in a valley, Middle English valeye
VANDAL English (Rare)
A English word meaning "someone who willfully destroys or defaces property",and a member of ancient Germanic tribes.
Variant of VERITY
. A name given to actors who played the part in the medieval travelling theatres.
Variant of Farnell
. This form originated in southwestern England, where the change from F
arose from the voicing of F
that was characteristic of this area in Middle English.
Status name denoting a serf, Middle English, Old French vass(e)
, from Late Latin vassus
, of Celtic origin. Compare Welsh gwas
"boy", Gaelic foss
Means "dealer in foodstuffs" (from Old French vivres
Probably from a medieval nickname for a bold or slightly reckless person (from a reduced form of Middle English aventurous
"venturesome"). It was borne by British architect and scholar Michael Ventris (1922-1956), decipherer of the Mycenaean Greek Linear B script.
VERDIER French, Norman, English
Occupational name for a forester. Derived from Old French verdier
(from Late Latin viridarius
, a derivative of viridis
"green"). Also an occupational name for someone working in a garden or orchard, or a topographic name for someone living near one... [more]
VERNE French, English
As a French surname refers to someone who lived where alder trees grew. While the English version can mean someone who lived where ferns grew, Verne can also mean a seller of ferns which in medieval times were used in bedding, as floor coverings and as animal feed.
VERNEY English, French
The surname Verney was first found in Buckinghamshire, England, when they arrived from Vernai, a parish in the arrondissement of Bayeux in Normandy.
VICARY English (British)
There are a number of theories as to the origins of the name, Spanish sailors shipwrecked after the Armada and French Huguenots fleeing the Revolution are two of the more romantic ones. It is more likely to have come as someone associated with the church - the vicar, who carried out the pastoral duties on behalf of the absentee holder of a benefice... [more]
Means "son of the vicar". It could also be the name of someone working as a servant of a vicar.
Either (i) from a medieval nickname based on Anglo-Norman vis de leu
, literally "wolf-face"; or (ii) "violinist, fiddle player" (cf. FIEDLER
VIEIRA English (Anglicized)
A surname of British origin mainly from Ireland and Scotland but Anglicised into and english name when many Vieira's immigrated to England.
Used as a name for someone who had played the part of Virtue in a medieval mystery play, or as a nickname for someone noted for their virtuousness or (sarcastically) for someone who parades their supposed moral superiority.
VIRTUOSO English (American), Spanish, Italian
This Italian surname could possibly be connected to those whose ancestors were involved in playing a musical instrument or somehow connected to the musical instrument industry.
Topographic name for someone who lived by a boundary, Old French devise
English surname of uncertain origin. May be Anglo-Norman from French vivace
meaning "lively, vigorous", however its pronunciation has led to its connection to various places in southern England called Five Ash Trees.
VIVIS English (Rare)
Found in the 1891, 1901 & 1911 British census, other Ancestry.co.uk records & FreeBMD. Could derive from Vivas from Spanish Catalan
Habitational name from any of various places called Waddington. One near Clitheroe in Lancashire and another in Lincolnshire (Wadintune in Domesday Book) were originally named in Old English as the "settlement" (Old English tūn) associated with Wada.
Location name from Yorkshire meaning "Wæddi's enclosure or settlement" with Wæddi
being an old English personal name of unknown meaning plus the location element -worth
. Notable bearer is HENRY
(1807-1882) for whom the middle name was his mother's maiden name.
WAKE English, Scottish
From the Old Norse byname Vakr meaning "wakeful", "vigilant" (from vaka meaning "to remain awake"), or perhaps from a cognate Old English Waca (attested in place names such as Wakeford, Wakeham, and Wakeley).
WAKEHAM English, Cornish
A locational surname for someone who lived in one of three places called Wakeham in various parts of England, including Cornwall and/or Devon.
Habitational name from Wakeley in Hertfordshire, named from the Old English byname WACA
, meaning ‘watchful’ (see Wake) + Old English leah
From the Anglo-Norman male personal name Walquelin
, literally "little Walho
", a Germanic nickname meaning literally "foreigner".
WALD German, English
Topographic name for someone who lived in or near a forest (Old High German wald
, northern Middle English wald
WALDRIP English, Scottish
The name is derived from the Old Norman warderobe
, a name given to an official of the wardrobe, and was most likely first borne by someone who held this distinguished
Habitational name from a place in East Yorkshire named Walkington, from an unattested Old English personal name Walca + -ing- denoting association with + tūn.
WALLAS English, Scottish
A variant of WALLACE
. The name originates from Scotland and its meaning is "foreigner" or "from the south", taken to mean someone from Wales or England.
WALLWORK English (British)
Anglo-Saxon name originating from Lancashire, first recorded in Worsley in 1278. May originate from the Old Warke area in Worsley, shown as "Le Wallwerke" in old documents. The surname Walworth
may be related.
Habitational name from Walmer in Kent, so named from Old English wala
(plural of walh
"Briton") + mere "pool", or from Walmore Common in Gloucestershire.
