English Submitted Surnames
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
English habitational name from places in Cambridgeshire, Kent, Northumbria, and North Yorkshire; most are so named from Old English Ellingtun ‘settlement (Old English tun
) associated with Ella’
, a short form of the various compound names with a first element ælf
‘elf’, but the one in Kent has its first element from the Old English byname Ealda
An English habitational name from Elmore in Gloucestershire, named from Old English elm
‘elm’ + ofer
‘river bank’ or ofer
ELRIC English, Anime
From the medieval English givin name Elric
. Notable bearers were the Fullmetal Alchemist characters Edward and Alphonse Elric, as well as their mother, Trisha Elric.
Means "person from Elwell", Dorset (probably "spring from which omens can be read").
It's either from a place name in Gloucestershire, England called Ellwood that is derived from Old English ellern
"elder tree" and wudu
"wood", or a form of the Old English personal name Ælfweald
, composed of the elements ælf
"elf" and weald
EMERY English, French, Norman
English and French from a Germanic personal name, Emaurri
, composed of the elements amja
‘busy’, ‘industrious’ + ric
‘power’. The name was introduced into England from France by the Normans... [more]
A name that came from a family that lived in Yorkshire, where they derived the family name from Helmsley. Probably of Old English origin Helm and ley or leah, which means "a clearing in the woods."
ENGELBERT German, English, French
From a Germanic personal name composed of engel
) + berht
‘bright’, ‘famous’. The widespread popularity of the name in France during the Middle Ages was largely a result of the fact that it had been borne by a son-in-law of Charlemagne
; in the Rhineland it was more often given in memory of a bishop of Cologne (1216–25) of this name, who was martyred.
ESTES Welsh, Spanish, English
a popular surname derived from the House of Este. It is also said to derive from Old English and have the meaning "of the East." As a surname, it has been traced to southern England in the region of Kent, as early as the mid-16th century.
ETHERINGTON English (British)
An Old English surname from Kent, the village of Etherington, which derives from the Old English "Ethel"red' ing (meaning people of, coming from) and "ton" a town/village.
Topographic name for someone who lived by a bank of yew trees, from Old English iw
"yew" and bank
Surname of Norman origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066, and is a locational name from "Evreux" in Eure, Normandy. The place is so called from having apparently been the capital of the "Eburovices", a Gaulish tribe.
Habitational name from any of various places, in Bedfordshire, Merseyside, and Nottinghamshire, so named from Old English eofor
‘wild boar’ + tun
Derived from the Old English homme
, the name of a swineherd in the service of Egwin, third bishop of Worcester.
Habitation name from the town of Ewell in Surrey or from Temple Ewell or Ewell Manor, both in Kent or Ewell Minnis near Dover. Originally from Old English Aewill
meaning "river source" or "spring".
Derived from Middle English eyer
"heir", originally denoting a man who was designated to inherit or had already inherited the main property in a particular locality. The surname was borne by the heroine of Charlotte Brontë's 'Jane Eyre' (1847).
FAIR English, Irish
English: nickname meaning ‘handsome’, ‘beautiful’, ‘fair’, from Middle English fair
, Old English fæger
. The word was also occasionally used as a personal name in Middle English, applied to both men and women.... [more]
From a medieval nickname probably meaning either "better-looking of two brothers" or "brother of a good-looking person", or perhaps in some cases "father's brother".
Either (i) meant "person from Fairy Farm or Fairyhall", both in Essex (Fairy
perhaps "pigsty"); or (ii) from a medieval nickname meaning "beautiful eye". This was borne by Fairey Aviation, a British aircraft company, producer of the biplane fighter-bomber Fairey Swordfish... [more]
From a medieval nickname for someone with beautiful hair, from Old English fæger
"fair" and feax
"hair". It was borne by the English general Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Baron Fairfax of Cameron (1612-1671), commander of the Parliamentary army during the Civil War... [more]
FALLOW English, Jewish
English: topographic name for someone who lived by a patch of fallow land, Middle English falwe
(Old English f(e)alg
). This word was used to denote both land left uncultivated for a time to recover its fertility and land recently brought into cultivation.... [more]
Derived from the English surname Fancourt
, which originated in the county of Bedfordshire in England.
