Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
BARWICK English, 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]
Means "bush town", from Anglo-Norman French boschet (a little bush) and ville (town).
From Old French bas
meaning "short", low". It was either used as a nickname for a short person or someone of humble origins.
BATCHELOR English, Scottish
Status name for a young knight or novice at arms, deriving from Middle English and Old French bacheler
(from medieval Latin baccalarius
), a word of unknown ultimate origin. The word had already been extended to mean "(young) unmarried man" by the 14th century, but it is unlikely that many bearers of the surname derive from the word in that sense... [more]
BATEY English (?)
Originates from mostly northern England. Is the presumed given name to fishers. (With it meaning "Small fishing boat" in old English.)
BATHGATE Scottish, English
From the town of Bathgate, west of Edinburgh, Scotland. The town's name derives from Cumbric *beith
, meaning 'boar' (Welsh baedd
) and *gaith
. meaning 'wood' (Welsh coed
Variant spelling of BALCOMBE
, a habitational name from West Sussex derived from Old English bealu
"evil" and cumb
Possibly a short form of BAXTER
, or maybe from the Anglo-Saxon word box
, referring to the box tree.
Habitational name, probably an altered form of Baxenden, a place near Accrington, which is named with an unattested Old English word bæcstān meaning "bakestone" (a flat stone on which bread was baked) + denu meaning "valley"... [more]
BAY English, French, Dutch
Derived from Middle English and Old French bay
and Middle Dutch bay
, all meaning "reddish brown". It was originally a nickname for someone with a hair color similar to that.
Possibly derived from the legal term bailor
"one who delivers goods". It could also be a respelling of German name BEILER
, an occupational name for an inspector of measures or a maker of measuring sticks... [more]
BEABER English (American)
Americanized spelling of German BIEBER
, from Middle High German biber ‘beaver’, hence a nickname for someone thought to resemble the animal in some way, a topographic name for someone who lived in a place frequented by beavers or by a field named with this word, or a habitational name from any of various place names in Hesse containing this element.
Name for someone living near a beach, stream, or beech tree.
From Old English beam
"beam" or "post". It could be a topographic name from someone living near a post or tree, or it could be a metonymic occupational name for a weaver.... [more]
From the Middle English nickname Bere meaning "bear" (Old English bera, which is also found as a byname), or possibly from a personal name derived from a short form of the various Germanic compound names with this first element... [more]
BEARD English (American)
Nickname for a bearded man (Middle English, Old English beard). To be clean-shaven was the norm in non-Jewish communities in northwestern Europe from the 12th to the 16th century, the crucial period for surname formation... [more]
English habitational name, a variant of BARDEN
, or from places in Devon and Cornwall called Beardon.
BEAUCHAMP English, French
From the name of various places in France, for example in Manche and Somme, which was derived from Old French beu
meaning "fair, lovely" and champ
Variation of BUFORD
. It is derived from the French word "beau
", meaning "beautiful", and "ford
", an Old English word meaning "river crossing".
From the surname of Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), a French feminist and philosopher.
A famous bearer of this surname was Sidney Bechet (1897–1959), an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer.
Occupational name for a maker or user of mattocks or pickaxes, from an agent derivative of Old English becca
An Old English name simply meaning "beehive". Famous Irish playwrite Samuel Beckett bears this name.
This surname was taken from an English habitational name from any of the various places, in Kent, Oxfordshire, and Sussex, named Beckley whose name was derived from the Old English byname Becca
and the Old English lēah
"woodland clearing".... [more]
BECKSON English (British)
The name comes from having lived in an enclosed place, means dweller at the old enclosure or dwelling. The surname Aldeman was first found in Essex, Suffolk and Yorkshire at Aldham. In all cases, the place name meant "the old homestead," or "homestead of a man called Ealda," from the Old English personal name + "ham."
BECKWITH English (African)
Habitational name from a place in West Yorkshire named Beckwith, from Old English bece "beech" + Old Norse viðr "wood" (replacing the cognate Old English wudu).
BECRAFT English (American)
English, variant of Beecroft. topographic name for someone who lived at a place where bees were kept, from Middle English bee ‘bee’ + croft ‘paddock’, ‘smallholding’.
From the English county Bedfordshire and its principal city or from a small community in Lancashire with the same name. The name comes from the Old English personal name Beda
, a form of the name Bede
and the location element -ford
meaning "a crossing at a waterway." Therefore the name indicates a water crossing once associated with a bearer of the medieval name.
