beard

Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English: nickname for a bearded man (Middle English, Old English beard). To be clean-shaven was the norm in non-Jewish communities in northwestern Europe from the 12th to the 16th century, the crucial period for surname formation. There is a place name and other evidence to show that this word was used as a byname in the Old English period, when beards were the norm; in this period the byname would have referred to a large or noticeable beard. As an American surname, this name has absorbed cognates and equivalents in other languages, in particular German Bart.
  2. English: habitational name from a place in Derbyshire, which derives its name by dissimilation from Old English brerd ‘rim’, ‘bank’.
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