English Submitted Surnames
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
BYERS Scottish, English
Scottish and northern English topographic name for someone who lived by a cattleshed, Middle English byre
, or a habitational name with the same meaning, from any of several places named with Old English b¯re
, for example Byers Green in County Durham or Byres near Edinburgh.
Probably derived from Old English bȳre
An English place name, earlier Byram, from byre
, meaning "farm" and the suffix -ham
meaning "homestead". Famously borne by the aristocratic poet, Lord Byron.
BYTHESEA English (British)
Habitational name for someone who lived near the sea, this name is nearly extinct in England today.
CABELL Catalan, English, German
As a Catalan name, a nickname for "bald" from the Spanish word cabello
. The English name, found primarily in Norfolk and Devon, is occupational for a "maker or seller of nautical rope" that comes from a Norman French word... [more]
English: metonymic occupational name for a maker of rope, especially the type of stout rope used in maritime applications, from Anglo-Norman French cable
‘cable’ (Late Latin capulum
‘halter’, of Arabic origin, but associated by folk etymology with Latin capere
‘to seize’).... [more]
CAINE French, English
Originally from a French derogatory nickname for someone with a bad temper.
From the Middle English cake denoting a flat loaf made from fine flour (Old Norse kaka), hence a metonymic occupational name for a baker who specialized in fancy breads. It was first attested as a surname in the 13th century (Norfolk, Northamptonshire).
Occupational name for a person who finished freshly woven cloth by passing it between heavy rollers to compress the weave. From Old Franch calandrier
English (of Norman origin): habitational name for someone from Caen in Normandy, France.English: habitational name from Cam in Gloucestershire, named for the Cam river, a Celtic river name meaning ‘crooked’, ‘winding’.Scottish and Welsh: possibly a nickname from Gaelic and Welsh cam ‘bent’, ‘crooked’, ‘cross-eyed’.Americanized spelling of German Kamm.
From a medieval nickname for someone with a snub nose (from Old French camus
Respelling of German Kamper
). 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.
CANADA French, English
It derives from the Middle English "cane", a development of the Old French "cane", meaning cane, reed.
Derived from the medieval English, male first name Gandelyn, of unknown meaning.
Unexplained.There was a family of this name in Roussillon, France, descended from a partisan of James II named Kennedy, who was exiled in France in the 17th century. The family died out in France in 1868, but may have had an American branch.
Means "singer in a chantry chapel", or from a medieval nickname for someone who was continually singing (in either case from Old Northern French cant
Means "person from Canteleu, Canteloup, etc.", the name of various places in northern France ("song of the wolf").
Habitational name from Canterbury in Kent, named in Old English as Cantwaraburg
"fortified town (burgh
) of the people (wara
) of Kent".
From the Domesday Book of 1086, from the old French word 'capele' meaning chapel.
Means "singer in a chantry chapel" (from Old Northern French capelain
, a variant of standard Old French chapelain
Unexplained. Perhaps a habitational name from Cadshaw near Blackburn, Lancashire, although the surname is not found in England.
This is the last name of Juliet from William Shakepeare's tragedy, Romeo and Juliet.
Probably means "spice merchant" (from Middle English carewei
From a medieval nickname for a dark-haired or swarthy person, from Anglo-Norman carbonel
, literally "little charcoal".
English: metonymic occupational name for someone who carded wool (i.e. disentangled it), preparatory to spinning, from Middle English, Old French card(e) ‘carder’, an implement used for this purpose... [more]
From the traditionally British surname, which is a variant of the British surname Caldwell, a from the Old English cald
"cold" and well(a)
Occupational name for a locksmith, Middle English keyere, kayer, an agent derivative of keye.
Carisbrooke is a village on the Isle of Wight; the name is thought to mean "Carey's brook". When in 1917 the British royal family changed its name from the "House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha" to the "House of Windsor" and renounced all German titles, the title of Marquess of Carisbrooke was created for the erstwhile German Prince Alexander of Battenberg.
Anyone with information about this last name please edit.
A crossbowman or archer who protected castles and fortresses.
