Collins Dictionary Of Surnames: From Abbey to Mutton, Nabbs to Zouch
Leslie Dunkling

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Alleynesee ALLEN.

Allfieldsee OLDFIELD.

Alliban, Allibon, Allibonesee ALBAN.

Allin, Alline, Allinson, Allis, Allisonsee ALLEN.

Allottsee ALED.

Allrightsee ARKWRIGHT.

Allweathersee FOULWEATHER.

Allwrightsee ARKWRIGHT.

Allyblastersee ALABASTAR.

Almack (Eng) This is a name which would certainly puzzle surname scholars, but Arthur Bush explains, in his Portrait of London: ‘About the middle of the 18th century a Scotsman named William Macall married the Duchess of Hamilton’s lady’s maid. Being a man of ambition he came to London to make his fortune, but, finding that political reasons made Scotsmen unpopular in the capital at that time, he disguised his ancestry by inverting his name; and so Macall became Almack. He opened his rooms, known as Almack’s, in 1765 in King Street.’ MACALL itself also occurs as MACCALL, MACCAULL, MACKALL. The name means ‘son of Cathal,’ a Gaelic personal name meaning ‘war-wielder.’

Dr Johnson mentions another Scotsman who disguised his nationality by becoming David Mallet. His real name was Malloch, a nickname for a man with bushy eyebrows.

Alshionersee ALEXANDER.

Altham (Eng) Descendant of someone who originally came from the Lancashire place of this name, so-called because of its ‘water-meadow with swans.’

Ambler (Eng) Occupational name for an enameller. In rare instances there may be a reference to someone who ambled about.

Amery, Amory, Embery, Embrey, Embry, Emburey, Emerick, Emerson, Emery, Emory, Hemery, Imbery, Imbrey (Eng) Descendant of someone who bore a Germanic personal name, variously spelt Amalric, Emaurri, Haimeri etc., composed of elements meaning ‘bravery’ and ‘power.’

Amoresee MOORE.

Amorysee AMERY.

Anablesee ANNABLE.

Ancel, Anceler, Ancelle (Fre) Occupational name of a serving-maid.

Anchor, Anchorita, Anchoritesee ANGHARAD.

Anchorsmithsee SMITH.

Ancoret, Ancret, Ancrete, Ancrite, Ancrittsee ANGHARAD.

Andrew, Anders, Anderson, Andras, Andress, Andriss, Andrewes, Andrewson, Andro, Andrews, Aunderson, Bandra, Bandrew, Bandrey, Bandro, Dand, Dandie, Dandison, Dando, Dandy, Danson, Drew, Enderson, Gillanders, Kendrew, MacAndrew, Tancock, Tandy (Eng, Welsh, Scot, Irish) All forms derive ultimately from Andrew, a Greek name meaning ‘manly, warrior-like,’ or one of its pet forms. GILLANDERS refers specifically to a devotee of St Andrew. Forms such as BANDRA are from Welsh ab Andrew, ‘son of Andrew’.

Pamela Andrews was one of the most famous young women of the 18th century, thanks to Samuel Richardson’s novel Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded. In the book (which is unintentionally hilarious) Pamela protects her virginity at all costs from her would-be seducer, who is also her employer. Virtue is rewarded when he eventually proposes marriage. The underlying message of the novel as Henry Fielding saw it, (roughly speaking, ‘don’t sell your virginity too cheaply,’) prompted him to write Shamela, followed by a novel called Joseph Andrews in which Joseph, supposedly Pamela’s brother, has to defend himself against the advances of his female employer.

Angharad, Anchor, Anchorita, Anchorite, Ancoret, Ancret, Ancrete, Ancrite, Ancritt, Angarad, Angharat, Anghared, Ankaret, Ankret, Ankrift, Ankritt, Enkret (Welsh) Various spellings, by mainly English clerics, of the Welsh feminine name Angharad ‘much loved one.’ The surname indicates a descendant of a woman so-named.

Angliss, Angless, Anglishsee ENGLISH.

Ankaretsee ANGHARAD.

Ankelsmith, Ankersmithsee SMITH.

Ankret, Ankrift, Ankrittsee ANGHARAD.