From a medieval nickname for a well-disposed person (from Old English fægen
"glad, willing"), or from a medieval Welsh nickname for a slim person (Welsh fain
). This is the family name of the earls of Westmorland.
Meant "person from Featherstonehaugh", Northumberland (now known simply as "Featherstone") ("nook of land by the four-stones", four-stones
referring to a prehistoric stone structure known technically as a "tetralith")... [more]
Fan means "From France" and Thorpe is a Middle English word meaning "Small Village, Hamlet"
From an English surname meaning "servant of Fair", Fair
being derived from Old English fæger
used as a personal name.
(i) from an Old Norse personal name denoting literally a seafarer or travelling trader, brought into English via French; (ii) "itinerant trader, pedlar", from Middle English fareman
FARRAR English (British)
Northern English: occupational name for a smith or worker in iron, from Middle English and Old French farrour, ferour, from medieval Latin ferrator, an agent derivative of ferrare ‘to shoe horses’, from ferrum ‘iron’, in medieval Latin ‘horseshoe’... [more]
Northern English: hyper-corrected form of FARRAR
, occupational name for a smith or worker in iron. The original -ar or -er ending of this name came to be regarded as an error, and was changed to -ow.
(i) "someone who lives on a 'farthing' of land" (i.e. a quarter of a larger area); (ii) from a medieval nickname based on farthing
"1/4 penny", perhaps applied to someone who paid a farthing in rent; (iii) from the Old Norse male personal name Farthegn
, literally "voyaging warrior"
From the Old Norse male personal name Fastúlfr
, literally "strong wolf". It was borne by Sir John Fastolf (1380-1459), an English soldier whose name was adapted by Shakespeare as "Falstaff".
From the Norman personal name Faulques
, which was derived from a Germanic nickname meaning literally "falcon". A famous bearer of the surname was Guy Fawkes (1570-1606), the English Catholic conspirator... [more]
FAYE French, English
Refers to one who came from Fay or Faye (meaning "beech tree") in France.
Means "person from Fazakerley", Liverpool ("glade by the borderland").
Indicates a person lived in or near Featherstonhaugh in Northumberland, England. From Old English feðere
"stone", and healh
From Middle English fell
”high ground”, ultimately derived from Old Norse fjall
, describing one who lived on a mountain.
FELL English, German, Jewish
Metonymic occupational name for a furrier, from Middle English fell
, Middle High German vel
, or German Fell
or Yiddish fel
, all of which mean "skin, hide, pelt". Yiddish fel
refers to untanned hide, in contrast to pelts
"tanned hide" (see Pilcher
FELLER English, German, Jewish
Occupational name for a furrier, from an agent derivative of Middle English fell
, Middle Low German, Middle High German vel
, or German Fell
or Yiddish fel
"hide, pelt". See also Fell
English: patronymic from Fellow
, from Middle English felagh, felaw late Old English feolaga ‘partner’, ‘shareholder’ (Old Norse félagi, from fé ‘fee’, ‘money’ + legja to lay down)... [more]
A habitation name composed of the elements feld-
, meaning "field or pasture" and -tun
, meaning "settlement."
From a medieval nickname meaning literally "fine love" (from Old French fin amour
A surname of either Old French
origin, allegedly meaning “huntsman”, or else more probably referring to those who were brought over from the Low Countries to assist in draining the “fens” or wetlands of England and Ireland – a process which lasted from the 9th to the 18th centuries.