CARRAWAY English (British)
The name Carraway belongs to the early history of Britain, it's origins lie with the Anglo-Saxons. It is a product of their having lived on a road near a field or piece of land that was triangular in shape... [more]
English: from Old French carrel, ‘pillow’, ‘bolster’, hence a metonymic occupational name for a maker of these. In some cases perhaps an altered spelling of Irish Carroll
. In other cases perhaps an altered spelling of French Carrel
CARRINGTON English, Scottish
English: habitational name from a place in Greater Manchester (formerly in Cheshire) called Carrington, probably named with an unattested Old English personal name Cara
denoting association + tun
CARSTAIRS English (British)
From the manor or barony of the same name in the parish of Carstairs (= 1170 Casteltarres, 'Castle of Tarres').
From Anglo-Norman French cas(s)e
"case, container" (from Latin capsa
), hence a metonymic occupational name for a maker of boxes or chests.
Either (i) "person from Cassel", northern France, or "person from Kassel", Germany ("fort"); or (ii) a different form of Castle
("person who lives by or lives or works in a castle"). Cassell & Company is a British publishing company, established in 1848 by John Cassell (1817-1865).
Meant "bailiff, especially (originally) one who could seize domestic animals in lieu of tax or debt" (from Anglo-Norman cachepol
, from cacher
"to chase" + pol
English patronymic from the Old Norse byname Káti
Means "person from Catley", Herefordshire and Lincolnshire ("glade frequented by cats"). It was borne by the British botanical patron William Cattley (1788-1835).
This surname is of Old Scandinavian origin, is an English locational name from Catterall, near Garstang in Lancashire, which appeared as "Catrehala" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and "Caterhale" in the Book of Fees of 1212... [more]
CAVE Norman, 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".
Nickname for a bald man, from a diminutive of Anglo-Norman French cauf
English surname, a variant of the English surname Calverley, itself derived from the Old English calf
"calf" and leag
Traditional English habitational surname meaning "jackdaw wood" from the Old English ca
referring to 'jackdaw' (a member of the crow family), and wudu
Means "person from Cawthorn or Cawthorne", both in Yorkshire ("cold thorn bush").
CENA English (American), English
Cena is a prominently used English name. It is derived from the word "see", however it rather than referring to the ability to see it, what it actually refers to is the inability to see as the other half of the name ("-na") means "naw" a synonym for "no"... [more]
Probably from a medieval nickname for a touchy or quarrelsome person (from a derivative of Middle English chalangen
"to challenge"). A fictional bearer is Professor George Challenger, irascible scientist and explorer, leader of the expedition to Amazonia in Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Lost World' (1912).
CHAMPLIN Belgian, English
Means Champion, was a family name in Belgium, a status and influence that was envied by the princes of the region.... [more]
Means "singer in a chantry chapel" or "one who lives by a chantry chapel". A chantry
was a type of chapel, one endowed for the singing of Masses for the soul of the founder (from Old French chanterie
, from chanter
English form of Chappell
. Derived from the Old French word chape
meaning "cape", "hooded cloak" or "hat". This surname is for a person who makes hats / capes or a wearer of hats and / or capes... [more]
CHARNOCK English (Rare)
The locational surname originates from two places, Charnock Richard and Heath Charnock, which are both located in Lancashire, England.... [more]
Meaning a "worker who makes leggings or breeches". Notable bearer is author Geoffrey
Chaucer (1343-1400), most well known for his classic 'The Canterbury Tales'.
Means "goatherd", or from a medieval nickname for someone thought to resemble a goat (e.g. in capriciousness) (in either case from Anglo-Norman chivere
"goat"). It was borne by American author John Cheever (1912-1982).
From Middle English chirie
"cherry", hence a metonymic occupational name for a grower or seller of cherries, or possibly a nickname for someone with rosy cheeks.... [more]
Habitational name from a place in Somerset named Chew Magna, which is named for the river on which it stands, a Celtic name, perhaps cognate with Welsh cyw ‘young animal or bird’, ‘chicken’.
Nickname from Middle English child meaning "child", "infant".
Probably a habitational name from some lost place named Childerhouse, from Old English cildra
"child" and hus
"house". This may have referred to some form of orphanage.
CHILLINGWORTH English (Rare)
Notable as the surname of Hester Prynne's husband Roger Chillingworth in the 1850 novel 'The Scarlet Letter'
Means "son of Chilver
" (probably from the Old English male personal name Cēolfrith
, literally "ship-peace").
CHIPS English (British)
Chips is a rare English (british) last name which is a nickname of Christopher and Charles
CHOATE English, 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.
