Last name origins & meanings:
- French: habitational name from any of various places called
Barre. Barre-en-Ouche in Eure or Barre-de-Semilly in Manche are named
with Old French barre ‘bar’, ‘obstruction’, ‘gateway’. Others,
for example Barre in Lozère, derive their name from the Celtic
element barr ‘height’.
- French: (Barré) from
barré, the past participle of Old French barrer, a
derivative of barre ‘bar’ (see 1). The meaning of the surname
derived from this word is uncertain. It may sometimes have been a
topographic name for a person who lived in a place that was naturally
cut off or particularly well fortified, but in many cases it was
probably a nickname meaning ‘striped’, referring to a habitual wearer
of striped clothing or possibly to someone with a noticeable
birthmark. In the Middle Ages the term was also applied to the
Carmelite Friars, who wore habits striped in black, yellow, and white,
and it may have been used as a nickname for someone thought to
resemble a Carmelite in some way. The name is also found in Germany,
attested as a Huguenot name, for example in Magdeburg in 1703.
- French: A bearer of the name from Normandy, France, is documented as
Barré in Montreal in 1667; another, from Picardy, is recorded in
Chambly, Quebec, in 1722.
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