Topographic name for a fen dweller, from a derivative of Old English fenn
Means "person from Fenwick", Northumberland, Strathclyde and Yorkshire ("dairy farm in fenland"). The name is pronounced as "Fennick". It belongs to a chain of department stores, founded in Newcastle in 1882 by John Fenwick (1846-1905).
FERRAND French, English
This French surname can be derived from a given name (thus making it a patronymic surname) as well as from a nickname (thus making it a descriptive surname). In the case of a patronymic surname, the surname is derived from the medieval French masculine given name Ferrand
, which was a variant form of the name Fernand
, itself a contraction of Ferdinand
Nickname from Old French fait, Middle English fet meaning "suitable", "comely".
From a Middle English form of February
, probably used as a nickname either for someone born in that month or for someone with a suitably frosty demeanor. In fiction, this surname was borne by the central character of George Meredith's novel 'The Ordeal of Richard Feverel' (1859).
Anglisized version of the Gaelic Ó Faoláin meaning "descendent of Faolán", a given name meaning "wolf".
FIANDER English (British)
The Fiander surname may have it's origins in Normandy, France (possibly from the old-French "Vyandre"), but is an English (British) surname from the Dorset county region. The Fiander name can also be found in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, Canada the origins of which can be traced back to the mid-1700's in the village of Milton Abbas, Dorsetshire.
FIELD English, Scottish, Irish, Jewish (Anglicized)
English: topographic name for someone who lived on land which had been cleared of forest, but not brought into cultivation, from Old English feld
‘pasture’, ‘open country’, as opposed on the one hand to æcer
‘cultivated soil’, ‘enclosed land’ (see Acker
) and on the other to weald
‘wooded land’, ‘forest’ (see Wald
Southern English from Middle English felder
‘dweller by the open country’.
Topographic name for someone who lived in a house in open pasture land. Reaney draws attention to the form de Felhouse (Staffordshire 1332), and suggests that this may have become Fellows.
Topographic name from an Old English felding
‘dweller in open country’.
This surname most likely means, "Field Man", if it's not derived from the English words themselves.
Local. Has the same signification as Manorfield. Lands held in fee or fief, for which the individual pays service or owes rent.
From a medieval nickname for a trustworthy person (from the Anglo-Norman form of Old French fichais
Means either (i) "person from Filkins", Oxfordshire ("settlement of Filica's people"); or "son of Filkin
", a medieval personal name meaning literally "little Phil
", from Philip
From a medieval nickname derived from Anglo-Norman fitz le rei
"son of the king" (see also Fitzroy
), probably applied mainly (and ironically) to an illegitimate person or to someone who put on quasi-royal airs.
English: nickname from Middle English finch
‘finch’ (Old English finc
). In the Middle Ages this bird had a reputation for stupidity. It may perhaps also in part represent a metonymic occupational name for someone who caught finches and sold them as songsters or for the cooking pot... [more]
FINE English (?)
English nickname for a clever or elegant man, from Old French fin
‘fine’, ‘delicate’, ‘skilled’, ‘cunning’ (originally a noun from Latin finis
‘end’, ‘extremity’, ‘boundary’, later used also as an adjective in the sense ‘ultimate’, ‘excellent’).
FINGER English, German, Jewish
Probably applied as a nickname for a man who had some peculiarity of the fingers, such as possessing a supernumerary one or having lost one or more of them through injury, or for someone who was small in stature or considered insignificant... [more]
FINK German, Slovene, English, Jewish
Nickname for a lively or cheerful person, Jewish ornamental name derived from the Germanic word for "finch", and German translation of Slovene Šinkovec
which is from šcinkovec
FIRMAN English, French
From a medieval personal name meaning "firm, resolute, strong man." Borne by early saints and bishops. First name variants Firman
. Expressed in Latin as Firminus.
FIRTH English, Scottish, Welsh
English and Scottish: topographic name from Old English (ge)fyrhþe
‘woodland’ or ‘scrubland on the edge of a forest’.... [more]
FISK English (British)
English (East Anglia): metonymic occupational name for a fisherman or fish seller, or a nickname for someone supposedly resembling a fish in some way, from Old Norse fiskr ‘fish’ (cognate with Old English fisc).
