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Posts Tagged ‘Hanley’

As everyone and their auntie knows, today is St Paddy’s day.

And as Patrick is Ireland’s patron, it’s a day as much about celebrating Ireland as commemmorating him.

Although many contend that his feast day of March 17 is because it is the anniversary of his death, many others propose it has more to do with the approaching equinox and Pagan celebrations which marked the arrival of spring.

Of course, it might well be both.

Saturday has become the day when I generally look at great surnames which have not yet seen much use as first names. I plan to take a detailed look at Irish surnames — and surnames from the other Celtic lands — after I’ve finished the English ones, but to mark the special occasion, I thought I’d take a look today at the very best and most wearable contemporary options that Ireland has to offer.

All are Anglicized forms of  the original Irish Gaelic.

  • BardonÓ Bardáin “son of the little bard.” Also Barden and Bardane.
  • Bradigan — Ó Bradagáin probably “descendant of the spirited one.”
  • Branigan — Ó Branagáin “descendant of Branagan” (“little raven”).
  • Branley — Ó Branghaile “descendant of Branghal” (“raven-valour”). Also Brannelly.
  • BrannaghBreathnach “a Breton.”
  • Brannan — Ó Branáin “descendant of Branan” (“little raven”).
  • Cafferty — Mac Eachmharcaigh “son of the steed-rider.”
  • Cassily — Ó Caisile, possibly “descendant of the one from Cashel” or a variant of Ó Caiside — the Irish Gaelic form of the well-known Cassidy.
  • Connan — Mac Canann “son of the little wolf cub.”
  • Coveney — Mac Coibheanaigh “son of the trooper.”
  • Darragh — Mac Dubhdara “son of the black oak” (Darragh is a popular boy’s name in the Republic of Ireland).
  • Donnelly — Ó Donnghaile “descendant of Donnghal” (“brown-valour”).
  • Drennan — Ó Draighnáin “descendant of the blackthorn.”
  • Finnerty — Ó Fionnachta “descendant of Fionnachta” (“white-snow”). Also Finaghty.
  • FlahertyÓ Flaithbheartaigh “descendant of Flaithbheartaigh” (“bright ruler”). Also Flaverty.
  • Foylan — Ó Faoileáin “descedant of Faoileán” (“little wolf”).
  • GallinaghÓ Gailínigh possibly “descendant of the flattering one.” Also Gallina.
  • Gilligan — Mac Giollagáin “son of the little lad/devotee.”
  • Guinevan — probably Mac Dhuinnebháin “son of Donnadubhán” (“little brown-black one”).
  • Hanley — Ó hÁinle “descendant of the dainty one.”
  • Hanlon — Ó hAnluáin “descendant of Anluan” (probably “great champion” — intensifying prefix an + luan “champion”).
  • Helehan — Ó hAiolleacháin ” descendant of the little joyful one.”
  • Henelly — a variant of FENELLY.
  • Hennessy
  • Kendrigan — Ó Cinndeargáin probably “descendant of the little red-headed one.”
  • Kerrigan — Ó Ciaragáin “descendant of the little black one.”
  • Kinneally — Ó Cinnfhaolaidh ” descendant of the wolf’s-head” (i.e. “outlaw”).
  • Kitterick — Mac Shitric “son of Sitric” (Irish form of the Norse Sigtrygg “true victory”).
  • Larrissey — Ó Learghusa “descendant of Learghus” (“sea-vigour”). Also Laracy.
  • Lafferty — Ó Laithbheartaigh. Essentially a variant of FLAHERTY.
  • LynaghLaighneach “Leinsterman.” Also Leynagh.
  • Madigan — Ó Madagáin “descendant of the little hound.”
  • Marron — Ó Mearáin “descendant of the little lively/quick one.”
  • Mellerick — Ó Maoilgheiric, probably “descendant of a devotee of St Cyriac.”
  • Merrigan — Ó Muireagáin “descendant of Muireagan” (probably a diminutive of muir “sea”).
  • Milligan — Ó Maoilegáin, a variant of Ó Maolagáin “descendant of the little bald one/devotee.”
  • Morrissey — Ó Muirgheasa “descendant of Muirgheas” (“sea-action”).
  • Neligan — Ó Niallagain “descendant of Niallagán” (a derivative of the well-known Irish name Neil, essentially “little Neil”).
  • Neylan — Ó Niallain “descendant of Niallán” (also “little Neil”). Also Nealon and Neilon.
  • Olice — perhaps eolgasasch “knowledgeable.” Also Olis.
  • Olisagh — a variant of OLICE.
  • Rafferty
  • Ronaghan — Ó Reannacháin “descendant of the litte sharp-pointed/starry one.”
  • Rogan — Ó Ruadhagáin “descendant of the little red one.”
  • Ruane — Ó Ruadháin “descendant of the little red one.”
  • Solan — Ó Sochlacháin “descendant of the little renowned one.”
  • Soran — Ó Soracháin “descendant of the little bright one.” Also Sorahan.
  • Tansey — Mac an Tanáiste “son of the heir presumptive.”
  • Thoran — Ó Toráin “descendant of the little lord.”
  • Timoney — Ó Tiománaidhe “descendant of the driver.”
  • Toran — variant of THORAN.
  • Traynor — Mac Thréinfhir “son of the strong man.”  Also Treanor.
  • Tynan — Ó Teimhneáin “descendant of the dark one.”
  • Varrelly — Mac an Bhearshúiligh “son of the sharp-eyed (man).”
  • VeighMac an Beatha “son of life.” Also MacVey and MacEvoy.