Derived from the personal names Josse
, which are derived from the Latin word "gaudere" and is a cognate in origin with the word "joy."
An aristocratic surname derived from a place name in Cheshire which means "Ceolmund's grove" in Old English.
CHOULES English (British, Rare)
The surname Choules is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a variant of Scholes
, itself "a topographical name for someone who lived in a rough hut or shed", from the Northern Middle English 'scale, schole'... [more]
Either an occupational name for someone who was responsible for arrangement of festivities for Christmas day, or it might a nickname for someone who was born on Christmas.
Likely originated in England. Creswell seems to be the oldest spelling then gradually giving way to Criswell and Chriswell.
From English, meaning 'church hill'. Denoted one who lived by both a church and a hill. A famous bearer is Sir Winston Churchill, the famed Prime Minister of Britain during WW2.
CINNAMOND Scottish, Irish, English
Possibly originates from Scottish place name Kininmonth. Probably introduced to Northern Ireland by Scottish settlers where it remains in Ulster. Another origin is the French place name Saint Amand originated from French Huguenots settling in Ireland.
The surname Claw is a very rare English surname.
Meaning is unknown, but it most likely means "clay mountain", from surnames Clay
"clay" and Berg
From an English topographical name meaning "cliff".
Cleburne is a surname of Northern English and Southern Scottish Anglo-Saxon origin.
CLEVELAND Old English, English, Popular Culture
English regional name from the district around Middlesbrough named Cleveland ‘the land of the cliffs’, from the genitive plural (clifa
) of Old English clif
‘bank’, ‘slope’ + land
Probably means "person from Cleveley", Lancashire ("woodland clearing by a cliff").
English surname meaning "cliff" in Old English, originally belonging to a person who lived near a cliff.
Habitational name from any of various places, for example in Essex, Suffolk, and Warwickshire, named Clopton from Old English clopp(a) meaning "rock", "hill" + tūn meaning "settlement".
CLORE English (American)
Americanized spelling of German Klor
(from a short form of the medieval personal name Hilarius (see Hillary) or Klar).
Topographic name for someone who lived near an outcrop or hill, from Old English clud
"rock" (only later used to denote vapor formations in the sky).
Derived from pre 7th century word "cloh" meaning a ravine or steep-sided valley.
CLUTTERBUCK English, 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]
From the medieval male personal name Cubald
(from Old English Cūthbeald
, literally "famous-brave").
nickname from Middle English cok ‘cock’, ‘male bird or fowl’ (Old English cocc), given for a variety of possible reasons. Applied to a young lad who strutted proudly like a cock, it soon became a generic term for a youth and was attached with hypocoristic force to the short forms of many medieval personal names (e.g. Alcock, Hancock, Hiscock, Mycock)... [more]
English (Essex and Suffolk): nickname from the jackdaw, Middle English co
, Old English ca
). The jackdaw is noted for its sleek black color, raucous voice, and thievish nature, and any of these attributes could readily have given rise to the nickname.
Habitational name from Coggeshall in Essex, England, which was derived from Cogg
, an Old English personal name, and Old English halh
meaning "nook, recess".
Medieval English nickname which meant "idle dreamer" from Cockaigne
, the name of an imaginary land of luxury and idleness in medieval myth. The place may derive its name from Old French (pays de) cocaigne
"(land of) plenty", ultimately from the Low German word kokenje
, a diminutive of koke
"cake" (since the houses in Cockaigne are made of cake).
COLDEN English, Scottish
English: habitational name from a place in West Yorkshire named Colden, from Old English cald
‘charcoal’ + denu
With variant Colley
can mean "dark" or "blackbird" or it can be a nickname for Nicholas.
From a medieval nickname for someone with dark or black hair, from Old English cola
"charcoal" and feax
With variant Coley
, can mean "dark" or "blackbird" or it can be a nickname for Nicholas. Colley was used as a surname for generations of students from the same family taught by a teacher over many years in James Hilton's sentimental novel "Goodbye, Mr... [more]
This name is derived from Middle English cole
, from Old English col
meaning "coal", combined with the agent suffix (i)er
, which denotes someone who does/works with something. Thus, the surname was originally used for a burner, gatherer or seller of coal.
A variant of Collins
, itself a patronymic of given names Collin or Colin, both ultimately nicknames for Nicholas.