An English habitational surname from a place so named near Nuneaton, in Warwickshire, derived most likely from the Old English personal name Baeda
), suffixed with worþ
, 'enclosure', denoting an enclosed area of land belonging to Baeda.
From Middle English be meaning "bee", Old English beo, hence a nickname for an energetic or active person or a metonymic occupational name for a beekeeper.
BEEDEN English (British)
Probably means "from Beeden", a village near Newbury in Berkshire. Ultimately coming from either Old English byden
, meaning "shallow valley", or from the pre 7th century personal name BUCGE
with the suffix dun
, meaning "hill of Bucge".
BEER English, German, Dutch, German (Swiss)
Habitational name from any of the forty or so places in southwestern England called Beer(e) or Bear(e). Most of these derive their names from the West Saxon dative case, beara, of Old English bearu ‘grove’, ‘wood’ (the standard Old English dative bearwe being preserved in Barrow)... [more]
Aristocratic surname from French
, meaning "beautiful grove"; comes from a place name in Leicestershire. A famous namesake is British polar explorer Belgrave Ninnis, who perished in Antarctica on a 1912 expedition.
Name came from the son of a French Noble born in Leicestershire, England. Hamon Bellers took his last name after the Kirby Bellers (Bellars) which was the name of the land given to him by his father.
Occupational name for someone who worked as a bell-ringer.
BELLMAN Swedish, English
Swedish and English form of BELLMANN
. A notable bearer was Swedish composer, poet and entertainer Carl Michael Bellman (1740-1795).
Of Latin origin. Due to an early association as a saint's name and a papal name, often said to mean "blessed." Originally the Latin elements are 'bene-' meaning "good" or as an adverb "well" plus '-dict,' meaning "spoken." Thus, the literal meaning is "well spoken." ... [more]
Habitational name from any of various places named Bentham, from Old English beonet
"bent grass" + ham
"homestead" or hamm
"enclosure hemmed in by water".
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]
From the elements beorce "birch" and leah "clearing, wood" meaning "birch clearing".
BERLIN German, English
Habitational name from the city in Germany, the name of which is of uncertain meaning. It is possibly derived from an Old Slavic stem berl-
or from a West Slavic word meaning "river lake".
BERRYCLOTH English (Rare)
This name is of English locational origin, from the place called Barrowclough
near Halifax in West Yorkshire.
Popularly grown surname from the diminuative form of "Elizabeth" during any time of a Queen Elizabeth
BETHENCOURT French, English, Portuguese (Rare)BETTENCOURT
and Bethencourt are originally place-names in Northern France. The place-name element -court (courtyard, courtyard of a farm, farm) is typical of the French provinces, where the Frankish settlements formed an important part of the local population... [more]
BETTENCOURT French, English, Portuguese (Rare)
Bettencourt and BETHENCOURT
are originally place-names in Northern France. The place-name element -court (courtyard, courtyard of a farm, farm) is typical of the French provinces, where the Frankish settlements formed an important part of the local population... [more]
Habitational name from Bexley (now Bexleyheath in Greater London), which was named from Old English byxe
‘box tree’ + leah
The toponym Bickerton is derived from the Old English beocere, which means bee-keeper, and tun, which originally denoted a fence or enclosure.
Habitational name from places so named in Devon and Somerset, most of which are most probably named with an Old English personal name Bicca
and Old English cumb
"valley". The first element could alternatively be from bica
BIDDLE English, Irish
Variant of English BEADLE
or German BITTEL
. The name is now popular in the north east region of America, where it was brought by English and Irish immigrants.
Habitational name from a place in England called Big Low meaning "big mound".
Habitational name from any of the various places in England named with northern Middle English bigging
"building" (from Old Norse). This word came to denote especially an outbuilding, and is still used in and around Northumberland and Cumbria.
Derived from the ancient word, "bigga", meaning large.
BIGLIN English (British)
German origin, settled by a single farmer in East Yorkshire in 1750. The name comes from the phrase "big land" meaning someone who owns alot of land.
Derived from the Old English name Binningas
, which was a name for someone who lived near stables.
Ultimately deriving from the toponym of Melcombe Bingham in Dorset. The name was taken to Ireland in the 16th century, by Richard Bingham, a native of Dorset who was appointed governor of Connaught in 1584... [more]
Habitational surname for someone originally from the town of Bingley in West Yorkshire, England. The name is either derived from the given name Bynna
combined with the suffix -inga
meaning "the people of" or from the Old English elements bing
meaning "hollow" and leah
meaning "woodland, clearing".
