Blogiversary: 10/2/2013

Surnames

These are some of my ancestral surnames and what they mean.  The source of the French surname and Korean definitions are from the Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press.

Archambault - French: from an Old French personal name of Germanic origin, composed of Old High German ercan ‘precious’, ‘excellent’ (see Arcand) + bald ‘bold’, ‘daring’.
Aubert - French and English (of Norman origin): from the Old French personal name Aubert, a variant of Albert.German (Swabian): variant of Albert.
Audet - nickname from Gascon dialect audet ‘bird’, variant of standard Occitan ausèl (modern French oiseau).
Bailly - French: occupational name for a steward or official, from Old French baillis. Compare Bailey, Bayliss.
Baudry - French: from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements bald ‘bold’ + ric ‘power’.
Beaudet - French: variant spelling of Baudet, a diminutive of Baud meaning ‘joyful’.
Bonin - French: from a diminutive of Bon. Bon - French: approbatory (or ironic) nickname, from Old French bon ‘good’ (Latin bonus).  French: occasionally from the Latin personal name Bonus (likewise meaning ‘good’), which was borne by a minor 3rd-century Christian saint, martyred at Rome with eleven companions under the Emperor Vespasian. It was adopted as a personal name partly in his honor and partly because of the transparently well-omened meaning.Hungarian: from a short form of the old ecclesiastical name Bonifác (see Boniface).
Bouchard - from a Norman personal name, Bou(r)chart, composed of the Germanic elements bourg ‘fort’ + heard ‘hardy’, ‘brave’, ‘strong’.nickname for someone with a big mouth (possibly in either a literal or figurative sense), from French bouche ‘mouth’ + the pejorative suffix -ard.
Bourassa - Southern French: from a diminutive of French Bourrasse (see Bouras). Bouras - Greek: variant of Booras.  Southern French and Catalan (Bourras): from Occitan bourras, Catalan bourràs ‘frieze’, a type of coarse reddish brown woolen cloth with long hairs (Late Latin burra ‘coarse untreated wool’), applied as a nickname for someone who habitually wore brown or a metonymic occupational name for a worker in the wool trade.
Boyer - Altered spelling of German Bayer or Beyer. German: habitational name for someone from Boye (near Celle-Hannover). English: variant of Bowyer. Danish: habitational name from a place so named. The surname is also found in Norway and Sweden, probably from the same source.
Brazeau - French: unexplained
Brunet - English, French, and Catalan: from a diminutive of brun ‘brown’ (see Brown, Brun).German: from a personal name (Brunhard) composed with Old High German, Old Saxon brum ‘brown’. But this is also a Waldensian name in Germany, in which case it is of French origin, see 1.
Cadieux - from the Old French nickname Capdiou ‘God’s head’, applied to someone who habitually uttered this oath.
Campeau - French: Norman or Picard variant of Champeau. Champeau - French: topographic name from champeau ‘little field’, or a habitational name from any of various places called Champeaux, for example in Deux-Sèvres, Manche, and Seine-et-Marne.
Caron - French: from a personal name of Gaulish origin, represented in Latin records in the form Caraunus. This name was borne by a 5th-century Breton saint who lived at Chartres and was murdered by robbers; his legend led to its widespread use as a personal name during the Middle Ages.  English (of Norman origin) and French: habitational name for someone from Cairon in Calvados, France.  English and French: metonymic occupational name for a carter, or possibly a cartwright, from a Norman and Picard form of Old French c(h)arron ‘cart’.
Cha - Korean (Ch’a): there is only one Chinese character for the Ch’a surname, and the Y{ou}nan Ch’a clan is the only clan. Their founding ancestor was Ch’a Hyoj{ou}n, son of Yu Ch’a-tal (10th century ad). Ch’a is a fairly common surname throughout the Korean peninsula, but most of the clan’s members live in Ky{ou}ngsang province, Hwanghae province, or P’y{ou}ngan province.Chinese : variant of Zha.
Chalifour - French (Savoy): variant of Chaufour, from chaux ‘lime’ + four ‘oven’, ‘kiln’; a topographic name for someone who lived by a lime kiln, a habitational name from any of various places named with this term, or a metonymic occupational name for a lime burner.
Cloutier - French: occupational name for a nailer, someone who made and sold nails, from an agent derivative of clou ‘nail’ (Latin clavus).
Collin - English and French: from a pet form of English Coll 1, French Colle.Probably an altered spelling of German Kollin.Danish: variant of Colding.Swedish: ornamental name from an unexplained first element, probably from a place name, + the the suffix -in, from Latin -in(i)us ‘descendant of’.
Crevier - French (Normandy): from Old French creve ‘crevice’, ‘fissure’, probably a topographic name for someone who lived on arid land.
Dagenais - French: regional name, with the preposition d(e), for someone from the region named for the city of Agen (see Dagen).
Demers - English: patronymic from Deemer.French: habitational name apparently associated with a specific domain; the source is unclear, because of the wide range of local variants.
de Rainville - French: habitational name from a place so named in Vosges.
Despres - French (Després): variant (plural) of Dupré (see Dupre). Dupre - French: topographic name for someone ‘from the (du) meadow pré’ (Old French pred).
Desrosiers - French: topographic name for someone living among rose bushes, from the fused preposition and definite article des ‘from the’ + the plural of Old French rosier ‘rose bush’. This was sometimes confused with Desrochers, even in French language documents.
Doyon - French: habitational name from Doyon in the province of Namur in present-day Belgium.
Drouin - from a pet form of Droue, an unattested variant of the personal name Dreue. This is from the Germanic personal name Drogo.
Dubois - French and English (Norman and Huguenot): topographic name for someone who lived in a wood, from the fused preposition and definite article du ‘from the’ + French bois ‘wood’ (see Bois). In both England and America the name has been translated as Wood.

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