Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English: nickname for a short, fat person, from Middle English bal(le) ‘ball’ (Old English ball, Old Norse b{o,}llr).
  2. English: topographic name for someone who lived on or by a knoll or rounded hill, from the same Middle English word, bal(le), used in this sense.
  3. English: from the Old Norse personal name Balle, derived either from ballr ‘dangerous’ or b{o,}llr ‘ball’.
  4. South German: from Middle High German bal ‘ball’, possibly applied as a metonymic occupational name for a juggler, or a habitational name from a place so named in the Rhine area.
  5. Dutch and German: short form of any of various Germanic personal names formed with the element bald (see Bald).
  6. William Ball (1616–80) emigrated from Suffolk, England, to VA about 1650 and was one of the founders of Millenbeck on the Rappahannock.
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