51 Strange English Surnames and Their Significance

There are a lot of Strange english surnames . Some of them are: Fernsby, McQuaid, Relish or Sallow, among many others.

Most of these rare or unusual surnames are also associated with a less curious meaning. Even today, there are surnames of which the origin is unknown or what they symbolize.

Robinson Crusoe, the popular character in the English novel by Daniel Defoe bore one of the strangest English surnames. Robinson Crusoe, the popular character in the English novel by Daniel Defoe bore one of the strangest English surnames.

If you are struck by the meaning and origin of the surnames, I invite you to continue reading. You can also meet The 50 most common Romanian surnames and their origin .

List of 51 strange English surnames

Sallow : Is a surname that relates to a family that lived near a tree of a willow tree during the Middle Ages . An early bearer of this surname was Nicholas of Sallow, mentioned in the"Shropshire Rotuli Hundredorum"of 1254.

Fernsby : This surname means"dwelling near the ferns". According to several census tracts, there are only 21 people who carry this surname.

Villin : Surname that originated in the region of Norfolk, England. He was referring to a commoner called"the villain." According to the British electoral registry, only 2 people remain with this last name.

Miracle : Surname that originated in the south of France. In England this surname was taken for the first time in Anglesey, Wales. It is of Celtic origin, derived from the personal name Meuric, which is the Welsh form of Maurice. The surname Miracle is ultimately derived from the Latin name Mauricio, meaning dark.

Dankworth : The meaning of this surname is thought to be"the farm belonging to Tancredo". Currently it is assumed that only 591 persons carry this surname and only 2 persons carry this surname in England.

Relish : Is a surname that appears in the census since 1892 but is registered from the 14th century. It was recorded in the Cheshire region at the beginning of the 20th century. At present, no person with this surname in England is known.

MacQuoid (Scottish) : There are only two examples of the MacQuoid surname in British electoral records. It seems likely that the name is related to MacQuaid.

Loughty : Loughty is considered as a variation of Lochty, the name of two villages in Tayside (one a couple of miles west of Perth, the other 6 miles west of Brechin). It means"little lake". It is believed that this surname is already extinct in England.

Birdwhistle : Means"bifurcation of the river where the birds nest". It also refers to two medieval villages that no longer exist.

Berrycloth : Means"grove". It is a surname that originated in Halifax in West Yorkshire.

Culpepper : The Company of Groceries appeared, incorporated in 1345. It means"the false merchant of pepper".

Tumbler : The tumbler was an acrobat and sometimes an acrobatic dancer, often recruited to court by a noble to provide entertainment. There are a small number of Tumblers located in the Strathclyde area, Scotland.

Ajax : This very strange surname seems to have arrived in Wales in the late seventeenth century. It seems that he arrived in England with the refugees who came from France after the Edict of Nantes was revoked in 1685.

Edevane : It is a very rare surname that, apparently, originated in Wales. It means"protector of prosperity".

Gastrell : The original meaning of the name Gastrell is uncertain. It seems to have a moderate suffix Norman '-el' (meaning affection). At present there are only 44 people in the lists of the English electoral registers.

Slora : Slora seems to have different variations, including Slorra, Slorah, Slorach and Slorrance. At present there are 41 records of Slora, 5 of Slorah and more than 200 of Slorach that appear in the current electoral rolls. It may have originated from the word"sluagdach"which means"leader"in Gaelic.

Bread : Is related to the occupation of baker. It is believed that the Bread family in England has disappeared.

MacCaa : MacCaa has many associations with clans. The most prominent are the Stuarts of Bute, the MacKay Clan, the MacFarlane Clan, the MacDonald Clan and the Galloway Clan.

The name is a phonetic variation of MacKay, which means"son of Aoh (ie the champion)". Other similar names in the group are MacCaw, MacCay, MacGaw, MacGee and MacKee

Spinster : Its origin is based on the word spinnan which means, yarn thread. It was freely applied in medieval times to single women, spinners, without a family of their own.

Pussett : It is a surname that disappeared in Century XX. It is based on an affectionate nickname used in the Middle Ages.