Mine’s a guinness ;).

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Henley (well, almost)

My guest-blog at Nameberry today is on the use of surnames as first names. It follows on from a post I did here at the Nook —  What to Say to a surnames-as-first-names skeptic.

Opportune, therefore, I think to continue with the exploration of lesser used surnames of Old English, Anglo-Norman and Old Norse origin. Today’s letter is ‘H’ and features surnames which have never featured in the US top 1000, or, if they did, fell out of it a long, long time ago and weren’t there very long…

  • Hacker — from Middle English hacken ‘to hack’ and ‘to cut’. Still mostly associated by Brits with the character of Jim Hacker from the classic 80s sitcoms Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister.
  • Haddesley — from Chapel Haddlesey and West Haddlesey, Yorkshire. Old English *hathal ‘hollow’ + , ‘sea’, ‘lake’, ‘inland sea’ and ‘marsh’.
  • Hadden, Haddon — from one of the places of the name. Old English hǣth ‘heath’ + dūn ‘hill’.
  • Haig, Haigh –from Haigh, Lancashire, or directly from Old English haga ‘(hedged) enclosure’. In the UK, probably too closely associated with politician William Haigh, but elsewhere fairly connotation free.
  • Halden, Haldon — from High Halden in Kent. Old English personal name Heathuwald ‘war-power’ + denn ‘woodland pasture’. Can also be from the medieval personal name Haldane ‘half-Dane’.
  • Haler, Haylor — from Middle English halien ‘to hale’, ‘to haul’ – i.e. a porter or carrier of some kind.
  • Hallam — from one of the places of the name. Old Norse hallr ‘slope’, ‘hill’, Old English hall ‘hall’ or halh ‘nook’. All in dative plural, given the sense of ‘at the slopes/halls/nooks’. Hallam Tennyson was the oldest son of the English poet, Alfred, Lord Tennyson; he was named after the poet’s friend Arthur Hallam, who died young.
  • Hanley — from one of the places called Hanley or Handley. Old English hēah ‘high’ + lēah ‘wood’, ‘woodland clearing’, ‘glade’, ‘pasture’ and ‘meadow’.
  • Harby — from one of the places called Harby. Old Norse personal name Herrøthr ‘furious man’, or hjörð ‘herd’ and ‘flock’ + ‘farmstead’, ‘village’ and ‘settlement’.
  • Harker — from Middle English herkien ‘to listen’.
  • Harpley — from Harpley, from one of the places of the name. Old English hearpe ‘harp’ + lēah ‘wood’, ‘woodland clearing’, ‘glade’, ‘pasture’ and ‘meadow’.
  • Harrow — from one of the places called Harrow. Old English hearg ‘pagan temple or shrine’. Harrow in Greater London is famous for its historic public (i.e. private and very expensive) school. A cricket match between Harrow and Eton used to be one of the fixtures of the English social ‘Season’.
  • Hartley — from one of the places of the name. Old English heorot ‘harts’ and ‘stags’ +  lēah ‘wood’, ‘woodland clearing’, ‘glade’, ‘pasture’ and ‘meadow’. Made a couple of minor appearances in the name ranks around the turn of the last century.