Topographic name for someone living by a bink, a northern dialect term for a flat raised bank of earth or a shelf of flat stone suitable for sitting on. The word is a northern form of modern English bench.
BIRCH English, 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]
Probably a habitational name from Birchill in Derbyshire or Birchills in Staffordshire, both named in Old English with birce
"birch" + hyll
From the English words bird and song. Possibly an English translation of the German surname Vogelsang.
It's a locational surname taken from the village of Birket Houses in Lancashire.
The surname "Birkin" comes from a village in Yorkshire of the same name, first recorded as "Byrcene" in the Yorkshire charters of 1030, and as "Berchine" and "Berchinge" in the Domesday Book. The first known person with the surname "Birkin" was Jon de Birkin, a baron who lived in the late-11th century.
Scottish: habitational name from a place in Morayshire, recorded in the 13th century as Brennach, probably from Gaelic braonach 'damp place'.
BITENCOURT Portuguese (Brazilian), French (Rare), English
BITENCOURT, derives from Bittencourt, Bettencourt and Bethencourt; They are originally place-names in Northern France. The place-name element -court (courtyard, courtyard of a farm, farm) is typical of the French provinces, where the Frankish settlements formed an important part of the local population... [more]
a corn merchant; one who made vessels designed to hold or measure out a bushel.
English surname of unexplained origin, probably from the name of a lost or unidentified place.
BLACKSMITH English, Welsh, Scottish
This last name is an occupation last name. A "blacksmith" means a person who makes and repairs things in iron by hand.
English and southern Scottish: topographic name from Middle English blak(e) ‘black’, ‘dark’ + stok ‘stump’, ‘stock’.
Habitational name from any of various places, for example in Cumbria, Derbyshire, County Durham, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire, named Blackwell, from Old English blæc
"black, dark" and wæll(a)
Metonymic occupational name for a cutler, from Middle English blade
"cutting edge, sword".
BLAKESTONE English (British)
The surname Blakeston was first found in the West Riding of Yorkshire at Blaxton, a township in the parish of Finningley, union and soke of Doncaster.... [more]
Literally means "black way", thus referring to a black road near which the original bearer must have lived. A famous bearer of this surname was Jacob Blakeway (b. 1583-?), the biological father of Mayflower
passenger Richard More (1614-1696).
From blaidh-mez, the wolf's meadow; or pleu-mez, the parish meadow.
From a medieval nickname applied probably to an effeminate man (from Old French blanche flour
"white flower"). This surname was borne by Northern Irish footballer Danny Blanchflower (1926-1993).
Bland is a habitational name from a place in West Yorkshire called Bland, the origin of which is uncertain. Possibly it is from Old English (ge)bland ‘storm’, ‘commotion’ (from blandan ‘to blend or mingle’), with reference to its exposed situation... [more]
Habitational name from Blandford Forum and other places called Blandford in Dorset (Blaneford in Domesday Book), probably named in Old English with bl?ge 'gudgeon' (genitive plural blægna) + ford 'ford'.
Variant of Blenkinsop
, a surname derived from a place in Northumberland called Blenkinsopp. The place name possibly derives from Cumbric blaen
"top" and kein
"back, ridge", i.e. "top of the ridge", combined with Old English hōp
"valley" (compare HOPE
There are two possible origins for this surname; one- from the name of the village in the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster (part of South Yorkshire, England) on the border of Lincolnshire, or two- from the Old English personal name Blaecstan
, meaning "black stone"
The surname of James P. Blaylock (1950-), an early steampunk author. His surname may mean "black lock" from Middle English blakelok
, originally referring to a person with dark hair.
Comes from a place in Gloucestershire called Bledisloe
, comes from an Old English personal name Blið
The Blennerhassett surname comes from someone having lived in Cumberland, on the Borderlands between Scotland and England. ... [more]
From a medieval nickname for a fortunate person. This surname is borne by British actor Brian Blessed (1936-).
From a medieval nickname for a blue-eyed person or one who habitually wore blue clothing (from Middle English bleuet
"cornflower" or bluet
A different form of BLESSED
. A bearer of this surname is Luther Blissett (1958-), a Jamaican-born English footballer ("Luther Blissett" has been used since 1994 as a cover name for activists engaging in anti-cultural establishment polemics and spoofs on the internet and elsewhere).
Evidently from Old English blod ‘blood’, but with what significance is not clear. In Middle English the word was in use as a metonymic occupational term for a physician, i.e. one who lets blood, and also as an affectionate term of address for a blood relative.
