Last name origins & meanings:
- English and French: habitational name from any of the various
minor places named with Old English foss ‘ditch’ (Latin
fossa). The Old English word did not survive into the period
when surnames were acquired, so it is unlikely to be a topographic
name, unless it is from the Old French cognate fosse. The
reference may be to the Roman road Fosse Way, itself named in the Old
English period from the ditch that ran alongside it, or to the river
Foss in Yorkshire.
- Norwegian: habitational name from any of the
fifteen west-coast farmsteads so named, from the dative form of
foss ‘waterfall’ (from Old Norse fors).
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