Bythesea and Bytheseashore : The first bearer of this surname was William Bythesee in Somerset in the year 1336. The bearers of these descriptive names would have reminded someone whose dwelling was near a lake or a stream.

Halfenaked : This last name has disappeared for its meaning"semi-desnudo"

Rymer : Is a surname associated with being a poet and making rhymes.

Cock : Means cock, or is associated with a proud person.

Daft : It is a surname of the medieval times that means, gentle, meek.

Death or De'Ath : A surname that means death. For this, it has almost completely disappeared.

Smellie : Its meaning is associated with someone who smells bad.

Glass : It is a diminutive of Vasilis and means"King"in Greek.

Anthonyson : Means"Son of Anthony". Associated with the Greek word ανθος (anthos) meaning"flower".

Acy : Variant of the surname"Ace"which means"As". It is more common as a male name than a surname.

Adolphson : Means"son of Adolphus". It is a surname that disappeared after the Second World War In England.

Amilia : Probably means"Emilio's children". Emilio means in Latin"rival".

Amery : The Normans introduced this last name in England, and although never popular, it survived until the end of Average Age. It is believed to mean"universal power"in Old Norse.

Barbrow :"Son of Barbara". It is a surname that is found in Sweden and very rarely in Great Britain.

Beaufoy : Is a surname that comes from the name Buffy, that is the diminutive of Elizabeth. It is thought to mean"son of Elizabeth".

Brazil : Is a very rare surname in England, associated with the country Brazil. It may refer to a family from the South American country.

Brownbear : Viking origin surname meaning"brown bear".

Brumby : Surname that originates from Barnaby or Barrabas. It may originate from בּר נביא (bar naviya ') which means"son of the prophet". As a name came to England in the twelfth century and has been altering through time and also adopting as a surname.

Callen : Irish and English surname. Variant of the surname"Callan". Derived from Gaelic element cath meaning"battle".

Cass : It is a name and at the same time a surname. It comes from an Irish surname derived from Ó Caiside which means"descendant of Caiside".

Chadburn : Means"wild or indomitable stream".

Champion : Is a surname that is in France and very rarely in England. It means"champion".

Choules : The name Choules is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a variant of Scholes, was a topographical name for someone who lived in a hut or rough shed. It can also be a surname to refer to a family who lived in Scholes in Yorkshire.

Creepingbear : Is a rare surname in England and the United States. It means"dragging bear"

Crusoe : According to Reaney and Wilson, this name was taken to England by John Crusoe, a refugee from Hownescourt in Flanders, who settled in Norwich.

Cullimore : There is a place called Colleymore Farm in Oxfordshire, but it is not clear if this is the source of the surname.

Dagger : Means"dagger". It is a surname of Cambridgeshire from Century XIII. Currently, very few people carry this last name.

Decksheimer : Originates from the name Dexheimer, and refers to someone from the German village of Dexheim.

Denson : Unusual English surname meaning"Dennis or Dean's Son".

Evenson : Common last name in England of Norwegian origin. It means son of Eyvind.


  1. House of names Editor. (2000-2017). Miracle surname. 29-3-2017, retrieved from houseofnames.com.
  2. (2012-2016). Loughty Surname Meaning & Statistics. 29-3-2017, retrieved from forebears.io.
  3. (2011). Not Smith and Jones - Rare British Surnames On The Cusp Of Extinction. 29-3-2017, retrieved from myheritage.com.
  4. Guy's sports editors. (2016). Really Funny Surnames. 29-3-2017, from guy-sports.com
  5. Telegraph reporters. (2013). New book explores strange surnames like Halfenaked. 29-3-2017, retrieved from telegraph.co.uk.
  6. Ancestry Editors. (1997-2017). 10 Rare English Surnames About to Go Extinct. 29-3-2017, retrieved from ancestry.com.
  7. (2012-2016). Fernsby Surname Meaning & Statistics. 29-3-2017, retrieved from forebears.io.
  8. Find my past editors. (2017). Relish surname. 29-3-2017, from findmypast.co.uk.

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