Habitational name from any of the numerous places throughout England (but especially in the south) named Compton, from Old English cumb meaning "short, straight valley" + tūn meaning "enclosure", "settlement".
Means "seller of rabbits", or from a medieval nickname for someone thought to resemble a rabbit (in either case from Middle English cony
Probably from a medieval nickname, perhaps applied to a domineering person. This surname is borne by the British poet, historian and critic Robert Conquest (1917-).
Probably an occupational name for a college servant or someone with some other association with a university college, for example a tenant farmer who farmed one of the many farms in England known as College Farm, most of which are or were owned by university colleges.
A Sussex, England surname of uncertain meaning. Could be a local pronunciation of Cotter
, meaning "cottage dweller" for a serf in the feudal system allowed to live in a cottage in exchange for labor on the cottage owner's estate.
Some sources say that Copeland is English: "one that is good at coping". Another says Copeland is Northern English and Scottish, from Cumberland and Northumberland meaning "bought land". Old Norse, kaupa-land for‘bought land’.
For full analysis of the origin for the name Copus/Copas I would refer you to my family website copusfamily.co.uk
CORBETT English, Scottish, Welsh
Nickname from Norman French corbet
meaning 'little crow, raven'. This surname is thought to have originated in Shropshire. The surname was taken by bearers to Scotland in the 12th Century, and to Northern Ireland in the 17th Century.... [more]
From a medieval nickname for a proud man (from Old French cuer de roi
"heart of a king").
Metonymic occupational name for a supplier of red or purple dye or for a dyer of cloth, Middle English cork
(of Celtic origin; compare Corkery
Habitational name from Cornwell in Oxfordshire, named from Old English corn, a metathesized form of cron, cran ‘crane’ + well(a) ‘spring’, ‘stream’.variant of Cornwall.
Habitational name from places in Arran, Dumfries, and elsewhere, named Corrie, from Gaelic coire
"cauldron", applied to a circular hanging valley on a mountain.
Traditionally an Irish surname meaning "spear". From the Irish Gaelic corragán
which is a double diminutive of corr
Nickname from Old French 'corson', a diminutive of curt ‘short’
Habitational name from Cosgrove in Northamptonshire, named with an Old English personal name Cof
+ Old English graf
"A cottage dweller", a name in the feudal system for a serf allowed to live in a cottage in exchange for labor on the cottage owner's estate.
COTTON English, 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
COTTRELL English, 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]
The couter (also spelled "cowter") is the defense for the elbow in a piece of plate armour. Initially just a curved piece of metal, as plate armor progressed the couter became an articulated joint.... [more]
COVERT English, 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]
CRABB English, 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]
CRANE English, 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]
From Cranshaw in Lancashire, named from Old English cran(uc)
‘crane’ + sceaga
CRAVEN Irish, English
Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Crabháin (County Galway) or Mac Crabháin (Louth, Monaghan) ‘descendant (or ‘son’) of Crabhán’... [more]
CRAW English, Scottish, Northern Irish
One who had characteristics of a crow; sometimes used as an element of a place name e.g. Crawford, and Crawfordjohn in Lanarkshire, Crawshawbooth in Lancashire, and Crawley in Sussex
This most interesting surname has two possible origins. Firstly it may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, from the Olde English "creas", Middle English "crease", meaning "fine or elegant", which was a nickname given to an elegant person or one who dressed in fine or elegant clothes... [more]
The derivation of this surname is from the Old English pre 7th Century "Crawa", a crow, with "sceaga" a grove, thus "Crowswood". The earliest recording of this placename is in the Lancashire Inquests of 1324 and appears as "Croweshagh".
Meant "person from Crèvecoeur", the name of various places in northern France ("heartbreak", an allusion to the poverty of the local soil).
Meaning "barrel," signifying one who made or worked with barrels.
CROCKETT English, Scottish
Nickname for someone who affected a particular hairstyle, from Middle English croket
''large curl'' (Old Norman French croquet
, a diminutive of croque
A surname of Scottish origin used in the Highlands and Islands and means “an owner or a tenant of a small farm”. The Old English
word croft seems to correspond with the Dutch
kroft meaning “a field on the downs”.
CROOK Scottish, English
Possible origin a medieval topographical surname, denoting residence from the Middle English word "crok" from the Old NOrse "Krokr". Possibly a maker or seller of hooks. Another possibility is meaning crooked or bent originally used of someone with a hunch back.