FISKE English, Norwegian
From the traditionally Norwegian habitational surname, from the Old Norse fiskr
"fish" and vin
"meadow". In England and Denmark it was a surname denoting someone who was a "fisherman" or earned their living from selling fish.
probably from Middle English flack, flak "turf", "sod" (as found in the place name Flatmoor, in Cambridgeshire), and hence perhaps an occupational name for a turf cutter.
This early occupational and mainly 'midlands' English surname, is actually of pre-medieval French origins. Introduced into England at the time of the Norman Conquest of 1066, it derives from the French word flaonet
meaning a 'little flan', and described a maker of patisserie or pancakes.
Means "person who lives near a pool" (Middle English flasshe
FLINT English, German
Topographic name for someone who lived near a significant outcrop of flint, Old English, Low German flint
, or a nickname for a hard-hearted or physically tough individual.
Nickname from Middle English flo(u)r
‘flower’, ‘blossom’ (Old French flur
, from Latin flos
, genitive floris
). This was a conventional term of endearment in medieval romantic poetry, and as early as the 13th century it is also regularly found as a female personal name.
Metonymic occupational name for a miller or flour merchant, or perhaps a nickname for a pasty-faced person, from Middle English flo(u)r
‘flour’. This is in origin the same word as in 1, with the transferred sense ‘flower, pick of the meal’... [more]
Occupational name for an arrowsmith, from an agent derivative of Middle English flō
‘arrow’ (Old English flā
From the English word flute
which is an instrument.
Nickname for someone with a peculiarity or deformity of the foot, from Middle English fot (Old English fot), or in some cases from the cognate Old Norse byname Fótr.
Habitational name from any of the places in Cambridgeshire, Essex, and Norfolk named Fordham, from Old English ford
‘ford’ + ham
‘homestead’ or hamm
‘enclosure hemmed in by water’.
not sure how i can up with this but i used it for my hp professor oc
English from a Norman personal name, a short form of various Germanic names formed with folk
‘people’. See also Volk
FOWL English, Popular Culture
This name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the Old English pre 7th Century word fugol
, "fowl", "bird", which was used as a byname and as a personal name. The medieval form of the word was the Middle English development foul
, used as a continuation of the Old English personal name and also as a nickname for someone who in some way resembled a bird.
Means "fox stream", from Old English fox and well(a), meaning stream.
FRALEY English (American)
Anglicized/Americanized version of the German surname "Frohlich", meaning "happy" or "cheerful".
English: habitational name from any of various places so called, of which there are several in Gloucestershire and one in Dorset. Most take the name from the Frome river (which is probably from a British word meaning ‘fair’, ‘brisk’) + Old English tun ‘enclosure’, ‘settlement’... [more]
Status name for a person whom lived on an area of land without having to pay obligations. From Norman French frank
, 'free' and Middle English land
, 'land'. This surname is common in Yorkshire.... [more]
Nickname or status name from Old English frēo
"free(-born)", i.e. not a serf.
FREELING English, Dutch
This is the surname of Christian Freeling (born February 1, 1947 in Enschede, Netherlands)a Dutch game designer and inventor. This surname was also used for the main character "Carol Anne Freeling" in the Poltergeist film of 1982 as well.... [more]
FRENCH English, Anglo-Saxon
Ethnic name for someone from France, Middle English frensche
, or in some cases perhaps a nickname for someone who adopted French airs. Variant of Anglo-Norman French Frain
English from Middle English frette
, Old French frete
‘interlaced work (in metal and precious stones)’ such as was used for hair ornaments and the like, hence a metonymic occupational name for a maker of such pieces.
From the Middle English personal name Frewine
, literally "noble or generous friend".