Annable, Anable, Annaple, Anniple, Hannibal, Hanniball, Honeyball, Honeybell, Honiball, Honneybell, Honniball, Hunnable, Hunneyball, Hunneybell, Hunnibal, Hunnibell (Eng) Descendant of Annable, a woman’s name which was originally Amable or Amabel, from Latin amabilis, lovable. Other forms of the name were Annaple (Scottish), Annabella, Arabella, Mabel.

Anwyl, Annwell, Annwill, Annwyl (Welsh) Descendant of Anwyl, which has the basic meaning ‘dear one.’

Appleby, Appledore, Appledram, Appleford, Applegarth, Applegate, Applegath, Appleshaw, Applethwaite, Appleton, Appletree, Applewhite, Appleyard (Eng) Someone who originally came from one of the many places so named, in each of which there was originally an ‘apple farm or orchard’. Apple and Appleman also occur, indicating a grower/seller of apples. Ablewhite is another form of Applethwaite. Apley, Appley and Apperley probably refer to a wood with wild apple trees.

Arablesee ORABLE.

Arasmithsee SMITH.

Arbersee HARBER.

Arblastersee ALABASTER.

Archer (Eng) Occupational name of a bowman.

The Archers, ‘an everyday story of countryfolk’ centred on Dan and Doris Archer, has been broadcast since 1950, making it the longest-running BBC radio-serial.

Argue, Argument (Fre) Professor Weekley plausibly suggested in his Surnames that Argument is a form of the common French place name Aigremont, indicating someone who originally came from that place. Argue is likely to be from a similar source, eg one of the many French places which begin with an element such as Aigre or Aigue.

A firm of solicitors in Sligo, Ireland, has attracted a certain amount of publicity at various times because of the partners’ names - Argue and Phibbs.

Arkwright, Artrick, Hartrick, Hartwright, Hattrick (Eng) Occupational name for a ‘maker of bins, meal-chests.’ Many names ending in -wright are of this type, eg BOATWRIGHT, CHEESEWRIGHT, PLOWRIGHT, SHIPWRIGHT, WAINWRIGHT, WHEELWRIGHT, but in some cases this ending has replaced an original -ric, -rich, etc., in Old English personal names. Thus Godric has become both GOODRICH and GOODWRIGHT; Aethelric is concealed in ALLWRIGHT, ALLRIGHT, OLDWRIGHT; Bealdric survives as BOLDWRIGHT, BOLDRIGHT.

Arlington (Eng) Someone who came from one of the several places so-named because it was ‘Alfred’s or Aelfrith’s settlement,’ or ‘the earl’s settlement.’

Arlisssee AIRRLESS.

Armour, Armor, Armsmith (Eng) Occupational name of an armourer.

Armstrong (Scot, Eng) Nickname for a strong man. The variant Strongitharm is also found.

A character in Sir Walter Scott’s Guy Mannering tells a stranger: ‘The folks hereabout are a’ Armstrongs and Elliots, and so the lairds and farmers have the names of their places that they live at - as for example, Tam o’ Todshaw, Will o’ the Flat, Hobbie o’ Sorbietrees … and then the inferior sort o’ people, ye’ll observe, are kend by sorts o’ by-names, as Glaiket Christie, and the Deuke’s Davie or Tod Gabbie, or Hunter Gabbie.’

Arnold, Arnald, Arnason, Arnatt, Arnaud, Arnhold, Arnison, Arnot, Arnott, Arnould, Arnson, Arnull (Eng) Descendant of Arnold, a Germanic personal name meaning ‘eagle rule.’ The name can also refer to an ancestor who came from one of the English places named because of a nearby ‘eagle hollow.’ The Scottish place name Arnot derives instead from Gaelic ornacht ‘barley.’

Arrowsmith, Arousmyth, Arowsmith, Arrasmith, Arsmith, Arusmyth (Eng) Occupational name of a maker of arrow heads.

Arrowsmith is a novel by the American writer Sinclair Lewis, about the life of an idealistic doctor, Martin Arrowsmith. Lewis was offered the Pulitzer Prize for the novel but turned it down.

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