Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
From a medieval nickname for a "good chap" or amiable companion (from Old French bon enfant
, literally "good child").
(i) from a medieval nickname for a vigorous walker (from Old French bon
"good" + pas
"pace"); (ii) perhaps "person who lives by a place through which travel is easy" (from Old French bon
"good" + pas
English: nickname for a hunchback, from Middle English bunche ‘hump’, ‘swelling’ (of unknown origin).
BUNDY English (American)
This surname is most recognizable in North America as belonging to the serial killer named Ted Bundy who committed his crimes in the 1970s.
English: habitational name from places in Wiltshire, Derbyshire, and Leicestershire, so named with Old English burh ‘fort’ + bæc ‘hill’, ‘ridge’ (dative bece).
English: perhaps a variant of Burbage, altered by folk etymology, or possibly a habitational name from a lost place so named.
BURGER English, 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.
BURGESS English, Scottish
Derived from the Middle English word burge(i)s
or the Old French burgeis
which both meant "inhabitant and (usually) freeman of a fortified town" (compare Burke
English: from an Old English personal name, Burgheard
, composed of the elements burh, burg ‘fort’ (see Burke
) + heard ‘hardy’, ‘brave’, ‘strong’. ... [more]
English variant of Birkin
, a habitational name from the parish of Birkin in West Yorkshire, so named with Old English bircen
‘birch grove’, a derivative of birce
Old English occupational name originally meaning "cup bearer" or "butler" for one who dispensed wine and had charge of the cellar. Eventually the name came to mean the chief servant of a royal or noble household and was replaced by the French language inspired named 'Butler,' akin to the world "bottler".
English habitation name from the elements burh
meaning "stronghold or fortified settlement" and leah
meaning "field or clearing".
Habitational name from Bridlington in East Yorkshire, from Old English Bretlintun
Scottish and English: descriptive nickname from Old French burnete, a diminutive of brun "brown" (see Brown
BURNEY English, Irish
Form of the French place name of 'Bernay' or adapted from the personal name Bjorn
, ultimately meaning "bear".
English (Lancashire and Yorkshire): habitational name from Burnley in Lancashire, so named with the Old English river name Brun (from brun ‘brown’ or burna ‘stream’) + leah ‘woodland clearing’... [more]
Topographic name for someone who lived by a hill or tumulus, Old English "beorg", a cognate of Old High German berg "hill", ‘mountain’ (see Berg). This name has become confused with derivatives of Old English burh ‘fort’ (see Burke)... [more]
Used to describe someone who lives in a burrow, which makes this surname’s meaning “he whom lives in a burrow.”
Variant of Burroughs
. A name for someone who lived by a hill or tumulus, also may be a further derivation from Old English bur
"bower" and hus
Habitational name from a place in North Yorkshire, recorded in Domesday Book as Buschebi
, from Old Norse buskr
"bush, shrub" or an Old Norse personal name Buski
"homestead, village", or from some other place so called.
This is a locational surname and originates from the hamlet of 'Bousfield', eight miles from the town of Appleby in Cumberland. This hamlet was controlled by Norse Vikings for several centuries until the Norman invasion of 1066... [more]
BUTTER English, German
1. English: nickname for someone with some fancied resemblance to a bittern, perhaps in the booming quality of the voice, from Middle English, Old French butor ‘bittern’ (a word of obscure etymology)... [more]
Topographic name for someone who lived by a pasture for cattle or at a dairy farm, or a habitational name from a place named Butterfield (for example in West Yorkshire), from Old English butere ‘butter’ + feld ‘open country’.
From the insect Butterfly this Surname is borne by Star Butterfly from Star Vs. the forces of evil.
1. A habitational name for someone from Buxton in Derbyshire, from the Middle English Buchestanes or Bucstones (meaning "bowing stones"), from Old English būgan
meaning "to bow" and stanes
, meaning "stones".... [more]
Probably means "person from Bytham", Lincolnshire ("homestead in a valley bottom"). Glen Byam Shaw (1904-1986) was a British theatre director.
BYCRAFT English (American, Rare, ?)
Found mostly in the American Great Lakes region and Canada, likely a singular extended family. Likely of 6th century English descent, though there are very few English natives who bear the name. Name either refers to the occupation running some sort of mill machine, the original holder living near a croft (enclosed pasture or tillage) or implies "craftiness" of its original holder.
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]
CAESAR Ancient Roman, English
An Ancient Roman political title that indicated a military leader. A famous bearer was Julius Caesar, Roman general, dictator, and politician. In modern times, the surname is used to refer to an individual with a tyrannical attitude, which references the connotative meaning of the word "caesar", meaning "a dictator".
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.
CASSEL English, 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]
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).
A habitational name from a place named Caston, which is from the unattested Old English personal name Catt
or the Old Norse personal name Káti
+ Old English tūn
meaning ‘farmstead, settlement’.
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.
A diminutive of Francesco
. A famous bearer is American singer Madonna Ciccone (1958-), better known as simply Madonna.
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.
CLOONEY English, Irish
From Gaelic Ó Cluanaigh
meaning "descendant of Cluanach
". Cluanach was a given name derived from Irish clauna
"deceitful, flattering, rogue".
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.
The House of Coffin is an ancient English family which originated in Devonshire.
Habitational name from Coggeshall in Essex, England, which was derived from Cogg
, an Old English personal name, and Old English halh
meaning "nook, recess".