bailey

Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English: status name for a steward or official, Middle English bail(l)i (Old French baillis, from Late Latin baiulivus, an adjectival derivative of baiulus ‘attendant’, ‘carrier’ ‘porter’).
  2. English: topographic name for someone who lived by the outer wall of a castle, Middle English bail(l)y, baile ‘outer courtyard of a castle’, from Old French bail(le) ‘enclosure’, a derivative of bailer ‘to enclose’, a word of unknown origin. This term became a place name in its own right, denoting a district beside a fortification or wall, as in the case of the Old Bailey in London, which formed part of the early medieval outer wall of the city.
  3. English: habitational name from Bailey in Lancashire, named with Old English beg ‘berry’ + lēah ‘woodland clearing’.
  4. English: Anglicized form of French Bailly.
  5. English: The surname Bailey was established early on in North America by several different bearers; one of them, James Bailey, was one of the founders of Rowley, MA.
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