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Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English: from Old French bas(se) ‘low’, ‘short’ (Latin bassus ‘thickset’; see Basso), either a descriptive nickname for a short person or a status name meaning ‘of humble origin’, not necessarily with derogatory connotations.
  2. English: in some instances, from Middle English bace ‘bass’ (the fish), hence a nickname for a person supposedly resembling this fish, or a metonymic occupational name for a fish seller or fisherman.
  3. Scottish: habitational name from a place in Aberdeenshire, of uncertain origin.
  4. Jewish (Ashkenazic): metonymic occupational name for a maker or player of bass viols, from Polish, Ukrainian, and Yiddish bas ‘bass viol’.
  5. German: see Basse.
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