Either (i) from the Old English personal name Wealdwine
, literally "power-friend"; or (ii) perhaps from the medieval personal name Walwain
, the Anglo-Norman form of Old French Gauvain
From a medieval nickname for an ineffectual person (from Middle English wanles
English surname which was derived from a medieval nickname, from Middle English wann
"wan, pale" (see WANN
) and a diminutive suffix.... [more]
Occupational name for a watchman or guard, from Old French wardein
meaning "protector, guard". It was also used as a habbitational name for someone from any of the various locations in England named Warden... [more]
Weard ora. Place name in Wilshire. Became Wardour ( see castle & village). Became Warder.
Northern English topographic name for someone living on the banks of the Washburn river in West Yorkshire, so named from the Old English personal name Walc
+ Old English burna
Derived from “gehaeg” meaning “hedge” in Old English which was later changed to Weysthagh then Wastie
Probably means "person from Watney", an unidentified place in England (the second syllable means "island, area of dry land in a marsh"; cf. RODNEY
Meaning, "from Waverley (Surrey)" or "from the brushwood meadow." From either waever
meaning "brushwood" or waefre
meaning "flickering, unstable, restless, wandering" combined with leah
meaning "meadow, clearing."
The surname Waycaster is German in origin. It means "roll-eater," and was likely derived from a derisive nickname on a baker.
WEARE English (British)
Derived from the Old English wer
, meaning a "weir, dam, fishing-trap". This was used as an occupational surname for fishermen. Originated in Devon, England.... [more]
Topographic name or a habitational name from a lost or unidentified place.
WEDMORE English (British)
Habitational name from Wedmore in Somerset, recorded in the 9th century as Wethmor, possibly meaning ‘marsh (Old English mor
) used for hunting (w?the)’.
Originally meant "person from Weekley", Northamptonshire ("wood or clearing by a Romano-British settlement"). British philologist Ernest Weekley (1865-1954) bore this surname.
WEINSTOCK English, German, Hebrew
This surname of WEINSTOCK is the English variant of the German surname WENSTOCK, an occupational name for a producer or seller of wine, derived originally from the Old German WEIN. The name was also adopted by Ashkenazic Jews, largely recollecting the prominence of wine in the Jewish Scriptures and its used in Jewish ceremonies... [more]
Habitational name from Welborne in Norfolk, Welbourn in Lincolnshire, or Welburn in North Yorkshire, all named with Old English wella ‘spring’ + burna ‘stream’.
Meant "one who lives in or near a forest (or in a deforested upland area)", from Middle English wold
"forest" or "cleared upland". A famous bearer is American actress Tuesday Weld (1943-).
English surname meaning "Lives by the spring by the ford"
Topographic name for someone who lived near a spring or stream, Middle English well(e)
(Old English well(a)
WELLER English, German
Either from the Olde English term for a person who extracted salt from seawater, or from the English and German "well(e)," meaning "someone who lived by a spring or stream."... [more]
Habitational name from any of the three places named Wellington, in Herefordshire, Shropshire, and Somerset. All are most probably named with an unattested Old English personal name WEOLA
+ -ing- (implying association with) + tun
From German Welle
meaning "wave" and man
, meaning "man", referring to someone who lived by a stream.
Habitational name from any of various places named Welton, for example in Cumbria, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, and East Yorkshire, from Old English well(a)
‘spring’, ‘stream’ + tun
Habitational name from places in Cambridgeshire and South Yorkshire called Wentworth, probably from the Old English byname WINTRA
meaning ‘winter’ + Old English worð
English British surname originating as a place name. There are several Westbury villages, parishes and even Manors across England that have given the name Westbury to people who take up residence in or come from those places... [more]
Name given to someone who lived on the west side of a dyke.
WESTEN English, Scottish
Habitational name from any of numerous places named Weston, from Old English west 'west' + tun 'enclosure', 'settlement'. English: variant of Whetstone.
The name is originated from a term meaning 'winds from the West'. The name could be given to someone who is born in the west.
Topographical surname for someone who lived west of a settlement or someone who had moved to the west, from Old English westerne
meaning "western" and mann
meaning "man, person".
Topographic name for someone who lived near a west gate in a city, or a habitual surname for someone from Westgate. It is derived from Middle English west
meaning "west" and gate
"gate" (or "street" in northern and eastern areas; from Old Norse gata
Combination of Old English west
"west" and tun
WESTROP English (British)
Viking name local to Somerset and several counties in the North East of England. Approximate meaning "place to the west of the village with the church".
WESTWOOD English, Scottish
Habitational name from any of numerous places named Westwood, from Old English west
"west" and wudu
Derived from an Olde English pre 7th Century river name Woefer
Old English location or occupational surname meaning "from the wheat meadow".
Habitational name from a place in Derbyshire named Wheeldon, from Old English hweol ‘wheel’ (referring perhaps to a rounded shape) + dun ‘hill’, or from Whielden in Buckinghamshire, which is named with hweol + denu ‘valley’.
Means "person from Whinneray", Cumbria, or "person who lives in a nook of land growing with gorse" (in either case from Old Norse hvin
"whin, gorse" + vrá
"nook of land"). It was borne by New Zealand rugby player Sir Wilson Whineray (1935-2012).
