English names

What's in a name? Well, you can read this and find out...

We’ve put together a list of Old English names and their meanings. So forget Kylie, Britney or Angus - have a read and next time your searching for a name remember to fly the flag...


Abbott - father of the abbey
Ackley - oak tree meadow
Addison - Adam's son
Adney - island person
Ainsley - meadow of the respected one
Alcott - old cottage or hut
Alden - old or trustworthy friend
Alder - alder tree
Aldis - old house
Aldrich - old, wise ruler
Aldwyn - old friend
Alford -old ford
Alfred - good or wise counsellor
Alger - old spear
Allard - noble and brave
Almo - noble and famous
Alston - old stone
Alton - old stream or source
Alvin (variant:Alwin) - winning all
Ansley - clearing with a hermitage
Anson - son of Agnes or Anne
Archer - skilled bowman
Ardley - from the domestic meadow
Aric (variant: Rick, Ricky) - sacred ruler
Arlie (variant: Arley, Arly) - eagle wood
Armstrong - strong in the arm
Ashley (variant Ashleigh) - ash wood or glade
Ashlin - ash surrounded pool
Ashton - ash tree farmstead
Atherton - noble army's place
Atlee (variant: Atley) - at the wood or clearing
Atwell - at the spring or well
Axton - stone of the sword fighter
Aylmer - noble and famous
Aylwin - noble friend

Bainbridge - bridge over a short river
Bancroft - bean place
Barclay - birch wood
Barlow - barley hill or barley clearing
Barnet - land cleared by burning
Barnum - homestead of a warrior
Bartley - birch wood or clearing
Baxter - baker
Bentley - woodland clearing where bent grass grows
Beverley -beaver stream
Birch - from the birch tree
Bishop - worker in the bishop's household
Blake - dark complexion
Blyth - cheerful and gentle
Botolf - herald wolf
Bradley - broad clearing or broad wood
Bramwell - from the bramble spring
Brand - firebrand
Brandon - broom-covered hill
Brent - steep place
Brewster - brewer
Brigham - homestead by a bridge
Buck -stag, young man
Buckley - meadow for stags or male goats
Budd - friend or brother
Burdon - castle on a hill or in a valley with a cowshed
Burford - ford by a castle
Burl - cup bearer
Burley - someone who lives in a castle by the meadow
Burn - stream
Burton - fortified farmstead
Byron - at the cowsheds

Caldwell - cold spring or stream
Calvert - calf herd
Carlton (variant: Carl) - peasant
Carson - marsh dweller
Carter - driver or maker of carts
Cedric - from Cerdic, King of Wessex
Chad - war-like
Chapman - merchant
Chester - fortified camp
Chilton - a farm for children
Churchill - church on a hill
Clayborne - someone who lives in a place with clay soil by a brook
Clayton - place with good clay
Cleveland - land of hills
Clifford (variant: Cliff) - ford at a cliff
Clifton - place on a cliff
Clinton - settlement on a hill
Clive - at the cliff
Coleman - swarthy man
Collier - a charcoal burner
Cooper - barrel maker
Cranley - crane clearing, spring or meadow
Crawford - ford of the crows
Creighton - rock or cliff place
Cuthbert - famous, bright

Dale - valley
Dallas - dale house
Dalton - dale farm
Dana - a Dane
Dane - valley
Darnell - hidden nook
Darton - deer enclosure or forest
Dean - a valley
Dempster - judge
Deman - valley dweller
Dennison - son of Dennis
Denton - valley place
Denver - Dane's crossing
Derwent - river that flows through oak trees
Dexter - dyer
Drake - dragon or standard bearer
Dryden - dry valley
Dudley - Dudda's clearing
Dunn - dark skinned
Dunstan - brown hill stone
Durward - door or gatekeeper
Durwin - dear friend

Earl - from the title
Eaton - river or island farm
Edbert - prosperous
Edelmar - noble or famous
Edgar (variants Ed, Eddie) - prosperity spear
Edmund - protection of happiness
Edwald - prosperous ruler
Edward - happy guardian
Edwin - prosperity friend
Elder - a senior person
Eldon - Ella's hill
Eldred - terrible
Eldrid - wise counsellor
Elmore - river bank with elms
Elton - settlement of Ella
Elvey - elf gift
Elvin - noble friend
Emmet - industrious
Esmond - divine protection
Everley - field of the wild boar

Fairfax - lovely hair
Fairley (variant Fairlie) - clearing with ferns
Fane - glad or eager
Farnell - fern hill
Farr - bull
Felton - place in a field
Fenton - place in a marshland
Fielding - someone who lives in a field
Fiske - a fish
Flint - stream, brook
Ford - river crossing
Foster - foster parent
Freeman - free man
Frewin - generous friend
Fulton - muddy place

Galton - rented farm
Garfield - triangular piece of land
Geordie - farmer
Gibson - son of Gilbert
Godwin - God's friend
Goldwin - golden friend
Goodwin - good friend
Granger - farmer or bailiff
Gray - grey haired
Greely - pitted
Gresham - grazing meadow

