Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
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
Derived from a village and civil parish with the same name near Glossop, Derbyshire, England.
habitational name from any of the numerous places called Charlton, from Old English Ceorlatun meaning ‘settlement of the peasants’. With old English elements tun ‘settlement, yard, town’ and ceorl denoted originally a free peasant of the lowest rank, later (but probably already before the Norman conquest) a tenant in pure villeinage, a serf or bondsman... [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]
It is topographical or perhaps occupational and describes a person who lived or worked at a cherry orchard, or who lived by a house known by the sign of the cherry. In the days before house numbering, it was the tradition in almost all western countries to give the house a sign... [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.
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).
CLOUGH English (British)
The distinguished surname Clough is of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin. It is derived from the Old English "cloh," meaning "ravine" or "steep-sided valley," and was first used to refer to a "dweller in the hollow."
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]
The initial bearer of this surname lived in a little cottage.
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".
Recorded in several forms as shown below, this is a surname of two possible nationalities and origins. Firstly it may be of Scottish locational origins, from the lands of Cogle in the parish of Watten, in Caithness, or secondly English and also locational from a place called Cogges Hill in the county of Oxfordshire... [more]
COIT Medieval 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]
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).
Habitational name from a place near Catterick in North Yorkshire.
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.
English occupational name for someone who looked after asses and horses, from an agent derivative of Colt
. Compare Coulthard
. Variant spelling of German Kolter
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]
CORBIN English, French
Derived from French corbeau
meaning "raven," originally denoting a person who had dark hair.
Variant of CORBIN
, notably borne by current Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (1949-).
Derives from Old French Cordon
meaning "a seller of ribbon" or from Cordoan
, a locational job description for a worker in fine kid leather. Originally associated with the city of Cordova in Spain... [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
COSSART English, 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.
"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]
COULLSON Scottish Gaelic (Anglicized, Rare), English
All origins of the name are patronymic. Meanings include an Anglicized version of the Gaelic MACCUMHAILL
, meaning "son of Cumhall", which means "champion" and "stranger and an Anglicized patronymic of the Gaelic MacDhubhghaill
, meaning "son of Dubhgall." The personal name comes from the Gaelic words dubh
, meaning "black" and gall
, meaning "stranger."... [more]
COURT English, French, Irish
A topographic name from Middle English, Old French court(e)
, 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]
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]
habitational name from the city of Coventry in the West Midlands, which is probably named with the genitive case of an Old English personal name Cofa (compare Coveney
) + Old English treow 'tree'.
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]
COWDELL English (British)
Cowdell is derived from a geographical locality. 'of Coldwell' (v. Caldwell), a township in the union of Bellingham, Northumberland Also of Colwell, a township in the union of Hexham, same county.
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
An occupational name for a seller of dairy products.
Occupational name for a seller of dairy products, from an agent derivative of Middle English, Old French creme 'cream' (Late Latin crama, apparently of Gaulish origin).
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".
CRIBBS English (Rare)
Unknown origin. Likely either from the Old English given name Crispin, which derives from a Latin nickname meaning "curly-haired", or from the place Cribbis near Lauder, England.
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”.
Habitational name from places in Nottinghamshire and West Yorkshire named Cromwell, from Old English crumb
"bent, crooked" and well(a)
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.
From Middle English crow
, Old English crawa
, applied as a nickname for someone with dark hair or a dark complexion or for someone thought to resemble the bird in some other way.
CROWLEY Irish (Anglicized), English
Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Cruadhlaoich ‘descendant of Cruadhlaoch’, a personal name composed of the elements cruadh ‘hardy’ + laoch ‘hero’. ... [more]
Means "coroner" (from Anglo-Norman corouner
"coroner", a derivative of Old French coroune
Originally meant "person who plays the crowd (an ancient Celtic stringed instrument)". It was borne by British entertainer Leslie Crowther (1933-1996).
CROZIER English, French
English and French occupational name for one who carried a cross or a bishop’s crook in ecclesiastical processions, from Middle English, Old French croisier
Originally a nickname for a crippled or deformed person, from Middle English cromp
meaning "bent, crooked, stooping" (from Old English crumb
CRUSOE English (Rare)
According to Reaney and Wilson this name was taken to England by John Crusoe, a Huguenot refugee from Hownescourt in Flanders, who settled in Norwich.