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Surname Etymologies






(From the book Lincolnshire and the Danes by George Streatfield)

TOCK. O.N. Tόki (from tόki, a simpleton). In Denmark the name is found as Tycho (Tycho Brahe). Tuck is the more common English form, but the Lincolnshire form Tock better preserves the original. D.B. Tochi, Inqu. Non. Tok and Toke, Hundr. R. Tok, Toke and Tuke.


1.      English (Lincolnshire) and Scottish: from an Old English personal name Tocca.

2.      German: from a short form of the Germanic personal name Theodicho, formed with Germanic theod- ‘people’, ‘tribe’. Compare Dietrich.

3.      Jewish (eastern Ashkenazic): metonymic occupational name for a turner, from Yiddish tok ‘turner’s lathe’ (see Tokar).


Irish: reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Dubhghaill ‘descendant of Dubhghall’, a personal name composed of the elements dubh ‘black’ + gall ‘stranger’. This was used as a byname for Scandinavians, in particular to distinguish the darker-haired Danes from fair-haired Norwegians. Compare McDougall, McDowell.

From A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames:

Doyle, D'Oyle, Doyley. —
Local, 'de Oilgi,' or 'de Ouilli,' in
Normandy. Lower says, ' Doyle,
one of the commonest of Irish
surnames, and presumed to be of
Anglo-Norman origin.' This is
confirmed by a large number of
English instances. A fair proportion
of the Doyles of our directories
have never had any connexion
Ireland. Probably it is the
same as D'Oyley. Lower adds,  
‘Robert de Oilgi was a tenant-in-
chief in many counties, and Wido
de Oilgi in co. Oxf. (Domesday).'
It was probably from Ouilli-le-
Bassett, in the canton of Falaise,
written in the 11th century Oillei,
the family originated '



1.      English: variant spelling of Motte 1.

2.      English: from Motte, a medieval pet form of the personal name Matilda (see Mould).

3.      German: topographic name for someone who lived by or owned property in a marshy area, from Middle High German mot ‘mud’, ‘swamp’.



Danish, Norwegian, and North German (especially Schleswig-Holstein): patronymic from the personal name Niels, a reduced form of Nikolaus (see Nicholas).




Swiss German: topographic name from Middle High German alm ‘mountain pasture’ + the preposition von ‘from’.


vonAllmen is a very old Bern surname.  The name is thought to have come from Valais Canton in the 13th century.  The name is specific to the Lauterbrunnen Valley in Bern and our vonAllmens come from the village of Unterseen in that valley. Alm (pl. Almen) is German for “an alpine pasture,” therefore, vonallmen= from the alpine pasture.



South German: from a pet form of the personal names Mattheus or Matthias (see Matthew).


1.       English and Scottish: occupational name for a weaver, early Middle English webbe, from Old English webba (a primary derivative of wefan ‘to weave’; compare Weaver 1). This word survived into Middle English long enough to give rise to the surname, but was already obsolescent as an agent noun; hence the secondary forms with the agent suffixes -er and -ster.

2.      Americanized form of various Ashkenazic Jewish cognates, including Weber and Weberman.


English: patronymic from the medieval personal name Hudde (see Hutt 1). This surname is particularly common in Yorkshire and is also well established in Ireland.