English surname of uncertain meaning. It might be a shortened form of “whippletree”; an early name for the dogwood. It may also be a variation of Whipp – an early surname for someone who carried out judicial punishments.
An English occupational surname, meaning "one who whistles."
English surname which was from either of two place names, that of a port in North Yorkshire (which comes from the Old Norse elements hvítr
"white" (or Hvíti
, a byname derived from it) combined with býr
"farm") or a place in Cheshire (from Old English hwit
"white" (i.e., "stone-built") and burh
WHITEHEAD English, Scottish
Nickname for someone with fair or prematurely white hair, from Middle English whit
"white" and heved
the origin of this surname started in England where people were called Whitehouse when they painted their houses white.
It is locational from any or all of the places called Whitfield in the counties of Derbyshire, Kent, Northamptonshire and Northumberland, or from the villages called Whitefield in Lancashire, the Isle of Wight and Gloucestershire.
Means "person from Whitgift", Yorkshire ("Hvítr's dowry"). This surname was borne by Anglican churchman John Whitgift (?1530-1604), archbishop of Canterbury 1583-1604 (in addition, Whitgift School is an independent day school for boys in South Croydon, founded in 1595 by John Whitgift; and Whitgift Centre is a complex of shops and offices in the middle of Croydon, Greater London, on a site previously occupied by Whitgift School).
From a medieval nickname for a mild-mannered person (from Middle English whit
"white" + lam
"lamb"). This surname is borne by Australian Labour politician Gough Whitlam (1916-), prime minister 1972-75.
This surname is derived from a place name composed of Old English elements hwit
meaning "white" and leah
meaning "clearing, grove."
Nickname for someone with white or fair hair, from Middle English whit
‘white’ + lock
‘tress’, ‘curl’. Compare SHERLOCK
. ... [more]
white hill” place name from east side of country in lower Northumbria perhaps? Or perhaps next lower shire.
From Middle English whit
‘white’ + man
‘man’, either a nickname with the same sense as WHITE
, or else an occupational name for a servant of a bearer of the nickname WHITE
English habitational name from Whitemarsh, a place in the parish of Sedgehill, Wiltshire, named from Old English hwit
‘white’ (i.e. ‘phosphorescent’) + mersc
‘marsh’. Compare WHITMORE
A habitational surname for someone from Whittlesey, an ancient market town in the Fenland district of Cambridgeshire in England. The town's name is derived from an unattested Old English personal name Wittel
), an occupational name given to a moneyer, and the Old English eg
, meaning "island", also used to describe a piece of firm land in a fen... [more]
From the medieval female personal name Wyburgh
, literally "war-fortress". (Cf. Germanic cognate WIGBURG
WICK English, German
English: topographic name for someone who lived in an outlying settlement dependent on a larger village, Old English wic (Latin vicus), or a habitational name from a place named with this word, of which there are examples in Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Worcestershire... [more]
A habitational surname that originates from a lost medieval site or village of Norse origins.... [more]
Two separate surnames, joined together to form Wicksey, when the Vikings invaded England. The name means "Dairy Farmer on the Marsh".
From the Old English male personal name Wihtgār
, literally "elf-spear".
Either (i) from the Germanic male personal name Wīgant
, literally "warrior", introduced into England by the Normans; or (ii) from the Breton male personal name Wiucon
, literally "worthy-noble", introduced into England by the Normans.
WIGGS English (British)
The surname Wiggs was first found in Leicestershire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, at Lennerlyde. This interesting name has two possible origins. The first being a metonymic occupational name for a maker of wedge-shaped bread, from the Medieval English "Wigge" meaning "wedge-shaped"... [more]
"Wight" in Anglo-saxon could refer to a "soul," a "being," or to "courage." It is similar to the different meanings of the words "spirit" and "spirited." ... [more]
Means "person from Wilberfoss", Yorkshire ("WILBURH
's ditch"). This is borne by Wilberforce University, a university in Xenia, Ohio, USA, founded in 1856 and named in honour of the British philanthropist and anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce (1759-1833)... [more]
Denoted a person hailing from Wilbraham in Cambridgeshire, England. The place name itself means "WILBURG
's homestead or estate" in Old English, Wilburg or Wilburga allegedly referring to a 7th-century Anglo-Saxon princess who was given the lands later called Wilbraham by her father, King Penda of Mercia.
A habitation name of uncertain origin found in the East Midlands. Speculation includes the possibility of the meaning "well" and "burn, borne" therefore meaning one who lived near a well or spring by a waterway crossing.
WILD Medieval English, English, German, Jewish
English: from Middle English wild
‘wild’, ‘uncontrolled’ (Old English wilde
), hence a nickname for a man of violent and undisciplined character, or a topographic name for someone who lived on a patch of overgrown uncultivated land.... [more]
The former placename is composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century words "wilg", willow, and "denu", a valley; while the latter place in Worcestershire is derived from the Olde English personal name "Winela", plus the Olde English "dun", a hill or mountain.
Occupational name for a trapper or hunter, from Middle English wile
"trap, snare". It could also be a nickname for a devious person.