Derived from the Old English byname Blīþa (meaning "happy, blithe").
Metonymic occupational name for an iron worker, from Middle English blome
‘ingot (of iron)’.
This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a locational name from either of the two places thus called in England, one in Staffordshire, and the other in Somerset, or it may be a dialectal variant of Blonville (-sur-Mer) in Calvados, Normandy, and hence a Norman habitation name... [more]
From a medieval nickname for someone with a pale complexion (from Middle English blowe
"pale"). This surname was borne by English composer John Blow (1649-1708) and British fashion editor Isabella Blow (original name Isabella Delves Broughton; 1958-2007); additionally, "Joe Blow" is a name used colloquially (in US, Canadian and Australian English) as representative of the ordinary uncomplicated unsophisticated man, the average man in the street (of which the equivalent in British English is "Joe Bloggs").
English surname of unexplained origin, probably from the name of a lost or unidentified place.
BLUFORD English, 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.
Nickname for a person with fair hair or a light complexion from Old French blunt
meaning "blond". It was also used as a nickname for a stupid person from Middle English blunt
Occupational name for a person who worked on the deck of a ship.
BOEING English (Anglicized)
Anglicized form of German Böing
. This was the surname of American industrialist William Boeing (1881-1956) who founded The Boeing Company, a manufacturer of airplanes.
Probably a habitational name from the village Boekhoute in northern Belgium, close to the border to The Netherlands.
BOLD German, English
English: nickname from Middle English bold ‘courageous’, ‘daring’ (Old English b(e)ald, cognate with Old High German bald). In some cases it may derive from an Old English personal name (see Bald)... [more]
Franciscanized form of "Bullens", a Dutch surname meaning "son of Baldo (meaning "strong")".
BOLLARD English, Irish
According to MacLysaght, this surname of Dutch origin which was taken to Ireland early in the 18th century.
BOLLING English, German
nickname for someone with close-cropped hair or a large head, Middle English bolling 'pollard', or for a heavy drinker, from Middle English bolling 'excessive drinking'. German (Bölling): from a personal name BALDWIN
From Middle English bolt
meaning "bolt", "bar" (Old English bolt
meaning "arrow’). In part this may have originated as a nickname or byname for a short but powerfully built person, in part as a metonymic occupational name for a maker of bolts... [more]
BONSALL English (British)
This is a locational name which originally derived from the village of Bonsall, near Matlock in Derbyshire. The name is Norse-Viking, pre 10th Century and translates as 'Beorns-Halh' - with 'Beorn' being a personal name meaning 'Hero' and 'Halh' a piece of cultivated land - a farm.
English occupational surname meaning "maker of books."
This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and may be either a topographical name for someone who lived in a particularly noteworthy or conspicuous cottage, from the Olde English pre 7th Century "bur", bower, cottage, inner room, with "mann", man, or a locational name from any of the various places called Bower(s) in Somerset and Essex, which appear variously as "BUR
" and "Bura
" in the Domesday Book of 1086... [more]
BOOT English, Dutch, German
English: metonymic occupational name for a maker or seller of boots, from Middle English, Old French bote (of unknown origin).... [more]
Possibly from the Old English booth meaning "hut, shack" and royd meaning "clearing (in the woods)".
Means butt. Usually big and round.There are also two of them.
Habitational name for someone from a place called Borek or Borki, from bór
BORN German, English
A topographical name indicating someone who lived near a stream, from the Old English "burna, burne". Alternatively, it could be contemporarily derived from the modern English word "born". Possible variants include BOURNE
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
From an originally French term meaning "hunchback".
From an English surname which was from a lost or unidentified place name. The second element is clearly Old English wic
"outlying (dairy) farm".
Means "district" characterized by bends from the Old English words boga and land.
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
combined with dun
BOWDLER Flemish, 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.
BOWE Medieval 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]
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.
Nickname from the Norman term of address beu sire ‘fine sir’, given either to a fine gentleman or to someone who made frequent use of this term of address.
English: occupational name for a maker or seller of bows (see Bow
), as opposed to an archer. Compare BOWMAN
Habitational name from any of the places called Bradshaw, for example in Lancashire and West Yorkshire, from Old English brad
"broad" + sceaga
BRAGG English, Welsh
From a nickname for a cheerful or lively person, derived from Middle English bragge
meaning "lively, cheerful, active", also "brave, proud, arrogant".
Northern English habitational name from any of the places in Cumbria and Yorkshire named Braithwaite, from Old Norse breiðr
"broad" + þveit