Haakon - useful
Haddan - heathery hill
Hadley - heathery hill or meadow
Hagley - haw wood or clearing
Haig - person who lives in an enclosure
Halbert - brilliant hero
Halford - ford in a hollow
Hall - someone who lives in a manor house
Hallam - at the hollow
Halliwell - someone who lives by a holy well
Halton - lookout hill
Hamilton - farm in broken country
Hammond - belonging to Hamon
Hamon - great protection
Hanford - rocky ford
Harcourt - falconer's cottage
Harden - valley of the hare
Harford - stag's ford
Hargrave - hare grove
Harian (variant: Harland) - rocky land
Harley - the hare meadow
Harlow - hill stronghold
Harold (variant: Harry) - a champion, general of an army
Harris - son of Harold
Hart - hart deer
Hartford - army ford or hart deer ford
Hartley - army ford or hart deer ford
Hartwell - stag's stream
Hastings - violent people's territory
Hawley - field of hedge
Haydon - heather hill or hay hill
Hayley - hay field
Hayward - manager of enclosures
Haywood - fenced forest
Hazlett - hazel tree
Heathcliff - one who lives by a heather cliff
Herbert (variant: Herbie) - army bright
Hereward - army guard
Herrick - strong army
Hewett - cleared place
Hilton - hill farm
Holbrook - brook in a valley
Holcomb - deep valley
Holden - from the deep valley
Holgate - road in a hollow
Hollis - someone who lives near holly trees
Holmes - island in a river
Holt - wood or forest
Horton - muddy place
Houston - Hugh's place
Howe - hill
Hudson - son of little Hugh
Humphrey - peace
Hunter - hunter
Huntingdon - hunter's hill
Huntington - hunter's farm
Huntley - hunter's meadow
Hurst - wooded hill
Huxley - Hugh's meadow
Hyde - a unit of land

Ingram - river meadow
Irwin - friend of boars
Isham - home on the water

Jackson - son of Jack
Jagger - carter
Jefferson - son of Jeffrey

Kelsey - victory
Kemp - warrior
Kendall (variant: Ken) - valley of the holy river
Kent - from the county of Kent
Kenton - settlement on the river Kenn or royal palace
Kenward - brave guard
Kingsley - king's meadow
Kingston - king's farm
Kinsey - royal voctor
Knight - bound to serve a feudal lord as a mounted soldier

Lamond - law giver
Lane - narrow road
Langford - long ford
Langley - long meadow
Latham - barn
Lawson - son of Lawrence
Lawton - place on a hill
Lee - field or meadow
Leif - beloved one
Leighton - herb garden
Lester - from the Roman city of Leicester
Lindall - valley of lime trees
Lindley - lime tree meadow, flax field
Linford - ford of the lime tree, flax ford
Linton - flax place
Lister - dyer
Lynden - dweller by lime trees

Madison - son of Mathew or Maud
Manley - brave, upright
Marland - lake land
Marlow - land of the former pool
Marsden - boundary valley
Marshall - horse servant
Medwin - mead friend
Melbourne - mill stream
Merton - farmplace by the pool
Mervin - famous friend
Milford - mill ford
Milton - middle farmstead
Milward - mill keeper
Modred - counsellor, the knight who killed King Arthur
Morley - moor meadow
Morton - farmstead moor
Myer - marsh

Nash - ash tree
Newland - new land
Newman - newcomer
Newton - new farmstead or village
Nixon (variant Nickson) - son of Nicholas
Norman - norseman
Northcliffe - north cliff
Norton - northern farm or settlement
Norvin - northern friend
Norwell - northern stream
Norwood - northern wood

Oakley - oak tree meadow
Odo - rich
Osbert (variant Ozzy) - God bright
Oswin - God friend

Pollard (originally Polhard) - one with close cropped hair
Preseley - priest's meadow

Radcliffe - red cliff
Radley - red meadow
Radnor - red slopes
Raleigh (variant Rawley) - red meadow
Ramsden - ram's valley
Ransom - son of Rand
Rawnsely - raven's meadow
Read - red headed
Reading - people of the red one
Redman - red cairn or thatcher
Reeve - steward or bailiff
Reginald (variant Reggie, Rex) - power
Renton - farmstead of power
Richard (variant: Dick, Richie, Ricky) - power ruler
Rider - knight, horse rider
Ridley - cleared meadow
Rigby - farm on a ridge
Rigg - at the ridge
Ring - wearer of a ring
Ripley - strip shaped clearing
Rochester - roman fort at the bridges
Rock - stone or oak
Rodden - valley of deer
Rowe - hedgerow
Rowell - rough hill
Rowley - rough meadow
Roxburgh - rooks fortress
Royle rye hill
Royston - place of Royce
Rudyard - reed enclosure
Rugby - Hroca's stronghold
Rutherford - cattle ford
Rutland - Rota's estate
Rylan - where rye grows