  • Hawker — Old English hafocere ‘hawker’ and ‘falconer’.
  • Hawkley, Hawksley — essentially the same, coming from one of the places of the name. Old English hafoc ‘hawk’ +  lēah ‘wood’, ‘woodland clearing’, ‘glade’, ‘pasture’ and ‘meadow’.
  • Haworth — from Haworth in Yorkshire, famous for being the home of the Brontë sisters. Old English haga ‘(hedged) enclosure’ + worth ‘enclosure’.
  • Haydon, Heydon –from one of the places called Haydon or Heydon. Old English hēg ‘hay’ + dūn ‘hill’.
  • Hayer — from Old English haga ‘(hedged) enclosure’.
  • Hayland — from Old English  hēah ‘high’ + land ‘land’.
  • Hayne — from more than one source. 1) the Old Norse personal name Haghni, from hagi ‘enclosure’ or hag ‘comfortable’ and ‘capable'; 2) Old English haga ‘(hedged) enclosure’, here meaning ‘(dweller) at the enclosures'; 3) Middle English heyne ‘mean wretch’.
  • Heddon — from one of the places of the name, a variant of HADDON.
  • Helmsley — from Helmsley, Yorkshire. Old English personal name Helm ‘helmet’ + lēah ‘wood’, ‘woodland clearing’, ‘glade’, ‘pasture’ and ‘meadow’.
  • Hendon — from Hendon, London. Old English  hēah ‘high’ + dūn ‘hill’.
  • Henley — from one of the places called Henley, a variant of HANLEY. Henley-on-Thames is famous for its annual regatta, while Georgie Henley is an English actress best known for playing Lucy in The Chronicles of Narnia.
  • Henlow — from Henlow, Bedfordshire. Old English henn ‘hen’ + hlāw ‘tumulus’, ‘mound’, ‘hill’.
  • Herne — the surname is plain Old English hyrne ‘corner’ and ‘nook’, but Herne is also the name of the figure from English folk-lore, probably a survival of Odin as Lord of the Wild Hunt. His name may be cognate with his Celtic counterpart, Cernunnos.
  • Hesketh — from Hesketh, Cumbria. Old Norse hestr ‘horse’ + skeið ‘race-course’.
  • Heston — from Heston, Greater London. Old English *hǣs ‘brushwood’ + tūn ‘enclosure’, ‘farmstead’, ‘village’, ‘manor’ and ‘estate’. Heston Blumenthal is an English celebrity chef.
  • Heyer — a variant of Ayre. Georgette Heyer (1902-74) was a well-known English historical novelist.
  • Hildith — from the Old English girl’s name Hildgyð ‘battle-strife’.
  • Hindon — from Hindon, Wiltshire. Old English hīgna ‘religious community’ + dūn ‘hill’.
  • Huckerby — from Uckerby, Yorkshire. Old Norse personal name Úkyrri (perhaps ‘unquiet’/’disturbance’) + ‘farmstead’, ‘village’ and ‘settlement’.
  • Hudd — medieval pet-form of Richard and Hugh.
  • Huntley — from Huntley, Gloucestershire. Old English hunta‘ huntsman’ + lēah ‘wood’, ‘woodland clearing’, ‘glade’, ‘pasture’ and ‘meadow’.
  • Huntlow — from Old English huntian ‘to hunt’ + Old French louve ‘wolf’.
  • Huxley — from Huxley, Cheshire. Old English personal name Hucc + lēah ‘wood’, ‘woodland clearing’, ‘glade’, ‘pasture’ and ‘meadow’. Best known as the surname of English writer Aldous Huxley.
  • Huxter — from Middle English huckestere ‘(female) hawker.’

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