Nickname for a companionable person, from Middle English frend "friend" (Old English freond). In the Middle Ages the term was also used to denote a relative or kinsman, and the surname may also have been acquired by someone who belonged to the family of someone who was a more important figure in the community
Means "person from Frisby", Leicestershire ("farmstead of the Frisians"). A frisbee is a plastic disc thrown from person to person as a game; the trademarked name, registered in 1959 by Fred Morrison, was inspired by the Frisbie bakery of Bridgeport, Connecticut, whose pie tins were the original models for the plastic discs.
FRIZZELL English (Rare)
Either (i) from Friseal
, the Scottish Gaelic form of Fraser
; or (ii) from a medieval nickname applied to someone who dressed in a showy or gaudy style (from Old French frisel
Topographical name from the village of Froggatt in Derbyshire.
From the Old English personal name Frōda
or Old Norse Fróthi
, both meaning literally "wise" or "prudent". A variant spelling was borne by British historian James Anthony Froude (1818-1894).
English (chiefly East Anglia): from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements folk ‘people’ + hari, heri ‘army’, which was introduced into England from France by the Normans; isolated examples may derive from the cognate Old English Folchere
or Old Norse Folkar
, but these names were far less common.
Habitational name from a place in Scotland. Derived from Old English fugol
"bird" and tun
FURLONG English, Irish
Apparently a topographic name from Middle English furlong ‘length of a field’ (from Old English furh meaning "furro" + lang meaning "long".
FURMAN Polish, Czech, Slovak, Jewish, Slovene, English, German (Anglicized)
Polish, Czech, Slovak, Jewish (eastern Ashkenazic), and Slovenian: occupational name for a carter or drayman, the driver of a horse-drawn delivery vehicle, from Polish, Yiddish, and Slovenian furman
, a loanword from German (see Fuhrmann
Northern English: of uncertain origin, perhaps a habitational name from a minor place named with Old Norse gafl
‘gable’, which was applied to a triangular-shaped hill. The mountain called Great Gable in Cumbria is named in this way.... [more]
Habitational name from Cadborough, alias Gateborough, in Rye, Sussex, probably so named from Old English gāt meaning "goat" + beorg meaning "hill".
Habitational name from Gaddesby in Leicestershire, recorded in Domesday Book as Gadesbi
and so named from the Old Norse personal name Gaddr
(or from Old Norse gaddr
"spur (of land)") and býr
GAINES English, Norman, Welsh
English (of Norman origin): nickname for a crafty or ingenious person, from a reduced form of Old French engaine
‘ingenuity’, ‘trickery’ (Latin ingenium
‘native wit’). The word was also used in a concrete sense of a stratagem or device, particularly a trap.... [more]
From the city of Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, England. A famous bearer of this surname includes English painter Thomas Gainsborough.
GALL Scottish, Irish, English
Nickname, of Celtic origin, meaning "foreigner" or "stranger". In the Scottish Highlands the Gaelic term gall
was applied to people from the English-speaking lowlands and to Scandinavians; in Ireland the same term was applied to settlers who arrived from Wales and England in the wake of the Anglo-Norman invasion of the 12th century... [more]
Nickname for a cheerful or high-spirited person, from Old French, Middle English galant
"bold, dashing, lively". The meanings "gallant" and "attentive to women" are further developments, which may lie behind some examples of the surname.
English: occupational name for a messenger or scullion (in a monastery), from Old French galopin ‘page’, ‘turnspit’, from galoper ‘to gallop’.
from the Old Norse byname Gamall meaning "old", which was occasionally used in North England during the Middle Ages as a personal name. ... [more]
From a medieval nickname applied to a merry or sportive person (from Middle English gamen
"game"), or to someone who walked in a strange way or had some peculiarity of the legs (from Anglo-Norman gambon
(i) "grower or seller of garlic"; (ii) perhaps from a medieval personal name descended from Old English Gārlāc
, literally "spear-play"; (iii) an anglicization of the Belorussian Jewish name Garelick
, literally "distiller"
Comes from a lost locational name from the Olde English gara
, referring to a "triangular piece of land" or to a "spearhead", and wudu
meaning a "wood".
