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Meaning and Origin of: Bill

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Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English and German: from a Germanic personal name, either a short form of compound names such as Billard, or else a byname Bill(a), from Old English bil ‘sword’, ‘halberd’ (or a Continental cognate). (Bill as a short form of William was not used until the 17th century.)
  2. English: metonymic occupational name for a maker of pruning hooks and similar implements, from Middle English bill, from Old English bil ‘sword’, with the meaning shifted to a more peaceful agricultural application (see Biller 5).
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