Sanders - from Alexander
Sanford - sandy fort
Saxon - people of the short swords
Seaton - farmstead at the sea
Seeley - blessed and happy
Selby - place by the willow trees
Seldon - from the valley of the willow trees
Sewald - sea powerful
Shaw - small wood or grovw
Sheffield - open land by the Sheaf river
Sheldon - heathery hill or steep valley
Shepard - sheep herder
Sherbourne - clear stream
Sherlock - fair haired
Sherman - shearman
Sherwood - shore woods
Siddall - broad slope
Sidney - wide island
Skelton - farmstead on a hill
Skipper - jumping
Skipton - sheep farm
Slade - valley
Smith - blacksmith
Snowdon - snowy hill
Somerset - settlers around the summer farmstead
Somerton - summer farmstead
Stafford - ford by a landing
Standish - stony pasture
Stanford - stone ford
Stanhope - stony hollow
Stanley - stony field
Stanton - stony farmstead
Steino - determined
Sterling - little star
Stockland - land of religious house
Stockley - cleared meadow of a religious house
Stockton - outlying farmstead
Stoddard - horse keeper
Stoke - outlying farmstead
Stowe - holy place
Stratford - ford on roman road
Stuart - a steward
Sumner - one who summons
Sutton - southern farmstead
Swithin - strong

Thaine (variant: Thane) - holder of land in return for military service
Thewlis - ill mannered
Thorndike - thorny ditch
Thorne - thorn tree or hawthorne
Thorpe - farm village
Todhunter - foxhunter
Torr - tower
Townsend - end of the village
Trevor - a large homestead
Truelove - faithful sweatheart
Trueman - faithful servant
Twyford - double ford
Tye - enclosure
Tyler (variant: Ty) - tile maker

Ulmar - wolf
Ulric - wolf power
Unwin - not a friend

Vance - young

Wade - at the ford
Wainwright - cart maker
Wake - alert
Walker - a fuller
Wallis - a Welshman
Walton - farmstead of the Britons
Ward - watchman , guard
Warwick - homes by the weir
Washington - Wassa's estate
Waverley - meadow or clearing
Wayne - carter
Webster - woman weaver
Wellington - Weola's farmstead
Wentworth - winter enclosure
Wesley (variant: Wes) - west wood
Whitaker - white acre
Whitman - white or fair haired
Whitney - white island or Witta's island
Wilbert - well born
Wilbur - wild boar
Willard - bold resolve
Willoughby - farm by the willows
Wilmer - famous will or desire
Wilson - son of Will
Winston - friend's place or farm
Winton - friend's farm
Woodrow - row of houses in a wood
Wyman - battle protector
Wyndham - homestead of Wyman


Ada - noble
Aida - happy
Aldora - noble rank
Aldyth - old
Alura - divine counsellor
Alyth - steep place
Anora - graceful
Audrey - mighty and strong
Averil - uncertain meaning

Beda - maid of war
Berthilda - shining maid of war
Blossom - like a flower
Brandy - to burn wine
Brook - stream
Bunty - a pet lamb

Calisa - war minstrel
Cater - a cart driver
Chelsea - chalk landing place
Clarimond - clear protection
Clover - from the plant
Colby - from the coal black settlement

Daisy - from the plant
Dale - valley
Darby - from the village with a deer park
Darlene - darling
Deana - who lives in a valley
Deena - from the valley

Earlene - feminine form of Earl
Eartha - earth
Eda - prosperity
Edith - prosperity and war
Edlyn - noble maid
Edmonda - prosperity defender
Edrea - weathly ruler
Edwina - prosperity friend
Elfleda - noble beauty
Elfreda - elf strength
Elgiva - noble gift
Elva - friend of elves
Erica - feminine form of Eric, rich and brave
Estrid - goddess of the rising sun
Ethel - of noble birth
Evelyn - from the surname Aveline

Faith (variant: Fay) - believer in God
Fern - from the plant

Godiva - gift of God
Gueda - good

Haldan - half Dane
Happy - joyful
Haralda - champion
Hayley - hay clearing
Hazel - from the tree
Heather - from the plant
Herta - of the earth

Ivy - from the plant

Jade - from the stone
Joy - one who is happy

Kim - royal
Kimberley - wood clearing
Kristina - a Christian

Lindsay - from the island of Lincoln

Maida - maiden
Mavis (variant: Maeve) - song thrush
Melody - some one who is melodic
Mercy - compassionate
Merry - joyous
Mildred - mild and strong

Nara - dear

Poppy - from the plant

Queenie - queen
Quenby - queen's manor

Raven - from the bird
Reva - bailiff

Roberta - famous and brilliant
Saffron - type of crocus
Scarlett - wearer of scarlet clothes
Shelley - clearing on a bank
Shirley - one who lives by the shire meadow
Storm - rain and winds

Topaz - from the gem
Tuesday - from the day of the week

Ulrica - wolf and ruler
Unity - harmony and agreement

Walburga - power and protection
Whitney - white island
Wilfrida - will and peace
Winifred - joy of peace
Wynn - friend

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