Meaning "Goat Shelter". English (Lancashire) habitual name from Gatesgill in Cumbria, so named from Old Norse geit ‘goat’ + skáli ‘shelter’. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 14th Century.
Topographic name for someone who lived by the gates of a medieval walled town. The Middle English singular gate
is from the Old English plural, gatu
, of geat
"gate" (see Yates
English of uncertain origin; probably a variant of Catlin
, a nickname from Old English gœdeling
‘kinsman’, ‘companion’, but also ‘low fellow’.
A different form of Gadsby
("person from Gaddesby", Leicestershire ("Gaddr's farmstead")). A fictional bearer is Jay Gatsby, the central character of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel 'The Great Gatsby' (1925).
Perhaps an altered spelling of the middle English Gabbett
, which is from a pet form of the personal name GABRIEL
GAY English, French
Nickname for a lighthearted or cheerful person, from Middle English, Old French gai
GAY English, Norman
Habitational name from places in Normandy called Gaye, from an early proprietor bearing a Germanic personal name cognate with Wade.
Derived from Old French gaillard
meaning "high-spirited, boistrous".
Variant of Geer, Gehr or Geary
, all related to the Old High German element gēr
(Old English gār
, Old Norse geirr
) meaning "spear, arrow". A famous bearer is American actor Richard Gere (b... [more]
GERMAN English, Norman, German, Jewish, Greek
From Old French germain
meaning "German". This sometimes denoted an actual immigrant from Germany, but was also used to refer to a person who had trade or other connections with German-speaking lands... [more]
Diminutive of names containing ger
, meaning "spear".
Gifford is an English name for someone who comes from Giffords Hall in Suffolk. In Old English, it was Gyddingford, or "ford associated with Gydda." Alternatively, it could come from the Middle English nickname, "Giffard," from Old French meaning "chubby-cheeked."
Means either (i) "person from Gilby", Lincolnshire ("Gilli's farm"); or (ii) "little Gilbert
Topographic name for someone who lived by a ravine or deep glen, Middle English gil(l), Old Norse gil "ravine"
From the Norman personal name Gillebrand
, of Germanic origin and meaning literally "hostage-sword".
Either (i) from a shortened form of the Germanic personal name Gangulf
, literally "walking wolf"; or (ii) a different form of Gingold
From a medieval nickname applied to a brave man (or, with heavy irony, to a cowardly one), from Old French cuer de lion
From a short form of the various Old English personal names with a first element glæd
"shining, joyful". Compare Gladwin
Probably means "bright island", from the Old English element glæd
"bright" (cf. Glædwine
) and the English element ney
"island" (cf.... [more]
Means either "sword-maker" or "sword-seller", or else from a nickname applied to a skilled swordsman (in either case from Middle English gleyve
GLISSEN English, Irish
Possible British version of the Irish surname Glasson from the the Gaelic word O’Glasain. Meaning green from the counties of Tipperary.
GOBER English, French
The surname Gober was first found in Warwickshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The Norman influence of English history dominated after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed.
Comes from the Germanic personal name Godin-, a pet form of any of various compound names beginning with god, got ‘god’. Compare Godbold, Goddard, and Godfrey.
Means "Son of Godwin
". First born by Harold Godwinson. From his father Godwine
, Earl of Wessex. Harold was defeated & killed during the battle of Hastings in 1066 by William the Bastard, now known as William the Conqueror.
GOLD English, German
From Old English, Old High German gold
"gold", applied as a metonymic occupational name for someone who worked in gold, i.e. a refiner, jeweler, or gilder, or as a nickname for someone who either had many gold possessions or bright yellow hair.